Tarot and Pop Culture

Tarot, an ancient divination practice, has transcended centuries to become a prominent element in modern pop culture. From the mystical allure of tarot cards to their appearances in movies, TV shows, and books, this age-old tradition has found a place in the hearts and minds of people worldwide. In this article, we delve into the fascinating intersection of tarot and pop culture, exploring how it has influenced and enriched our entertainment experiences.

Tarot Cards: A Brief Introduction

Before we dive into their portrayal in pop culture, let’s briefly understand what tarot cards are. Tarot is a deck of 78 cards, each carrying its unique symbolism. These cards are divided into two main categories: the Major Arcana, consisting of 22 cards representing significant life events, and the Minor Arcana, which comprises 56 cards resembling a standard deck of playing cards. Readers, often called tarot readers or psychics, use these cards to gain insights into one’s past, present, and future.

Tarot in Movies

1. The Craft (1996)

“The Craft,” a cult classic in the world of witchcraft and mysticism, prominently features tarot cards. In the movie, a group of teenage girls explores their newfound magical powers using tarot readings as a guide. The cards symbolize different aspects of their journey into the world of witchcraft, creating an eerie and mystical atmosphere.

2. Now You See Me (2013)

In this mind-bending heist thriller, a group of illusionists uses tarot cards to communicate with their audience. Each card they draw represents a step in their elaborate plan, adding an element of intrigue and mystery to the story. The use of tarot cards in “Now You See Me” underscores their enigmatic allure and ability to captivate audiences.

Tarot on Television

1. Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)

“Penny Dreadful” is a dark and supernatural series that seamlessly integrates tarot readings into its narrative. The character Vanessa Ives, played by Eva Green, often turns to tarot cards to gain insights into her tumultuous life and the supernatural forces that surround her. The series portrays the tarot as a tool for both guidance and foreboding, reinforcing its mystical reputation.

2. Charmed (1998-2006)

The popular series “Charmed” follows the lives of three sisters who are also powerful witches. Tarot cards make frequent appearances throughout the show, assisting the sisters in their quest to protect the innocent and battle evil forces. The tarot readings in “Charmed” serve as a means to connect with their magical destiny and navigate the challenges they face.

Tarot in Literature

1. “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern’s enchanting novel “The Night Circus” weaves a magical tale filled with wonder and intrigue. Tarot cards play a pivotal role in the story, serving as a source of inspiration for the circus’s enchanting performances. The cards are used to guide the circus’s fate and add an element of mysticism to the narrative, making them an integral part of the book’s charm.

2. “The Raven Cycle” by Maggie Stiefvater

In Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Raven Cycle” series, tarot cards are intertwined with themes of magic and prophecy. The characters seek answers and guidance through tarot card reading, drawing them deeper into a world of mystery and adventure. Tarot in this series serves as a conduit to uncovering hidden truths and unraveling the mysteries of their interconnected destinies.


Tarot’s presence in movies, TV shows, and literature is a testament to its enduring appeal and the sense of mystique it brings to storytelling. Whether used to convey a character’s inner turmoil, guide a plot’s twists and turns, or infuse an element of magic into a narrative, tarot cards have become an integral part of pop culture’s storytelling arsenal. As we continue to explore the realms of the mystical and unexplained, tarot will undoubtedly remain a powerful symbol of intrigue and wonder.