For as long as tarot has been around, there have been myths and misconceptions about it.
As wise people often say, people fear what they don’t understand.
And what they don’t understand, they come up with irrational ways to explain it away.This is how myths about tarot originated and spread.
Those who couldn’t understand the profound significance of this spiritual practice came up with whatever explanation their minds could create.
And over generations, they took the form of beliefs held by countless people around the world.
In this article, I hope to debunk some of these myths about tarot.
I hope to make you realize that tarot reading can be a vital tool in your everyday life to not only make sense of everything happening around you but to also create a conscious life for yourself.
To understand this myth, you need to understand how tarot was initially passed down through the generations.
Unlike modern times, there was no internet back then. Yeah really… haha.
And there were certainly not a lot of people selling as many tarot decks as you could buy.
So, usually, what happened was that tarot cards were passed downs from parents to children when they were ready to learn.
They were also given the knowledge and wisdom they would need to begin doing tarot readings.
So, the above tradition was basically a practical way of doing things.
It shouldn’t be seen as a “rule” that your first deck must come from somewhere, typically as a gift.
In the modern world, the limitations of past centuries have vanished.
These days, you can order any deck online and learn as much as you can about reading tarot cards. And through practice, you can become a good tarot reader.
This is another myth that probably started off as something else.
Because I read for myself everyday haha.
More seriously, there is no rule in tarot about not being able to read for yourself.
It’s just that it is a little more tricky to do a reading for yourself.
That’s because we humans can’t help but think about things from the lens of our biases. And the same is true of a reading as well.
When you get a particular set of cards in your reading, you will try to interpret them based on what you want or what you expect. This can obviously throw your reading off and lead to wrong interpretations.
This is why so many people consult other readers when they want to get a reading for themselves.
Another common way to get around one’s biases is to pretend as if you are doing a reading for someone else and try to be as detached as possible from the results.
But let me tell you it is not always easy and it takes time and practice….
Some people just believe that tarot is evil even when they have no basis for their belief.
- Maybe somebody told them so and they just started believing it.
- Maybe they saw the “The Devil” card and thought that tarot cards were meant to invoke the devil. ( Ok I admit this card can be pretty scary…)
- Maybe they were influenced by how Hollywood typically represents or portrays tarot readings and readers.
Well, whatever the reason for this belief of people, it is wrong.
Tarot is not evil.
It is a spiritual tool that is used to understand and make sense of the various facets of one’s life. It is used for guidance and support. It is used to help people deal with their challenges.
Countless people throughout the world have found comfort, support, guidance, clarity, and a renewed sense of hope through tarot readings. And these are certainly not evil!
This is one of the most prevalent myths surrounding tarot.
A lot of people think that tarot cards are magic and only a psychic can use them.
Well, you can’t fault them for having this belief.
The whole vibe of tarot reading in the modern world is such that people will think of it as a supernatural practice that only special people can delve into.
The truth, however, is that literally, anybody can start to learn and do readings. I am a good example 🙂
All you need is a deck of cards and some getting used to.
And as with anything else, you will become better at it over time as you practice more.
Millions of people around the world get into the world of tarot for self-reflection, to heal their emotional wounds, to find a way forward, and so on. And none of these people are psychics. They are just open-minded and willing to learn a new language 🙂
This is another myth that just doesn’t make sense.
Well, most myths don’t but this one is blatantly wrong.
Tarot readers are people too, and they offer their services to others when they reach a certain mastery in their craft.
For most readers, that means years upon years of practice and dedication.
Usually, people start by reading for themselves, then for their friends, and then by offering free readings.
Once they feel confident enough and their readings have started to bear positive results in people’s lives, they start charging for their readings.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
A person deserves to be paid for their time and energy, especially when you stand to gain something out of it.( Ok instead of money, I accept vinegar crips and coconut cake as a way of payment haha)
Some people believe that everything about our lives is already pre-destined.
It means that we are merely playing the role of our characters in a grand cosmic movie designed and directed by a higher force (or god).
So, according to this view, if you do a tarot reading and come to know about your potential future, you are essentially messing with fate.
That’s because, if you have knowledge of how something may unfold in the future, you can take steps to change it.
Well, first of all, nobody knows whether our lives are pre-destined.
Most people, in fact, believe that we have free will. And it’s our own decisions that shape our future.
So, there is no question of messing with fate in this regard.
Even if our lives are pre-destined, knowing about a potential challenge may not prevent it from happening.
However, it would certainly be able to prepare us to face it!
So, nobody is messing with fate here… we’re merely learning how to deal with it. 🙂
This actually depends on the reader and the querent and it doesn’t make any difference.
Typically, touching the cards, either by shuffling them or fanning them out is a great way for a reader to connect with the cards.
It provides them with an opportunity to think about their questions and ask the cards for guidance and support.
However, it doesn’t matter whether the querent touches the cards or not.
They are bound to get the answers they seek regardless.
- Some readers like it when their querents touch the cards because they feel like it helps get more accurate readings.
- Other readers aren’t comfortable with this and would rather do the touching themselves.
It’s all down to personal preference and there are hard and fast rules about it.
Now, to be fair, a person wouldn’t be at fault for taking things literally here.
The card does indeed say “Death” card.
Also, Hollywood does a nice job of featuring this card every time a scene showing tarot reading comes up and they usually show death and destruction for the querent who pull this card.
