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    31. THE TAROT:
    Pathway to Demonization

    The Tarot-Pack

    The Tarot-pack is the modern name for an extended pack of playing cards, usually consisting of 78 cards, 56 of which are divided into four suits, like ordinary playing cards. The remaining 22 are special cards with individual names and pictures, such as The Fool, Justice, The Hermit, The Wheel of Fortune, and so forth. Each of these remaining cards is allocated a particular number. For instance, The Empress is III, The Emperor is IV, Strength is VIII, and so on. Unlike standard playing cards, Tarot picture cards have a top and a bottom, which means that each card can be held "right-way up" and "upside-down".

    The Tarot-Pack and Modern Playing-Cards

    The prevalent notion that modern playing-cards are descended directly from an original Tarot-pack is a total fallacy. In fact, the modern playing-card is a different descendant of the standard card-packs first introduced into Italy around 1370-75. The Tarot-pack, on the other hand, was a later expanded adaptation of those early Italian packs, designed to enable the playing of a more complex game.

    Playing-cards, as we know them today, seem to have originated in China (AD 800s). From there they were apparently taken up by the Islamic world, which at that time extended into parts of China. Having reached Iran, they spread into India and also into pre-Ottoman Turkey and Egypt. From Egypt they were imported into Italy, via Venice (1370-75), and from there into other parts of central Europe. These early Italian cards all had Swords, Batons, Cups and Coins as their suit-symbols. Playing-cards first appeared in England in the 1400s [1].

    The modern 52-card pack, with the suit-symbols Spades, Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds and two Jokers, is a different descendant of the shorter original type of playing-card introduced from Egypt. It was in France at a much later date that the symbols were changed to Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades to facilotate mass-production.

    Present evidence indicates that Tarot-cards were invented in Italy in the period 1430-1440 and were used for the card-game called Trionfi [2], which was only later called Tarocco, Tarok, or Tarot. The cards themselves were originally named after this game and were therefore also known as Trionfi (Triumphs). Only about 60 years later (1500-1516) were they called Tarocchi, wach individual card being known as a Tarocco [3]. The word Tarot is a later French adaptation of the original Italian game.

    There is no evidence at all that anything resembling Tarot-cards existed anywhere in the world before 1440 when they first appeared in Ferrara, northern Italy [4]. Rather it looks very much as if, within 100 years, the Italian nobles of Ferrara and Milan (and later elsewhere) had become bored with ordinary playing-cards. A new, more elborate type of trick-taking game was therefore developed requiring an extended pack. As is standard with games originating in Italy or Spain, the game of Trionfi or Tarok is usually played counter-clockwise and enthusiasts claim that it is superior to Bridge.

    It has from time to time been suggested that Tarot-cards were brought into Europe, or at least dispersed throughout Europe, by Gypsies. But although this romantic notion is popular with many writers on the Tarot, the evidence presented does not stand up to detailed examination [5].

    The Tarot and Fortune-Telling

    Had Tarot-cards continued to be used exclusively for card-games, there would have been no ground for controversy. But unfortunately Tarot has now been popularized in Europe and the USA, especially during the last 35 years, not as a game but solely as a vehicle for divination or "fortune-telling".

    Any numbered card-pack can be used for divination as long as each card has been a allocated a supposed significance or meaning. For example, the Ace of Cups is usually associated with home and family life: positively, it is thought to represent love, joy, abundance and contentment; negatively, problems in the home. Similarly, the "wish-card", the Nine of Cups, supposedly signifies that your dreams will come true and you will experience success and harmony.

    A person may visit a "card-reader" or "tarotist" for several reasons: perhaps in the hope of gaining special information; possibly to find out what decision to make in difficult situations; or to even gain knowledge about himself. Once he is seated comfortably opposite the reader, the client will be asked to shuffle the pack. During this first shuffle and the reader's own suffle or riffle, the client will be encouraged to speak freely to, and even confide in, the person opposite him. The actual reading may be obtained in a number of different ways; usually it involves a limited number of the cards being laid out in a predetermined pattern, orspread. The pattern both provides a suitable juxtapositioning of the cards and helps the "fortune-teller" to remember the order in which the cards were laid. The pronouncements and predictions begin gradually as soon as the cards begin to fall and the random sequence starts emerging. But how much of what is said is dependent on the actual cards?

