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Tarot cards: The dark truth behind the popular trend


Mike Licht | CC BY 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 10/10/18

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The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in tarot card sales, with searches for tarot cards trending on Etsy and general sales of decks at the highest they have been in 50 years.

According to a tarot card reader interviewed in the New York Times, “There used to be this idea of tarot being connected to that chick in a shop behind a neon sign who’s going to take you for a ride and tell your future … That’s different now. Witchcraft and feminist spirituality, especially in our political climate, are having a moment. Tarot is part of that.”

Tarot cards are being used in a number of new ways and more people are quitting their jobs to become readers.

While generally believed to have originated from playing cards in ancient Egypt, most tarot cards today trace their origin to the 18th century and were used for occult purposes. (As a note, there do exist tarot playing card games that are not occult in origin, but use similar images and are closely related.)


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Tarot card readers typically use these cards to reveal something about a person’s future, which is also called “divination.” The Catholic Church teaches strongly against such practices in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone. (CCC 2116)

Using tarot cards for the purpose of gaining “hidden knowledge” is never a good idea and opens up a person to the demonic. It represents a desire for power and a rejection of God’s providential care over creation.

Jesus instructed his disciples to not worry about the future and to trust in God, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? … Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” (Matthew 6:25-26, 34).

Using tarot cards can also attract the attention of various demons and evil spirits. An ex-tarot card reader admitted after she broke away from the practice, “It was after getting rid of them that there were several strange happenings, I began to feel the presence of a spirit, which kept visiting me between May and August. I realized the cards had actually connected me with ‘something,’ as I started to feel a presence which kept coming to me, very often, almost weekly. It came at any time … because I had finally broken the connection, and it was trying to keep it.”

Ultimately the devil is behind anything that tries to drive us away from God and distrust his loving care of us. This was what happened in the Garden of Eden, when Satan tried to give Adam and Eve “hidden knowledge,” saying that God was keeping something from them.

Let us trust God and keep the words of the prophet Jeremiah close to our heart, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).


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