I had always heard how incredibly evil tarot cards are, that they were the tools of the devil. I never really understood why that was. I guess I just avoided the subject, even though I've written several times on Ouija boards, an object I absolutely refuse to use for a number of reasons.
Recently a client requested an article on tarot cards. I did what I always do when I encounter subjects I don't know horribly well: I lean on my extensive research skills I started to hone in college. What I began to uncover about tarot cards was interesting.
First off, tarot cards are used for divination purposes. I know this isn't a shocking revelation, but there are people who consider divination to be evil, unless it's practiced by authorized religious leaders. I'm not passing judgment on anyone, just stating facts. This is why some people believe tarot cards are inherently evil. Interestingly enough, I also learned that modern playing cards, like the ones you use for a game of poker or solitaire, originated from the tarot deck. Both have four suits and face cards, but the tarot deck has 78 cards, making it significantly larger.
When I was a teenager, I remember we had a group of kids at our house. Someone pulled out playing cards for a game of hearts (or something like that). One of the kids got really uncomfortable and said his dad would not approve of him playing cards. At the time I was confused about why. Since then I've run into other people who had major issues with playing cards. I always assumed it had to do with the ties between playing cards and gambling, but now I think the root of their hatred toward cards had more to do with a belief that cartomancy (divination through cards) is inherently evil.
The art of reading tarot cards, from what I've learned, is much more of an art form than I ever suspected. I always thought the cards had quite static meanings. While there are some who believe this, others believe the meanings of the cards can be highly contextualized or even that they mean different things depending on which part of a spread or layout they are in, as well as what cards are on the table and especially nearby. Even the orientation of a tarot card can affect meaning (such as right-side-up or inverted).
Interestingly enough, I have found my acquisition of knowledge on the cards has been accelerated thanks to my literary training. My Shakespeare courses more than anything armed me with knowledge about many aspects of the cards, such as the wheel of fortune. Still, I find the reading of the cards to be something that can become quite complex in a hurry. I have to admit that my experience is quite limited; it's not like I've gone to a tarot reading or anything like that.
Do any of you have experiences with tarot cards? I'm curious about them just for the pure sake of knowledge.