This image via The Inquistr.
An interesting conversation happened on a friend’s Facebook page recently. She was venting about her frustrations of dealing with Christians that don’t understand why tarot readings are a forbidden practice for us. It’s a pagan practice, for sure. I don’t think anyone would argue against that fact. But, in light of scripture, why is this something that’s regarded in such low regard? Before reading this thread, I didn’t know the answer to that question (besides the obvious idolatry).
From the thread:
“Question: “What are tarot cards? Are tarot cards evil?”
Answer: Tarot cards are associated with divination—unlocking the secrets of the future by occult, supernatural means. Divination is strictly prohibited in the Bible.
Tarot cards come in a deck of 78 individual cards. They were developed about 600 years ago for gaming. However, some mystics, psychics, and occultists began to use the cards for divination, and today the cards and the ability to “read” them are seen as elements of fortune-telling. To receive a tarot reading is to attempt to find out things about one’s life or future through the occult.
Usually, the practice of reading tarot cards starts with the questioner cutting the pack of cards or sometimes just touching it. The psychic or card reader then deals out some cards, face down, into a pattern, called a “spread,” on the table. As the cards are overturned, the psychic or reader constructs a narrative based on the cards’ meanings and their position on the table. Obviously, reading tarot cards places a heavy emphasis on fate, “hidden knowledge,” and superstition.
God warned His people, the Israelites, against divination when they were on the verge of entering the Promised Land. He lists divination among such evils as child sacrifice and casting spells in Deuteronomy 18:9–12. Leviticus 19:26 puts is succinctly: “Do not practice divination or seek omens.” Tarot card reading definitely falls within the scope of this prohibition. In some cases, tarot card reading can be guided by demons. In Acts 16, Paul meets a fortune teller, a slave, who earned her masters a lot of money by fortune-telling (verse 16). The Bible attributes her ability to having a demonic spirit, which Paul was able to cast out of her by the name of Jesus Christ (verse 18). The Bible does not mention the tools the slave girl used to tell the future, but, whether tea leaves or dice or lots or cards of some type, the items used in that context brought honor to demonic spirits.
The spiritual dimension of our world is real, and it is not to be taken lightly. The Bible tells us that Satan seeks to destroy us. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Lions are not to be toyed with.
Many people seek out supernatural knowledge about their future because they fear the future. The Bible tells believers not to fear the future; rather, we should trust God, the Source of peace (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6–7).
Solomon, the wisest person ever, offered this wisdom about knowing the future in Ecclesiastes 7:14:
“When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.”
And in Ecclesiastes 8:7 he writes this:
“Since no one knows the future,
who can tell someone else what is to come?”
Only God holds the future, and only He truly knows what will happen (Isaiah 46:10).
If you desire to have peace about your future, turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. The future is bright for those who know Him (Romans 8:17).
Recommended Resource: The Kingdom of the Cults, revised and updated edition”
To add this, I need to say again that this is a form of idolatry. It’s trusting in man made schemes to tell what our future is and, to some extent, tell us something about who we are and why are the way that we are. God has told us this already plainly from the beginning. Will we ignore His words and trust in tarot spreads instead?