10 Tarot Myths To Forget About Right Now
The art of tarot reading can be pretty overwhelming at times and can seem inaccessible to some because of the many myths and superstitions that surround it. I know this because I felt the exact same way at the very beginning of my tarot journey. Regardless of my interest in the practice, I was put off by some of the things I was hearing. Little did I realise that these stories that I'd been fed were no more than myths told by people who had next to no experience with the cards themselves.
The truth is, many of the stories that you may have heard about tarot are nothing more than that. Out-dated and completely unnecessary stories, made up by people who simply don't understand what tarot is or does. I mean, there may be a grain of truth to one or two of those stories, but for the most part, there isn't. For the more experienced tarot reader, these myths are quite funny and become the butt of many jokes in the tarot community. But for a beginner, they can be quite scary and off-putting!
A majority of these myths and superstitions are fairly recent. With the popularity of tarot reading growing stronger each day, these superstitions grow with it and begin to take on a life of their own. And, as a tarot reader, this is something that you'll be faced with every day. If I had a penny for every time I'd been asked if 'tarot reading is evil' or 'does that mean that you're a psychic', I'd be a very rich woman. There are literally more myths than tarot decks at this point.
I think it's about time that we forget these crazy myths and superstitions and just simply appreciate tarot for the wonderful practice that it is! Here are 10 of the biggest tarot myths that are floating about.
1. Don’t Read Tarot For Yourself
If this were true, many tarot readers wouldn't have even got their foot in the door, me included. This is how many tarot readers start their journey. It's how they learn. It's how they adapt. It's how they grow.
Tarot is the link between you and your unconscious mind. It allows you to tap into your intuition and align with your Higher Self, opening you up to so many opportunities. I find it much easier to connect this way with my own readings than if someone else was conducting the reading.
Don't get me wrong, I can understand where this myth comes from, because reading for yourself can be difficult. During your own readings, you're invested too invested in the question, and it's hard to detach yourself from the situation, meaning that your readings can become biased to suit your needs. But this is simply a learning curve. Reading for yourself will teach you to take things on board, even if it's not what you want to hear, and eventually you'll be able to take your ego out of the equation and judge clearly.
2. Tarot Is An Evil Practice
I don't know where this myth came from, but this is something I get faced with a lot. In fact, my own grandmother came at me with this response when she first found out about my ability to read the cards. *insert face-plant emoji*
There is absolutely nothing evil about tarot. Nothing. You're not going to summon the Devil each time you open your deck. You're not going to unleash a frenzy of demons each time you pull a card. You're not going to be led down the path of the dark side of the occult every time you do a reading. I promise.
Let me just take this time to remind everyone that tarot started off as a game - much like modern day playing cards - before it had anything to do with divination and the occult. Let me also remind you that these days, tarot is mostly used for personal development and introspect.
A tarot deck is just a deck of cards at the end of the day. The magic is in the reader and they way they can interpret the cards - this is also not evil. Most tarot readers use the cards to provide guidance and inspiration to their clients on their journey and to help those find the best course of action for the situation they may find themselves in. I'm not disputing that there are some tarot readers out there who might use their cards for less than satisfactory practices, but the majority of us don't condone or associate ourselves with that.
3. Never Purchase Your Own Tarot Deck
Again, if this were true, I wouldn't be where I am today. My family and friends are not tarot enthusiasts. They're also not that great at taking a hint. If I had to wait for them to get me a tarot deck, I'd be waiting for a very long time.
For all the tarot enthusiasts out there that have been put off by this myth, that's all it is. Pure myth. There is no truth to this comment at all. Most tarot readers buy their own decks. It's actually important to choose your own tarot deck, simply because it's an intuitive process. Some tarot cards will suit you and others won't. It's all down to connection and only your intuition can decide that.
I'm pretty sure that this myth comes from the idea of having to be initiated into tarot - therefore receiving your first deck as a gift when you were ready. This may have been true back in the day, but it's not any more. If you want to buy a tarot deck, go out and buy a tarot deck. You don't need permission. You don't need initiation. You just need a keen desire to learn tarot and a connection with the deck that you mean to purchase. That's it. Treat yourself to a tarot deck!
4. The Death Card Is Bad
Death is a scary word. And when people hear it, blind panic ensues. And it's the same in tarot. When the death card turns up in any reading, sheer panic overtakes the clients face and they look at you as if you've just killed them off. Of course, then there's the sigh of relief when you tell them what it actually means.
Death doesn't not mean death in the literal sense. It does not mean that you or any of your loved ones are going to die. It just represents change. A necessary change that may be unwelcome and scary, and could signify something dying (like a dream or a situation) but in time this change will bring positive benefits. So really, it's not a bad card at all. It serves as a wake up call to change bad habits or toxic situations in order to really embrace life. It's one door closing and another door opening.
5. Tarot Can Only Read The Future
There are so many things that can be done with tarot cards other than reading the future. It's such a diverse tool! I personally rarely use them to read my future, I like to focus on the present and paving the way for my ideal future. I'd rather know what can be done now, rather than what can be done in 10 years time.
