The Chances are that you have been lied to!
Contrary to popular myth, tarot cards were invented for card games, not fortune telling. Created in mid 15th century Italy, they consist of two parts: a standard pack of Latin suited playing cards and fifth suit of picture cards. These extra cards took as their theme, not an occult philosophy, or magical symbols, but a triumph procession – hence their early name of trionfi, meaning triumphs and from which we get our word trump. And this is all they were, a suit of fixed trump cards for a family of card games that continues to be played throughout continental Europe today.
The games of tarot are among the best in the world, greatly varied but all have in common an intelligent sophistication, without sacrificing their entertainment value. They are as suited to the socialite as they are to the keen strategist.
This web site exists to promote these games to the English speaking world and to a large extent my methods will be that of a sceptic. After all, the two greatest obstacles to my goal are the myths of tarot’s origins and its perceived use as a tool for fortune tellers. I believe that sceptics should take special note of tarot’s history and games and so some of my efforts on this site will be directed at them. I shall also try to enlist your help in this project, as I cannot hope to achieve my goals alone.
I have made available a large selection of rules to games played throughout the continent, with terms and some conventions standardised to make learning a little easier. There is a section of the site with number of reviews of the available packs of cards suitable for game play – along with advice as to where to buy them.
You can also download the complete text as a book in PDF and Word format, along with some broad permission for the non-commercial reproduction and redistribution of the material. I am also producing a range of promotional images that you can
download and have printed through Print-On-Demand services as mugs, mouse mats, calendars, tote bags, shirts, etc.
Please also note that this is a non-commercial effort on my part. While I shall offer some goods through Print-On-Demand services, such as books, mats, and mugs, they will be offered at the base price. What this means is that you will only be paying the service provider to print and send you the goods – I won’t receive anything for them. The reasons for this are twofold, firstly, I cannot in conscience ask you to help promote this project without reward if I am profiting from it, and secondly, I want to keep the costs to you as low as possible to encourage purchases and the promotion that will bring.
I hope that you will enjoy this site and take something from it. And if it isn’t your cup of tea, I hope that you will keep it in mind for anyone you know who might enjoy it.
Once this site is finished, I shall be leaving the work of promoting tarot to others. After a while of working at this myself, I find that I can have little impact. I can, to an extent, blame some of this lack of efficacy on my lack of time - but not all of it. The truth is that I lack the skills and talents to do a really good job of it. What I can do is create and maintain this site and hope that it can prove a useful resource or even just a starting point for those better able.
J Neill Furr (philebus)