Myth Busting and Misconceptions About Tarot

Tarot, a practice often shrouded in mystery and intrigue, has given rise to numerous myths and misconceptions. From beliefs about its ability to predict the future to misconceptions about the need for special powers or psychic abilities, tarot has been both mystified and misunderstood. In this article, we delve into the reality behind these popular myths, exploring the true nature of tarot readings, the significance of the cards, and the reader’s role. We aim to demystify the practice, highlighting tarot’s value as a powerful tool for introspection, guidance, and personal insight, rather than a means of fortune telling or mystical prediction.

  • Tarot readings offer insights into the present and explore potential paths, but they don’t predict the future or bring misfortune.
  • Anyone can learn to read tarot cards; psychic abilities are not required, and owning or choosing your own tarot deck enhances personal connection.
  • Common misunderstandings, like fearing the Death card, overlook tarot’s symbolic nature, which reflects life’s complexities and transformations, not literal events.

Common Tarot Myths

Tarot card spread on a table, highlighting guidance and introspection.

1. Tarot Predicts the Future

The myth that tarot cards can unveil the future is one of the most pervasive in the world of tarot. However, the true essence of tarot reading lies in its ability to offer profound insights into one’s current situation, serving as a guide to explore potential future pathways.

Rather than acting as a crystal ball for fortune telling, tarot is a reflective tool that empowers individuals to make informed choices and envision possible outcomes based on their present circumstances.

2. Tarot and Dark Forces

A common misconception associates tarot with mystical or dark forces, attributing magical powers to the practice. In reality, tarot is far from being a conduit of supernatural forces. It is, instead, a valuable tool for self-discovery and introspection.

Tarot facilitates a deeper understanding of personal experiences and emotions, guiding users through intuitive reflection without any inherent malevolence or mystical attributes.

3. Psychic Abilities Required for Reading Tarot

Many believe that reading tarot is exclusive to those with psychic abilities, creating an aura of inaccessibility around the practice. Contrary to this popular belief, tarot reading is a skill that can be cultivated by anyone.

It involves interpreting the symbolism and narratives presented by the cards, which hinges on personal intuition and an understanding of the tarot’s rich symbolic language, rather than on inherent psychic powers.

4. Infallibility of Tarot Cards

There’s a notion that tarot readings are always unequivocally accurate, providing clear-cut answers to life’s questions. This belief, however, overlooks the nuanced nature of tarot.

Tarot readings offer guidance and perspective, heavily reliant on the reader’s interpretation and the context of the querent’s life and situation.

They are not about delivering absolute truths, but rather about offering insights that help individuals understand their life’s journey from a broader perspective.

5. Tarot Bringing Misfortune

Diverse group learning to read tarot cards together.

The fear that engaging with tarot cards could bring about misfortune or curses is a significant misconception. Far from being an omen of bad luck, tarot is a tool for introspection and personal growth.

It encourages users to reflect on their life, providing clarity and understanding, rather than dictating their fate or bringing about ill fortune. The cards serve as mirrors to the soul, reflecting back what lies within, and facilitating a deeper understanding of one’s self and surroundings.

6. Exclusive Gift for Reading Tarot

The belief that tarot reading is an exclusive skill, available only to those with special powers or a unique ‘gift’, is a significant misconception. In reality, the art of reading tarot is a skill that can be learned and mastered by anyone with a keen interest and dedication.

The journey of learning to read tarot cards is enriching and accessible, opening a world of insight and self-reflection to all who embark on it, regardless of their background or innate abilities.

7. Buying Your Own First Tarot Deck

Contrary to the myth that one’s first tarot deck must be received as a gift, many tarot enthusiasts find profound personal connections with decks they select.

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The process of choosing your own tarot deck allows for a more intimate and meaningful engagement with the cards, fostering a deeper bond and more resonant readings.

8. Tarot for Major Life Decisions Only

Limiting tarot’s use to major life decisions underestimates its versatility and breadth. Tarot is a multifaceted tool that offers guidance on a wide spectrum of life’s aspects, from aiding in mental health and self-care to providing insight into daily challenges and opportunities.

