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Black Magic

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 21 Oct 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.

mirja crimson  21 Oct 2002 
My family thinks that Tarot calls demons into play and that it is black magic. They basically say that I can "play" with the cards as long as I don't "use" the cards; aka you can have them, but don't actually get into them. But I absolutely love Tarot! I find it hard to keep my enthusaism down to a minimum when it comes to the cards. My family is all Catholic, which makes it harder. I'm only 17, so I do have their rules to abide by. They're not exactly stopping me, but they certainly aren't being warm about it and they're making me feel guilty about liking Tarot. What can I say to make them understand? How can I show that that Tarot is not witchcraft or demon raising or any of that? Will they ever be able to see the beauty of Tarot??
P.S. I noticed Sinta's thread about this problem too, only her's was more extreme, and I feel your pain Sinta! 

Keslynn  21 Oct 2002 
Well, you could follow the advice someone gave to Sinta and point out all the Christian (particularly Catholic) symbolism in the majors. The deck came into being in Renaissance Italy, and you can't get much more Catholic than that. ;) Also, you might want to consider reading up on your tarot history so you can explain how tarot could exist in a "Christian" society. If you would like, I could give you plenty of references about popular Catholic magic in the Renaissance. I also am studying Renaissance demonology, and nowhere does tarot enter into it. I'm working on my PhD with this stuff. *lol* Feel free to tell me that I'm a history dork and no one else cares. ;) But putting tarot in context might help your parents realize that it's not "a tool of the devil."

I'm curious as to what your parents mean by "playing with" versus "using" the cards. Does this mean that you can look at them, shuffle them, maybe even play a card game? But what constitutes use - laying them out in a spread, etc? You could potentially shrug off your use of tarot as just playing around.

Hope that helps some. I just don't tell my parents about tarot, but I have the luxury of having my own place.

:) Kes 

mirja crimson  21 Oct 2002 
Originally posted by Keslynn
I'm curious as to what your parents mean by "playing with" versus "using" the cards. Does this mean that you can look at them, shuffle them, maybe even play a card game? But what constitutes use - laying them out in a spread, etc? You could potentially shrug off your use of tarot as just playing around. :) Kes

First of all, you are very lucky to have your own place!! Secondly, although my family is Catholic, they aren't actually strict Catholics- only when it's "convient" for them to be so. They are so closed-minded it drives me crazy, and that's what I'm really wondering about. How do I make them open their minds to something like Tarot? They want me to keep Tarot like some collectible. I don't talk about them, I don't use them, I just look at them sometimes and that's as far as they want it to go. Unfortunately, (and I'm sure at the cost of many fights) that's not going to happen. I just wish I could open their minds. 

Kiama  21 Oct 2002 
Hi Mirja!

I am 18, but have been using Tarot since the age of 9, and had to live with my parents until I moved to Uni a month ago... They weren't too happy about itat first, because of all th erubbih they had been told by the media and those who know very little about Tarot. But when they aw that it had no adverse affects on me, and that it was something I really enjoyed and got alot of pleasure out of, they became a little more lenient.

Given your parents' religion, I think it is wonderful that they are quite lenient towards it aswell. I have heard of quite a few Catholics grabbing the cards and burning them!

Maybe after time, when they see that nothing bad comes from Tarot, they will become more relaxed about it all... I know it's not a quick fix solution, but it worked for me... Maybe a nice family chat would also work. Explain that the cards are just 78 pretty cardboard pictures, and that they haven't got any power inside them to bring demons or what-have-you. Also you could talk to them about the wonderful uses for Tarot: Mental and spiritual guidance, healing, counselling, etc... Ask whether they think it impossible that God is communicating His message to you through the cards. After all, could Tarot not be yet another medium through which you become closer to God? Let your parents know that the Tarot-readers we see on the street charging extortionate amounts and giving us all a bad name are not representative of the Tarot community at all.

Wishing you the best of luck. But remember: They are your parents, and will, when it come down to it, always love you no matter what. They love you for WHO you are, not WHAT you do. To them, you will always be that little girl who ran out into the gardden on a sunny day, coming back with a handfulof squished daisies and presenting them proudly to them... They want to protect you and make sure you're not gonna get hurt. If you let them know that what you are doing isn't dangerous, then they might be a little more lenient.


Mystica  21 Oct 2002 
Very nicely said, Kiama!

Unfortunately, many people still have to deal with family disapproval no matter what their age. Yes, it's much worse if you're still living with your parents. But at any age, it's still nice if family and friends can accept our interest and use of Tarot cards.
Often times they don't support us, and I guess it's always going to be a problem....I have been very surprised at people's reactions.

