There are many theories about the origins and purposes of tarot, but from what legitimate history tells us, Tarot decks appeared in their current form in the 1400's as playing cards. This is the physical history, but tarot readings as we know them are actually a form of fortune telling. Specifically, a branch of cartomancy (telling the future through cards) called taromancy (cartomancy with tarot cards).
This was brought about by the Romani people, becoming a normalized part of their culture in the 1800's. Along with this came an assortment of rules and taboos around tarot decks and their readings - presumably to protect this work and culture as it developed. Some of these beliefs include only using a deck that was gifted to you, wrapping your cards in silk as they are transported and stored, and not letting others touch your deck without permission.
There are many beautiful rituals and beliefs surrounding tarot and fortune telling practices that have trickled down and taken their own shape into what we now know it as.
Some of these that we practice at Fiends are
- knocking before your reading; this is a formality akin to knocking on someones door and is believed to be the entry point of your energy into the cards
- shuffling (often with the non-dominant hand); our left or non-dominant hand is believed to be the channel in which we receive energy through. This can help the cards enter our (sub)consciousness and give more depth to the reading. It also makes sure that the initial knock infuses the rest of the deck with you.
- do what feels good; our core belief at Fiends is that we're not here to tell you what or how to believe. While we do have practices and rituals around readings, at the end of the day your energy is your business and we aim to provide a space to figure out to find what feels good and roll with it.
Many people find tarot "spooky" - and we don't blame you! While the culture of tarot has been growing behind the scenes, so has the pop-culture around it. This is often linked with witchcraft, ouija, and fortune telling. Our philosophy at Fiends is that the cards are a trajectory of your energy, which means that it is adaptable. Anything you find in your reading is coming from you, which gives you autonomous power to change or enforce what you see in the cards. We aim to empower and educate you on the story and symbology presented in your reading so you can have earnest reflection and ability to maneuver your energy and intentions.
Although tarot decks are quite old, it is an evolving culture and practice. We are in a societal and cultural shift away from the material and into the spiritual. This appears in obvious ways like being more environmentally conscious, an uprise in yoga, and more people moving out of religion and into more autonomously supported belief systems that can adapt to each individuals needs. Tarot is a part of that, and with many new decks, practitioners, and view points being created it is an open book (or deck) waiting to reveal meanings and depths to you.