I recently saw a post by a member of a Tarot card group asking if it was OK to believe in Jesus Christ and still work with Tarot and Oracle cards. The concern she had was if Jesus would condemn her because of her belief in the cards. You may recall Doreen Virtue, whose multi-million dollar Tarot and Oracle card empire and courses on Angels and Fairy’s, has recently denounced the use of Cards as ‘demonic’ and ‘lower energy’. This very public chastisement, left many of her followers bewildered, angry and grieving the mother figure that Doreen had been to them. What has frustrated former supporters of the Virtue brand (and discerning Christians alike) is that she continues to benefit from the sale of her decks, books and workshops on Angels and Fairies while condemning these concepts under her new brand of Christianity. A crisis of faith resulted for many of those who saw Doreen’s message as hypocritical and demeaning, as many of her tearful supporters came to YouTube to vent would testify. Some also professed a deep love for their Lord and Savior and now felt harshly judged by the woman that once gave them a deeper connection to Jesus because of her message of universal love. Many of these souls are now adrift at sea spiritually, fearful that a future in Hell awaits them simply because Doreen tells them so.
I understand how people have been feeling. I too have agonized over the fate of my soul because I had listened to the messages of those fearmongers who would claim to know the mind of God. Through maturity and self reflection (thank you Tarot!), I now know that during those times I was at an emotional low, questioning all of existence and desperately in need of some kind of salvation. Like Doreen, I know the impact that a deeply spiritual experience can have on your life. In a dream, Jesus held his hand out to me once, and in another the devil reached into my soul…vividly joyful and terrifying experiences that had a lasting and significant impact on my waking life. So it is not without reverence that I speak on this subject.
Indeed, if you were to look at my bookshelves (recently reorganized according to subject matter and author), you would see such topics as Demonic possession, the origin of Evil, Witchcraft and Satanic Ritual Abuse, and Spiritual Warfare. I also have many titles on Buddhism, Christianity, Esoteric Christianity, Gnosticism, Freemasonry, the Occult, Astrology, and Yoga. I’m of the firm belief that both Light and Shadow exist in the world. As well, I have plenty of books on the Tarot, some of which describe the natural marriage of Tarot with Christianity as a means of having deeper communion with God and a greater understanding of the teachings of Christ. How can a deck of cards so heavily influenced by Christianity (among other religions) that portrays the Holy Spirit (Ace of Cups), the Apocrypha of St. John (The Judgement), temptation by the Devil (the Devil card) and other biblical teachings; be a tool for the Devil?
The question hinges partly on whether the Devil actually exists and what he thinks of Tarot. Religious scripture and my extensive library aside, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of the Devils existence and a rather limited amount of Scripture to back up the assertion that Tarot is bad, and no evidence that the Devil uses Tarot to devour souls. There is however, plenty of evidence that people use Tarot (and Religion for that matter), to dupe, curse, control, make a profit and boost their ego, but those human faults can hardly be blamed on the Devil. So, it begs the question: Does Jesus exist and does he care if we use Tarot cards to predict the future, gain personal insights, to meditate and pray, and perform magic?
Of course every Christian believes (as do many Tarot card readers) that Jesus exists and most die-hard, born-again, Baptist and Evangelical Christians would argue that the Tarot relies on the summoning of familiar spirits and demons and that is strictly a no-no. It’s an antiquated viewpoint that fails to see the quantum (scientific) basis for why Tarot ‘works’ and is oddly selective about which kinds of divination are acceptable and which kinds are not. As in, how are they ok with the Magi who discovered Jesus’s birthplace? How are they ok with the casting of lots to fill the 12th disciple position? How do they rationalize Moses who talked to a voice coming from the Burning Bush and Joseph and Daniel who interpreted dreams? The fundamentalist view is that divination and interpretation is only ok if the Bible says it’s ok…until it’s not ok. It’s very confusing unless you’re completely indoctrinated so you learn this is good…that is bad. Tarot, for all it’s beautiful imagery and complex symbolism is pretty black and white. It is simply a set of images that are what they are and they don’t tell you what to believe, but encourage you to look deep within yourself to find their meaning. Imagine if the Bible did that?
I’ll be honest, there have been times where my connection to both the Bible and the Tarot cards was severed and cold because at those times neither gave me solace or understanding of the human condition, or a feeling of being connected to a higher power. During those times, nothing existed outside of myself that could console me. That’s when my greatest revelation occurred that I only needed to “Know Thyself” to make sense of and deal with it all. I learned that the power to change the world lies within me and that my purpose in life is to not give any of that power away…to fearful dogma, or to esoteric symbolism. My greatest discovery is that the Bible (and by the same virtue, all sacred writings) and Tarot cards are simply tools to aid in that self discovery, where we can keep those lessons that serve our greater purpose, and discard those that no longer serve us. Whatever way we choose to accumulate this great knowledge and empower ourselves and others by it, all the better. However, we cannot ignore that the Tarot and the Bible (and other Holy Scriptures) are tools for some and weapons for others. They both carry dangers in that their abuse by any person with a spiritual, political or financial agenda can be considered Evil, and while the Devil makes a convenient scapegoat we are ultimately responsible on how we use our power and our beliefs. It is what we intend that can have an effect on the entire world, so we should be mindful shouldn’t we?