"The Headmaster has intimated that he would prefer fewer visits from me. I am not one to press my company upon those who do not value it. If Dumbledore chooses to ignore the warnings the cards show. Again and again, no matter how I lay them out - the lightning-struck tower, Calamity. Disaster. Coming nearer all the time ..."
—Professor Trelawney speaking to Harry about the warnings she saw in the cards[src]

Tarot cards are used in the art of Divination, specifically the field of Cartomancy.


During the 1996–1997 school year Sybill Trelawney was making frequent visits to Albus Dumbledore's office to tell him about the bad omens she was seeing in the cards. She also attempted to consult with Firenze regarding this matter, but he apparently knew nothing of cartomancy and seemed to find her "comical."[1]

There was a healer in Diagon Alley who sometimes consulted what may have been tarot cards.

Behind the scenes

  • Tarot are a type of playing cards that is commonly used by mystics for divination purposes. The Tower is one of the actual Tarot cards, and is generally associated with "calamity" and "disaster" as Trelawney states in Half-Blood Prince. On some decks, such as the popular Rider-Waite tarot deck, The Tower depicts people falling from the lightning-struck tower, thus being a direct prophecy of Dumbledore's death and fall from the Astronomy Tower.
  • Several things in the Harry Potter series appear to be references to the Tarot card The Hanged Man. A pub in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire goes by this name, and the effects of the spell Levicorpus are similar to the traditional image on this card.


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 25 (The Seer Overheard)

B3C6M2 Trelawney's first Divination lesson in the trio's third year
Professors: Sybill Trelawney · Firenze
Known Seers: Calchas · Cassandra Vablatsky · Cassandra Trelawney · Gellert Grindelwald · Inigo Imago · Johan Hoffman · Liz Tuttle's mother · Mopsus · Professor Mopsus · Susie Sooth · Tycho Dodonus · Unidentified Canadian Seer · Unidentified female Seer · Unidentified male Seer
Textbooks: The Dream Oracle · Unfogging the Future
Methods: Astrology · Cartomancy · Catoptromancy · Crystal-gazing · Crystal ball · Dream interpretation · Fire-omens · Heptomology · Ichthyomancy · Myomancy · Ornithomancy · Ovomancy · Palmistry · Scrying mirror · Tarot cards · Tessomancy · Xylomancy
Divination at Hogwarts: Divination (class) · Divination Classroom · Divination staircase · Sybill Trelawney's office · Classroom 11 · Xylomancy (class)
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