Many have speculated, but nobody really knows the true origin of Tarot cards. What we do have for historical relics, are decks that have survived from 15th century Italy. Back then, they were used in card games, the decks being individually drawn and painted, often commissioned by rich patrons. At some point during the eighteenth century, they were taken up again by scholars of the occult, with their designs and patterns being credited for influence on certain areas and features of life. Out of this rediscovery, came the modern day interpretation of the Tarot cards as a tool of divining the future, according to what cards were dealt.
The Taro card deck consists of 78 cards in two specific groups. One group, called the major arcana, consists of 22 cards having numbers and specific designs relating to common areas of life or existence, such as strength, love, justice, etc. The other 56 cards of the deck are divided into four groups represented by cups, wands, swords, and pentacles. Each of these groups is related to the manner in which a person faces life.
A "spread" or dealing of the cards, may include 6-15 cards laid out in a specific pattern. The interpretation of the cards is based on: the position a particular card is in, which could indicate that event is in the past, present or future; which cards are nearest, thus influencing that aspect of a person's life, and the reader's ability to relate the meaning of one card, to the next.