Intriguing form of folk art consisting typically of a deck of cards with 22 major trumps and four suits of minor trumps with fourteen cards each, although there are variations on this basic plan. Typically or ideally each card has an illustration of some kind. The variety of decks is considerable, although some are considerably more original in their inspiration (and/or better in their artistry) than others. Poetically resonant and often of use in artistic inspiration. Thought to have originated at least as far back as the late Middle Ages. Sadly done to death by New Agers who insist they are useful for divination, and Christian fundamentalists who put them close to the top of a veeerrry looonnngg list of stuff that will lead you straight to Hell, but still quite interesting.
by Fearman September 18, 2007