So, you would like to learn Tarot but worry that, somehow, they are dangerous, evil and forbidden. However, you can’t help yourself. You have heard all of the bad rumours about Tarot but are beginning to question if they are true.
I don’t know exactly why you think they are bad but an educated guess would be that you were raised in a religious household or have seen something on the media and this has made you paranoid if Tarot is evil or dangerous. You probably want to experiment with Tarot but worry you’re on a fast path to possession; if you fear this, read on…..
First, a bit of background. My name is Lisa Boswell, I am a Romany Gypsy and I have been reading Tarot since I was 7 years old. I do not come from a ‘religious’ background per say but one which is very spiritual, superstitious and paranoid. (more on Gypsy spirituality here). At 24, I won an award for my work with Tarot (Young Tarosophist of the Year) and have appeared in media all over the world. If you're curious what I look like, below is a pic:
I run this site and company Divination & Fortune-Telling. Other than my interest in divination, I frequently research religious studies, anthropology, culture, and ancient history: my main focus is on myths, spirituality, death, burial and customs. I study these things because they are part of my spiritual work and because they fascinate me. I also have a collage education in psychology and sociology.
Therefore, I know a lot about this stuff. Spirituality has literally been my life, forever, and Tarot has been a large part of that for over 20 years.
The purpose of this post is not to sway you in any way towards reading Tarot. Far from it, I believe that spirituality is personal and if you don’t feel called to reading Tarot you don’t have to. But you should not be avoiding something because it petrifies, but because you have no interest in it. If you have an interest in Tarot, I honestly believe you have the potential to be a reader and shouldn’t be scared off.
Below I have included the most common questions people have around the subject of Tarot being evil, causing possession and all that jazz. Once you see the evidence from the other side, you can decide if Tarot is or isn’t bad:
Is Tarot Cards and Divination Against God? Does God Forbid it?
I want to get this point out here first and foremost because it is so important to me. I cannot say that I believe in this, because to call it a belief would not be enough. I am as aware of the truth in this as I am in the truth of my own existence:
Divination is a conversation with God.
When you read Tarot, you can select to work with whoever you want, God, the spirits, the energy of the universe, anyone. By asking for God's help in performing your reading, you are essentially saying that you would like to use the cards as a tool to discover what he has planned for you, the matter you’re reading on, anything you like really. In essence, Tarot is merely your translation dictionary for what God has to say. It is no different than having a Japanese - English dictionary.
If you’re paranoid that you’ll be chatting to a demon and not God, all that you must do is set your intentions to work with and receive God’s word before you perform your reading. If you set the intention of working with God, he will pull through for you:
Setting your intention on who you’re working with is very important in Tarot. Not because not doing so is dangerous, but because your divination simply will not work and be nothing more than shaking a magic 8 ball. If you’re setting out for divine guidance, you have to ask for it:
Personally, I work with spirits of relatives who have passed and sometimes the energy of God in my readings. The best readings I have performed (and the only ones which have worked) are the ones where I have set out to receive advice from God and the spirits and didn't just 'wing it'.
Isn’t God Against Mediums and Psychics?
What is a medium? Someone who has the ability to channel information? Isn’t that what the prophets do? Isn’t Moses a medium? Isn’t Noah a medium? Isn’t Jesus a medium? Most people who make this point, confuse God being against channelling because quotes like this one have been taken out of context:
This phrase is not saying that God is against mediums or spirit work, what it is saying is that Saul was punished because he received guidance from a source outside of God; he didn’t ask God directly.
I am not against visiting other readers, getting readings and receiving advice (far from it lol) but I do not believe it is the best way to get guidance. The best way to get guidance is to build up a relationship with spirit yourself. Learn how to read for yourself, go directly to the source. And you can do this using your ‘translation book’ i.e. Tarot cards or another form of divination.
There is a method of divination known as Cledonism. Cledonism is when you hear things which have spiritual significance. Cledonism appears in the Bible and is recommended by God:
Cledonism is something which you have to practice yourself, it cannot be practiced for you. YOU have to hear the word of God and/or the spirits and interpret them.
In fact, anytime divination is shunned in the Bible it is because God is warning against someone else practicing it for you:
But the Bible includes many instances where people have practiced pulling lots, interpreting the weather, interpreting dreams etc. to determine the will of God for themselves. In fact, the Bible is one big Channelling exercise of God’s will.
