a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Tarot Card Deck Number

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick,alt.tarot,alt.divination
Subject: Re: Tarot Card Deck Number (was 78...?)
Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 09:52:15 -0500

nagasiva wrote:

> wasn't the historical game of Tarocci always 78 cards? if not,
> could you break down the history somewhat as to how and when
> the number varied, or point to some website that does beyond
> those already suggested? thanks.

Well I recalled a website indicating the number of trumps did change so
far I have found one deck recorded.

"Tarot and Minchiate were both introduced to Sicily in 1663, probably by
way of Rome. The original designs were probably of Florentine origin,
although some alterations were made early on. There is a trump card
lower than the Bagatto, titled Miseria or Poverta, meaning poverty. It
shows a beggar in rags holding out a bowl or box. In later decks, he is
chained to a large block. The Fool is called il Fuggativo, the fugative.
The Papess is gone, and the Pope is replaced by the virtue of Constancy,
shown with shield and banner. The Angel is replaced by Jove. In the 18th
century, a Sicilian noblewoman instigated the alteration of two
offensive cards, the Devil and the Devil's House. They now depict a ship
(borrowed from the Minchiate Water card) and a simple Tower, without the
distressing fire and lightning usually associated with it."

"The Tarocco Siciliano, like the Tarocco Bolognese, is a reduced pack,
with lower pip cards of each suit omitted. In the Tarocco Siciliano, the
omitted cards are the ace through 4 of staves, cups, and swords, and the
2 and 3 of coins. The ace of coins was added in the 19th century to
provide a place for tax stamps, and is not needed to play the Sicilian
form of the game of tarot. Thus 63 cards are used. This peculiar number
results from the fact that the most popular form of the game in previous
centuries was for three players; 63 cards divides evenly by 3."

The odd sized (count) decks are though rare to find much about.


news:alt.pagan          FAQ  at
news:alt.religion.wicca FAQ  at
news:news.groups        FAQ  at
Want a new group FAQs

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races