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Torah Tarot?

I thumbed through my Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and I noticed immediately on the High Priestess card that she is holding a scroll in her hand.

The High Priestess Card


Torah in the Tarot

I thumbed through my Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and I noticed immediately on the High Priestess card that she is holding a scroll in her hand. If we turn the card upside down, the title of her scroll is visible in the correct form...and it says one word...only "Tora". I stopped what I was doing in order to verify what I had seen, and to find other religious references on the cards in that deck.

I previously researched several theories on the correlation between God and tarot, and I did find a significant connection. Now, this one card with the word "Tora" written on its front side, is my newest confirmation.

According to an article written by Brendan I. Koerner,

"Tarot cards likely originated in northern Italy during the late 14th or early 15th century. The oldest surviving set, known as the Visconti-Sforza deck, was created for the Duke of Milan’s family around 1440. The cards were used to play a bridge-like game known as tarocchi, popular at the time among nobles and other leisure lovers. According to tarot historian Gertrude Moakley, the cards’ fanciful images—from the Fool to Death—were inspired by the costumed figures who participated in carnival parades.

The game of tarocchi eventually spread to other European countries, including southern France, where it was renamed tarot. The cards were not regarded as mystical until the late 18th century, when the occult came into vogue. A man named Antoine Court de Gébelin wrote a popular book linking the cards to ancient Egyptian lore, arguing that tarot symbols contained the secret wisdom of a god called Thoth. Around the same time, Jean-Baptiste Alliette, writing under the pseudonym Etteilla, published a treatise on using tarot cards as divination tools."

French writer Eliphas Lévi was the first one to publicly state and popularize the ideas that the cards were related to the Hebrew language and to the kabbalah.

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Mystical groups at the time were already there, [Theosophical Society and the Rosicrucians turned tarot into an American fad during the early 1900s.]

So we have the beginning of tarot, but people's lives have been ruled by the stars for much longer than the days of Renaissance Italy. I'm talking thousands of years here!

I have come across the same theory time and time again, that the idea of tarot can actually be tied to the Hebrews. They would associate each one of the 22 minor arcanas with a letter of their alphabet, being they also had 22 letters. This was a way for them to practice their Faith low-key, as they were prohibited from worshipping God many times throughout their history. Makes sense, in my opinion.

Wheel of Fortune Card


The Wheel of Fortune card also shows the letters T-O-R-A along the outside of the circle. (Or the wheel, if you prefer).

The "nin" is actually Hebrew, which my keyboard is not accustomed to, and so I cannot reflect it as it is in the photo. The 3 letters actually form a written name for God in Hebrew, or how the Jews refer to Him in writing...either way you prefer to view it. It is all fascinating to me.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Bri Smith

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