The tarot is often shrouded in mystery — so much so that people fear tarot readers and their cards. I took a deep dive into some of the most common myths about the tarot to find out if any of these misconceptions were true.
I discovered that the tarot definitely isn’t the scary, mysterious tool shown in occult-themed movies. In fact, I found that it’s a unique system that can help literally anyone find enlightenment and clarity. None of the scary myths I’d heard were true!
You can definitely stop believing that…
1. Tarot Is Fortune Telling
Some tarot readers are gifted with clairvoyance, mediumship, or other forms of sight, and some are regular people who are just really talented at interpreting the cards in front of them. Either way, tarot isn’t a form of fortune telling: your cards do not reveal your future.
Instead, tarot readings help seekers find clarity around issues in their lives. In my experience, tarot readings are very much centered around using the past to understand the present: where am I now, and how did I get here?
The cards can help you find answers to your questions. They give you an opportunity to take stock of where you are in life and change direction if you need to. They can’t make decisions, but you can use them as a guide to make new choices that feel right for you.
2. Only Psychics Can Read the Tarot
Plenty of truly gifted psychics use the tarot as a tool to help them guide the people who come to them for answers, but you don’t have to be a psychic to read the cards. With careful study and a healthy dose of intuition and self-knowledge, you can learn to read the cards for yourself.
Tarot reading is also becoming a popular form of self care. Once you’ve learned how to interpret the cards for yourself, you can draw cards to help guide yourself through your day and any issues you may be facing.
Even if you do learn how to read the tarot yourself, I definitely advise getting readings from a professional reader, too. Their experience and insight will help you learn more, improve your self-awareness, and find the path you should be following. Plus, if they also have psychic gifts, they may be able to shed extra light on your questions.
3. Tarot Readings Are 100% Accurate
You can have a reading with the most highly-rated and acclaimed tarot reader in the world, and it still won’t be 100% true and accurate. That’s because so many things in the tarot are open to interpretation, and you can change the outcomes of any predictions by making different decisions in life.
Treat your reading as a guide, and remember that you have choice and agency. If you don’t like what your reader sees, use it as an opportunity to make some changes.
4. Tarot Cards Are Magic
Here’s an uncomfortable truth for anyone who believes that the cards have innate magical powers: tarot cards are just ink and paper. They don’t have a life of their own, can’t reveal your secrets, and won’t betray you.
The cards’ power lies in how they are read and understood. Your reader will interpret your cards and try their best to answer your questions and help you find clarity.
5. There Are Good Cards and Bad Cards
This is one of the most common misconceptions about tarot cards. There are no good or bad cards in tarot. Even cards like Death and the Devil are not inherently bad (although they may warn you about tough times coming your way).
The cards are a method of communication which is open to interpretation and can be read in a huge range of different ways. What’s important is how you understand your reading, and how you act moving forward.
Similarly, reversed cards aren’t bad either, and an upside-down draw definitely doesn’t mean a backwards prediction. Reversed cards have their own meanings, which you reader will explain to you.
6. Readers Must Follow Certain Rituals
There are so many myths surrounding how to touch tarot cards. For example, people believe that readers can only spread the deck with their left hand, that you must never touch someone else’s cards, that you must wrap your cards in silk to protect them, and even that your first set of cards must be gifted to you as an invitation from the universe to start reading.
Like we said above, tarot cards aren’t magical, so none of these rituals make sense. Other people’s touch and the atmosphere around them cannot influence their powers, as their powers come from your understanding and energy. Readers can handle the cards however they feel most comfortable, and it’s totally ok to buy your own set of cards.
7. The Death Card Literally Means Death
It can feel really scary when your reader pulls the Death card, but it doesn’t mean that you (or someone close to you) is going to die. The death card actually represents the end of a period in your life, signifying rebirth, change, transformation, and the start of new cycles.
As a side point, no responsible or ethical tarot reader will predict a death or the outcome of an illness or pregnancy. There are too many unknowns and variables involved.
Tarot cards aren’t a scary, mysterious tool available only to those with psychic gifts. They’re a useful way to connect with your higher self, find clarity, and guide yourself towards the future you want.
Now that we’ve cleared up these common misconceptions, you might feel ready for a tarot reading. Learn how to ask questions that will help you get the most out of your reading here.