    The Card-Readers' Techniques

    Whilst the cards do function as a jumping-off point for the imagination of the reader, generally the reading given will owe little to the actual card-sequence produced. Rather, if the reader is accomplished in his "art", he will have an armory of skills at his disposal. He will be a master at creating the kind of atmosphere that will encourage his client to become expansive, whilst at the same time his acutely developed powers of observation will be used to good effect. For example, he may notice that his client is wearing an unworn wedding-ring and seems excited about the future. In this case, some prediction concerning the future of the newly-weds would be appropriate and immediately gain the cooperation of the client. The person nervously fingering her hair or garments will be drawn out as to what troubles her most, without the reader's revealing his prior deductions. The resulting pronouncement made in oracular tone will give the impression of being "divined" by "supernatural" means. An observant fortune-teller with an inquiring, active mind will be able to impress a gullible client with his "clairvoyance" merely by using the methods proved bySherlock Holmes to be so effective in tracking down criminals [6]. These techniques are known to stage-magicians as cold-reading techniques [7].

    The fortune-teller will also be an accomplished story-teller, enjoying using intuitive and other skills to make an interesting tale from the "bare bones" provided by the sequence of meanings on the table before him. Many are also clever and imaginative liars, convincing their clients that they "see" what they have merely invented [8]. A combination of observation, lying, and storytelling, can certainly produce a very credible reading without any "supernatural power" whatever.

    However, despite all this, it should not be overlooked that many fortune-tellers receive intuitions not only from their own observation or imagination, but also from "spiritual agencies" [9]. Such "insights" occur especially to spiritually-contaminated individuals, usually termed "mediumistic" or "psychic". Some people become fortune-tellers in the belief that they possess "special gifts", but not realizing that they are in the hands of a spiritual power not under their own control. The "insights" supplied from such a source may be factually correct, totally false, or indeed any combination of the two! And some "insights" from this source may occur apparently spontaneously in the course of a reading, even though the individual reader may never have experienced such an occurrence before.

    Does Card-Reading Work?

    People often ask whether card-reading or fortune-telling "works". Are they asking whether the carefully laid-down scheme of card interpretations really does give accurate "supernatural" predictions by itself, irrespective of whoever happens to operate it? Alternative, are they asking whether the reading works on the level of giving the client a credible reading about himself? Or does the question seek to establish whether the card-reading can give accurate information over and above that which is available through the normal use of our minds?

    In order to answer the first question, it is necessary to examine in detail the various schemes of interpretation used by card-diviners. If the card-meanings carefully worked out by those who designed the Tarot-divinatory systems really are as important as we should expect them to be, it must be essential for the diviner to be guided only by these alleged meanings. The insight into the future given by the falling of these cards into a particular sequence would be the decisive factor in achieving genuine and accurate knowledge of the future. Agreement across various card-divination systems as to the precise meaning of the individual cards would therefore be expected. However, our expectation is not fulfilled. For instance, the Eight of Cups in one system signifies "discontinuance of effort or decline", whereas the equivalent card in another system signifies "a happy occasion, a party or gay company". To give one other example out of many, the Six of Coins in one system is said to mean "generosity" or "kindness", whereas the equivalent card in another system is said to indicate that "an early marriage may be a failure". This is only one of several factors demonstrating that fixed card-meanings are by no means essential for card-divination to achieve its purpose [10]. In a recent interview, an experienced tarotist remarked that he was perplexed as to why contradictory systems should seem to work equally well [11], a feature common to many forms of divination [12].

    It can be seen from this that adherence to immutable meanings for individual cards is by no means a vital factor in obtaining accurate readings in card-divination. All that is required is that the pack be given any range of meanings broad enough to spark off the imagination of the diviner. It is not necessary for individual cards to have fixed meanings at all. Furthermore, there seems to be little effort on the part of the promoters of Tarot-divination to conceal the evident flexibility of card-meanings. For example, one set of instructions accompanying a well known Tarot-pack gives the following instructions concerning cards cards which happen to fall facing the client and upside-down to the reader:

      Generally, if more than half the cards are reversed, the Diviner may find a more consistent reading is obtained by returning the reversed cards to their upright position" [13]

    Divination by playing-cards, whether it be predicting the future, or assessing the relevant factors in a particular person's life or personality, is known as one of the least precise forms of divination, giving maximum freedom of interpretation to the reader. The answer to the first question is therefore that the systems of card-divination, taken by themselves, do not produce any results beyond what could be obtained by pure guesswork.

