Understanding The Appeal of Tarot

Historically, the church has veered away from all forms of divination and magic out of the belief that the power to perform as an oracle only came from God or the forces outside the kingdom of the divine. The early church is recorded in Acts and the writings of Paul, and there are many accounts of the apostles rebuking witches and occult practitioners. 

Most forms of magic that involved the summoning of spirits was banned throughout Christian history. The only forms of magic that were permissible were the utilization of herbs, crystals, and some symbols as healing devices. Minor forms of fortune telling or superstition were sometimes practiced by European peasants and were largely as superstition. More organized forms of magic began appearing with alchemy and the invention of decks of cards that eventually became what we recognize today as tarot cards.

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The Appeal

The church never managed to completely abolish an interest of magic among the population of Europe. The appeal of magic lies in the very reason why it is discouraged by priests: It offers a presumably guaranteed form of miracle that is independent of moral or priestly status and could be done by individuals. Since curiosity and desperation are common themes among humans, it is inevitable that some people are interested in forms of magic.

Europe always had its roguish elements, and since divination and sorcery were banned by the church, they were seen as available resources by those who lived more on the fringes of society. Common forms of fortune telling were practiced by traveling merchants as a source of revenue, and folk healers have long been an attractive alternative to the organized priesthood.

tarot today appeals to audiences because of the medieval imagery on the cards as well as appearance of a complex ritual when the cards are laid out in a complex pattern. Modern audiences are more accepting of gratuitous benefits because of the increased secularization of society and the greater acceptance of vices as normal modes of living.

How Tarot Card Users Claim the Benefit

There are not many recorded instances of tarot dealers being able to make extremely accurate predictions of the future. Drawing cards is itself a fairly random process, and the perception of the deck is that it provides a vague reference to the future and aids in a thought process with some level of subtle guidance.

Many tarot users will even admit that they are unable to make extremely accurate predictions of the future but instead use their deck whenever they have a problem weighing on their minds. Drawing or uncovering cards induces them to think about alternative possibilities and at least compels them to consider what could go wrong or what could go right. Tarot users will describe their decks as meditation aids rather than straight divination.

Most tarot decks have 72 cards with suits and specific cards that are more significant than others. Each card has multiple meanings and possible interpretations attached to it. Since the modern practice has been around for a few centuries, no small culture has been built into these decks, and the many different interpretations fits into the subjectivity and personalized nature of tarot reading.