The origin of the tarot cards, the region of the world, and the precise purpose of their origin, are wrapped in a haze of conjecture, doubt and superstition. Some authorities claim that the Tarot evolved from the Chinese divination system called I-Ching; others say that it was adapted from the legendary Book of Thoth. Still others place its origin as recently as fourteenth or fifteenth century Europe, since the earliest known complete deck dates from that time.
The most eminent and profound occultist, several of whom, including Court de Gebelin, Papus, Charles Barlet, boldly affirm that tarot cards are nothing less than the leaves of the sacred Book of Thoth, which contained a summary of the profound occult lore of ancient Egypt. Moreover, these occultists agree that Tarot presents an epitome of the mysteries of the Jews Cabbala, which (Jews Cabbala) is largely Egyptian in its origin. In fact, even the name \'Tarot\' hints on an Egyptian origin. Etteilla, a great exponent of the Tarot, explains that the name has been derived from Egyptian words\' Tar\',\" a path\" and \'ro or ros\', \"royal,\" meaning together \"the royal path of life.\" J. F. Vaillent (in les romes, histoire vraie des vraise bohemiens, 1857), states\" the great divinity Ashtaroth, As-Taroth, is no other than the Indo-Tarter Tan-Tara, the tarot, the zodiac.\" And still other authorities teach that both the Tarot and the Book of Thoth derive their names from the Egyptian word \'taru\' meaning \"to require answer\" or \"to consult\"
Whatever the origin of the Tarot, it is clear that the symbolism on the cards is universal, speaking to many different cultures and philosophies.