    Does divination "work" on the level of producing a credible story? Observation and intuition based on experience, combined with story-telling, clever guesswork and lying, is a very successful combination indeed for producing a satisfying and even penetrating reading by a fortune-teller. By these means, the diviner may well be able to achieve an accuracy which is above chance-expectation. But, of course. no-one could seriously consider this to be foretelling the future in any "supernatural" sense!

    Finally, can tarot-reading reveal that which could never be known by the normal use of our minds? It is certainly true that some predictions do have a remarkable accuracy not explicable by merely human factors and in spite of the contradictions inherent in the various systems of divination. One experienced Tarot-reader told me that he had sought to give readings to someone who was fiercely antagonistic to Tarot-divination. Three times he tried to give a reading, but each time the Card of Negation came up very early on. In his system that meant that he should not proceed any further with that particular sequence. He told me that the Card of Negation had never come up in the course of any previous reading which he had undertaken [11].

    Extraordinary accuracy completely unaccountable by human skill or guesswork does sometimes occur in the course of divination. It is not, however, the direct result of any particular system of divination; rather it arises from some outside factor not intrinsic to the divinatory systems themselves.

    The Essence of Divination

    All systems of fortune-telling, whatever method is used, are kinds of divination. Divination is the attempt by human beings to gain special knowledge on their own terms and includes attempting to predict the future, as well as informing someone of their personality-type, their personal qualities, and what action they should take in the light of these "revelations". Of course, there is nothing wrong with informing someone of the results of pure observation or inquiry. However, some claim to be proficient in special techniques which yield information not available by mere observation and inquiry. The practice of such techniques is called divination.

    Knowledge not discernable by natural observation is legitimately obtained, but only from our Creator God, Yahweh-Elohim. Much knowledge of this kind has been revealed for all to read in God's definitive communication to mankind, the Bible. However, rather than apply to God for special knowledge concerning themselves and the universe, rebellious mankind is determined either to rely entirely upon the unaided human mind, or else to resort to divination. Various systems of divination have been invented: the main divinatory systems have been devised and revealed to man by spiritual beings in rebellion against their Creator. The Bible refers to such beings as "demons", "demonic spirits", "unclean spirits" or "angels of the devil". Systems of divination cannot work in themselves; rather they are operated by the demonic spirits which have inspired the systems in order to lead mankind astray. Therefore, to resort to divination in order to discover unknown things is actually a resort to the very spirits which operate the system.

    God refers to divination as a sin equivalent to rebellion against Himself [14]. As divination involves resorting to demons rather than to our Creator, it is easy to see why God condemns it as rebellion. Because systems of divination are controlled by beings which are antagonistic to God, those who join in rebellion with these beings will also join them in being sentenced by God when he judges both men and angels: "Then He will say to those on the left, 'Go from me, the Cursed, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels'" [15].

    Divination and Lies

    It is not surprising that many diviners resort to lying in the course of presenting readings to their clients: the very systems of divination which they use are operated by demons under the dominion of "the Father of lies" himself, the devil [16]. Indeed, these spirits give only just enough "truth" to deceive people into the gullible and willing belief in all their "revelations". Their deception then serves to increase the devil's ability to perpetrate his evil designs and greatly increase his power over their own persons. Worse still, by practicing divination the individual has allowed God-given defences in his personality to be breached. Once this is done the devil and his demons are able to exert a far greater control than was ever previously possible. The bid to be free of God's rightful control has, in this way, resulted only in enslavement to the ultimately malevolent one, the devil. Here are two serious and interrelated dangers: the danger of being duped by lies, and the danger of being duped by the devil.

