Topic: The time and place of the origin of the tarot
Inaccurate: The tarot comes from Egypt; India; China; Fez, Morocco; the Sufis; the Cathars; Jewish Kabbalists or Moses; or the origin of the tarot is unknown.
Current Historical Understanding: The tarot originated in northern Italy early in the 15th century (1420-1440). There is no evidence for it originating in any other time or place. The earliest extant cards are lavish hand-painted decks from the courts of the nobility.
Topic: The origin of the word "tarot"
Inaccurate: The word is Egyptian, Hebrew, or Latin; it is an anagram; it holds the key to the mystery of the cards.
Current Historical Understanding: The earliest names for the tarot are all Italian. Originally the cards were called carte da trionfi (cards of the triumphs). Around 1530 (about 100 years after the origin of the cards), the word tarocchi (singular tarocco) begins to be used to distinguish them from a new game of triumphs or trumps then being played with ordinary playing cards. The etymology of this new word is not known. The German form is tarock, the French form is tarot. Even if the etymology were known, it would probably not tell us much about the idea behind the cards, since it only came into use 100 years after they first appeared.
目前的歷史了解：塔羅牌最早的名字，全部都是義大利文。一開始，這些牌叫做carte da trionfi (cards of the triumphs)。大約在1530年左右，（大約是第一副牌出現後一百年）為了將塔羅牌與其他稱做triumphs 或trumps的紙牌遊戲區分開來，因此，開始使用tarocchi (單數 tarocco)這個字。我們不知道這個字的辭源，德文形式是tarock，法文是tarot。就算我們知道辭源，恐怕也無法告訴我們更多有關這些牌是如何產生的背景資料。因為從這些牌卡出現到使用也才一百年而已。
Topic: The cultural source of the tarot symbols
Inaccurate: The symbolism of the trumps comes from Egypt (or India, or other exotic locale).
Current Historical Understanding: The symbolism of the trumps is drawn from the culture of Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Most tarot subjects are distinctive to European Christendom. Illustrations virtually identical to each of the tarot subjects can be found in European art, and such precise analogs are not found in other cultures.
Topic: The gypsies and tarot
Inaccurate: The gypsies brought the tarot to Europe and spread its use.
Current Historical Understanding: This idea was popularized in the 19th century by several writers, notably Vaillant and Papus, without any basis in historical fact. There is no evidence that the Rom (gypsies) used tarot cards until the 20th century. Most of their fortune-telling was through palmistry and later through the use of ordinary playing cards.
目前歷史上的了解：這個想法在19世紀時，非常受歡迎，有好幾位作家都提到，特別是Vaillant and Papus，但是這個想法並沒有任何歷史上的事實基礎。並沒有任何證據，可以證明在20世紀以前，流浪者（吉普賽人）曾使用塔羅牌。他們大部分算命是看手相，後來則大部分使用普通的撲克牌。
Topic: Relationship between tarot and ordinary playing cards
Inaccurate: The 52-card deck evolved from the tarot, leaving the Joker as the only remnant of the major arcana.
Current Historical Understanding: Playing cards came to Europe from Islam, probably via Muslim Spain, about 50 years before the development 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. These early cards had suits of cups, swords, coins, and polo sticks (seen by Europeans as staves), and courts consisting of a king and two male underlings. The tarot adds the Fool, the trumps, and a set of queens to this system. Some time before 1480, the French introduced cards with the now-familiar suits of hearts, clubs, spades, and diamonds. The earlier suits are still preserved in the tarot and in Italian and Spanish playing cards.
The Joker originated in the United States around 1857, used as a wild card in poker and as the highest trump in Euchre. It appears to have no direct relationship to the Fool of the tarot.
Topic: The "Charles VI" or "Gringonneur" tarot cards
Inaccurate: The tarot was invented to amuse Charles VI of France in 1392, as evidenced by a deck by Gringonneur in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris.
Current Historical Understanding: It is recorded that in 1392, Jacquemin Gringonneur was paid to paint three decks of cards for Charles VI. These were probably playing cards, not tarot. The deck in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France is a late-15th century hand-painted deck of the Northern Italian type (probably from Venice or Ferrara).