So, Tarot OR Divination isn’t Condemned in the Bible?
When most people think of the Bible damning divination, they are often referring to:
However, this verse refers to a very particular form of divination involving child sacrifice, not other methods which are practiced openly in the Bible (such as dream interpretation).
In the part of the world where the stories in the Bible take place, sacrifice was common. The sacrifice of children was not so common, but did happen during times of drought or other epidemics. Often, this involved taking the crisis as a sign of a god (typically Baal’s) unhappiness and then sacrificing a child or baby in order to appease him. When sacrificed, the child was thrown alive into a fiery pit, which is obviously an act which the Christian God doesn’t like.
Human sacrifice is viewed as evil by most religions and, in the Bible, God forbids it after he tests Abraham. In cultures and religions which practice human sacrifice, an essential part of it is divination before the sacrifice takes place. However, this does not mean that divination is evil, all that it means is that human sacrifice potentially is.
Let's say that someone wants to kill their partner, murder is obviously a sin. They choose to do so by slowly killing them with potatoes, which would result in starch poisoning. Buying potatoes is not an evil act, neither is cooking them, but murder is. You cannot argue that buying, peeling and cooking potatoes is evil just because they can be used as a tool to aid another sinful act.
The same applies to Tarot reading. You cannot say that just because divination is used in human sacrifice, it is evil. In this case, divination is completely neutral. Doing so would be like saying that the fire used in the sacrifice is also evil. Or even that the sacrificed child is evil. God condemned human sacrifice but he doesn’t condemn divining for his guidance.
Are Tarot Cards Even in the Bible?
No, Tarot cards are not in the Bible. The first Tarot cards did not even appear until a millennium and a half after the birth of Christ.
In fact, Tarot cards are in the same class of divination as receiving random guidance from the Bible is. If you ever open up your Bible at a random page to get guidance or inspiration, then you practice a form of divination called Bibliomancy (divination using books or paper). The section of Tarot cards can also be called Bibliomancy. Bibliomancy is not in the bible, it practically is the bible!
Is Tarot Divination?
Yes, Tarot is divination. Divination has a bad rep and, therefore, Tarot also has a bad rep. However, the goal of divination is not to be bad or meddle in evil but divination tools are used to help decipher the words of God and the spirits. I can honestly say I have never met anyone who uses Tarot or any other form of divination to communicate with the devil or evil entities, that’s just Hollywood propaganda. It might sell movies, but that doesn’t make it true.
Is Tarot Witchcraft?
No, Tarot is not witchcraft. Witchcraft involves making things happen through manifestation, the use of spells etc. Divination and Tarot merely either predict what is going to happen or give advice for what is, has or will happen. Tarot isn’t magic and neither are any other method of divination.
Is Tarot Like Ouija Boards?
Tarot is like Ouija Boards in the sense that it is a form of divination, just as it is like interpreting your dreams or being superstitious. However, that’s where the similarities end, really.
Ouija boards were invented fairly recently by businessman Elijah Bond in 1890. Initially, they were intended to be nothing more than a party trick. It wasn’t until years later, they were used in divination.
Tarot is a form of Cartomancy, a class of divination which involves using cards. Playing cards actually also fall into this category. By contrast, Ouija boards are a type of Automatic Writing. Tarot is like Ouija boards just as red is like blue. Red and blue are both colors. Red is a hot color, but you cannot say that blue is a hot color just because it is a color. Therefore, you cannot say that Tarot is like Ouija boards just because they are both methods of divination.
Are Tarot Cards Evil?
Many people are paranoid that Tarot is evil, this is not true. How can cards be evil?
I should say that I am not one of these weirdos who reads Tarot but also says stuff like, “Tarot cards are only ink on paper”! I do believe that my cards are special because I use them to communicate with God and the spirits. Therefore, I treat them with respect. Not because I believe that they have any type of magical energy around them, but because I believe that looking after them shows that I respect God and the spirits; I want them to remain special for them.
However, Tarot cards in themselves do not hold any special power; the power comes from within myself, my ability to interpret and from God and the spirits. Tarot cards are just a tool I use to have a conversation, like a mobile phone. Therefore, they cannot be good or evil, they are what they are: they are only cards. It is my intentions for them which matters.