    Divination and the Risk of Demonization

    There is no safe or "fun" form of fortune-telling. To go to the diviner for advice is to rebel against God. For this reason, even if a "fortune-teller" is relying entirely upon "cold-reading" techniques without any conscious occult involvement, it is still possible for the client to suffer from demonic contamination [17]. Neither does ignorance of the true nature of divination provide any safeguard. All systems of sorcery, of which divination is a type, tend to lead to the passive states of mind which so effectively facilitate being increasingly taken over and manipulated by the devil and his demonic minions [18].

    Manipulation by Demons

    Demonic spirits have far greater intelligence and experience than our own and so are able to anticipate more accurately than ourselves the course of events in the world. But more than this, they are looking for opportunities to interfere with the affairs of men. For example, if a Tarot-reader predicts that his client's marriage will break up, demonic spirits may then seek to bring about a fulfilment of the prediction by manipulation of circumstances to this end [19]. If they are successful in breaking up the marriage, they will have greatly increased their hold on yet another unhappy human being. Therefore, if an individual resorts to divination, he is not only submitting himself to advice which should never have been given in the first place, but he is in effect expressing a willingness to place his life under the control of demonic agencies, enabling them to manipulate his circumstances so as to fulfil specific divinatory "predictions". In such circumstances, it may well appear to the naïve human that the diviner has been given "supernatural" knowledge of the future, whereas what is really happening is that the demonic spirits are manoeuvring the individual's circumstances to "make the prediction come true". Instead of humbly placing his life at the disposal of the living God, his Creator, the victim has placed his life in the hands of demonic spirits to further their own ends.

    The Devil and His Demons: Limited and Helpless Before Almighty God

    Despite all the intelligence, experience and opportunitism of the devil and his demons, their intentions can at any time be thwarted by God Who is Lord of all. It is impossible for them to achieve a single thing unless permitted directly by Him. True Christians can therefore pray against the fulfilment and accuracy of any and all demonic predictions. When God answers such prayers, there is nothing in heaven and earth that can bring out the predictions. Those reconciled to this almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ (Yah'shua haMashiach) need have no fear from such comparatively limited beings. If only they will stick close to their God, they will be safe.

    Tarot-Cards Worse Than Ordinary Cards

    As all cards can be used for divination, it would seem on first consideration that Tarot-Cards are no worse than any other playing-cards. And it is indeed true that a pack of origonal Tarot-cards (dated about 1400) would be no more sinister than any other pack of playing-cards.

    However, from 1781, when Tarot-cards were first used for occult purposes [20], occult practitioners have been constantly redesigning Tarot-cards to suit their ends better [21]. This means that many card-packs known in the West as "Tarot" are really nothing more than sets of cards designed by particular individuals to support their personal systems of divination or other occult activities. Many such packs omit completely the ordinary suit-cards and consist of only 21 cards, which they call "Major Arcana", and the 0 Card, or "Card of Negation", making 22 cards in all [22].

    Such card-packs, which are designed specifically to support occult techniques, are dangerous and intrinsically harmful. It would be a very unusual person who could use such packs for any purpose without being tempted to explore the system so clearly supported by both the titles of the cards and the picture-symbolism, and which is so clearly promoted in the accompanying literature. Furthermore, possession of any occult apparatus renders us liable to God's grave displeasure.

    There are Tarot-packs available today which are complete, but they too are designed expressly to support occult techniques [23]. In such packs, all 78 cards are present, but the symbolism of the cards [24] and the names of individual cards and suits [25] have been modified to create an atmosphere conducive to occult use. These packs are usually sold in conjunction with handbooks explaining and stressing the various possible occult uses; the game of Tarot itself is not even mentioned [26]. One form multiplies confusion by reprinting early Tarot-card designs (themselves of some considerable historical interest) and them superimposing on them the names invented by later occultists, so making it appear that the early packs were likewise intended for divination [27]. Yet other Tarot-packs are designed to be used additionally for a form of spiritism in which the user of the cards seeks to undergo so-called "spiritual development" by communicating with invisible spiritual entities. Despite claims to the contrary, this practice is equally dangerous: God has strictly forbidden any communication with spiritual entities other than Himself [28].

