Firstly, What Is A Closed Practice?
Before being able to answer if tarot cards are a closed practice or not, it would help to define the term.
A closed practice is a tradition or cultural method restricted to specific groups of people only, usually of a particular cultural background or heritage. Often, they are practices where new ideas from outside are not welcome.
Usually, members of a closed community are born into it or accepted after an initiation ritual of sorts is completed.
Below is a YouTube video from Magnolias and Magic where Georgina Rose, Nike Laurier, Temperance Alden and Lilith Dorsey discuss this further (I skipped the first minute of the clip because I dislike long intros!).
Are Tarot Cards A Closed Practice?
Now that we know what a closed practice is let’s get to the heart of the matter. Is tarot reading a closed practice? No!
The origins of tarot cards stem back to playing cards first recorded in European countries, including Italy and France, as early as the mid-15th century.
It wasn’t until much later, in the late 18th century, that the tarot card decks were used as a form of cartomancy or divination.
Antoine Court and Jean-Baptiste Alliette (Etteilla) are said to have been responsible for creating the first tarot card deck specifically for occultism.
“Occultism: various theories and practices involving a belief in and knowledge or use of supernatural forces or beings. Such beliefs and practices—principally magical or divinatory—have occurred in all human societies throughout recorded” – Encyclopædia Britannica.
Tarot Cards Are For Everyone
If someone is inferring to you that tarot “belongs” to a specific culture or group, I’d be questioning their agenda.
It is very much a mishmash of different influences over the ages, resulting in the various decks in use today.
If you wish to dive deeper into the topic, I recommend listening to the above YouTube clip or looking for a book that explores the history of tarot.