錯誤：在1392年，發明塔羅牌是為了要取悅法國的查理六世。巴黎的the Bibliothèque Nationale de France中所保存的Gringonneur塔羅牌就是此事的證據。
目前歷史上的了解：此紀錄記載於1392年，有人付錢請Jacquemin Gringonneur畫了三副牌給查理六世。但是，那只是一般的遊戲牌卡，並不是塔羅牌。保存在the Bibliothèque Nationale de France的那副塔羅牌，是15世紀末北義大利形式的手繪牌卡 （大概來自威尼斯或費拉洛）。
Topic: Tarot and the Hebrew Alphabet
Inaccurate: Eliphas Lévi (c. 1850) was the first to ascribe Hebrew letters to the tarot.
Current Historical Understanding: The Comte de Mellet, whose short article on the tarot was published in Court de Gébelin's Le Monde Primitif (1781), was the first to write of a connection between the Hebrew letters and the cards. Court de Gébelin also mentioned the idea in passing in his own essay.
錯誤：第一個把希伯來字母跟塔羅牌連在一起的人，是Eliphas Lévi (c. 1850)。
目前歷史上的了解：The Comte de Mellet這個人有一篇關於塔羅牌的短文，刊登在Court de Gébelin's Le Monde Primitif (1781)。這是第一個寫出希伯來字母與塔羅牌關係的人。Court de Gébelin也曾在自己的文章中談到這個想法。
Topic: Tarot censored by the church
Inaccurate: The Catholic and Protestant churches outlawed tarot and all who used it in an effort to stamp out either heretical teachings or a work of the Devil.
Current Historical Understanding: The Inquisition documented in considerable detail what the church regarded as evidence of heresy and the tarot is never mentioned.
Many printers made their living printing both religious cards and playing cards. Playing cards were sometimes restricted or outlawed because of their use in gambling. Tarot cards were, in fact, sometimes explicitly exempted from bans on playing cards, perhaps because of their association with the upper classes. In 1423, playing cards (tarot cards were not mentioned) were among many things thrown on the fires in Bologna by followers of Bernadino of Sienna during an attack against all studies and pastimes not focused on religion.
After the Reformation, the church did object to the cards depicting the Pope and Papess, and cardmakers substituted less controversial images.
許多印刷廠商都同時印刷宗教牌卡與遊戲牌卡。遊戲牌卡常常會被視為不合法或受到限制，那是因為這些牌卡經常被用來作為賭博之用。但是，塔羅牌卻不在禁止之列，很可能是因為塔羅牌總是與上流社會有關。1463年，許多遊戲牌卡（未提及塔羅牌）都被Bernadino of Sienna的追隨者，在Bologna丟入火中，因為他們反對任何娛樂或研究，沒有把焦點放在宗教上。
Topic: Original use of tarot cards
Inaccurate: The tarot was originally used for divination/magic/teaching secret doctrines/etc.
Current Historical Understanding: Written records tell that the tarot was regularly used to play a card game similar to Bridge. The game was popular throughout much of Europe for centuries and is still played today, particularly in France. Early poets also used the titles of the trump cards to create flattering verses, called tarocchi appropriati, describing ladies of the court or famous personages. Although it is possible that tarot cards might also have been sometimes used for other purposes, there is no clear evidence of such use until long after the cards were invented. Records from a trial in Venice in 1589 suggest that tarot may have been associated with witchcraft (at least in the minds of the accusers) at this date, about 150 years after the appearance of the tarot. After this, there are no references connecting tarot with magic or divination until the 18th century. (See also next three questions.)
Topic: Tarot and divination
Inaccurate: Tarot was not used for divination before Etteilla and Court de Gébelin around 1781.
Current Historical Understanding: There is evidence of such use, but it is fragmentary and suggestive rather than conclusive. Tarot was used as early as the 16th century to compose poems describing personality characteristics (tarocchi appropriati). In one case (1527), the verses are presented as relating to the person's fate. There are records of divinatory meanings assigned to tarot cards in Bologna early in the 1700s. This is the first unambiguous evidence of tarot divination as it is commonly understood. However, it is known that ordinary playing cards were connected with divination as early as 1487, so it is reasonable to conjecture that tarot was also. From the 1790s with Etteilla's deck we find tarot design being modified specifically to reflect divinatory and esoteric meanings.