However, when it comes to tarot, you need to understand that it’s all indicative and figurative.
The meaning of any card may depend on the unique circumstances of a person or the other cards that come up during a reading.
So, if a reader pulls out the Death card, it doesn’t mean that you are going to die.
This card typically represents things coming to an end.
And that might relate to anything – relationships, challenges, a chapter of your life, friendship, etc.
In other words, this card represents the natural cycle of life where one thing comes to an end and another thing takes its place.
If anything, it might prepare you for the end of something.
Some people say that tarot reading is nothing but cold reading.
These people also usually say the same thing about astrological predictions.
Basically, cold reading is when a tarot reader or a psychic says something vague enough to apply to everyone but makes it feel specific to the individual person.
For example, a cold reading may sound something like this: You have gone through a lot of ups and downs in life and sometimes, you just wonder whether it is all even worth it. Well, this literally applies to everyone.
And unfortunately, there are some tarot readers and psychics who do this.
But they are a very tiny percentage of the overall population.
As with any other area of life, there are bound to be dishonest people in the world of tarot as well.
However, that doesn’t make tarot itself a practice of cold reading.
Experienced readers can give you profound insights into your current situation and provide real strategies and solutions to deal with your challenges.
I don’t even know how this myth started in the first place!
Maybe tarot reading was more prevalent among women readers initially, probably because women tap more openly into their emotions and intuition, which are essential to tarot reading.
And that might have made people believe that only women should do tarot reading.
Well, as with any other spiritual tool or practice, there are no gender-based restrictions. Just as anybody can do meditation, anybody can learn and do tarot readings.
The only things that matter are skills, patience, and passion.
Also, there are some people who believe that tarot readings should not be done for women.
This means that while a tarot reader can be a woman, a querent cannot.
Again, this is simply ridiculous.
What difference does it make whether a querent is a man, woman, or any other gendered person?
This probably stems from a section of society that doesn’t want women to gain insights that can help them transform their lives for the better.
Most spiritual practices transcend cultures or religions.
This is why they are called “spiritual” practices, and not “religious” or “cultural” practices.
Just as meditation and yoga are done by people belonging to all sorts of religions, nationalities, races, etc., a tarot reading can be done by anybody and for anybody.
There are absolutely no restrictions in this regard.
After all, tarot reading is associated with the energies of a person and also their subconscious mind.
It relates to the practical aspects and various areas of one’s life.
The beauty of tarot cards is that they can be adapted to the unique traits and circumstances of any person in the world.
This is a common misconception among many people in the world.
Even some beginner tarot readers believe in this.
You see, a tool is a tool. It is not good or bad in itself. A knife can cut your fruits, but it can also cut you. Fire can cook your food, but it can also burn you. It depends on how you use it.
Similarly, any tarot card has its purpose. It is there to give you a message about a particular aspect of your life. It is not good or bad in itself.
If a tarot card is pointing at something bad, that is because that’s the truth of your life at the present moment.
For instance, if a card tells you that your romantic relationship is messed up, the card is not “bad.”
It’s just that that’s the reality of your relationship right now.
So, you shouldn’t look at cards from a black-and-white lens.
Instead, see them as messengers that just want to convey what you need to hear right now.
You might have read that a tarot reading involves all sorts of elaborate and complex rituals.
- You might have read about incense sticks, essential oil diffusers, crystal balls, crystals, and whatnot.
- You might have also read that the cards should only be touched with your left hand or that they should be stored in a silk cloth to protect their energy.
Well, the truth is that none of these rituals are compulsary.
It is a matter of personal choice or preference, so you as a reader feel at ease and ready to do your tarot reading….
In fact, all a tarot reading really needs is proper shuffling (to ensure randomness) and a surface to lay the cards on.
If you want to add something to this process, like an intense stick or anything else, that’s completely your choice. There is no compulsion to do it.
Again, these cards relate to your energy and subconscious mind. And they will give you the message that you are supposed to get regardless of other factors.
No, you don’t!
These days, every tarot deck comes with a small guidebook that contains the meanings of all the cards in the deck.
There are also lots of awesome tarot books out there to help you.
And whenever you’re doing a reading, you can definitely refer to the book of your choice for the meanings of the cards you’ve pulled.
Based on that, you can mold your interpretations based on your situations and other cards that you’ve pulled.
Initially, having to go back to your book every time might feel like a drag.
But when you keep doing this over and over again, you will eventually not need to do so.
The meanings will get imprinted in your mind and you will also have a certain sense of what the card is trying to tell you.
More over for most of the tarot cards, the imagery on each card is often explicit enough to trigger your intuition and help you understand the message the cards want to deliver.
Sure, you can spend time initially trying to memorize as many meanings as you possibly can, but that is not a necessity.
Last but certainly not least, this myth probably comes from the same source as myth number 1.
But the reasoning behind this might be a little different.
It is said that tarot cards can contain and hold the energies of the people they come in contact with.
So, if other people use these cards, they might get inaccurate readings.
To that extent, this myth is probably right.
However, there is a fix.
You can always cleanse any deck of used cards and get rid of any old or negative energies in them. Check our article about how to cleanse the tarot cards HERE.
After all, you might not know who the old owner was and what type of energy they might have been exuding.
There are many ways of cleansing tarot cards and you can choose the one that you like the best.
After that, you are free to use these cards as if they are brand new.
if you want to read about the history of tarot, feel free to check our article HERE.