Queen of Tarot

The ancient wisdom of the cards

The Enlightenment

Cards also began to be used as a teaching tool very early on. Although the story is apocryphal, tradition tells us that it was Michelangelo who invented the Minchiate tarot deck format, in order to teach arithmetic to children. While no conclusive proof of this story exists, it does show that cards were considered educational very early in their history.

The invention of tarot cards, according to the records we do have (particularly the Marziano text), was almost certainly an attempt to extend the educational capacity of cards, so it would not be particularly radical to suppose that the Minchiate deck might also have been created for educational purposes.

In the early 1800's, people started playing Patience, the first of many variations of solitaire, not so much as a form of divination, but more as a test of luck. Am I in a good mode today? Am I thinking well? How's my luck running? Napoleon was known to enjoy Patience during his exile.

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