    Bookshops carrying Tarot-packs of this kind are, therefore, actually selling a product designed to entice the public, particularly vunerable young people, to experiment with that which is a blatant form of evil [29]. Often these cards are so freely available in bookshops only because of the lack of knowledge on the part of the bookshop managers. A calm and informed discussion with a bookshop manager on the dangers of the occult is often helpful is manking such managers aware of the serious dangers inherent in the use of this type of Tarot-pack.

    The Tarot-Pack: A Modern Tool of the Occult

    • The Tarot-pack is an augmented playing-card pack originally designed for a special type of card-game.
    • Through the work of Antione Court (de Gébelin) in 1781, Tarot-cards have become associated with occultism (or sorcery), especially with "fortune-telling" and spiritism.
    • "Predictions" obtained through fortune-telling are generally unreliable, but may, through the complicity of demonic spirits, occasionally startle in their apparent insight or accuracy.
    • All forms of sorcery, including divination and spiritism, are forbidden by God.
    • All those who engage in sorcery place themselves under the judgment of God and run the risk of invasion by demonic spirits.
    • Today's Tarot-packs, which are radically different from their 15th century ancestors, are nothing less than a modern tool of sorcery.

    "And when they say to you, 'Consult the spirits and the mediums, who chirp and mutter', shall not a people consult their God?" (Isaiah 8:19).


  • [1] The Game of Tarot from Ferrara to Salt Lake City: Michael Dummett with the assistance of Sylvia Mann (Duckworth, 1980), pp.3-64. A similar outline will be found in: (i) Collecting Playing Cards: Miss Sylvia Mann (Arco, 1966); (ii) A History of Playing Cards: Roger Tilley (Studio Vista, 1973)
  • [2] The Game of Tarot: Michael Dummett (op.cit.), pp.164-191
  • [3] Ibid., pp.80-81
  • [4] Ibid., pp.67-68. It is commonly maintained that Tarot-cards first appeared in Europe during the period 1350-1400. This is based on the unfounded assumption that the 17 Tarot-cards in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris were originally painted for King Charles VI of France by Jacquemin Gringonneur. It is true that in 1392 Charles VI paid Grigonneur for 3 cardpacks which had been painted especially for himself, but there is no basis whatever for suggesting that these correspond to any of the 17 cards in the Bibliothèque Nationale. At least 4 reputable card-historians have been convinced that these 17 cards were actually of Italian workmanship. One of these, W.L.Schreiber, assigned them to Ferrara in the period 1450-1475 (ibid., pp.65-66). Dummett thinks that they date from about 1470 (ibid., p.69). There is little doubt that they were produced for the Ferarra court and not for anyone in France (ibid., p.80).

    Researchers have often been confused by the fact that all Italian playing-cards of this early period had as their suit-symbols, Swords, Batons, Cups and Coins. The modern Tarot-pack generally retains these suit-symbols, or adaptations of them, whereas other modern playing-card packs in the USA and UK have adopted the later French symbols. The continued use by Tarot-cards of the early Italian suit-symbols has deceived some researchers into thinking that these particular symbols were peculiar to Tarot-cards and, therefore, that all early cards with such symbols must necessarily be Tarot-cards.

