Originally made for the purpose of being used in games, tarot cards have progressed to take on an uncanny association with the practice of divination. Although the exact birthplace of the use of tarot cards as a form of fortune telling is not known, their earliest recorded usage dates back to Italy in 1750, with the divinatory representations of the cards completely different from the meanings of those today.
Tarot cards and their meanings are thought to have been derived from the ancient Egypt, or more specifically Thoth, an important Egyptian deity. These decks usually contain seventy-eight cards, each with its own meaning in relation to its position in a spread. The spread in question refers to the manner in which the cards are laid out. Even though the invention of the tarot is largely attributed to the Italians, there is belief that the Gypsies themselves may have been responsible for their invention, supported by the historical evidence that are the discoveries of tarot cards older than what was claimed by the Italians, and references to old laws in parts of Germany prohibiting their use, far before the Italians are said to have invented them.