It’s a valuable resource for continuous personal guidance, not just for life-altering choices.

9. Misinterpretation of the Death Card

Artistic representation of the Death tarot card with transformation symbols.

One of the most common misconceptions in tarot is the interpretation of the Death card as a literal harbinger of death. In the context of tarot, this card usually symbolizes significant change, the conclusion of one phase, and the start of another.

It represents transformation and renewal, marking pivotal points in life where endings give way to new beginnings.

10. Tarot as Unscientific

While tarot may not align with traditional scientific methods, dismissing it as unscientific or irrational overlooks its depth and value. Tarot is a practice steeped in symbolism and personal exploration.

It provides a unique lens for introspection and understanding, allowing individuals to delve into their psyche and navigate their life path with greater clarity and self-awareness.

It’s a subjective tool that offers psychological and emotional insights, making it a valuable complement to personal growth and understanding.

11. Self-Reading Tarot Myth

The myth that self-reading in tarot is ineffective or impossible is far from the truth. In fact, self-reading is a highly beneficial and reflective practice. It offers a unique opportunity to connect deeply with one’s intuition and navigate through personal experiences and challenges.

Self-reading can be a powerful tool for self-discovery and personal growth, allowing individuals to explore and understand their own journey in a more intimate and meaningful way.

12. Professional Reader and Monetary Compensation

There’s a misconception that professional tarot readers should not charge for their readings. However, like any skill or service, professional tarot reading is a valuable offering that deserves fair compensation.

Tarot readers invest time in honing their craft, and charging for their services is a legitimate and reasonable practice. This ensures that the art of tarot reading is respected and sustained as a professional service.

13. Querent’s Interaction with the Tarot Deck

Tarot reader conducting a reading, focusing on hands and cards.

The belief that clients or querents should not touch the tarot deck varies among practitioners and is not a hard-and-fast rule.

Each tarot reader may have their own approach; some prefer to allow clients to handle and shuffle the cards, fostering a more personal connection and interaction with the reading, while others might not. This aspect of a tarot reading is left to the discretion of the individual reader.

14. Good vs. Bad Tarot Cards

Categorizing tarot cards into ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is an overly simplistic view of the tarot’s rich and complex symbolism. Every card in the tarot deck, whether from the major or minor arcana, plays a role in conveying a comprehensive message.

The cards provide nuanced insights into life’s challenges and opportunities, each contributing to a balanced and holistic understanding of the reading. This perspective allows for a more in-depth interpretation and appreciation of the tarot’s guidance and wisdom.


In conclusion, understanding the truths behind these common tarot myths and misconceptions reveals a more grounded and practical view of tarot. Far from being a mystical tool with magical powers or an infallible predictor of the future, tarot is a reflective aid for personal insight and guidance.

It’s a practice that encourages individuals to connect with their intuition, explore various aspects of their lives, and gain a deeper understanding of their current situation and potential paths forward.

By dispelling these myths, we open the door to a more meaningful and accessible tarot experience, one that is rooted in self-discovery, personal growth, and a deeper appreciation of this age-old practice.

Whether you’re a seasoned reader or new to the world of tarot, embracing this perspective can transform your approach to tarot, making it a valuable tool in your journey of self-exploration and life navigation.

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Christina Johnson

About the Author

My name is Christina, and I am the founder of centerspirited. Being a physiotherapist for several years I have found that many people, including myself, don’t achieve well-being only from a physical point of view. I’ve always viewed a person’s body, soul, and emotions as a whole construct of beauty. Always being a yoga enthusiast, I finally became an instructor myself. On a secret mission to capture spirituality in all of her beautiful shapes, I found myself being guided on a way through ayurvedic nutrition and lifestyle. Through this platform, I will hopefully be able to help other beautiful souls out there find their inner peace and bond with their spiritual selves.

Tarot Card Reading & Your Destiny
Your destiny is shaped by your choices, and tarot can help you make the right ones. Get your hands on our eBook!
Free Download: Tarot Card Reading & Your Destiny
Your destiny is shaped by your choices, and tarot can help you make the right ones. Get your hands on our eBook!