In this article we’ll cover a very popular topic – which is how tarot is referred to in the Bible and also Christianity as a whole. It’s a super interesting topic and I’ll show you some references in the bible, and also answer the question ‘are tarot cards against Christianity’?
Suppose you were raised in a Christian family but are interested in tarot card readings, astrology, mediumship, and other forms of divination. In that case, you may feel that you are walking towards forbidden territory – according to what you learned at church and to your family.
You may also be interested in our article about the bible and psychics.
For example, you may recall times when your family would tell you never to look at the horoscope in the newspaper because it is “evil.” If you were told this as a child, you would believe it because you were young and should never disobey your parents – also according to the Bible.
However, you are looking at Amazon and Etsy shops and various tarot card decks because they are intriguing and beautiful, and you would love to learn how to read the tarot. However, you feel conflicted because of growing up Christian, and you don’t want to be disrespectful to your faith. Therefore, you are having that inner tug of war. In the end, that will be for you to decide what you will do regarding buying a tarot deck or not. Let’s delve further into this discussion and go over what the Bible says about tarot cards.
What Does The Bible Say About Tarot Cards?
Scripture clarifies that psychics are evil as they are highly disrespectful to the Lord. According to Beliefnet, the Bible prohibits tarot cards because there is an association with divination. The Bible frowns upon uncovering secrets about the future through occult measures. According to the same source, God told His people, who were the Israelites, that divination was prohibited. That was especially the case of starting to embark on the Promised Land. God considers divination evil, and it is no different from child sacrifice.
Additionally, the Bible states that demons guide tarot card readings. There was a story where Paul met a fortune-teller who was enslaved and made money by telling the future, with a demonic spirit, according to the Bible. Even though tarot cards seem fun, the Bible states to be careful otherwise, as you could fall into darkness. I will go over some Bible verses about tarot.
What Are Some Bible Verses About Tarot?
There are many verses in the Bible about divination, which include tarot cards. And these verses are why you were told never to read horoscopes, dabble into tarot cards or tea leaves, and get psychic readings when you were young. Let’s go over several of these verses in the Bible about tarot cards and divination, which anyone can access from the Open Bible website if there is not a physical Bible present with you:
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.
For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults the teraphim; he looks at the liver.
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. (I discussed this one briefly in the point above).
For you have rejected your people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with the children of foreigners.
But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
There are many more Bible verses about tarot and divination, but these are the few that stand out! You see clearly, based on those Bible verses, tarot and divination are big no-nos in Christianity. I will go over some irony next and talk about how there are plenty of Christian symbols in the tarot despite what the Bible says.
Christian Iconography And Tarot Symbolism
Here is some irony for you. The Bible, as you know, prohibits tarot or any form of divination. However, you will see many Christian symbols in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot cards. A Medium article, Your Tarot Deck’s More Christian Than You Thought: Representations of the Four Evangelists in the Rider Pack, so eloquently talks about how there is Christian iconography in the cards. For example, if you look at the Lovers, you will see a nude couple and a fruit tree with a serpent, representing the Garden of Eden. Also, looking at the High Priestess card, you will see a puddle surrounding a crescent Moon. That means the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.
What about the card that represents St. Peter’s crucifixion? Oh, that would be the Hanged Man, as it is inverted. Those are just a few examples of how even though the Bible shuns tarot cards, you have plenty of examples of Christian iconography in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. Based on that, you may see that tarot cards are not against Christianity, but let’s delve into that a little more.
Are Tarot Cards Against Christianity?
As you may have already guessed, tarot cards are not against Christianity or any other religion. That is because the cards contain images from the Old and New Testaments (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam shun tarot cards and divination for the same reasons). If you look at all 78 cards in the deck, you might also find bits and pieces of Christian iconography. It boils down to the history of why there are Christian symbols in tarot cards.
When the Church was in power, that is when tarot cards developed. However, it was not used as a divination tool, as it was used as a game known as Tarocchi. Tarocchi was full of Christian teachings, which is why the cards have plenty of symbolism regarding religion. Those who had rigorous religious training understood how the game worked.
However, in the 1780s, tarot went from being a game to fortune-telling, as occultists in France established that, according to Britannica. And even then, tarot cards were not against Christianity and still are not, even though the Bible is against tarot cards for divination. However, the interesting thing is that there have been some shifts regarding Christians using tarot cards.
Tarot And Christianity
The idea that tarot cards are only used for divination is beginning to dissipate because many people are discovering that they can use tarot for other things, such as stimulating creativity and self-reflection. Therefore, you are beginning to find more Christians accepting tarot because they realize that the cards have other uses other than divination. For example, Christian author, Brittany Muller, stated that she had used tarot cards for years even though she is a practicing Christian.
Muller has a book called The Contemplative Tarot: A Christian Guide to the Cards, about how Christians can incorporate tarot into their daily practices. She states that there are new spiritual practices that Christians can utilize and involve the tarot without using any divination. Instead, much of it can be for self-reflection, which can be therapeutic. Others can use the cards for praying while immersing themselves in the images on the cards. With that said, Christian-based tarot decks for these purposes are listed on the Aeclectic Tarot forum.
To sum up, divination is not accepted by the Bible, which is why the Bible shuns tarot cards. However, since tarot cards were originally not tools used for divination, Christians not only had no issues with tarot but embraced the cards as a game. That changed when occultists began using tarot for divination purposes. However, slowly but surely, many Christians are using tarot for other spiritual uses and for self-reflection instead of divination which is why the cards are slowly being accepted by those who practice the faith. Here are some resources to help you incorporate tarot into your life if you are a practicing Christian that intends to stay that way:
1. The Contemplative Tarot: A Christian Guide to the Cards, by Brittany Muller.
2. Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, by Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar.
3. Signs & Wonders – Tarot Cards for Christians, by Pastor Ahyh.
4. The Spiritual Roots of the Tarot: The Cathar Code Hidden in the Cards, by Russell A. Sturgess.
5.The Key of Destiny: A Spiritual Interpretation of Numbers, Symbols and The Tarot (Teachings of The Order of Christian Mystics), by Mrs Harriette Augusta Curtiss and Dr Frank Homer Curtiss.
You may also enjoy our guide to the history of tarot.
What does the bible say about tarot cards?
Even though tarot cards can be fun, the Bible says to be careful to avoid falling into darkness.