Tarot is not a tool that is associated frequently with Satanism. So, with a show of hands, how many people expected this from me? “This” being: a post about how you can use a tool usually wrapped in superstition and supernatural magic in your pragmatic atheistic practices which have absolutely no room for superstition and supernatural magic? Higher please, I’d like to count them; one…two…three… Okay, let me back up a little bit then. Tarot feels like something special. In its natural element it’s nothing more than a game of cards. There’s a deck, the deck has pictures on it, and we know how the game works—someone has you do something to the deck and then they spread it out before you in a pattern that makes some sort and rhyme and reason to them. You watch as they flip the cards over one by one and hem and haw about what it means to them. “Ah,” they’re sure to say in a grave tone at one point, “That’s not good.” [...]
“What?” you eagerly wonder, unable to help yourself as your body automatically fidgets closer to the card stock’s glossy sheen. “What does it say?” Your reader’s job is to tell you, the querent, what the symbolism is—and it’s up to you to apply it to whatever dominating scenario you’re engaged with that brought you to the table in the first place. This is much like interpreting art after all, and so of course there’s a degree of story assemblage here. I’ve always had an interest in tarot for this exact reason: I’m a storyteller. I have confidence that I’d make a killer tarot reader because I know how to hook and intrigue people—so imagine what I could do when applying the idea of destiny and fate to their future.
What is Tarot to People?
So how does tarot work? There seem to be a few major schools of thought regarding what it does and how it works. The first end of the spectrum is home to those who believe that tarot is a sacred act involving the use of spirit guides. The cards are cared for and charged by using crystals or moonlight, and a compelled ritualistic ceremony occurs during the reading. (The way the deck is shuffled, the way the cards are laid, the type of layout used, the way the cards are flipped—these are all aspects of the ritual.) The spiritual guides are thought to manipulate the cards so that they appear in the right order, and it is up to the reader to determine what the message is—much like using an Ouiji board, but maybe with a bit more creativity and artistry.
The farther end of the spectrum is where I make my home. I don’t believe in deities, angels, demons, etc; so logically I don’t believe in spiritual guides either. I don’t believe that the cards have any particular order in the deck, and the only ritual that I’d perform to ‘charge them’ would be for the purposes more akin to the types that we see in the psychodramatic rituals of Satanism: to put myself in the right mindset and that’s it.
Using Tarot in Satanic Practice
It begs the question then: if you don’t believe in the mysticism of tarot cards, then what’s the point in using them, and how would you use them in Satanism? I have an easy answer for you: tarot is a tool to offer you insight into a situation. The thing that I believe many people get wrong is whose insight is informing you, the querent, of your fortune. The secret to tarot? The insight is coming from you, not the cardstock, and not the tarot reader. In a sense, the game is to make you predict your own future. You know you best, after all. You know your secret thoughts and feelings, you know your full potential and skills, and you know all of the intricate riddles that you’re trying to figure out. In short: tarot can be used to help yourself gain perspective on a situation where you feel stuck in a box, or it can be used to help others to do the same for themselves. Tarot can tell a tale of what may come to be if certain patterns continue, or it can give a person a chance to change the self-identified outcome in the here and now. Tarot can be used as a tool by Satanist to get outside of their own head and get a new perspective on any situation--even if that perspective is completely unhinged.
It’s something I’ve always wanted to give a shot, so I decided to go ahead and do so! There is no time like the present, especially since there is no afterlife, so while my wife and I were at the store I decided that now was the time to take aim and fire. We brought this home with us today which, muahahaha, means I have a new challenge! I now get to and memorize the rules of the deck (this means this, that means that) and in no time I can start playing with these pretty little things as a way to give myself and my friends a new perspective on things. Maybe I’m having trouble being honest with myself about a situation: the words that come to mind when I read myself can offer me some insight into my subconscious state on the subject. If I do a reading for myself that is completely opposite to how I see things and how I feel about them, it reminds me to take a step back and ensure that my perspective is right and true. In the end, it can help us to understand our subconscious faults or help us recognize potential opportunities that we otherwise may have not considered.
Does anyone you know tarot? My mother-in-law, a Christian of strong faith, uses tarot cards even though she also thinks they’re sort of a form of black magic. She is a highly critical woman who doesn’t need any real sense of ceremony, though doing readings does take a bit of her energy so she doesn’t do them frequently. My wife tells me that her mother is “scary good” at them, and that she recalls many of her readings coming true. I don’t doubt that one bit. We agree that anyone with a keen understanding of how to read another person (remember, I said she was critical) and how to connect symbolism into their lives is bound to be a good reader of the causes that would effect certain outcomes. She also happens to be an author by the way, so you know right there that she’s good with assembling narratives, and she’s good enough with behavioral patterns to produce a book that is appreciated by all that read it.
Even if tarot feels like it’s not for you, don’t be afraid of it. Don’t think that your religion is allowed to hold you back from exploring the world and experimenting with new tools. You define your world, remember. So, give it a shot! Give new things a shot. You never know what you’ll find, and you’ll never know what you discover about yourself along the way!
What's next, boss?
Who is the Witch?
Once I called myself a Christian, then an atheist, and a Satanist. At the end of the day, I'm just a person who is living her truth one day at a time. I'm interested in religion, its effects on the mind, the occult, and more. Learn more about me on the about page.