There are tons of tarot myths out there.
But don’t believe everything you hear.
Because it’s not all true. And not everything you hear about tarot is helpful, either.
You want to know which myth I wish would disappear?
The belief that tarot readings have to complicated in order to be accurate.
There is something within our human nature that likes it when things feel hard.
So we go for the really complex, multi-layered tarot spreads.
Or we search for overly complicated tarot techniques, believing that that is where the answer to life’s mysteries exists.
Life is complicated enough.
Tarot doesn’t have to be.
I truly believe – no, I know – that the most powerful tarot readings don’t come from complicated techniques or approaches.
In fact, I think that the more convoluted tarot gets, the harder it can be to get to the heart of the answer you’re seeking.
I always come back to three main principles in my card readings:
If you know my backstory with tarot, you’ll have heard me tell this one before:
When I got my first deck of tarot cards in the mid `90s, I pulled them out, gave them a shuffle, turned a few over and…nothing happened.
And boy, did I have high expectations that something would happen.
As a kid, I’d grown up with a ton of imaginary friends. Some of them were black cats that I imagined to be my familiars. I’d sit on the ground at recess pretending to host séances while the other kids ran around and played games.
My mom had a ton of wild ghost stories – real ghost stories – that I’d grown up on and I knew there was more to life than what we could see in front of us.
So when I was finally old enough to go out and buy my own deck of tarot cards I thought that it would finally be my turn to see something others couldn’t.
I wasn’t sure exactly how it would happen, or what kind of vision I would get.
But what I hadn’t...
A common trait that many tarot readers share is that we want to help other people.
Whether you still consider yourself a student of tarot, or you read professionally, I’d bet there’s a good chance you’ve been called to read cards out of the desire to be of service in some capacity.
But good intentions can backfire. Sometimes, the desire to help can actually leave your querent feeling insulted, put down, and unheard.
Why? Whether you’re reading tarot for practice or professionally, you’ll have to navigate the numerous perspectives and beliefs about tarot that are out there.
Some people see tarot as a predictive, psychic tool.
Others see it as a psychological one.
Some use it for self-exploration, healing, and reflection.
And some people seek out tarot readings for fun, entertainment, and curiosity.
In short, there are a lot of reasons why people seek out readings. And the more you read for the public, the more you’ll realize that your average tarot...
Not everyone wants to read tarot at a professional level.
It’s more than okay for tarot to be a hobby, an interest, and a personal outlet.
But it’s also okay to want to read tarot for other people, and even build a business out of it.
One of the reasons why I talk so much about reading tarot for others is because I meet so many people with a deep desire to do just that.
There is something about tarot that attracts compassionate helpers. We see the potential that tarot has when it comes to bringing clarity to a problem, opening up new perspectives, and holding space for meaningful conversation.
A lot of us want to use tarot to do something good in the world.
But there are differences between reading tarot personally versus professionally. Pulling out tarot cards for fun with friends comes with different expectations than reading for a paying client.
Those expectations don’t just happen on the client’s side. You, as a tarot reader, have to put new expectations...
I was reading an interview with a celebrated occult writer last year and was surprised when he admitted that he almost only reads esoteric books.
When I’m scrolling through my social media feed, I often stop to look at posts about what people in the tarot community are reading. And usually those updates feature books about tarot, divination, spirituality, or magic.
When you’re passionate about something, you tend to gravitate towards it. And I spend my fair share of time reading about tarot, too.
Sometimes my tarot students have confessed that they feel pressured to read every single thing they can about tarot – even if it’s at the expense of making time to explore other interests or give their intellects a break by changing the topic.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with setting out to gain a substantial level of knowledge – in fact, I encourage it. Tarot, spirituality, and the occult are lifelong paths on which we are always learning....
People talk about tools like tarot and other esoteric practices as though they are shortcuts or hacks that will accelerate their paths to success.
Which is why I always feel so boring in that broken-record-kind-of-way when I say that learning tarot doesn’t come with any shortcuts.
To get good at tarot, it takes practice, commitment, and consistency.
Like anything else, if you keep showing up for it, put in the time, and push yourself to improve, things will change.
Which is what happened to one of my students last year, Nat. In early 2020, she sent me an email worried that her progress was slow: “I don’t think I’m very good at this.”
I told her to keep practicing, keep going.
I know that’s the key, because when I was in Nat’s position, I hit walls, too. And I have had to embrace the same learning curves in tarot as everyone else.
So I know how much can change with practice and consistent effort.
And now, a little over a year later, Nat is...
Work and relationship readings are a tarot reader's bread and butter.
If you want to read tarot for a living, you’re going to end up doing a lot of readings on these two topics.
These are the two most common topics that clients want to explore in their readings. It doesn’t matter whether you, the reader, like it or not. If you want to serve your clients and help them sort out their lives, you need to meet them where they’re at.
And often, that means walking through them through decisions about their careers and love lives.
As much as we might, as tarot readers, get excited about getting deep on spiritual explorations in our work, some clients aren’t quite ready for that - or may feel they have more pressing matters to work through first.
Reading on work and relationships for other people means:
Being aware of the responsibility that comes with these discussions;
Being clear and confident in how to handle tricky questions and when to reframe them to better...
When I first started reading tarot for other people, I was actually surprised at how many wanted to know about love.
I thought I would be answering different types of questions about spiritual journeys and personal transformations.
But I quickly realized how important relationships are to people, and how much is at stake when we are talking about love, commitment, loyalty and companionship.
Some of the hardest questions I’ve had to answer as a tarot reader had to do with relationships.
They can be really complicated. Especially if the people involved are cycling through a range of emotions: One day they’re on, another they’re off.
Divining a clear answer about a relationship is not always easy to pin down when the people in question can’t be pinned down in the first place.
Another challenge can arise when clients are impatient about the answer: They feel like they’ve already been waiting “long enough” for love and they don’t want to...
The other day I got an email from one of my students:
“Liz, I’ve heard you say that you don’t need to be psychic to read tarot. And I don’t disagree, because I don’t consider myself psychic and I’ve definitely been improving in my readings lately because I’ve been following your instructions on how to actually read my cards. But at what point does tarot become an intuitive practice, too? I keep expecting my intuition to kick in, but I don’t know how or when that will happen.”
I love this question, because it highlights the mainstream context of tarot – that it is a psychic tool – and opposes it against the reality of cartomancy – that you need to learn to read the cards if you want to make them talk.
I also consider “psychic” to be a loaded word. Not because I have anything against it, but because the mainstream perceptions – the Hollywood stereotypes of psychic ability – has created...
When I ask people why they want to read tarot, the Number One reason I hear is, “I want to develop my intuition.”
So many of us want to experience trust and alignment within ourselves, and the universe. And tarot can be an amazing way to open up to that.
But there is a lot of confusion about intuition and psychic ability out there. These are concepts that we need to develop with discernment, responsibility, and groundedness if we really want to embrace them in our lives.
This goes for whether you read tarot or not – intuition is not reliant on divination.
There is no shortage of psychic advice out there in cyberspace these days. Take a scroll on Instagram and you’ll likely come across posts encouraging you to trust your psychic skills and cut off those “low-vibe” friends. Or memes that remind you that your intuition is never wrong.
But – and this a big but – the problem with that is that it’s really easy to confuse other...