The first documented tarot packs were recorded between 1440 and 1450 in Milan, Ferrara, Florence and Bologna when additional trump cards with allegorical illustrations were added to the common four-suit pack. These new decks were called carte da trionfi, triumph cards, and the additional cards known simply as trionfi, which became "trumps" in English. The earliest documentation of trionfi is found in a written statement in the court records of Florence, in 1440, regarding the transfer of two decks to Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta.[6][7]
The word tarot and German Tarock derive from the Italian tarocchi, the origin of which is uncertain but taroch was used as a synonym for foolishness in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.[2][3] The decks were known exclusively as trionfi during the fifteenth century. The new name first appeared in Brescia around 1502 as tarocho.[4] During the 16th century, a new game played with a standard deck but sharing a very similar name (trionfa) was quickly becoming popular. This coincided with the older game being renamed tarocchi.[1] In modern Italian, the singular term is tarocco, which, as a noun, means a type of blood orange, and, as an adjective, means 'fake, counterfeit'.
The Minor Arcana (lesser secrets) consists of 56 cards, divided into four suits of 14 cards each; ten numbered cards and four court cards. The court cards are the King, Queen, Knight and Page/Jack, in each of the four tarot suits. The traditional Italian tarot suits are swords, batons, coins and cups; in modern occult tarot decks, however, the batons suit is often called wands, rods or staves, while the coins suit is often called pentacles or disks.
The Burning Question reading is for times when you have a question that needs to be answered immediately—a burning question, if you will. A card symbolizing the question is placed at the center of the spread with the remaining six cards placed around it, suggesting the shape of a flame as it clings onto an object. Spread created by veteran tarot reader Laura Mead-Desmet.
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