“There doesn’t have to be any magic involved — not in the sense of manipulation of supernatural power,” she explains. “I want more than anything to believe, but I am never quite convinced, so I go on searching for answers that I suspect I already know but cannot accept.”
A Tarot blogger who goes only by the first name of Miriam explains that though people often associate the practice with paganism, and pagans do in fact favor it, Tarot can provide insight to followers of any faith. By coincidence, the Century issue appears simultaneously with Commentary magazine’s May cover story titled “The Return of Paganism,” which decries a contemporary American “spiritual crisis” but does not explore actual pagan religious groups.
The Century’s coverage does not explore the thousands of years in which Christianity, and Judaism before it, have together drawn a sharp line against divination and other occult practices. A primary text in the Jewish Bible (Christians’ Old Testament) is Leviticus 19:26: “You shall not practice divination or soothsaying,” followed by verse 31: “Do not turn to ghosts and do not inquire of familiar spirits, to be defiled by them.”
Deuteronomy 18:9-13 associates “abhorrent” practices like child sacrifice with divination, readings from animal entrails or bird flights, spell-casting, inquiries to the dead and other forms of sorcery. Other biblical references to such pagan practices are found in Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and Micah.
For Judaism, divination and magic that invoke occult powers “are objectionable because they seek to circumvent God,” according to the Conservative branch’s “Etz Hayim” Bible commentary. Reform Judaism’s “The Torah: A Modern Commentary” observes that “there will always be those who will attempt to enhance their power and knowledge by resorting to putative forces not subject to the revealed will of God or ordinary laws of nature.”
A February blog item by Whitney Hopler of George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being urges fellow Christians to shun Tarot cards hoping for “more information about themselves and their futures” by uncovering hidden knowledge.
CONTINUE READING: “Question: Should Christians Use Tarot Cards?”, by Richard Ostling.
FIRST IMAGE: Tarot card image of death by Abigail Larson — promoted on the DeviantArt Pinterest stream