  • [5] (a) The Game of Tarot: Michael Dummett (op.cit.), pp.136-147; (b) The Gypsies and the Tarot: Michael Dummett with the assistance of Sylvia Mann, in Traveller Education: The Journey of Gypsy Education Today, No.17 (6/1982), Incorporating the Newsletter of the National Gypsy Education Council, No.20, pp.23-33. This is a reporduction of the appropriate section in Dummett's book, with an introduction by Dr. Thomas A. Acton (ibid., p.23); (c) Mille ans d'Historie des Tsiganes: François de Vaux de Foletier (Éditions Arthème Fayard, Paris, 1970), pp.24, 148-149; (d) Les Bohémiens en France au 19e siècle: François de Vaux de Foletier (Éditions J.P.Lattès, Paris, 1981), p.37. There is no concrete evidence of a widespread use of Tarot by Gypsies anywhere before 1945.
  • [6] A Time from the World: Rowena Farre (= Daphne Lois Macready; Hutchinson, 1962), p.57
  • [7] "Cold reading" is a trade term to describe a personalized reading of character analysis, given someone who has approached the reader "cold". In such a case, the reader has no advanced information about his client. Such readings are said to be tailored to the individual by insight and observation, as well as by a keen awareness of applied "psychology". (a) The Cold Reading - What's It All About : Bascom Jones, in Tips and Techniques Bonus Insert, to Magick magazine /11/6/76), pp.775-6; (b) The Art of Cold Reading: Robert A. Nelson, Ps.D (revised edition, Micky Hades Enterprises, 1971); (c) Question and Answer (Readings): Tony Corinda, Step 11 in Corinda's series, "Thirteen Steps to Mentalism" (Louis Tannen, 1968), pp.356-360
  • [8] The Gypsies: Jan Yoors (George Allen & Unwin, 1967), pp.56-57. I was told by a lady from an old Romani family which travels in Ireland, making almost all its living by fortune-telling (duckering, or duriking), that most Gypsy card-readings are done by darwing out the client in dialogue and inducing him to reveal as much about himself as possible. This is then used to decive him into thinking that the Gypsy has special knowledge concerning their client's life (Personal conversation with N JnS, Saturday 28/8/82). This technique is often supplemented by clever guesswork, or even open lying. The above account tallies with the words of another Romani lady who confessed to me on an earlier occasion concerning dukering: "It's all lies; it's all lies. We Gypsies is clever people" (Personal conversation with K WnS, Saturday 31/7/82).
  • A Time from the World: Rowena Farre (op.cit.), p.57. It is now unusual for British Romaniz to experience "revelations" from alient spiritual forces in the course of their "fortune-telling". This sued to be more common, however, as can be seen from the following: (a) Esther Young: An English Gypsy Witch: Capt. Frederick I. Cowles, in The Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society, Series 3, Vol.23, Parts 1 and 2 (1-4/1944), pp.34-28; (b) Gypsy Caravan: Capt. Frederick U. Cowles (Robert Hale, 1948), pp.108-129; these pages repeat material from the preceeding reference; (c) Gypsies in Britain Today: Brian Seymour Vessey-FitzGerald (Chapman & Hall, 1944; David & Charles, 1977), pp.126-8. In the words of Darklis Lee: "I only tells them a lot of hokibens ( = lies). Now my sister can dukker proper" (p.126).
  • [10] Two additional factors are discussed at some length in the leaflet: Discrepancies Between Systems of Card-Divination: Mike R. Taylor (Signpost Leaflets SLT-8, 27/4/1983; available from Diasozo Trust)
  • [11] Personal interview with BT (Saturday, 27/11/82). This is also admitted by tarotist Jan Woudhuysen in his book, Tarotmania (Wildwood House, 1979), pp.32-33
  • [12] A Christian Looks at Astrology: Dr. Anthony P. Stone (Jyoti Pocket Books, GLS, Bombay, India, 7/1974), pp.16-22,34-35
  • [13] Tarot Classic: Instructions: Stuart R. Kaplan (US Games Systems, New York, USA, 1971), p.9
  • [14] 1 Samuel 15:23
  • [15] Matthew 25:41
  • [16] John 8:44
  • [17] This danger was pointed out to me by Steven Davis, researcher of parapsychical phenomena and exposer of fraudulent phenomena, in the course of a personal interview (Tuesday, 2/2/83)
  • [18] A Time From the World: Rowena Farre (op.cit.), p.57
  • [19] Occult ABC: Dr. Kurt E. Koch (Literature Mission Aglasterhausen Inc., Germany, 1980), p.71
  • [20] The first person to associate Tarot-cards with occultism was Antoine Court (de Gébelin) (1719-1784), who became active in Masonic circles after moving to Paris. In the 1770s he became a member of the Lodge of the Neuf Soeures. He also became a leading member of the Order of the Philalèthes (in the period 1775-1780), an offshoot of the Illuminist Order of Elect Cohens. At the close of his life he became a fervent supporter of Mesmer's theory "animal magnetism" and indeed died whilst undergoing mermeric treatment. "Animal magnetism" involves the concept of an invisible and impalpable fluid permeating the whole creation. A colleague claimed to have rediscovered the ancient Egyptian principles of divination with cards. It appears that card-divination was entirely unknown in Europe before this time.
