Cover of The Last Oracle by Patricia Simpson. The Legend of the Forbidden Tarot

Most people believe the tarot originated as a courtly card game in Italy during the Renaissance. But there are others who believe the tarot is much older than 15th century Italy. In fact, some believe the tarot was used as a divination tool in ancient Egypt—when priests and pharaohs consulted powerful oracles to see what the future held for the Land of the Nile.

Even Alexander the Great traveled hundreds of miles across the Sahara Desert to speak with the Oracle of Siwa, seeking proof that he was the son of God.

Some ancient oracles used tiny figurines of boats to cast the future. Some used bones. But the greatest oracle of all time, The Oracle of Avaris, used a special deck of tarot cards known today as The Forbidden Tarot. They were a rare deck of cards, covered in gold leaf and symbols on one side, and inscribed with fantastic pictures of gods and monsters on the other.

Records suggest that the Oracle of Avaris was not an Egyptian, but was a beautiful woman stolen from her home across the “great green sea” (which we now know to be the Atlantic Ocean), and held prisoner in the Temple of Set. She alone could foretell the future with infallible accuracy, and she brought great power and wealth to the followers of Set.

As the centuries passed, Set’s power and popularity waned. The temple was abandoned and gradually covered by drifting sand. No one knows what happened to the last of the Oracles of Avaris. She may have been killed. She may have finally escaped.

But what of The Forbidden Tarot? All records of the cards have been lost. All that remain of the magic tarot are tales told of people who have set eyes upon the cards and suffered the consequences—raising gods or monsters who stepped into their lives and either exalted them or destroyed them.

Only a true Oracle of Avaris--the living flesh of the original oracle--is the true mistress of the cards. Only the oracle can harness the power to cast the future and set the course for Egypt and the world once more. In the wrong hands, the cards can do more damage than the world has ever known.

Woe be to the innocents who gaze upon The Forbidden Tarot.