If you have ever been to New York City, especially in the Times Square area undoubtedly you will encounter a place where a fortune teller or tarot card reader resides. These places often look a little dark on the outside but for the most part, they look very innocent. What they offer you is the opportunity to tell your fortune and show you what is going to happen in your future. This can all seem so harmless and fun causing you to wonder what could be wrong with that? It’s not like tarot cards are evil or sinful, or are they? The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that Satan disguises or masquerades himself as an angel of light. Could it be that tarot cards and fortune-telling fall into this category? Let’s find out.
What are tarot cards and where did they originate from?
Tarot cards originated back in the 1400s and they were initially used throughout Europe to play card games, some of which are still played today. In short, even though the decks were a little different, they were just like an ordinary deck of cards you might use today to play bridge, hearts, or some other card game. The change in the way tarot cards were used happened in the 1700s when they began using them as a measure of prediction and fortune-telling. When people think of tarot cards, this is what typically comes to mind, and this is how I will be referring to them moving forward.
Let me share with you a description of tarot cards from the website tarot.com, which will set the parameters for our question are tarot cards evil or sinful?
“Tarot cards are small, paper cards that come in a deck, similar to playing cards, and are used for divinatory purposes. Each card represents a different archetypal being or lesson. A person shuffles the cards, then lays them out in a Tarot card spread. Understanding what each Tarot card means when it is revealed can help a person receive an important message or embrace a new perspective in any situation.”
If you pay close attention to that definition, you will identify some of the important things that will go a long way in helping us answer the question are tarot cards evil or sinful?
Are tarot cards evil or sinful?
What tarot cards are and what they are designed to do is what makes them both evil and sinful. Let me give you some reasons why and as always let’s allow the word of God, not any other opinion define what and why these are sinful.
Tarot cards are a source of divination.
As you look at the definition of tarot cards they are used for divinatory purposes. If you don’t know what that means, divinatory or divination is when a person attempts to discover secret knowledge or information, or to attempt to foretell the future by means of the occult or the supernatural. The reason why tarot cards are evil and sinful is because the occult and the supernatural referred to here are coming from a demonic influence. Here is what scripture says about divination.
“…Do not practice divination or seek omens. – Leviticus 19:26b
Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:31
When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. – Deuteronomy 18:9-12
God is very clear that he does not want his people to engage in this practice of divination, and tarot cards fall under this category. A person who looks to tarot card readers or fortune tellers is opening themselves up to the world of the occult. This is dangerous ground for a person who does not know Christ and should be avoided by people who do.
People who practice reading tarot cards are not filled with the Holy Spirit.
In the book of Acts, Paul has an encounter with a woman who was a fortune-teller.
Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her. – Acts 16:16-18
What this encounter tells us is that fortune tellers are not operating by the Spirit of God, even if what they say may be true. In this case, this woman was saying something that was true, yet she was filled with a spirit that was not from God. Anyone who operates in this realm, whether they are aware of it or not, are operating in the demonic realm. It does not matter how innocent it may look, because it is flowing from a demonic source, tarot cards are evil and sinful.
Tarot cards mimic what God does.
In the Old Testament God would use a prophet to speak on his behalf, to deliver a message, to give instruction, and even to tell what was going to happen. In the New Testament God gave us the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which often operate in the same fashion. What tarot cards and divination are attempting to do is gain access to the supernatural by bypassing God and in essence trying to mimic what God does. This has been going on for centuries because Satan will always attempt to copy what God does. Remember in his heart he wants to be like God and worshipped as God. This is simply another attempt at trying to be in that position.
Some More Thoughts
Perhaps the most sobering thing when it comes to tarot cards is this verse in Leviticus.
I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people. – Leviticus 20:6
It goes without saying that God sees this as serious business. To put it as plainly as I can, these are things that should not be played with and taken lightly. Whether you recognize it or not, by putting any trust or weight in a tarot card a person is not putting their trust in the living God. You simply cannot trust the power of divination and the power of God at the same time. You will follow one or the other.
So, are tarot cards evil? God has clearly stated that he will set himself against anyone that turns to mediums and spiritists, both of which are forms of divination. God has no problem with a person wanting direction, clarity, or even to know what will happen in the future. These are common things people wonder about. The difference is rather than turning to the tarot card reader, God wants you to turn to him. By turning to him you are going to the one who not only knows your future but loves you and can bring it all to pass in your life. When you have questions about your life and your destiny don’t turn to tarot cards which are evil and sinful. Turn to the word of God and prayer and you will find the answers you need. This is what God has promised and he will be true to his Word.
You should be happy to know that you don’t have to go to a tarot card reader or fortune teller to attempt to find out anything at all. You have the advantage of going to the all-knowing, all-powerful God who is ready and willing to give true direction for your life. Don’t hesitate to run to him because that is exactly what he wants you to do. When you come to the point where you do need more information let this final verse be the thing you put your confidence in.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6
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Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.