錯誤：在Etteilla and Court de Gébelin之前，塔羅牌不是用來占卜的，那時大約是1781年，
Topic: Occult philosophy and the original design of the tarot
Inaccurate: There are no hermetic, heretical, or kabbalistic characteristics in the original tarot.
Current Historical Understanding: This topic is still open. The early Italian Renaissance, which gave birth to the tarot, was a time of great intellectual diversity and activity. Hermeticism, astrology, Neoplatonism, Pythagorean philosophy with roots in Alexandrian Egypt, and heterodox Christian thought all thrived. Any or all of these may have left their mark on the design of the tarot. Although it should be remembered that all of the symbolism of the tarot has close analogs in the conventional Christian culture of the time, many scholars today believe that these philosophies, which are foundations of occultism, were important in the design of the tarot.
Topic: Tarot and the western esoteric tradition
Inaccurate: The tarot has always been a pillar of the western esoteric tradition.
Current Historical Understanding: The first occult writers to discuss the tarot were Court de Gébelin and the Comte de Mellet in 1781. For the first 350 years of its history, the tarot was not mentioned in any of the many books on occult or magical philosophy. Following 1781, occult interest in tarot blossomed and the tarot then became an integral part of occult philosophy.
目前歷史上的了解：第一個討論塔羅牌的神秘學作家是1781年時的Court de Gébelin 以及 the Comte de Mellet。在西方歷史的最初350年裡，並沒有任何神秘學或魔法哲學的書提及塔羅牌。一直到1781年，神秘學開始對塔羅牌產生興趣，然後，塔羅牌就變成神秘學中不可或缺的一個部分。
Topic: Astrological, elemental, and kabbalistic correspondences
Inaccurate: The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or Eliphas Lévi, Papus, Zain, Case, etc.) knew the true astrological, elemental, and Kabbalistic correspondences to the Tarot and corrected previous errors.
Current Historical Understanding: There are many, many systems of correspondences for the tarot. None can be shown to go back to the tarot's origins, although the French tradition exemplified in the works of Eliphas Lévi predates the English tradition now familiar through the works of Waite and Crowley. Most sets of correspondences have a rationale and system that make them meaningful and useful when studied within their own tradition. Correspondences are a matter of individual choice and of intention or adherence to a school of thought rather than right or wrong.
Topic: The Waite-Smith Tarot
Inaccurate: The Waite-Smith (or "Rider Waite") Tarot is the original, standard, or most authentic tarot.
Current Historical Understanding: The Waite-Smith deck was created in 1909, making it a relative newcomer in the almost-600-year history of the tarot. A. E. Waite was a prominent member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The deck owes much of its symbolism to that group and represents a departure from the earlier French tradition. The artist, Pamela Colman Smith, contributed her own vision, especially in the innovative creation of fully illustrated scenes for the minor arcana. For many years, the Waite-Smith deck was the only one readily available in the US, so it became familiar to whole generations of tarot readers. There is actually no "definitive" version of the tarot.
The well-known Celtic Cross spread, publicized by Waite as "an ancient Celtic method of divination" is also relatively recent, although it was not invented by Waite.
目前歷史上的了解：偉特塔羅牌出現於1909年，在整個600多年的塔羅牌歷史中，算是一個新來者。AE偉特在黃金黎明會中，是個佼佼者。這副牌缺少很多這個團體的象徵符號，也遠離了法國傳統。在小阿卡納牌組中，畫家Pamela Colman Smith運用了很多他獨創的想法。在美國地區，後來有很多年，偉特牌成為最受歡迎且當時可取得的牌組，因此，後來也成為整個塔羅牌占卜師世代最熟悉的塔羅牌牌組。事實上，塔羅牌並沒有一個決定性的最終版本。大家所熟知的塞爾特十字，偉特宣傳其為「一種古老的塞爾特占卜方法」，也是新近提出的，不過，並不是偉特發明的。