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Is There Such a Thing as Christian Tarot?

Just when you think you've heard everything, now there's a book coming out, written by a “practicing Catholic,” who claims you can combine the reading of tarot with Scripture in a way that does not violate the teachings of the Church. Is this even possible?

The soon-to-be-published book, entitled The Contemplative Tarot, was written by a stay-at-home-mom named Brittany Muller, 31, who says she’s not using the cards to foretell the future so she believes they can be used in line with Church teaching.

As she told The Washington Post, using the cards “became a nice ritual that replaced what that I got from religion…Then it turned into its own kind of prayer.”

Every morning, she prays, reads the day’s scripture, then pulls a card from her tarot deck. “I would pull cards like temperance, justice, death, judgment, which are very Christian ideas,” she said. “I never would’ve darkened the door of a church, but I was coming into contact with Christian ideas through a medium that isn’t considered Christian. It showed me very gently how much I missed Christianity.”

She returned to Catholicism six months ago and credits tarot for her reversion.

This begs the question - does her experience prove that indulging in an occult art can lead us back to the faith?

Not hardly, but what it does prove is how clever Satan is. Anyone who has read even the most basic book on demonology would know that the devil is more than happy to get someone back into the Church (for how long?) who can convince other Catholics it’s okay to become involved in occultism.

As theologian Casey Chalk argues in Crisis Magazine, some claim that tarot is innocent because it was originally invented in the fifteenth century as a simple parlor game; however the deck Muller uses is associated with Dr. Arthur Waite (1857-1942), an occult scholar, member of the Outer Order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and founder of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross which was a Christian mystical organization that drew heavily upon freemasonry.

That being said, he doesn’t see how Muller’s use of tarot as a Christian prayer aid can be anything other than what it is – a dangerous deception. “The devil, fortune-telling, the occult, freemasonry, what could possibly go wrong? It leads one to wonder: why would a Catholic want to indulge in activities that have such a checkered, explicitly anti-Catholic history?”

One reason could be the prevailing belief that Satan isn’t real, is just a concept, a throwback to some irrelevant era of history, the musings of the uneducated and unsophisticated – all of which are precisely what the devil wants us to think.

“Satan wants us to believe that he’s not actually the one behind every temptation we face, every sin we indulge, every evil we confront,” Chalk writes. “No, no, he’d like us to believe, those all can be explained psychologically, sociologically, perhaps even genetically.”

He goes on to offer the example of Audrey Assad, the Catholic musician who recently left the Church. She also turned to tarot during the pandemic and told the Post: “Some people see tarot as another silly thing we do to make ourselves feel better. My answer to that is: I want to feel better, even if I know it’s a game. I do believe it’s a game, not the devil’s portal into my soul.”

This kind of delusional thinking has become almost standard operating procedure among the “I’m spiritual not religious” crowd who believe any truth they deem untrue is, therefore, untrue just because they say so. Unfortunately for them, it’s not quite that simple. There is such a thing as objective truth, meaning truths that are based in reality, such as how arsenic is deadly. We know from Jesus Himself, as well as testimony from exorcists and deliverance ministers from other faiths that date back to antiquity, that an evil being of great cunning and power exists. Why someone would risk believing they can safely employ a practice specifically linked to this evil being and the occult is beyond explanation except to say it's the very definition of a fool’s folly.

As Chalk states so succinctly. “To flirt with any portal that Satan has used to bring about his demonic purposes is to play with fire.”

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