Fortune tellers and any kind of divination, including reading Tarot cards, are evil in the sight of The LORD. Divination involves evil spirits and Christians are to avoid falling prey to the Evil One, Satan.
It can be so tempting to want a sneak peek into the future, and even more tempting to connect with a loved one who is no longer with us. But God’s Word includes many warnings about divination. And even the seemingly harmless “games” that people engage in are contrary to The Bible, despite being dressed up as something good or well-meaning.
Fortune Tellers and Tarot Cards
The practice of fortune-telling has been around since Bible times and has many different forms across the world. The use of crystal balls was recorded in early Europe in the 1st century, and in Ancient China, the I Ching which means “The Book of Changes” was a divination manual used to predict the future as early as 750 BC.
Divination or fortune-telling has many forms including:
- Astrology – the study of the alignment of the stars and planets
- Clairvoyance – spiritual visions
- Lithomancy – semi-precious stones and gems
- Necromancy – messages from spirits of the dead
- Spirit board – the spirit-powered movement of an object or hands on a board
- Taromancy – the use of tarot cards to predict the future
It isn’t clear where Tarot Cards originate from but many believe their roots are in Ancient Egypt (despite the lack of evidence). They’ve been around since at least the 15th century and they were used in relation to mysticism or divination in the 18th century in France. The concept took hold in England in 1880 amongst a group of occult practitioners. A question is asked and then cards are drawn and interpreted to provide an answer from a deck of 78 cards.
In pop culture, we find the lucky 8 ball and instances where animals, like the octopus in the aquarium in Germany, or even babies wearing certain onesies are seen as a way to predict the success of certain sports teams. Old wives’ tales like dangling a ring over a pregnant belly to determine the gender of a baby are also popular. Many of these are humorous and not taken very seriously by most people but in essence, they are a form of fortune-telling.
Significant Mentions of Fortune Tellers and Tarot Cards in The Bible
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.”Leviticus 19:31 (ESV)
“If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”Leviticus 20:6 (ESV)
God made it clear from the beginning that He is 100% against fortune-telling or divination of any kind. We also learn that this was an area of temptation for God’s people. The LORD spoke these words to Moses to pass on to the nation of Israel. He left no room for any other interpretation – it is a sin and has no place in the life of a believer.
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.Acts 16:16-19 (ESV)
From this account, we learn that there are cases where fortune-telling is accurate due to an evil spirit dwelling within the person. We understand that evil spirits do have some power. We also are reminded of the wonderful truth that Christ is superior to any evil spirit there is.
While this account is about 2000 years old, there are still people practicing divination for money today, quite possibly under the influence of an evil spirit. By engaging a fortune-teller, a person is exposing themselves to the forces of evil, the darkness. At the very least, the individual is a con artist, making a living based on deception and lies – Satan’s mother tongue (John 8:44).
A Call to Fight the Darkness
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
Even Christians sometimes forget the spiritual warfare that is going on around us all the time. While we are protected by Christ and nothing can snatch our souls out of His hand (John 10:28), it is unwise and damaging to give Satan a foothold. His desire is to attack and damage Christians, to distract them from serving their maker and sharing His truth. Instead, we need to be armed with God’s Word and ready for battle (Ephesians 6:10-17). Christian, avoid strolling into the enemy’s camp.
The Christian’s Alternative to Fortune Tellers and Tarot Cards
Are you anxious about the future?
The Bible commands Christians not to be anxious but to pray, with thanksgiving, trusting our cares to The LORD, and in return, He will give us peace. (Philippians 4:6-7)
We do not know what the future on this earth holds, but if our faith is in Christ and His death on the cross to save us from our sins, we can be confident that our eternal future is secure and more incredible than we can imagine!
Do you need help making a decision?
It can be tempting to just see what the cards say, just for fun, just this once. No! Christian, surround yourself with like-minded individuals, people who love God, love His Word, and know you well. They will be able to point you to God’s Word, pray for you, and share their own experiences walking with The Lord.
Don’t ask a pack of cards to guide you. Go to God’s Word and go to God’s people.
Are you overcome with sorrow at the loss of a loved one?
Grief can overwhelm a person to the point where they would do anything to communicate with the loved one they’ve lost. Christian, run to the One who is your refuge and strength. Let him quiet you with His love (Zephaniah 3:17), hide yourself in Him. Do not seek the dead on behalf of the living (Isaiah 8:19).
Christian, you have access to something far more powerful than fortune-tellers, tarot cards, star signs, or special rocks – you have access to the throne of grace, the One who made you, redeemed you, and has a purpose and plan for your life.
Hebrews 4:16 (ESV) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.