We have to do the best we can to make them see that our practices are not evil. All the negative talk about the Tarot is increasing because of that monster sniper that continues to terrorize the North East. I still refuse to hide my cards from others. I'm just trying to show people that it's not a terrible thing, it's ignorance that fuels their fear. 

ChrisTheObscure  21 Oct 2002 
Ouch. I can sympathise with your situation. I don't even live at home anymore, yet when my mom came to visit my grandmother (who actually thinks it's great that I'm into Tarot - I'm staying at her house until my apt's ready), she tried to grab the decks I had out in the open to "get rid of them."

I think the other advice given to you is sound - study up on your tarot history, try to explain the Christian influences in the Tarot, and if they still don't listen, well, just bide your time until you're 18 :)

I would suggest not reading at home - when I was staying at home, I was very discreet and yet my mom picked up on it; I dunno. If you have a car, maybe do some readings outside - especially now that the temps are getting a bit cooler down there. :) I used to live in Phoenix and I'd recommend Thunderbird Park in Glendale, North Mountain Park, or the Papago Park as some really spiritual places to practise your readings.

Best of luck to you :)


HudsonGray  21 Oct 2002 
The unknown is often reacted to with fear. Since they don't KNOW how the tarot works, of course they're going to think the worst of it.

I wonder if getting one of those angel tarot decks would help? Bring it to them & give them a crash course on how the decks work, what the cards stand for, what the positions of the cards stand for, and see if they have any questions.

You can't say a tarot deck is the work of the devil when the cards all show angels on them! 

ChrisTheObscure  21 Oct 2002 
Another deck that might help them is the Tarot of the Saints; each card is based on a different Christian saint.

I can't remember the name of it but there's an esoteric bookshop in Old Scottsdale that'd probably have it; they've got everything (or did when I was last there, in March).


ihcoyc  21 Oct 2002 
Originally posted by mirja crimson
My family thinks that Tarot calls demons into play
It is possible to keep these demons in check. But first, you are going to have to summon 78 smurfs. . .

Besides the traditional decks, another deck I've seen and would possibly recommend to Catholics sceptical of what goes on in some decks is the Tarot of Giotto. It's based on the works of the early Renaissance artist, and as such has a very traditional look and feel. 

DarkElectric  21 Oct 2002 
Hi Mirja :)
Another suggestion I have for a deck is the Connolly. It is a Christian based deck, with Materialism substituted for the Devil card, and Transformation for Death. Some people aren't keen on this deck, it does use a lot of Angels, and pink, but I like it a lot. It was the first deck I ever got. It may be something you family finds less of an affront.

I used to be Catholic, I know how it is.
In fact, a lot of pagans I know are "unCatholic". I'm not the only one! 

mirja crimson  21 Oct 2002 
Originally posted by DarkElectric
In fact, a lot of pagans I know are "unCatholic". I'm not the only one!

What do you mean by unCatholic? If they're pagan doesn't that mean they're obviously not Catholic? 

DarkElectric  21 Oct 2002 
Believe it or not, no!
I know a lot of people who call themselves Christian Pagans, and that's what they are! Paganism isn't really mutually exclusive of christianity, or any other faith. It is my particular faith, but, I will call upon Mary, for example, as an aspect of the Goddess, I feel that she is. Some pagan folks break with Christianity all together, but I see it as a valid, life affirming path, and respect it as such. It just isn't my path! 

meatbox666  23 Oct 2002 
Do not mention the tarot to your parents or anyone else. If anyone asks if you are delving into the occult arts tell them that you have been extremely busy with school, work, or some project in the community and have not thought about it in a long while.
Try not to think about yourself all the time and consider other people feelings and opinions. The tarot is not that important if it tears your family apart. In 10 or 30 years from now, you'll probably will not own a tarot deck. Tarot is a passing thing. Usually people are interested during high school and especially college. After that the urge to use them goes away. So around age 39-47 you'll think about other things. Perhaps 33. 

HudsonGray  23 Oct 2002 
Tarot is a passing thing?????????


Maybe for some, but not for others, it's a lifelong interest.

If the person wants to explore it, let them explore it. Maybe it didn't work for you, meatbox, but I wouldn't generally assume that others will be considering tarot a fad, no matter what age they start with.

I can see not antagonizing the family, but there are ways around it, many of which are offered her or on one of the other discussion lists. I was raised Catholic too, and didn't get a deck till I left home (to know it wouldn't be destroyed), and I'm over 40 now, so the 'fad' part didn't work for me OR for 5 or 6 other friends who went the same route as me.

It's good to think about other people's feelings & opinions, yes, but not at the expense of true learning for yourself. Individuality is something that needs to be fed, especially early in life. If this person wants to learn, let them--they'll just have to take precautions to make sure their deck won't be destroyed. 

