The tarot (first known as tarocchi, also tarock and
similar names) is a pack of 78 cards Used from the mid fifteenth century in
various parts of Europe to play card games such as Italian Tarocchini and
From the late 18th century until the present time the tarot has also found
use by mystics and occultists
in efforts at divination or as a map of mental
and spiritual pathways.
Occultists call the trump cards and the Fool "the major arcana”. Paul Christian first used the name Major
Each Major Arcanum depicts a scene, mostly featuring a person or
several people, with many symbolic elements.
In many decks, each has a number and a name, though not all decks have both,
and some have only a picture.
The earliest decks bore unnamed and unnumbered pictures on the Majors
(probably because a great many of the people using them at the time were
While the ten protagonists and four court cards in each suit are called “
The Minor Arcana consist of fifty-six cards,deck suits most commonly named Wands or Batons,
Cups, Swords, and Coins
(also called Pentacles or Disks).