Tarot and Religion (kind of long)

To answer your narrow question: yes.
On the conservative side of protestant Christianity (not just fundamentalists), any kind of fortune telling is warned against.

To answer the broader, unasked question: I wouldn’t have started a fight about whether or not it was religious on a handicraft board.

I probably would have done the same thing that those mods did - before the board got derailed by an argument which was at that point only vaguely tangentially related to handicrafts.

I’m Christian (United Methodist).

I don’t think I’ve ever hear a sermon against fortune-telling, but I have heard one where Harry Potter was (mildly) condemned, and Lord of the Rings was praised in such a way that one might be forgiven for wondering whether the Lord of the Rings was based on some historical events that most people have now forgotten. Neither series was intended as the focus of the sermon.

On the other hand, that minister was a dingbat.

If I were a mod, I’d be inclined permit discussion of Tarot cards, some symbolism and history, but forbid discussion of how to use Tarot cards to tell fortunes (on the grounds that it could become too contentious an issue more than on the grounds that Tarot-card based fortunetelling constituted religion).

More generally, I’d probably try to preserve a distinction like that used on this message board between GQ-type questions and GD-type questions. Although it sounds like they don’t generally encourage GQ -type religious and political questions–which is certainly their perogative.

That would be very close to the way I would look at it. They are a tool that can be used as part of a persons religion, but not necessarily so. Your correlation with the bible works. It often is religious in nature to discuss but can also be discussed in purely literary, historic or poetic terms. (such as the Song of Solomon, the ‘begats’ sections and the like) It’s not a perfect parallel, but certainly a serviceable one. :slight_smile:

I almost agree, except that I’d equate Tarot cards with the hymnal, not the Bible. The Bible contains the basic information of the religions, and is pretty inseparable from the Christian faith. The hymnal is a bunch of songs which were inspired by the religion and can be used during religious rites, but also could, if chosen, be used by someone singing about a nice spring day.

Ahh, I knew there was a better example! Just couldn’t come up with it. Thanks WhyNot

Where is the magic part supposed to come from, just out of curiosity?

I don’t understand the question.

The reading of futures or seeing “things” in the cards. What “power” sees this information in the cards and transfers it to the reader?

I understand the decision of the mods of closing a thread that was getting too heated for the standards of the board. As for whether the cards are religious or not, as has been said, that depends on one’s religion.

Could we have the post in question here to read? I guess that is what would help us decide whether it was pushing a religious agenda (or be misunderstood as such) or not.

As much as I hate the fundie attitude that as soon as they aren’t allowed to step on YOUR toes, their toes are being stepped on, I think the mods did the right thing in closing a contentious thread if the board does not tolerate contentious threads (and I would have closed it on that basis).

Tarot as religious? I’d be far more inclined to call it superstitious than religious, but I don’t think that’s a battle I would be willing to fight.

There are some who call him “Tim”

The answer will vary by person, I’m sure. I and everyone I know think that the imagery on the card merely plinks the subconscious of the reader and the collective unconscious of the culture at large. The reader uses the cards, as well as the querant’s body language, words and whatever we know of their situation to inspire stream-of-consciousness rambling until something useful is uncovered. 99.9% of the time, a Tarot querant already knows the answer to their question, they just want someone else to reinforce what they want to hear. Whatever you say that doesn’t jibe with that is immediately forgotten anyway. Tarot is cold-reading with props. I’m pretty good at it, although I’ve never formally studied cold-reading techniques or Tarot, I just sort of zone out for a few seconds listening to that little voice that talks in my head, and then chat about the pretty pictures and offer advice. Still, I’m quite sought after at parties and festivals to do readings.

I suppose some people actually feel that they’re tapping into some Divine power or something, but I don’t know any of them. Some people also feel their brains are being controlled by remote devices implanted by aliens. Takes all kinds.

I’ve never met a single Tarot reader who tells fortunes in a concrete sense. Every single one is careful to fuzzify things, talking about possibilities and aspects of change. In fact most readers will specifically decline Yes/No questions, on the grounds that nothing is that set in stone, and asking how to influence, change or manifest something or what the likely outcome of a plan of action will be are much more useful questions anyway.

Thanks. That makes sense. I had a friend who seemed to think it was somehow tied to astrology, but I didn’t buy that because astrology already has chart reading, so what would they need another outlet for?

Well it’s tied in in that each card has an astrological sign or planet associated with it. It also has a number, colors, a Hebrew letter and an element (earth, air, fire, water) associated with it. There are tons of associations, each encoded on the card or in the booklet that comes with the deck. Some decks are specialized, for example there’s at least two herbal Tarots, with plant associations for each card. There’s a Lord of the Rings Tarot, and another based on the Arthurian legends. The more of the associations (or “aspects”) of the cards you know, the more you can riff on any topic given a single card. Is this card telling you to be careful of taking advice, or maybe there’s a Capricorn recently come into your life. Maybe it’s a man of dark complexion, or maybe you’re feeling like you don’t have control over your own decisions. Perhaps you tend to manipulate people and you don’t even realize it, or you’re viewing a situation as bad when it could really be to your benefit. All of those could be signified by a single card (The Devil, in this case. The one that really freaks people out more even than the Death card.) Chances are, one of those will be a hit, and I can work from there.

But no, there’s no direct link - Tarot is not the divination branch of astrology.

Tarot is a way of obtaining supernatural knowledge outside the way God has set forth, as there is only 2 sources of supernatural knowledge, so if it’s not from God there is only one other source. It is strongly occult. Yes I have heard many warnings from pastors over the years. I would not say it’s anti-religious, but it is anti-Christian.

I’ve studied Tarot for many years. The Tarot can be many things - a spiritual journey, a tool for meditation, a parlor game, or a simple hobby. Some people think you really can divine things from the cards. Personally, I just do it because it’s fun. However, I have to hide my cards when guests arrive because I get too many awkward looks, like they’d expect to find a sacrificial alter in my basement.

Let’s face it, not many people know about Tarot besides for the infamous Death card that appears in countless cliche television shows and movies. Nobody wants to be told they’re going to die. My mother won’t let me do a reading on her because she’s so afraid of that card, even though I try to explain that the Death cards doesn’t necessarily reflect physical death. Now the Tower card, that’s the one you should piss your pants when you see. :smiley:

Can someone do an on-line reading? I’d be interested in seeing how it works.

I don’t use tarot myself, but I can ask my BF if he’d be willing. Send me an email if you like.

Done. Thanks!

I meant to edit and add something but you’d already answered! I know he’s done readings by phone before, I’m not sure on the ‘read and email his findings’ but I’ll ask. :slight_smile: