Are Tarot cards dangerous? Is Tarot reading evil? Is it true that Tarot is forbidden in the Bible? And that practicing divination is against God? This is what I am going to cover today.
So, you’d like to learn Tarot but worry that, somehow, it’s dangerous, evil, or forbidden. However, you can’t help yourself. You’ve heard all the bad rumors about Tarot but are beginning to question if they’re really true.
I don’t know exactly why you think they’re bad, but an educated guess would be that you were raised in a religious household or saw something in the media, and this has made you paranoid that Tarot is somehow evil or dangerous. You probably want to experiment with Tarot but worry you’re on the fast-track to possession. If this is something that resonates with you, read on.
First, a bit of background. My name is Lisa Boswell, I’m a Romany Gypsy, and I’ve been reading Tarot since I was 7 years old. I don’t come from a religious background per se, but one that’s very spiritual, superstitious, and yes, even paranoid (more on Gypsy spirituality here). At age 24, I won an award for my work with Tarot (Young Tarosophist of the Year) and have appeared in various media all over the world. If you’re curious what I look like, below is a pic:
I run this site and company Divinerism. Other than my interest in divination, I frequently research religious studies, anthropology, culture, and ancient history; my main focus is on mythology, spirituality, death, burial, and related customs. I study these things because they’re part of my spiritual work, and because they fascinate me personally as well. I also have a college education in psychology and sociology.
Therefore, I know a lot about this stuff. Spirituality has literally been part of my life since birth, and Tarot has been a large part of that for over 20 years now.
The purpose of this post is not to sway you in any way toward reading Tarot. Far from it – I believe that spirituality is personal and that if you don’t feel called to reading Tarot, you don’t have to. However, you shouldn’t be avoiding something because it petrifies you, but simply 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’ve 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 for yourself whether Tarot is or is not a bad thing.
Is Tarot & Divination Against God? Does God Forbid it?
I want to get this point out first and foremost because it’s so important to me. I can’t say that I believe in this, because to call it a belief wouldn’t be enough. I’m 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’re 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, and really anything you like. In essence, Tarot is merely your translation dictionary for what God has to say. It’s no different than using a Japanese-English dictionary.
If you’re paranoid that you’ll be chatting to a demon and not God, all you need to 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:
If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.”James 1:5
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 won’t work. It doesn’t make your Tarot cards dangerous but your readings will be no deeper than shaking a magic 8 ball. If you’re setting out for divine guidance, you have to ask for it:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.Psalm 32: 8-9
Personally, I work with spirits of relatives who have passed and sometimes the energy of God in my readings. The best readings I’ve performed (and the only ones that have worked) are those where I’ve 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 with being against channeling because quotes like this one have been taken out of context:
He did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire the LordChronicles 10:14
However, this phrase isn’t saying that God is against mediums or spirit work; what it’s saying is that Saul was punished because he received guidance from a source outside of God; he didn’t ask God directly.
To be clear, I’m not against visiting other readers, getting readings in general, and receiving advice – far from it. However, I don’t believe this is the best way to receive guidance. Instead, 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. You can do this using your ‘translation book’, i.e. Tarot cards (or another form of divination if you prefer).
For example, there’s a method of divination known as cledonism. Cledonism is when you hear things that have spiritual significance, and this form of divination actually appears in the Bible and is recommended by God:
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.Isaiah 30:21
Cledonism is something 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, any time divination is shunned in the Bible, it’s because God is warning against someone else practicing it for you:
When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and spirits who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God?Isaiah 9:19
Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.Leviticus 19:31
In fact, 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. The Bible is one big channeling exercise of God’s will.
Tarot and Divination isn’t Condemned in the Bible
When most people think of the Bible damning divination, they’re often referring to this:
There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer.Deuteronomy 18:10
However, this verse refers to a very particular form of divination involving child sacrifice, not other methods that 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 – obviously an act that the Christian God didn’t and does not like.
Human sacrifice is now viewed as evil by most religions, and in the Bible, God forbids it after he tests Abraham. In cultures and religions that 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 it means is that human sacrifice potentially is.
Let’s say 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, and neither is cooking them, but murder is. You can’t 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 can’t say that just because divination is used in human sacrifice, it’s 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. In the Bible, 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 didn’t 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, you’re actually practicing 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 a form of divination. Divination has a bad reputation, and therefore, Tarot also has a bad reputation. However, the goal of divination is not to be bad or meddle in evil. Divination tools are simply used to help decipher the words of God and the spirits. I can honestly say that I’ve 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’s going to happen or give advice for what is, has, or will happen. Tarot isn’t magic, and neither is any other method of divination.
Is Tarot like Ouija Boards?
Tarot is like ouija boards in the sense that it’s a form of divination, just as it’s like interpreting your dreams or being superstitious. However, that’s where the similarities end.
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 that they were used in divination.
Tarot is a form of cartomancy – a class of divination that involves using cards. Playing cards 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, in that they’re both colors. Red is a hot color, but you can’t say that blue is a hot color just because it’s also a color. Therefore, you can’t say that Tarot is like ouija boards just because they’re both methods of divination.
Are Tarot Cards Evil?
Many people are paranoid that Tarot is evil. Clearly, this is not true. How can cards be evil?
