Disappointment in love, an exam on which depends our future career, the possibility of of a serious illness. Moments in which emotions prevail over rationality and make us fragile, powerless in the face of events we cannot control, but only accept as they are. Thousands of question push their way in our head: “What is going to happen?”, “Am I going to suffer?”, “Will I be able to realize my dreams?”. In these moments the future becomes an obsession from which we cannot free ourselves. We would give anything to know how things are going to evolve and to find an answer to our questions. But the road traced before us remains barely visible, we can imagine, hope, without knowing what and where will we be tomorrow. And the weakness we experience some days makes room to th temptation to get easy answers, to find someone who would shed light on what awaits us and reassure us or push us to give up. A devilish mechanism that makes us fall into the arms of swindlers and fanatics of the occult. And our soul sinks in darkness.
There are many divinatory practices with which, over the centuries, alleged diviners have built their own fortune. Starting from cartomancy, i.e. the reading of the Tarot. This is a practice for which a dock of 78 cards (called also ”blades”) is needed, born with the instructive purpose and used to predict the future starting from the XVIII century, divided into two subgroups. The first, the “Major Arcana”, is composed of symbolic figures (“The Pope”, “The High Priestess”, “Death”, “The Hanged Man” and so on), whereas the second one, that of the “Arcana minors”, represents Fanti, horses, Kings and 10 numbered cards. According to esoterists, the first one provides responses on the life experiences of those who appeal to fortune-tellers, while the second one is a sort of punctuation. Answers may be of different kinds: sometimes they predict happy events, in other cases true disasters. In some cases, then, the presence of a negative person in our lives is feared. Someone who wants to stop us in every possible way. Predictions are never clear, there is always a margin of mystery, so that the “victims” themselves, not the soothsayer, give the answer they prefer. This way the divination will always be precise and who has received it will be encouraged to return to the fortune-teller, creating a dangerous vicious circle.
Much more common is astrology, which starts from the conviction that stars, planets and moons, in certain phases of the year can affect human life. Surely the Moon affects some natural phenomena such as the tides, and some weather situations can affect our mood. But apart from this, there is no evidence neither scientific nor religious, of what astrologers claim. The most commercial side of this practice is the horoscope. Every newspaper, radio, TV or informational site has a section dedicated to the zodiac signs. For many people, fortunately, this is just a game but there are also those who are dependent, in their own life choices, on the basis of the position of Venus or Saturn. A true mania that, especially in this phase of the year, forces thousands of people to buy almanacs and specialized magazines. With respect to astrology, S. Augustine wrote: “Astrologers claim that the inevitable cause of sin in the skies: Are Venus or Saturn or Mars that push us to do one action or another, wishing that the man could not be blamed, who is flesh and blood and verminous pride, and the one to blame could be the one who upholds the sky and the stars”. In short, in the vision of one of the Doctors of the Church, the reading of the sky is an anti-Christian practice, with which man tries to know God’s project.
Another practice. about which there is less talk, is the interpretation of dreams. In this regard, we have to say that often, in the sacred texts, the almighty reveals during sleep. Suffice it to think about St Joseph who receives the angelic message while sleeping. In this dream God orders him not to repudiate Mary, or to Joseph the prophet, who becomes the right arm of the Egyptian pharaoh after having interpreted his dream. These abilities, however, are not granted to everyone. Providence, the same way it chooses prophets and saints, identifies those men who will be able to interpret his will. And the Church, the representative of Christ on earth, is the only one able to ascertain the real divine inspiration of the oneiric activity. Everything else is merely mystification. St Thomas Aquinas argued that dreams could be influenced first of all by the physical and psychological conditions of the dreamer. As to the supernatural influence, it is sometimes demonic and “sometimes referable to God, who reveals certain things to men in dreams, through angels”. In other words, we are talking about borderline cases.
The Tarot, astrology and interpretation of dreams do not cover all the various branches of divination. Suffice it to think about the Acutomancy (carried out through the pins), the Caffeomancy (reading of coffee grounds), Numerology (when predictions are made through numbers), the Cybermancy (i.e. the entrusting to electronic oracles), without forgetting those of pagan origin, linked to the observation of animal and plant behavior. These practices are at times explicitly obscure, sometimes apparently extravagant, and are based on the same unchristian principle: the future exists and can be predicted, therefore the freedom to be masters of our destiny (the greatest gift of God) is only an illusion. A slap in the face of the faith about which the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks clearly: “All forms of divination have to be rejected: appeal to Satan or to the demons, evocation of the dead or other practices which wrongly believed to unveil the future. Consultation of the horoscopes, astrology, chiromancy, the interpretation of omens and of destiny, the phenomena of clairvoyance, recourse to medium manifested a desire to dominate time, on the history and finally on men and together with a desire to be conducive to the hidden powers. Are in contradiction with honor and respect, joined with loving fear, which we owe to God alone”.