Our modern tarot deck appears to have its origins in a playing card deck used by the Mameluk Egyptians and brought into Europe after the Muslim forces invaded and conquered the Iberian peninsula.Muslim soldiers used these cards to play a game called Nã’ib, or the game of lieutenants, and the Spanish language still refers to playing cards as naipes.
The Mameluk deck had court cards consisting of a malik(king),naib malik(viceroy) and athaim naib(deputy), which became the King, Knight and Page of European decks. The French then added the Queen to the group of court cards, producing a hierarchy in order of King at the top, followed by the Queen and the Knight, with Page at the lowest rung.
The four modern suits were patterned after the suits of the Mameluk deck: Chalices, Scimitars, Polo sticks and Dinars (coins)…
View original post 443 more words