Someone recently wrote to us asking if it’s okay to use a regular deck of cards to tell futures. This person has friends who are described as being “very devoted Catholics” who attend Mass and pray the rosary every day. They have strong faith, but love to read cards and are surprisingly accurate. Is this wrong?
Yes. Divination – which is an attempt to foretell the future – is always divination no matter what methods are used.
This practice is expressly forbidden in Scripture in numerous places such as in Leviticus 19:31 where we are warned: “Do not go to mediums or consult fortune-tellers, for you will be defiled by them” (Leviticus 19:31).
Just one chapter later, Leviticus also carries a warning from God that “Should anyone turn to mediums and fortune-tellers and follow their wanton ways, I will turn against such a one and cut him off from his people” (20:6).
This is why the practice of divination is forbidden by the Church.
“All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone” (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 2116)
Most people associate divination with tarot cards, palm readers or psychics, but there are a myriad of other methods used such as reading tea leaves, needles, rods, sticks, wands, pebbles, etc.
In fact, this link will give you the longest list you’ve ever seen of all the methods used to divine the future.
All are to be avoided.