Tarot History: Theories of Origin

I’m making an effort to complete the Holistic Tarot companion course video series. Here’s the ninth installment, on tarot history, or more specifically, theories of origin.

While there’s 33 pages of citations for the content of this video, I hope it’s clear that we’re still talking about speculation– hence theories of origins. I started this focused level of research back in 2014, even before Holistic Tarot was published, for a work of historical fantasy. Yes, a novel. That novel I’ve been struggling with, which I hope I can dedicate 2022 to.

I also thought it’d be fun to flash SKT Revelation cards across the screen at the exact moments certain points were being made. =)

These different projects of mine meld together here in this video because in 2020 I took a break from writing re-writing my novel and made SKT Revelation instead. My novel is not about the tarot. It’s set in the 13th and 14th centuries in the regions this video discusses. But anyone who knows tarot will certainly recognize tarot in the background of the novel.

Anyway, right now I’m thinking two more videos and the Holistic Tarot video series will be complete. There’s also the Tarot Card Meanings with Benebell series I’ve been meaning to finish. I left off on the Sevens and during my hiatus I went and created a new edition of the SKT. According to my own outline I’ve got 8 more videos to go. Gotta figure out how I’m going to make that work. Haha. If you’ve got any ideas, please share. =D

5 thoughts on “Tarot History: Theories of Origin

  1. Fascinating; thank you for interweaving the various cultures, timelines, and conceptions into a plausible theory of the origins of tarot. I am cautiously optimistic that one of your future projects will be to concretize this into your own unique interpretation in deck form.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shadowrose

    Wow, thank you very much! This is really interesting.
    Once, I did some (not professional with proper citations, but rather for my private use) research on the history of playing cards – which is basically the history of tarot, too. For playing cards most certainly derive from tarot cards. I would have liked more information about those Chinese playing cards. Unfortunately there aren’t many resources in English and my Chinese is only beginners level. Where did you find that information on those four suits being scholars, merchants, etc.? And how about Confucius’ influence? The only information about the suits I could find was that there were coins, coin strings and Chinese characters/numbers. I kept wondering which one might be which suit in the tarot since then. Is there any reputable literature in English available about it?
    By the way, I’m looking forward to your novel. 🙂


  3. Umide Sacoor Ahnemann

    Thank you for this new installment, Benebell 🙂 Also, could you (or anyone else here) tell me what are the cards that show up at around 0:45? Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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