Thoughts on Tarot


This past weekend, I was out with my best friend and some other friends.  I had recently told my best friend (who is basically a sister to me) about my taking classes with a coven.  Religion never really comes up in our discussions, as it doesn’t play a major part in our relationship, but she was curious and asked me about my beliefs and such.  I mentioned that I read tarot and oracle cards, and offered to give her a reading sometime.

Her reaction surprised me somewhat.  “I’m kinda scared, I don’t want to know the future like that.”  She explained a little more, saying that she didn’t like the idea of cards being able to tell the future or that cards have power.  I started to smile.  I reassured her that most of the preconceptions she had about tarot are not entirely accurate.

It’s amazing to me sometimes how much stock a person can put into a tarot reading.  The day before the conversation with my friend, I had helped my old Pagan Student Union on campus do a tarot reading event (and by helped, I mean I sat in the back and offered moral support, since I was ill). But I got to observe and watch as people lined up at the door and waited their turn, and I watched the hesitation, the uncertainty, and even hints of fear on their faces.  Some of them clearly felt they were taking their lives in their hands almost, or felt as if we could tell them absolutes about their future.  People seem to think that because a tarot reader can see a possible future it means that we can see the future in the cards, and that’s just not necessarily the truth.

From what I’ve learned (and I grant you, I’m only at about intermediate level at reading cards), a good tarot reader will acknowledge that the reading is good for only about 3 months out.  3 months.  That’s how far a reading can “see” into the future before the future changes or branches off.  The future is also not absolute.  What people seem to forget when they get a reading is if they don’t like something they see in the cards, then they have the option to go try to change it.  Now, some things are more difficult to change than others.  But that doesn’t mean that if the tarot reading says you’re going to have a really bad breakup with your boyfriend that you have to have a really bad breakup.  Armed with information, you can try to end it more amicably or even try to repair the relationship before it breaks.  A tarot reading is not a certainty, just a likelihood.

I’ve been read by a professional, who was very good.  She was accurate on everything she told me, but her reading also went only 3 months into the future.  Everything after that was speculation on what might happen, and she stressed that fact when imparting that to me.

The fact that people react to tarot with either unthinking belief, fear, or outright denial is a result of a lack of education, lack of belief, or from superstition.  It seems strange that people don’t know more about tarot, given all the information out there about tarot cards, but it’s true—most people still think that the Death card in a reading means they’ll die, that the Devil means they’re possessed or wicked, or that the Tower is complete physical destruction like a personal apocalypse.

I see it as my job to be reassuring during a reading.  If a card like the Tower comes up, I’ll do my best to find any nugget of positive news that I can so that the person isn’t walking away with doom and gloom.  I also take the time (if I have it, which usually I don’t at an event like the PSU event) to explain the cards, give a little more information so that the person understands why I’m saying what I’m saying.  I also most definitely point out that my reading is only good for 3 months, if I’m reading the future.  That doesn’t apply for the cards that look into the past or present, of course.  Basically, I’m saying do as much as you can as a tarot reader to help the person you’re reading understand and not spread misinformation.  The more accurate information there is out there, the better people will react and the more open they’ll be when around tarot or when discussing tarot.

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7 responses to “Thoughts on Tarot

  1. I need to to thank you for this good read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it.
    I have you saved as a favorite to check out new things
    you post…

  2. I went to a reader last night who said the troubles I am going through right now are as a result of a “negative energy from about 4-5 people that needs to be lifted.” She was referring to me having already met my soulmate and these negative energies were what kept us apart. She further offered to lift the negative energies for me for a fee . Is this possible?

    • There are such things as entities that latch on to people and are generally a source of negativity in our lives. Most people have them unless they’re cleared away. There is also the possibility of picking up and holding on to other peoples’ negative energy simple from coming into contact with them. This is especially true if you’re a sensitive person or are more open in terms of your own personal energy. I would be wary of people offering to do extra services for a fee, however, especially when you can get rid of negative energy you’ve picked up from others for free. The easiest way to make yourself “lighter” in terms of energetic burdens is to ground through visualization and see any of that negativity or energy not your own flowing into the earth to be neutralized. Just doing something simple like that once or twice a week can really make a difference. You just have to believe in it and make it happen, and that negativity will go away. There are other methods such as meditation, hypnosis, etc., but grounding like this has always been my favorite and has worked well for me. We all pick up other peoples’ energy, it’s one of the unavoidables in life–the difference is whether we notice it and whether we take steps to prevent making other peoples’ negativity our own.

      Hope this helps!

  3. ^_^ Yay. I’m teaching a Tarot class right now, and I plan to begin the next class by talking about cleansing, clearing, storing, etc… all the things we do to keep decks sacred and imbued with good energy.

    I plan to remind my students that they also need to clear their own minds, not be fearful, practice detachment, and have an open-minded leaning-toward-positive outlook when they read. A “chaotic good” approach, a la The Fool, if The Fool were a D&D character, and wiser.

    I had a reader tell me something that would probably occur 6 months out. And our PSU Imbolc readings were supposed to go a year out. But personally I don’t think they’re precise, and I do think you’re right to say readings are generally only relevant for the short term. I think it has more to do with our own cycles of renewal than anything. Except for those particularly traumatic or triumphant moments in life, nobody tends to give a crap about what someone told them a year ago, psychic reader or no. Far from deciding our fate, the cards empower our will. And when there’s no longer will to put stock in a particular spread of cards, viola: that reading loses power.

    Always enjoy reading your posts (although I know longish comments make it seem more like I enjoy the sound of my own voice, lol). I started my own blog. ❤ Here is my first Tarot post. http://beccawanders.tumblr.com/post/10833461581/first-teaching-experience

    • Good luck with your class! I hope it continues to go well.

      Those are some good suggestions for reading–clear the mind, be more detached, etc. I find that more important for reading oracle cards than for tarot, but that might just be me.

      I’ll check out your blog!

  4. I’ve never heard about the 3 month thing before. Though I wish I had known that for Friday seeing as how some of the readings I did were asking about “when will this happen” and etc. I had thought that some readings for future – especially when the reading sounded like a major happening – could reach up to a year in the future. Is the 3 month thing widely known/do you know many people who know about it?

    • The professional I went to knew about it, and some of the readers with more experience that I know have also said 3 months to 1 year. I would think that 1 year would be about the max that it could reach though, but 3 months is a pretty good baseline as far as I can tell. I think you can tell when it’s going predicted to be for longer than 3 months, like in the Imbolc tarot readings some people (i.e., me) do for the following year.

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