Many readers - myself included - prefer to use tarot for introspection, present guidance and emotional understanding. To look through current situations and emotions and find out what's really going on under the surface. What's causing us to feel the way we are? How we can learn to let go? What information is hidden from us? What approach should be taken? Catch my drift?
Of course, it's good to be prepared for what may or may not come, but the focus should be on how you're going to deal with that now - not then. It's more useful that way. Don't sit back and wait around for something to happen. Take action now!
6. What Comes Up In Tarot Is Set In Stone
Nothing is set in stone. Not even our future. Your future is a result of cause and effect. It reflects the decisions that you've made up until that point. That can be changed at any time. It's like the butterfly effect. One tiny change can completely change the course of your future, whether for better or worse.
The great thing about tarot is that you can get an idea of how things may or may not work out, and then change it in your favour. Turn the tables on yourself. Tarot can show you future possibilities, but the rest depends on you. Whatever you decide to do from that moment on can change those possibilities and open you up to others. You are in control of your future, no one else.
7. Tarot Reading Is A Scam
This is something that really gets my back up. It's ignorant and offensive to the genuine tarot readers out there. Although there may be less than authentic readers out there, it's the same in any profession. You do get people who are not above taking advantage of others to make a few pennies. But to tarnish everyone else in that profession with the same brush, is rude and harmful. It's often pretty obvious to wean out the real from the fake, and it's always good to be cautious and aware of who you're giving your money to, but this doesn't mean that every tarot reader is trying to do you over.
You may not believe in the power of tarot cards and that's perfectly fine - each to their own - but there is no need to shoot down those who do. And there's no need to shoot down those who are trying to help others through the gift that they believe that they have.
If you're concerned about being conned by a less than authentic tarot reader, that's perfectly understandable - it's good to be cautious. Choose a reader that you trust and feel comfortable with. Word of mouth and good reviews is a great way to find someone authentic - whether in person or online. If you're still unsure, ask the reader if you can have a quick chat with them before you book their services, whether in person, on the phone or through email. Most readers wouldn't mind answering a few questions just to ease your mind.
8. Only Psychics Can Read Tarot
This can be a very intimidating one for beginning tarot readers, but don’t let it put you off!
Everybody is born with psychic abilities but as we progress into adults, we close ourselves off to them. Many people ignore this ability when it makes itself known, instead of working on it and developing it. Some people are more fine tuned to it and these are the people who delve deeper into it - like tarot readers.
Tarot is a great tool to develop your psychic abilities and energy. So no, you don’t have to be tuned into your psychic abilities to start using them. Those who are more fine-tuned to their abilities are more likely to be drawn to the cards, but anyone can read them!
Being able to connect with your psychic abilities is a valuable skill in tarot reading but it’s not the only one. As long as your dedicated to learn and practice tarot, then you shouldn’t let your psychic connection - or lack thereof - to hold you back. Seriously!
Tarot will teach you to connect with your intuition - which we all have - and before long, tapping into your intuition will become like second nature. This is one of the first steps in activating your psychic ability.
9. Nobody But You Should Touch Your Cards
This is one that really gets me laughing. My boyfriend, who doesn’t know much about tarot, picked this up from somewhere and now refuses to touch my deck. Seriously, he will go out of his way not to touch them. I don't know what he thinks may happen if he does but it's funny either way.
I actually don’t mind anyone touching my deck. I encourage it. If someone asks if they can look through my cards, I’m more than happy for them to do so. When I do an in-person reading, I encourage them to touch the deck. If my deck is in someone’s seat, by all means, move it. There is nothing scary about someone else touching your deck.
I don’t know where this myth originated from, but I can kind of understand why it’s floating around. Tarot decks - like most things - are a breeding ground for negative energy, and that negative energy can affect your reading. But, if someone does touch your deck, it’s not going to be contaminated with bad luck for the rest of its days. Negative energy can be dealt with quite easily. Its called cleansing.
Next time someone touches your deck, don’t panic! Just breathe and relax. Just be sure to cleanse the deck before using it next. There are many methods to doing this - moon bath, salt burial, sorting and shuffling or cleanse with a smudge stick. Simple!
10, You Must Know All The Card Meanings Before You Start
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
There are 78 cards in a tarot deck. All with various meanings - not to mention reversed meanings! Memorising them all during a short period of time is nothing short of a nightmare (and a major headache)!
There is no need to memorise all 78 card meanings. There is no need to stay up all night reading and making notes. No need for flash cards and mini exams. No need to burn yourself out before you’ve even started your practice!
Tarot reading is all about interpretation and creating a deep intuitive connection with your cards. Interpretations that you may find in your tarot book are not set in stone. They’re open to your own input! Remember, your intuition knows best!
Instead of running to your guidebook each time you do a reading, sit with your cards, focus on them and feel them out. Look at the imagery. Look at the patterns. Ask your intuition.
My advice - only use textbook meanings when you’re drawing up blanks or when you need a little more understanding of your own interpretation.
I hope this post helped you to understand the lessons you could be opening yourself up to with tarot! What mistakes are you guilty of making from time to time? How did you break yourself out of these bad tarot habits? Please let me know in the comments below!
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