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I’m a Tarot Reader Who Also Has Faith in God

I appreciate prayer and the centuries-old art of tarot cards. Here’s why I believe in both.

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Noopur Choksi
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I grew up attending a Southern Baptist church in northern Ohio. As if that was not a big enough conflict on its own, I also was born to a mother who came from a long line of tarot readers and mystics. Some called them gypsies. My mother didn’t practice, but I always felt drawn to the cards.

While attending church, I can remember negative connotations surrounding anything that was considered the occult, including tarot cards. I received my first deck at age 13, a gift from an aunt. That deck sat on a shelf for nearly 17 years. It stayed with me through multiple moves, and while I always cherished it, I was also always afraid to use it.

About 10 years ago, I became much more interested in the cards. I would look at them in awe and study the beautiful images, which show everything from archetypal characters to religious scenes. But I never attempted a reading. I couldn’t figure out why I was so afraid of them. I was confident in my faith and my relationship with God, so then I thought, Why not just ask Him? The answer I got was an overwhelming calm and release of fear.

At the same time, I began to do my own research. What exactly is tarot reading? Is it evil? Is it fortune-telling? Does it give me access to some secret knowledge that I shouldn’t be accessing? How does it work? Does it even really work? I had so many questions, it took years to answer them to my own satisfaction.

In the 10 years that followed, I studied the tarot, both historically and in practice. I studied other mediums that include working with energy, such as Reiki, the Eastern alternative therapy of using and manipulating energies in the body for physical and emotional healing. Now I teach people how to access their own intuition and use the cards as a guide to seek and attain their highest good. And I use the tarot to deepen my own spirituality and faith. While I do not consider myself a Christian, I do believe in God and have a personal relationship with Him.

So what exactly is tarot reading?

Tarot decks have 78 cards that provide a visual storyboard that can be related to situations in our lives. Some cards have depictions of people doing activities, some show animals, some show inanimate objects. Card artists interpret the imagery in different ways, but the theme and feel of the cards remains the same — that they give a snapshot of energies surrounding us and situations affecting us.

I think tarot reading makes our own intuition a tangible, visual thing. It’s a way to bring the subconscious to the conscious. Ultimately, I believe it can provide a direct line into our own inner thoughts and deepest held beliefs.

Think of tarot like a detailed road map. You could set out on a trip without a plan and hope for the best, or you could use a map and know exactly how to get there. Without the map, you may arrive, but it will likely take you much longer. The map is just an extra tool that ensures you arrive on time and with minimal mistakes.

That said, for me and many others, tarot is not fortune-telling, psychic reading, devil worship or evil. As a reader, I am not able to access some secret knowledge or see the future. The cards won’t tell me what will happen or when or, for example, who a person is going to marry. What they offer me is a way to tap into inner thoughts and intuition and provide guidance on how best to proceed for the highest good.

For example, when I applied for a job and didn’t hear back within the expected time, I did a reading to assess the surrounding energies. I received the seven of pentacles (the card of delay and patience, specifically surrounding work), the queen of swords (the card of a female leader or supervisor) and the eight of cups, which depicts a person walking away. Perhaps there was a delay due to a boss or supervisor leaving and the situation called for patience. Two months later I got the offer and found out that the supervisor had resigned and a replacement had just been hired. The reading eased my mind as I waited and it allowed me to remain patient rather than jumping to conclusions or accepting a different position.

How tarot and prayer can work together

When we pray to God or to our angels, we may ask for guidance or even messages. I noticed early in my tarot path that the same thing would happen while I was reading cards. When it did, I remember thinking, What if these two things are not mutually exclusive?

I began to set my intention before doing readings and praying to God and my angels for clarity, understanding and guidance. I did this so I could make the best possible decisions and understand things that were causing confusion.

With the assistance of God and my angels, as well as universal energies, I am now better equipped to handle difficult challenges and situations. And to receive the most important messages clearly, straightforward and in color.