Indigo  24 Oct 2002 
Quick, honey, hand me the credit card! I've only got *checks watch* 8 years before this whole spiritual development crap wears off and I go on the Tarot wagon. That means I need more decks! LOL!

Meatbox, you do have a good point. Most people experiment with different religions/spiritual practices in their teens and twenties. Simple part of life, and the great thing is that the world is big enough to change your mind.

I'm sure your folks will forgive you for trying to learn and grow. It's part of being a parent. When you spawn, it comes with the realization that your kids will not live the same life you have led, will not make the same choices you have made. That includes decisions of faith. Most folks realize that parental/filial love should be deep enough to withstand a difference of opinion. 

HudsonGray  25 Oct 2002 
When you Spawn?

I like! 

Laurel  25 Oct 2002 
(advice from Aeclectic's token black magician to everyone dealing with this issue of tarot vs Christian family values ;) )

The best way to assure your family that tarot is benevolent is to be a very good "role model"- do more than your share of chores, keep a very positive attitude, get excellent grades, participate in programs at school and church, basically present the most positive "healthy, happy" attitudes and actions possible...

... and while they are marveling at how wonderful you are doing, continue to indulge in the tarot. They will open up slowly when it becomes obvious through the evidence before their eyes that tarot isn't a demonic influence, because it if -was-... how could you be doing all those things mentioned in paragraph one? They'll have to realize that they might be wrong.

Meanwhile, stick to tarot decks and books that are either whimsical or Christian in nature... unicorns, cats, angels, etc., Avoid collecting any non-tarot items that might trigger fear or disgust such as black candles, pentagrams, heavy metal music, etc., and definately stay out of trouble with alcohol, drugs, sex, vandalism, etc., etc. Present yourself as "good", in all ways... other than a love for pretty pieces of cardboard called tarot cards among your other hobbies.

If you follow this model, I predict that within 6 months to a year, your family will no longer give you any guff over tarot.


HudsonGray  26 Oct 2002 
That Whimsical deck is good as it's based on fairy tales. AND there's a teddy bear tarot, several cat tarots, a stick figure tarot, at least 3 angel tarots, and many other non-threatening types available. 

SlyR  31 Oct 2002 

I just hopped on board this thread after a quick skim, so I hope I'm not interrupting an important train of thought; but here's a short piece of advice.

You might wish to indicate the Jungian ideas behind the Tarot: That Carl Jung, noted psychologist and Freud contemporary (?), believed that there is a universal symbolism contained within our collective subconscious. Tarot stimulates our subconscious' awareness of this symbolism. That's science, not demonology. In fact, Tarot is often used today as a therapeutic tool. I don't know how old you are, but I'm gonna guess the "gosh-how-impressive-considering-she-didn't-learn-it-in-school" factor will work for you. But don't be all hoity toity about it.

Of course, there's always the "duh" argument. Always my favorite. In this case: It's just a bunch of cardboard with pictures on it. Satan didn't make it. U.S. Games did.

Btw, I am a very devout Wisconsin Synod Lutheran, so I understand how scriptures can be interpreted in a very restrictive way. Do yourself a favor, and don't hold others' prejudices against your faith. People make mistakes; God doesn't. 

Jewel  31 Oct 2002 
Originally posted by DarkElectric
Another suggestion I have for a deck is the Connolly. It is a Christian based deck, with Materialism substituted for the Devil card, and Transformation for Death.

I was just going to suggest that myself! I really like this deck as well. I like the vivid colors. I do find the imagery a bit too "soft" for my overall taste but I do find the deck pretty. And I agree that it might work.

Dark Electric ... interesting note on the "un-Catholic" thing you mentioned. I am one of those by the way *LOL* ... but I must say that the Catholic church is changing quite a bit. As a very wise priest friend of mine told me recently, it is often the "teachers" we encounter along the way of Catholisism that give us mis-information as they are not into theology and do not grasp the deeper meanings (He included priests in this category.) I believe that the church realizes that it has left many needs unfulfilled and are loosing many followers. Now they are trying to promote meditation and prayer in nature, visualization, and other methods pagans are quite familiar with. Coincidence? I think not! 

Shadow Wolf  29 Nov 2002 
I was really into Wicca for a while, I even wore a pentacle around my nck for a while. My sister noticed it and commented that it was against everything the Catholic church stood for.
I could have argued with her, but I let her hav her little tirade.

She went on to say that there were only two sides, and I was on
the wrong one, and that I might as well be a Muslim as a Wiccan.
I was infuriated, but I got over it very quickly. In my family, I've
always been the odd one out. I'm used to being "wrong" all the

Anyway, I don't stop believing what I believe, or doing what I do
just because they don't like it. My family is not nearly as strict
as yours is, though. But if I had gotten into this at your age.
They would have had fits !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All I can say is try to educate them about tarot, try to get them to
see your point of view.

