“What are those?” My grandmother pointed to my card game.
I looked at her, excited to tell her. “Tarot cards.”
His eyes widened and he looked at my mother and father. “Who let him have the devil’s toys?”
My mother and father looked at each other. “I bought them.” My father spoke.
“And you claim to be a religious man?”
“I don’t see anything wrong with her satisfying his curiosity.”
“It is a sin! You cannot claim that this is a religious house if you allow the instruments of the devil within it!” My grandmother suddenly lost her temper.
“But grandma, they are funny and pretty.” I argue.
“Get rid of them.” She was boiling.
Once my parish priest told me that the occult was a dark art. Sure, some of that may be, however tarot can be used for divination or entertainment. I come from a devoutly Catholic family. Every Sunday my parents and I attended mass, prayed, and then went to breakfast. There were prayers before every meal, Bible study after school, and restriction from watching television on the weekends. For my family, Jesus was always someone we tried to impress.
I became interested in tarot when I was fourteen years old. I saw a fortune teller using a deck when she was at a carnival with some friends the summer before. I was attracted to the designs they had and the way the fortune teller placed them on the table in what I later learned was called a sheet.
I asked my father about the cards a few months later to see if he had any information on them, and he offered to buy me a deck. He did not understand how a deck of cards could cause so much confusion in a family. As it seemed to be a religious question, the only person I could think of to ask was my parish priest.
“Tarot is part of the occult, which is demonic. Why, being a good Catholic girl, would you want to play with something as dangerous as this? Why are you letting Satan tempt you?” Father Burns told me.
Okay, so tarot is part of the occult and the occult is demonic, but how can Satan tempt me if I just look at them? I had no idea how to read them. I decided to educate myself.
The tarot originated in Italy in the 14th century. The Jews used it for divination purposes or to predict the future. The deck consists of 22 major arcana cards, cards that resemble the king, queen, and jack of a deck of playing cards, representing life, and 56 minor arcana cards, cards that resemble the numbered cards in a deck of cards, which correspond to the major arcana in some way. Each card has its own meaning.
The deck that my father bought me was the Medieval Scapini Tarot, created by Luigi Scapini. The Scapini Tarot recreates the images of Europe in the Middle Ages through costumes, symbolism, and scenery. Many of the images on the cards were inspired by masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance. The cards are completed with golden backgrounds and a symbolism that the reader has to interpret that links this particular deck with the esoteric tradition of the tarot. Because each tarot deck is different, the Scapini deck includes sword suits, cups, wands, and coins. These suits correspond to the traditional tarot suits of swords, cups, wands and pentacles. Playing cards can also be used as tarot cards. The suits of the tarot correspond to the four suits of a deck of cards: spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds.
The occult has been a part of American culture since the mid-1800s. In 1871, there were an estimated eight to 11 million psychic and occult followers. In 1979, according to Time magazine, an estimated 40,000 “witches” were active in the United States. Today, that number has quadrupled. More than 300 educational institutions, including universities, offer programs and even degrees on New Age subjects. Of these institutions, about 100 in the United States alone offer witchcraft courses. According to The Stateman Yearbook 2007, in 2000, Illinois had a total population of 12,419,293. Of these, 6,457,000 were Christians and 270,000 Jews. The other 5,692,293 were unknown. Those unknowns may be occult.
The reason for the high number of occultists in America is the abandonment of Orthodox Christianity. It is a fact that wherever Christianity is practiced biblically, the occult is rejected.
People leave the Christian religion for many reasons, some of which include interests in other religions and wrongdoing by the church. However, most reluctantly abandon religion. For example, a man named Jason * left the Catholic Church primarily because of his homosexuality. He simply did not agree with the church’s teachings not only on homosexuality, but also on the ordination of women and papal infallibility. Jason still has great respect and love for the Catholic Church, but he won’t come back unless he sees a change in the things he disagreed with.
The tarot is studied by occultists and pagans. Paganism has had a tremendous influence on Christianity. For example, Catholic infant baptism was derived from a pagan ritual. Many pagan rites were incorporated into Catholicism: the use of incense, genuflections, and the practice of facing east for prayer. Sadly, most Christians have denied or forgotten it.
In biblical evaluations of the tarot, the cards are claimed to ignore man’s sin, contain a “secret doctrine” known only to a few, and that the cards are dangerous when used to control one’s destiny due to symbolism. The understanding is that the Tarot cards correctly say that man needs spiritual help.
