By Kam Johnson | Social Media Editor
Tarot cards were used as playing cards in the mid-15th century, but they only recently started being used as a tool for divination and guidance. The term divination is often associated with witchcraft, which, for whatever reason, is associated with worshipping the devil. However, divination is actually the practice of telling a prophecy, and it quite literally means “to be inspired by a god.” If that doesn’t scream anti-Satan, I’m not sure what does.
The negative stigma attached to tarot cards came from horror movies and scary stories that painted them out to be evil tools. Today, though, tarot cards are extremely popular, and more people use them than you think. That may sound crazy, but before you click away from this article and label me a “Satan worshipper,” stick around. You might be surprised.
Now, before I explain why they aren’t demonic, you should probably know what they are and how they work. There are various types of tarot decks, but the most popular and traditional is the Rider Waite Deck, which was published in 1909. The deck is very colorful and, to me, has some of the prettiest artwork. However, whichever deck speaks to you the most is the one you should pick. Tarot is all about strong intuition. All tarot decks have the same structure, with four suits of 14 cards: wands, cups, swords and pentacles. They are known as the minor arcana. Every card in the minor arcana represents a different moment or a different person in your life, and each suit correlates with a different part of your life.
For example, the suit of swords corresponds with intellect, the heart and emotions. Overall, it deals with the mental state and balance. This suit is also associated with the air element because you can’t touch it or see it, but it’s always moving — much like our minds.
Each suit corresponds with a different part of your life as well as a different element. The deck has 22 more cards called the major arcana, which represent significant moments in your life. Major arcana are more powerful than minor arcana because they can affect them in readings. The first card in the major arcana is “The Fool,” and each card after represents a part of the fool’s life.
Tarot cards are supposed to be read like a storybook that can provide guidance to specific parts of your life or help you think through things in a way you didn’t beforehand. The cards themselves aren’t too helpful in guiding you; it’s how you read them that reveals the path. Reading tarot is a combination of knowing what each card means and using intuition to pinpoint what you feel is the meaning of each card. When you begin reading, there should always be a question in your mind of whether it’s advice or just a curiosity. Once you have your question, shuffle the cards. The ones that randomly pop out — or the ones that you feel are calling to you — are the ones that should be included in your reading. The meanings of the cards in the reading can tell a story that can give you the answers to your question.
Overall, just like meditating, baking a cake or doing a backflip, tarot is a practice and requires dedication. It’s definitely not for everyone, but reading tarot is a practice many are misled on, and I’m here to clear the air.
Now that the fundamentals are out of the way, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Tarot cards are not related to demonic things, and while one of the cards literally has a devil on it, they are completely materialistic impersonal objects, and anyone who claims otherwise is likely just intimidated by spirituality. Tarot cards simply serve as a gateway into spirituality and a deeper understanding of yourself, but most often, the benefits of tarot cards fly over people’s heads.
In the Bible, Leviticus 19:31 reads, “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.”
Tarot cards are not magic. They can’t perform necromancy, they can’t predict your future and they can’t have any magical properties, even if you wish they could. They are just tools to help you find more clarity and understanding of different parts of your life. There are many people who read tarot with a strong faith in a higher power, and there are many people who read tarot without it. Prayer, listening to uplifting music, yoga and reading tarot are all very beneficial tools that can bring you peace, a calm mind and guidance toward a path to the highest good. They aren’t for everyone. Just because you aren’t interested doesn’t mean you’re any less intuitive, and just because you are interested doesn’t mean you’re demonic.
Overall, no one’s interests should be condemned — especially without being fully analyzed — and whatever people do to feel closer to a higher power is valid and belongs to them alone. Now that you know the basics of tarot reading, I hope anyone whose interest is piqued is on their way to get a deck, and if anyone wants their cards read … I give readings too.