Q: Where did Tarot come from?
A: There is no agreed upon date when tarot cards as we know them came into existence. There is a theory that the origins came into being in the late 14th century with cards used in a game where they person would need to make a poetic story from the cards dealt. It is also around the same time and elsewhere in the world that playing cards depicting royalty were made using the four suits of staves, coins, cups, and swords instead of what would become hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades.
We jump a few centuries to the late 18th and the cards have become more widespread and there is a written work created by Antoine Court de Gébelin. He wrote on an analysis of tarot (and many other things throughout the wold in his nine volumes) and attributed their being stemming from a holy book that came from Egypt and appeared in Europe thanks to Gypsies. Despite his baseless conclusions, the Europeans ate up every word of the mystical tarot.
Ten years later Jean-Baptiste Alliette, a known French Occultist released the first tarot deck that was specifically made for divination and wrote a book on how to use the cards as a divining tool.
Moving into the Victorian age, near every well to do family had a tarot deck due to the explosion into mysticism and the afterlife. Most house parties had entertainment that included a séance, tarot, tea leaf, or palm readings.
The most recognizable tarot deck- the Rider-Waite Tarot was first published in 1909. Arthur Waite worked with artist Pamela Colman-Smith to create the infamous deck. Over 100 years later, it is still one of the most recognizable decks and the one that most people use for imagery and symbolism references.