Okay, I am going to make a few assumptions here before we can continue.
If you’re into tarot, you’re at least interested in the spiritual world. When you are, you must have thought about the hereafter, in that train of thought you have probably considered some religious believes. Also I strongly believe nobody is intentionally evil. So having this in our pocket we may safely assume few will intentionally serve any kind of evil deity like the devil.
Off course the conservative believe systems will claim otherwise, at least regarding tarot cards. Divining, soothsaying or any kind of insight in things concerning the spirit rather than the physical world may imply insights that should be reserved for holy men and prophets, since no sane God would convey any information to, let’s say, normal people… right? Now don’t get me wrong here, I do not claim any divine meddling in tarot persé, but the thought that most religions claim that it is at best a tool of some sort of evil annoys the crap out of me. I can only think of a few reasons why this might be.
First and foremost, the higher ranking religious leaders have a good gig going. They can pretty much claim anything in the name of a higher power without any one of their flock claiming otherwise. Gay marriage… no, god hates fags, birth control… that’s pure evil, oh and let’s burn any book or person that may not agree with what I say, large part of the middle east are still governed by religious leaders rather than politicians. Now if anyone could lay claim to communication with the divine that would seriously undermine the hierarchy most religions cling to.
Than there is temptation. Picture the dude in red with the pitchfork, he’s selling you information in exchange for pieces of your soul. Surely you do not want that? This idea is based on the concept that evil has the monopoly on spiritual communication. Considering this implies demons are better telemarketers than angels, or at best it implies that lowly mortals are unable to shift information. Off course we could be deceived by an evil entity, but once you get directions to go kill someone you can safely bet it’s not a benevolent spirit guiding you. Free will in any religion seems to be regarded as “likely retarded”.
Another, perhaps simpler reason may be, because most religions base the way their followers should live their daily lives entirely on information they received some two thousand or more years ago (still open to debate BTW), they feel safer not thinking too much for themselves and keeping to the guide or “life for dummies” they call their religious texts or interpreters thereof. I don’t mean to insult anyone here with the “life for dummies” remark, I mean to imply that , as with any “for dummies” guide, it takes little knowledge nor specific effort to get the desired effect. Some claim certain aspects of religious texts are there to guide people away from stupid decisions. A few thousand years ago, for example, pork was not a clever choice for nutrition, some claim that to steer the populace away form ill effects they put a warning in the common religious texts. Now everybody knows that at least half of claimed psychics and oracles are swindlers and charlatans, it was not a bad idea to keep people away from them as well. Thank you religion!
Eliminating any unwanted competition on the afterlife was an added bonus, if not a goal unto itself. Finding guidance by yourself by any means other than what your religious counselor gives you is steering you away from what, for instance the church wants form you. Which is gold, lot’s of kids and Easter processions.. right?
So, is it evil?
|in the corners symbols of the four evangelists|
Well tarot at first was nothing more than a game and though gambling is not allowed by most religions, a simple game should not upset your local deity. So we can safely assume the cards themselves, even within conservative Christian law are okay. Considering the amount of Christian imagery you might even consider it a good thing. After that it’s all about interpreting your own intentions with the cards. Some see a reading equal to prayer, a way of communicating with the divine, some see it as a form of meditation, seeking the divine in oneself. Still not entirely evil.
The “evil” part of tarot seems to be in it’s predictions, seeking answers regarding fate, or claiming knowledge of the divine and often charging you for it, then again… what church does not request this of their flock? When push comes to shove, it’s all a matter of personal believe off course. It’s just such a big shame that personal believes are so often based on indoctrination and are therefore seldom really personal but sooner programmed.