As a tool, you can use a toothpick for good things. You can pick stuff out of your mouth and, hopefully, prevent dental infections. But you can also use toothpicks for evil, to break into locks and steal people’s things. No right thinking human would ever argue that toothpicks are evil, they are what they are.
Toothpicks are not evil and neither is Tarot and divination (and by the way, both Tarot cards and toothpicks are both made from the same materials).
Can Tarot Cards Attract Demons?
No, Tarot cards cannot attract demons and you will not be possessed by using them. I have been reading since I was a young child and I can honestly say I have never once been possessed. My siblings, my daughter, my nephew and other relatives also read Tarot and practice forms of divination and they have never been possessed either.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not downplaying the existence of the Devil or possession. I come from a culture which is very, very afraid of the Devil, demons and evil, so much so that we will not even say these words out loud. We are hyper superstitious when it comes to that stuff. Therefore, I am not going to try to convince you that these things do not exist if these are your spiritual, religious and/or cultural beliefs.
However, Romany Gypsies do not associate divination with demons and possession. For us, divination is just a hobby, a job or something someone may be particularly good at. You will find that this is the case in most (if not all) cultures where divination is acceptable. In fact, in many cultures where evil spirits are a belief, divination is used as a tool to help work out why they are present; divination doesn’t attract them but can diagnose them, explain their existence and even help the diviner figure a way to expel them.
If you are paranoid before reading Tarot or another method of divination, you can always ask God, good spirits, saints etc. to protect you and make sure you only channel from the light. However, to be honest, you do not really need to do this because divination is safe, but it will make you feel better. And, don’t worry, they will protect you if you ask for it.
So, Why Do People Say Tarot is Dangerous?
I honestly believe that church leaders in post-prophet times condemned divination and fortune-telling as being evil because they wanted to remain in control.
It is a very powerful thing to take control of your own spirituality and to realise that there are tools and methods which make it easier for you to communicate with God and the spirits. Just as the prophets did in the bible and just as the saints do, you can have access to divine knowledge and get guidance directly from higher sources.
However, where does that leave the church? And not the local church you know to be filled with friendly and helpful people. I mean where does it leave the church as a business, as an organisation if you suddenly figure out that you do not need to join them or denote to them in order to get into heaven or follow the word of Jesus?
The message of Jesus and many other prophets is that God dwells within us all, we do not need to be told what to do by any organisation. You do not have to follow rules which make no sense, rules which take the divine phone line away from you. Divination means to divine, to experience God not to disobey him.
The church as an organisation benefits from you being afraid to practice Tarot, because if you communicate with God directly you do not need them. They are merely a middle man. You know within yourself if Tarot or divination is calling your name, so why let anyone else tell you otherwise?
Are Tarot Cards Against the Catholic Faith, or, Christianity in General?
Tarot cards are not against the Catholic faith or Christianity. In fact, many Tarot readers consider themselves to be Christian.
If you look closely at most Tarot decks, especially the Rider Waite Smith deck which is the most famous of all Tarot decks, you will recognise much of the symbolism. The art on many Tarot decks rely heavily on Christian symbolism. For example, The Hierophant is a card which predicts good advice, talks about the benefits of tradition, religion and faith:
Its hardly Tarot cards vs. Christianity!
Can Tarot Cards Bring Bad Energy?
No, Tarot cards cannot bring bad energy, people bring bad energy.
In Gypsy culture, we have this concept which can be translated as ‘the mind running away with itself’. Although we do believe in evil spirits and entities, we do acknowledge that the mind is also a powerful entity which can work against us and play tricks, driving us mad. If you worry that Tarot is evil without any basis, your mind is going to do what it takes to confirm that belief.
It is pretty much just like how non-Christians think that all religious people ‘shove religion down their throat’. You may not be like that, but as soon as you mention your religious and spiritual beliefs people crawl up your ass and start accusing you of trying to convert them; they are looking for evidence to confirm their reality.
I often read stories about people who once read Tarot then stopped because they thought it was evil. You will find, that every single one of these stories contain statements such as:
“I always thought Tarot was evil”
“I always suspected it was wrong”
“I always worried about it”
“I wasn’t brought up like that”
Then something crappy happens to confirm their inner worries. However, were their worries truly confirmed or where they just looking for evidence?
Another reason why I feel these people eventually turned against Tarot wasn’t because divination was evil, but merely because they didn’t feel called towards it anymore. On your spiritual journey, your path will twist and change and you will find new ways of hearing God, communicating with spirits etc. It doesn’t mean that what you have done in the past was wrong or evil, it just means that it is not for you now and that God has a new plan.
