Tarot Cards: What Are They?
Tarot cards, sometimes called "the book of divination of the gypsies," are known traditionally as a deck of 78 cards with various pictures on them. They have been used for hundreds of years to reveal hidden truths about and foresee the future of the person receiving the card reading. Tarot card decks come in many varieties-one online tarot card encyclopedia lists 70 major varieties of tarot cards ranging from "Tarot of the Cat People" to "Halloween Tarot" to "Dali Universal Tarot" designed by the famous artist, Salvador Dali. There is much speculation over the origin of tarot cards. Did they really originate with the gypsies, or did they come from medieval Europe? Others have maintained that tarot cards came from China or ancient Egypt. A few decades ago, tarot cards were instantly associated with gypsies, but today the cards are just as popular among occultists and New Agers. Whatever their origin, there doesn't seem to be any argument that after being introduced to Western Europe in the 14th or 15th century, their use has spread, and today they can be found all over the world.
Tarot Cards: What's in a Deck?
The tarot card deck is made up of essentially two parts: 56 pictorial cards that are surprisingly similar to a regular deck of playing cards and 22 additional cards called the major arcane. These cards include pictures with names such as the Fool, the Devil, Temperance, the Hermit, the Sun, the Lovers, the Juggler, the Hanged Man, and Death. Those who believe in tarot and have their cards read regularly say that the readings help them prepare for the future by not only revealing truths about their lives, but also by divulging secrets about people all around them. Experienced psychic tarot card readers claim that they are the only ones who can deliver a truthful reading and caution against just reading interpretations out of the book that comes with the cards. In order to get the best reading from the cards, the one who desires the reading must concentrate on the cards with the psychic reader, and the psychic reader helps that person make contact with the cards and put their own "special vibration" on the deck so the cards will reveal all their mysteries. Readers of tarot cards lay the cards out in special combinations called spreads. In these spreads, it becomes possible for the reader to see a detailed, pictorial representation of the situation for which their client has come to them. In a traditional 10-card spread called the Celtic Cross, a reader can look at the positions of the cards and determine what past actions have contributed to or caused the situation, and based on current events in the client's life, and the "energy" of the cards, what will most likely occur in the future.
Tarot Cards: What's the Harm?
The use of tarot cards does not seem to be a religion in the sense that it does not involve the worship of deities. However, in another sense, it is very much a religion (or some would say obsession) when it becomes a practice or activity that someone is completely devoted to. At some point, it can take on cultish or occultish aspects. In fact, there are many people who place tarot cards in the same category as other occult fortune-telling techniques such as the ouija board, astrology, crystal balls, palmistry, and tea leaves. Of course, some maintain that tarot cards are just harmless fun. Tarot cards fit in well with the New Age movement that is so prevalent these days. New Agers use certain practices or methods to "get in touch with their inner spirits," and tarot cards can be a perfect way for them to channel their thoughts and connect with the "Oneness of the Universe."
So where is the harm in tarot cards? If those who use tarot cards are not worshiping Satan and are not conjuring up evil spirits or sacrificing virgins, how can tarot cards possibly be a danger to anyone? Oddly enough the danger of tarot cards is admitted within the ranks of tarot card readers themselves. The readers cannot explain how the tarot readings work, and the decision to use a particular system in reading the cards is entirely a matter of the personal preference of the reader. In other words, two readers could read the same spread of cards and come up with entirely different interpretations of those cards. Tarot card readers also say that the tarot can only provide a static "photograph" of a situation, and that our own choices and actions determine our future-not the cards. If this is the case, why use the tarot cards at all?
Tarot Cards: No Hope for the Future
Tarot cards represent the fact that we all want to know what the future has in store for us. One could argue that it's actually commendable to want to make good decisions in the present based on our knowledge of the future. However, since the future hasn't happened yet, there is no power here on earth that can tell us what's in store. In order to have a hope for the future and gain the wisdom to make sound decisions now, we must tap into the power of the Creator of the universe - the only One who knows our future - God. Your future is written in the pages of God's Word, the Bible; and God never changes, and His Word is not open to multiple interpretations. So, rather than basing your actions on a deck of cards and betting your future on the whims of card readers who admit that "nothing is written in stone," why not place your trust in the unchangeable God who wants to be personally involved in your future.