Get the stake ready

I suppose I should expect it. I live in the Midwest, after all, somewhere near the buckle of the Bible Belt, where you will see churches around every corner and pro-life signs along the highway. But that doesn’t make it any more annoying when I have a question that I need answered, and it’s blocked at the school on the grounds of being ‘occult.’

Specifically, I’m talking about tarot card readings. I’ve done a few and they’ve been helpful to the querent involved, and no spooky black magic shenanigans have taken place. Really, tarot is about pointing out things that might have been unseen before, or giving advice when someone is at an impasse. It’s not always about predicting the future; in fact, most tarot readers claim that a reading is merely a possible path, not set in stone, and the choice is inevitably up to the querent. Like I said, nothing spooky or weird (not that it would change the argument even if it was).

Your problem starts when you want to look up something as simple as your horoscope. All sites related to astrology are blocked under the same category as things related to tarot cards. I mean, sure, I could understand blocking sites if they were providing step-by-step instructions for ritual pagan sacrifice, but this isn’t anything uncommon: people look at their horoscopes every day, even down here in the Bible Belt. But that really isn’t even the argument I’m making; my argument is, why does the school block supposed ‘occult’ material?

The school allows you to search for Christian and other religious material. They allow students to wear Christian and other religious symbols, carry around their holy books, or even form a Christian Athletics club. If the school isn’t discriminatory, they would allow for all religious expression, yes? So why should this be any different for new-age paganism and other fringe beliefs?

Obviously, they can’t allow anything dangerous, but a deck of 72 cards is hardly dangerous, nor is trying to find your match according to the sign you were born under. It’s all harmless superstition. So what if I want to practice it? I’m not going to hurt anyone by answering a querent’s question, or looking up their star sign for my shuffling routine. It’s incredibly inconvenient that I have to look this stuff up when I get home instead of right in front of the querent. We, as students, have freedom of religion. We should be able to determine which religious rituals we do or do not practice.