For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
– Hebrews 4:14
Someone one’s said that ‘To tune into God’s voice, we have to tune out of the world’s noise.’ God can, if we listen intently, speak through the ‘still small voice’ of our intuition (1 Kings 19:12). Intuition is a wonderful gift from God that some say we should exchange for the ‘Word of God’/the Bible alone. The intuition is not to be trusted, they say. The problem is, of course, that the Bible doesn’t cover every situation we encounter in our lives, nor does it always consistently tell us how to deal with things.
The Bible as the final word of God (discernible in its entirety only by theologians) is a patriarchal construct aimed at disempowering people and making them into malleable followers in the hand of the church-state conglomerate. The Bible does contain great wisdom but please ponder this: It puts ‘divination’ as a sin right up there with having a bloody steak. So those of you who condemn the ‘occult practices’ of Tarot readers without knowledge of the facts (such as the Christian origins of the Tarot), check yourselves for when you last had a bloody steak and repent.
Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. Do not practice divination or seek omens.
– Leviticus 19:26
The Bible mentions the casting of lots, a form of divination known as cleromancy, in several passages. One notable example of cleromancy is found in the book of Acts, when the disciples gathered to cast lots in favour of whom should replace Judas. The casting of lots is an ancient practice and the Hebrew temple priests were known to do this with a pair of stones known as Urim and Thummim. The white one was said to represent ‘no’ and the black one ‘yes’ in answer to any questions. Urim and Thummim were known to be used to establish the guilt of someone when a crime or sin against the Law had been committed.
The casting of lots by the priests is not pitched against the other practices of divination as a higher form of discerning God’s will. We find a prophecy in Psalms 22:18 about the casting of lots that would be done by the Roman soldiers at the crucifixion. This was clearly not done to discern the will of God but to mock the man they soldiers perceived as a Hebrew prophet.
From this and further study we can clearly deduce that the type of divination that OT prophets told people to stay away from was the Pagan kind, the kind that invoked elemental spirits or demons as guides. The Bible mentions ‘false divination’ in the book of Ezekiel (21:23), presumably as opposed to other kinds of divination. Truth be told, you can totally read the Tarot this way, as ‘false divination’… by using the cards for your own egotistical desires and in conjunction with invoking ‘spirit guides’ that will help you see whether and how you will get what you want. Heck, you can even pay for a course to learn to ‘read like the Devil.’ There are practices we need to be aware that only serve the ego, just like in the days of the ancient prophets.
But we do not live under the Law, God is not silent and nowhere in the Bible does it say that we cannot use tools to help us tune into the still small voice within. This doesn’t mean that we then need to go out and prophecy what we have been told; it simply means that we are free to continue our lives with greater peace in our hearts.
God’s word is living still and the power of revelation is something we can all access. It is a quiet power. In the Tarot, its main purpose is to act as a mirror for the soul so that we can check ourselves and, one by one, remove any block’s to God’s love and grace. The Tarot, when used for the Highest Good, does exactly what the author of the letter to the Hebrews says: it helps us discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.
In the story line of the Major Arcana, we can clearly see the redemption story unfolding. We are warned of the viles of the Devil and get the heads up that the day of Judgment awaits us all. The final trump shows us the soul redeemed, surrounded by the four evangelists. In the Minor Arcana, the Holy Grail is seen in the Ace of Cups, and above it we see the dove of the Holy Spirit holding the sacramental bread. In fact, the traditional Tarot deck is so blatantly Christian that many Pagans have felt forced to reinvent it to better suit their faith and purposes.
And yet… and yet… I go to church and get judged for using the Tarot by people who haven’t got the first clue what the Tarot is actually about.
The condemnation of any practices that encourage us to listen intuitively to God’s guidance is one of the very things that created the great falling away and gave birth to the New Age. I pray that this time of walking through the desert will end soon. I pray that churches of all denominations be revived from within and that church leaders start empowering people to tune out of the world’s noise and into God’s voice more often. I pray they will stop being so judgy and putting people off the faith, so that the Good News of the Gospel can once more be proclaimed joyfully, in a way that marries logic with intuition, the divine masculine with the divine feminine and the soul with her Maker.
Amen and so it is.