But Can’t you Hear God without Tarot?
Yes, you can hear God without Tarot. To communicate with God, you may feel you need Tarot now but in the future you do not and he will appear to you in dreams, or just through your general intuition.
Your inner wisdom will tell you if Tarot, or whatever form of divination is right for you. If there is a voice inside of you which is saying, meh not interested, then you do not need Tarot for your spiritual work. However, it is important that you make these decisions based on your inner voice, needs and feelings and not on a fear of divination.
Can Tarot Cards Bring Bad Spirits?
No, Tarot cards cannot bring bad spirits.
It is actually quite difficult to link with spirits (when I say link I mean let them link with your energy and interfere in your thoughts and life). You have to know how to allow them to take over you, which takes years of practice.
I know some psychic mediums who have spent 20 years in training and still haven’t performed a spirit reading. You have to be able to devote a lot of yourself to be capable of doing such work. If attracting and linking with spirits was as simple as reading Tarot cards, everyone would be walking around possessed!
Again, if you’re paranoid about evil spirits you can always ask God to make sure your readings are in the light and that you’re protected during readings. As I said before, you don’t really need to ask for protection but it can help you to keep your mind at ease.
Can Tarot Cards Open Portals?
Tarot is not a key card. No, Tarot cards, or any other type of divination does not open portals. To believe so, is to think that opening a Bible at a random page to receive guidance, reading your horoscope in the paper or generally being superstitious opens portals: the universe doesn’t work like that.
Can Tarot Cards Curse You?
Just like the portals question, this is also something which just will not happen. Do you believe in God’s power? Do you honestly believe that he would allow a practice, which isn’t even evil, to ruin your life? God is probably more concerned with sex offenders and murderers, not Tarot card readers.
Are Tarot Cards a Sin?
There is this belief that reading Tarot is sinful. In no sense of the word is Tarot a sin, but let's look at the word ‘sin’ more closely.
Most Christians define the word sin as something which is against one of God's commandments as outlined to Moses in Exodus. Nowhere in the commandments does God say that thou should not read Tarot, or even, practice divination. So, no Tarot is not a sin.
I would like to take it even further and argue that, by receiving the commandments from God, Moses is actually practicing a method of divination known as channelling. Channelling is essentially when you put your body into a state to receive information from God, spirits etc. One of the reasons why divination is not condemned in one of the 10 commandments, is because this would be a contradiction as divination is how Moses receives his information from God.
In the book of Leviticus (16:8), Moses even advocates another form of divination known as Cleromancy:
To practice Cleromancy, you must randomly draw lots to determine God’s will. Lots could be a stick, a branch or anything which can be selected randomly. In fact, one could argue that randomly selecting Tarot cards are a form of cleromancy; hardly a sin when God commands Moses to tell Aaron he has to practice it!
How Are Tarot Cards Bad?
In themselves, Tarot cards are not bad but there are some cards which represent negative situations, such as The 5 of Swords or 10 of Swords and this is why a lot of people think Tarot in itself is bad. However, Tarot cards only symbolize crappy situations, they do not make them happen!
All Tarot cards can be read with a positive slant. Most Tarot readers see even negative cards as a good thing because these represent something which is bad for you leaving your life. Bad cards often proceed fresh starts and changes for the better.
There is a card in Tarot packs called The Devil. Many people who do not know how to read Tarot believe that this is proof that Tarot readers worship The Devil. However, The Devil card doesn’t even symbolize worship, it represents the Christian idea that the Devil is evil and the card warns against indulging in human urges and earthly pleasures. Pulling The Devil is a sign that you need to stop addictive or toxic behaviour and, possibly, be of service to others, display compassion and display other Christian values.
Over to You
It is not my place to sway you either way or scare you into practicing or not practicing something. I do not believe that reading Tarot is the only way to get to know God and receive divine guidance. Spirituality is personal and you have to trod your own path and do what feels right for you and your spiritual journey.
I will say that Tarot has completely transformed my life for the better and my faith, spirituality and relationship with God and the spirits has became better because of it.
And remember, a spiritual awakening isn't always easy, especially if you choose to come out of the closet with your divination. However, do not fear. God, the spirits and the universe will support you every step of the way.
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