And as long they are not really stopping you, then enjoy it as long as you are able !!!!! Good Luck, I hope things get better for your. 

wakeboarder  01 Dec 2002 
Maybe I'm weird or something, but I try to keep everyone else in the dark about anything I do. I've meditated and used tarot since July and they haven't noticed anything. I live in a 6 person family so I just "drive to the store" when I want to do something, or I wait until they go to sleep. I've found this to work very well and keeps the fights down to a minimum. You just can't be as active in your pursuits as someone with parents who don't care.


zander770  01 Dec 2002 
zzz...deleted by author 

wakeboarder  01 Dec 2002 
Zander, all I can say is wow. Maybe I missed something, but I don't think that saying "go eat yourself" is something productive in the least. I think that most people try to have at least a semi-relationship with their family and I don't think that most people would take kindly to the whole eating themselves part. Try to keep the advice at least a little helpful.


zander770  01 Dec 2002 
Originally posted by zander770
is it any wonder that a New Thread entitled Black Magic receives the most hits? (me think nada...)

WELCOME from me to you, mirja! from yet another Recovering catholic--i'm "c.i.a." = "catholic, irish, alcoholic..."--AND phoenix, desert dweller!

you're twenty-seven yrs old? i don't "understand" the "problem," here, i don't.

"cut the cord," comes to mind...

slan leat,
amm . . .


zander770  01 Dec 2002 
[i] I don't think that saying "go eat yourself" is something productive [/b]

i apologize. you're absolutely right. i'm sorry. i deleted it (it was only a small attempt to use the word "peat" w/in "eat" thus: "(p)eat") . . . "tell yer parents' to go...," so. i am sorry, for that one.

"peat" are small bricks of "sea weed" which the irish use for fire. in fact, this time of yr, small, black-metal "peak holders" are used outside at parties & gatherings to keep the reveler's "warm" and bright (it smells GREAT, too)

sorry to offend, wakeborder (i'm "celebrating," myself, tonight; sans "peat").

slan leat,



wakeboarder  01 Dec 2002 
No problem, I didn't catch the peat thing, sorry bout that. Never heard of that little tradition, but it sounds cool.


Trogon  02 Dec 2002 
Zander... this just wasn't your day... :D Mirja had said she was ... not 27. Hence her dilemma... 

Laurel  02 Dec 2002 
I really can sympathesize with being 17 and living at home and trying to be your own person. The best thing to remember is that 17 doesn't last forever. And when you're a young hag in your mid 30s like me, you can do whatever you damn well please with your tarot in the comfort of your own home and raise your own children to not be so supersticious.


Celtic_Dragon  02 Dec 2002 
Originally posted by SlyR

Of course, there's always the "duh" argument.

:D I like that. 

mirja crimson  02 Dec 2002 
Wow, thanks you guys, you are all so helpful! Plus, you make me laugh! =-D Well, basically for now I've defiantely continued working with the Tarot whenever I feel like it, although I do not start any conversations about it, haha. My mom will come in sometimes when I'm doing a spread and make some oddball comment that I'm doing "that stuff again" but she pretty much keeps her mouth shut about it most of the time. I show her new books and my new deck and ignore her rude remarks... but now she's onto a new pet peeve of hers- my boyfriend! (Mind you, this pet peeve is an old one; we've been together over a year and yet she still thinks i'm some boy-crazy stupid teen!) Anyway, thank you all! 

renard  02 Dec 2002 

We're all different, heaven knows, but my advice runs along the same lines as Laurel's and Wakeboarder's -- be the best darn kid anybody ever saw and you can do exactly what you want in the privacy of your own room, car, friend's house, whatever. That's how I conducted my teenage years, and it all worked out fine. You know Tarot is not bad, not hurting anyone, not negative or evil, and it's what you want to do -- so where's the harm? Members of close families keep things from one another for very good reason -- we all deserve the privacy of our own thoughts and feelings. You don't know what your loved ones are keeping from you, but you can assume that there are things. Everyone has secrets.

Expecting our families and friends to wholeheartedly accept our weird pursuits is in a way intolerant. They're entitled to their opinions and feelings, and often the best way to keep everyone happy is to exercise a little discretion until you move out and everyone has a bit more breathing room.

Of course I'm naturally sneaky, since I'm a Scorpio (yes, for shame, I'm into astrology too! Oh, the guilt! My DH thinks they're both completely ridiculous, and I would never let on to anyone else in the family that I have any truck with *anything* esoteric. Protective coloration is a good thing.)

Take care. You sound like a *very* good person.

namaste, renard 

The Black Magic thread was originally posted on 21 Oct 2002 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

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