  • [21] The Game of Tarot: Michael Dummett (op.cit.), pp.104-136, 147-163
  • [22] A recent example is The Tarot of Frown Strong, a set of 22 cards devised by Raymond Armin ("Leo"), said to be the product of many years of research and first published in 1978. Although most of the cards retain the authentic Tarot Triumph-card names, many of the symbols and colours are changed almost out of recognition from the original Tarot-packs of the 1400-1600 pereiod. One of the most extreme alterations is the Star card (number 17)
  • [23] An example of this is the "rectified" Tarot-pack issued by the occult scholar Arthuir Edward Waite (1875-1942). This pack was published by W. Rider & Son Ltd. in 1910 and is now generally known as the Rider Pack or Rider-Waite Tarot-pack and designed to his instructions by Pamela Colman Smith
  • [24] For instance, the Rider Pack has a five-pointed star instead of Coins as one of the suit-symbols. These are strangely named "Pentacles". Many of the Waite's "Major Arcana" (Triumph-cards) import occultic features into their design. The original Wheel of Fortune card depicted four men, one at the lowest point of his fortunes, another ascending, another at his peack, and another descending, as the Wheel revolves. In the equivalent card of the Rider Pack, there is a sphinx percehed at the top of a wheel not obviously in motion, with the serpent Typhon on the left and the dog Anubis on the right. The wheel itself is inscribed with the cryptogram ROTA (derived from an earlier French occultistm "Éliphas Lévi") and with the Divine Name. At the four corners of the card are symbols for the Four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
  • [25] The Bagatto, or Bateleur, or Juggler, becomes "The Magician"; the Popess becomes the "High Priestess"; the Pope becomes "The Chief Hierophant", "The High Priest", or "The Hierophant"; Batons becom "Wands", and Coins become "Pentacles"; Tarot-cards ijn general become "Arcana", the 22 Tarot-cards become "major Arcana", and the 56 suit-cards become "Minor Arcana". The earliest of these name-changes was made in 1781 by Antoine Court and his colleague. For more historical details concerning the origin of the name-changes, see leaflet: Name-Changes on the Tarot-Pack: An Historical Summary: Mike R. Taylor (Signpost Leaflets SLT-9, 27/4/1983; available from Diasozo Trust)
  • [26] For example: (a) The Tarot of Frown Strong is sold with an accompanying booklet, with the words "Fragments of a Great Teaching Series" on the cover; (b) The Rider Pack was originally sold in conjunction with a book, The Key to the Tarot: being Fragments of a Secret Tradition under the Veil of Divination (1910); (c) The Tarot Classic Deck, produced by US Games Systems of New York is accompanied by a booklet called, Tarot Classic: Instructions. But although the pack is a facsimile of a Tarot de Marseille design made about 1755 by Claude Burdel of Fribourg, Swtitzerland, the booklet makes no mention of the Game of Tarot, but rather stresses the potential of the pack for use in fortune-telling
  • [27] See Footnote 26.c above
  • [28] Leviticus 19:31; 20:6,27. See also 1 Samuel 28:1; 1 Chronicles 10:13-14; Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Isaiah 8:19-20; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24
  • [29] Tarotmania: Jan Woudhuysen (op.cit.), p.31

    Copies of this booklet may be ordered and purchased from:

    Diasozo Trust
    68 Elm Road
    Slade Green
    Kent DA8 2NW
    United Kingdom

    Other Diasozo Trust pamphlets:

    • The Occult: Good or Bad, God or Satan
    • What Christians Should Know about Yoga
    • Surely There's No Harm in Yoga, or is There?
    • 7 Reasons Why Freemasonry is Not of God
    • The Moonies or Unification Church - a Christian Warning
    • Transcendental Meditation is Dangerous
    • Martial Arts - Are They Harmless?
    • Should a Christian be a Mason? (E.M.Storms)
    • War on the Saints (unabridged version) (Jessie Penn Lewis)
    • Pigs in the Parlour (Frank Hammond)
    • Eight keys to Physical and Spiritual Health (Frank Marzullo)
    • Ministering to Abortions's Aftermath (Bill & Sue Banks)

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    Last updated on 2 February 2000

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