Saturday, February 14, 2009

Indian Mysticism a bridge to the TAROT

Indian Mysticism a bridge to the TAROT

Ganjifa and Playing Cards
Indian cards may have influenced the standard four suits that are prevalent in the tarots and the standard deck of cards . It is usually thought that the Tarot cards are different from normal ordinary playing cards. On the contrary, the deck of regular playing cards was indeed the predecessor to the tarot deck of cards. Playing cards came to Europe from Islam, probably via Muslim Spain, much before the appearance of tarot. 
They appeared quite suddenly in many different European cities between 1375 and 1378.  European playing cards were an adaptation of the Islamic Mamluk cards in the late 1300s, by which time they had already assumed a form very close to those in use today. It is not known whether these cards influenced the design of the Indian cards used for the game of Ganjifa, or whether the Indian cards may have influenced these. One theory suggests that the Indian cards may have influenced the standard four suited playing card the origin of which is believed to be in China after the invention of paper.

The Ganjifa card deck with 96 elaborately painted cards may have inspire the Persian game of "As Nas" a five player, 25 card game. Nas is one of the earliest games that most resembles the playing style of poker of today.

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