Grace & Peace!
Ginger, I think there are a lot of things involved in any act of divination that make it contrary to religion (though scripture does provide us with examples of approved divinatory activities–the oracular use of the Urim and the Thummim by the high priests and kings of Israel, and the drawing of lots to determine the successor of Judas in Acts are two acts of divination that come to mind, but these occur in very strict, very controlled religious contexts–the people of Israel were not casting about the Urim and the Thummim on their own, and the Apostles did not draw lots whenever they had to make a decision).
If we assume that tarot cards have an innate capacity to provide their reader with the ability to see the future, the conclusions we must draw are–their power is from God, or, their power is infernal. If their power is from God, one would expect a little more information regarding their virtues, etc. explained by the church in this regard. It is not. This option is not a very good one. If their power is infernal, then their predictions cannot be trusted, coming as they would from the father of lies.
However, the assumption that the images of a tarot card in themselves have some sort of intrinsic vibrational quality that leads one to prognosticate, which quality is lent to them by hell–I think this assumption is rather poor. Anything can be used for divination–on a basic level, symbols and a concomitant meanings can be paired together and as long as these associations are maintained, any system so contrived can be used as a system of divination once an element of chance is introduced. This does not mean that the symbol, the image, etc. are all infernal. As such, it is the act of reading in itself that must be seen as the source of the divination’s virtue or vice, which virtue cannot lie in the cards, the runes, the sticks, the bones, the what-have-you in themselves.
Following this explanation, the tarot deck becomes a series of neutral image-archetypes that are then interpreted or given meaning-value by a reader. It is the reader’s associations with the image archetypes, coupled with the reader’s intuition (and/or possibly an infusion of grace, and/or deceit) that determines the “predictions.” The intuition here is key–people like to make meaning. Place a random series of image-archetypes in front of anyone and they’re likely to digest it all and create a coherent story from it. That’s just the way we are as people. We follow meaning-clues. A prediction “comes true” when it is obsessively believed (in other words, we make it come true), or when the intuition of the reader is keen enough to extrapolate from, name, or highlight the dominant patterns of a situation.
Of course, as indicated above, divine or infernal intervention can occur (as it always can), but the mere possibility of the one or the other does not guarantee either. As such, the only thing one has to go on is the intuition of the reader.
However–intuition is not predictive. Intuition is merely descriptive and can describe an observed pattern of behavior forming, continuing, or ending. We all do this on a daily basis–walking into a room, we can read the “energy” of the room–is it sad, is it happy, is it meditative, has someone just said something insulting–we read faces, we read silences, we read between the lines, and we figure it out. We’re not predicting anything.
If we agree with all this so far, then we must admit to ourselves that what the tarot reading reveals (at its best) is a possible understanding/interpretation of *general * current patterns of behavior, the accuracy of which will be determined (less any supernatural intervention) by the keeness of the intuition of the reader. The reading can therefore only be seen as a possibility given current circumstances. It cannot be fixed. It cannot be determined. It cannot describe “fate”.