I should say that I’m not one of these people who read Tarot but also says stuff like, “Tarot cards are just 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 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 don’t hold any special power; that 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, much like a mobile phone. Therefore, they cannot be good or evil. They are what they are – only cards. It’s my intention for them that 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. However, you can also use toothpicks for evil – for example, to break into locks and steal people’s things. No right-thinking human would ever argue that toothpicks are evil – they simply 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 can’t attract demons, and you won’t be possessed by using them. I’ve been reading since I was a young child and can honestly say I’ve never once been possessed. My siblings, daughter, nephew, and other relatives also read Tarot and practice forms of divination, and they’ve likewise never been possessed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not downplaying the existence of the Devil or possession. I come from a culture that’s traditionally very afraid of the Devil, demons, and evil, so much so that we won’t even say these words out loud. We’re hyper superstitious when it comes to that kind of stuff. Therefore, I’m not going to try to convince you that these things don’t exist if they’re part of your spiritual, religious, or cultural beliefs.
However, Romany Gypsies don’t associate divination with demons and possession. For us, divination is just a hobby, a job, or something someone may be particularly good at. You’ll 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’re present; divination doesn’t attract them but can instead diagnose them, explain their existence, and even help the diviner figure out a way to expel them.
If you’re 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. To be honest, you don’t really need to do this, because divination is already perfectly safe, but you can if it will make you feel better. And don’t worry, they will certainly protect you if you ask for it.
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’s a very powerful thing to take control of your own spirituality and to realize there are tools and methods that 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 have access to divine knowledge and can receive 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 organization, if you suddenly figure out that you don’t need to join them or donate 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 don’t need to be told what to do by any organization. You don’t have to follow rules that make no sense, or rules that take the divine phone line away from you. Divination means to divine, to experience God, not to disobey him.
The church as an organization benefits from you being afraid to practice Tarot because if you communicate with God directly, you don’t need them. They are merely the 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 deck (the most famous of all Tarot decks), you’ll recognize much of the symbolism. The art on many Tarot decks relies heavily on Christian symbolism. For example, The Hierophant is a card that predicts good advice and talks about the benefits of tradition, religion, and faith. It’s hardly Tarot cards versus 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 that can be translated as ‘the mind running away with itself’. Although we believe in evil spirits and entities, we also acknowledge that the mind is a powerful entity that 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 whatever it takes to confirm that belief.
It’s pretty much just like how many 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’re looking for evidence to confirm their reality.
I often read stories about people who once read Tarot, but then stopped because they thought it was evil. You’ll find that every single one of these stories contains 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 were they just looking for evidence?
Another reason why I feel these people eventually turned against Tarot isn’t because divination is evil, but merely because they didn’t feel called to it anymore. On your spiritual journey, your path will twist and change, and you’ll find new ways of hearing God, communicating with spirits, etc. It doesn’t mean that what you’ve done in the past was wrong or evil, just means that it’s 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 that in the future you don’t and he will instead appear to you in dreams, or just through your general intuition.
Your inner wisdom will tell you whether Tarot or any other form of divination is right for you. If there’s a voice inside of you saying, “meh not interested,” you don’t need Tarot for your spiritual work. However, it’s 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’s actually quite difficult to link with spirits (and when I say ‘link’ in this context, I mean allowing them to 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 may help you to keep your mind at ease.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.Deuteronomy 31:6
Can Tarot Open Portals?
Tarot is not a key card – so no, Tarot cards, nor any other type of divination, opens 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 just doesn’t work like that.
Can Tarot Cards Curse You?
Just like the portals question, this is also something that just won’t 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’s this pervading 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 that’s against one of God’s commandments as outlined to Moses in Exodus. Nowhere in the commandments does God say, “Thou should not read Tarot or 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 himself known as channeling. Channeling 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 Ten 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:
And Aaron shall cast lots upon two goats; one lot for the Lord, the other for the scapegoat.Leviticus 16:8
To practice cleromancy, you must randomly draw lots to determine God’s will. Lots could be a stick, a branch, or anything else that can be selected at random. In fact, one could argue that randomly selecting Tarot cards is 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 because Tarot cards are not dangerous. There are some cards that can represent negative situations, such as the Five of Swords or Ten of Swords, and this is why a lot of people think Tarot in itself is bad. However, Tarot cards only symbolize crappy situations – they can’t and don’t make them happen!
In fact, all Tarot cards can also be read with a positive slant. Most Tarot readers see even negative cards as a good thing, because these represent something that’s bad for you leaving your life. Bad cards often precede fresh starts and changes for the better.
For example, there’s a card in Tarot decks called The Devil. Many people who don’t know how to read Tarot believe that this is proof that Tarot readers worship the Devil. However, The Devil card doesn’t 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 behavior, and possibly instead be of service to others, display compassion, and represent other Christian values.
Closing Thoughts on Are Tarot Cards Dangerous or Evil
It’s not my place to sway you either way or scare you into practicing or not practicing something. I don’t believe that reading Tarot is the only way to get to know God or receive divine guidance. Spirituality is personal, and you have to tread 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 that my faith, spirituality, and relationship with God and the spirits have also become the better for it.
Remember, 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.
That’s all for whether or not Tarot cards are dangerous or evil. Now, I want to hear your thoughts. Have you ever believed that Tarot cards are dangerous? Have you previously believed that Tarot cards are evil? Feel free to share your divination journey with the Divinerism community in the comments section below!