The four suits of the minor arcana have also been identified with the four symbols of the legend of the Holy Grail: spear (Rod), cup (cup), sword (sword), plate (pentacles). The major arcana also have Catholic symbolism. For example, the hanged man, card number 12, which represents a man hanging upside down from a cross by his ankle, signifies the death and resurrection of Jesus.
For me, Tarot readings were always steeped in mysteries; carnival readers in dark tents, with black velvet on the table and chairs and small crystals hanging from the ceiling.
That’s what I used to think. Now that I realize that carnival Tarot readers are probably just looking for money, I looked up what a true Tarot reader looks and acts like. I didn’t find it in any book, so to find my answer, I visited a “real” Tarot reader.
I visited a website to try to get information on where to get a good read. The information told me to stay away from calling 900 numbers, like Psychic Friends and Miss Cleo, because generally numbers like that employ people who have no reading skills and do what is called “cold reading.” Cold reading is where a reader names various people and ideas that the person getting the reading may or may not be familiar with in the hope that the person will offer valuable information to promote reading. Cold reading has been compared to fishing; the reader keeps throwing useless information until he gets something useful. These numbers are usually scams.
When I arrived, I noticed that the place I was in looked like a normal house. When I rang the doorbell, a woman in her 40s, dressed in a rabbit T-shirt, jeans, and slippers, answered the door. “Hello there.” She greeted me.
“Uh, hee.” He probably guessed that I was attracted to his attractions.
She invited me in and motioned for me to take a seat at the kitchen table (which, by the way, had a St. Patrick’s Day tablecloth on it). As she brought me a cup of coffee, which was in a mug that said “World’s Greatest Mom” on the side, she brought the cards to the table.
He sat across from me, pulling the cards out of the old sock in which he kept them. “Why do you keep them in a sock?” I asked.
“So they can be personalized. It is believed that if you keep your cards in a personal place, it will link with the cards, giving you a more accurate reading.” She smiled. “What is your zodiac sign?”
“Libra.” I replied.
He searched through the letters until he came to the Justice one. He put it aside, separated from the rest. “Why don’t you include that one?”
“This card represents you.” He held up the card that he put aside.
“Why do you represent me?”
“Libra means law and justice. This card corresponds to that.”
I nodded and she told me to shuffle the cards. I did and gave it back to him. He placed them on what was described as the extension of the “Celtic cross”. The spread had two cards in the center, one on top of the other, forming a cross, four cards circled around those cards, and four stacked cards running down the side of the circle. The cards that are inside and form the circle detail someone’s past and upcoming problems, obstacles, and futures. The cards on the side detail a person’s inner thoughts and feelings and environment, ending with predicting the end result of that person’s question.
She was correct in predicting some things in my reading, like my past relationships and general obstacles. However, many of the future predictions were not correct, the predictions that he told me would occur in the next month.
As we sat down to dinner, my grandmother asked me if I had already gotten rid of the letters. My parents looked up from their plates and listened intently, wide-eyed, wondering what he would say.
“No.” I said simply.
“Why?” Grandma asked calmly.
“Because grandmother …” and I proceeded to tell her what I had learned about the Tarot. This was something I wanted to pursue and I didn’t like anyone getting mad at me, especially her. I always wanted my grandmother to be proud of me.
When I finished explaining to her, I expected her to scream and yell, but she never came. “Mmm.” It was all he said, and that was the end.
People read or go to Tarot readings because they are looking for interesting fun or they are moving away from their religion and looking for different spiritual outlets.
I spoke to several different people and they all told me that they read the Tarot because it is “fun”, “interesting” or “because my family hates it”, but only one person told me: “I read the Tarot because I do not like to know what it is going to do. happen tomorrow. I hate surprises. “
This surprised me. “Do you really think you can see the future through cards?”
“I dont believe it, I know”.
This sent a red flag for me. This is a crazy individual who bases his life on the Tarot … get out! This is what I thought instantly. However, through my research I have learned that most people who read the Tarot do so for spiritual purposes and believe what they see in the cards. From what is portrayed in the media, I took this person as crazy.
Through the research I have done, I have learned various things about the Tarot and perhaps matured a bit while searching for answers.
“Your grandmother is leaving.” My father called me as I ran downstairs to say goodbye to her.
“I’ll see you next month.” He told me while kissing me on the forehead.
When I turned to walk away, I heard her call out to me: “What you said last night at dinner really makes sense.”
I turned to her and smiled. I just wanted her to understand. That was all he wanted.