6 Tarot Myths & Misconceptions
When you are a tarot beginner, the first thing you will have the urge to do is begin to look online to research websites, blog posts, and tarot articles. Unfortunately, you will find a smorgasbord of tarot-related content and may suffer from information overload. You will also experience confusion because you will find plenty of articles conflicting with one another, and you will not know what is true.
Therefore, buying a recommended tarot book is ideal when you are a tarot beginner, and once you know the basics, you can begin to do additional research online. First, you will find a list of recommended books. You can also take some tarot courses, though that is not mandatory. However, even when you do, you will encounter articles that contain tarot myths and misconceptions, which will confuse you even more. So, I will zero in on the six most common tarot myths and misconceptions that confuse and discourage many tarot beginners, or even some practitioners who are somewhat more seasoned.
If you’re interested in having a reading online, check out our list of the best tarot sites.
Tarot Myth #1 – You Need To Be Psychic To Read Tarot
The number one myth regarding tarot is that if you are not psychic, you will not be able to learn the tarot. I will tell you that is boloney! Brigit Esselmont, the owner of Biddy Tarot, also speaks about this. She puts it that the myth states that you must have supernatural power to read the tarot. And I feel this is the most common myth that discourages many people from even thinking of grabbing a tarot deck that draws them.
But I will tell you that you do not have to have an uncanny ability to predict the future. You do not have to have ESP or the ability to read someone’s past just by looking at them to be “eligible” to read tarot cards. If you are relieved to read this because you read plenty of content insinuating that you had to have some psychic ability to become a successful tarot reader, then I am glad. So go out there and grab the deck that draws you!
Tarot Myth #2 – The Death Tarot Card Means Death Is Impending
Some tarot beginners may realize a misconception about the Death tarot card, but I would make a bet and say that the majority do not. Podcaster Theresa Reed, known as the Tarot Lady who has her podcast Tarot Bites interviewed another seasoned tarot reader, Michael Herkes, and they covered the topic of the Death card and the misconception about it.
The Death tarot card represents endings and transformations, and rarely physical death. So this card can only indicate the physical end of the reading involves a terminal patient getting close to passing. And the Death card may suggest that they will have a peaceful transition. But that is the extent of it.
When you see the Death card in a tarot reading, expect that you will face an ending regarding something, as it could be a phase of your life that will end for good. It may even be a relationship, a job, or something else. The Death card can also represent significant life changes that force transformation, such as getting married, having a baby, moving to a different city, and leaving your old life behind while you start a new one. You can see not a lot of doom and gloom about this card (unless it involves a relationship that you do not want to end), but it is a card that marks significant changes and endings.
Tarot Myth #3 – Tarot Cards Are Evil
Tarot cards are evil? What? How can pieces of cardboard with beautiful imagery be evil? However, unfortunately, the notion that tarot cards are bad comes from those with strong religious beliefs. Those heavily involved in Christianity will tell you that if you work with tarot cards, you are working with the devil and will conjure up evil spirits. And according to Aleteia, a Catholic spiritual network, they do say that as they state the following from this article:
“Using tarot cards for the purpose of gaining “hidden knowledge” is never a good idea and opens up a person to the demonic. It represents a desire for power and a rejection of God’s providential care over creation.”
Therefore, once these beliefs keep circulating and make those interested in learning the tarot believe that they are working with the “devil,” that can only discourage them from continuing the practice. Therefore, if you are conflicted about whether or not to continue to learn the tarot because you fear you are working with an evil craft, understand that this is one of these six myths and misconceptions about tarot. Don’t let it influence you.
Tarot Myth #4 – Memorizing The Cards Is Necessary For You To Learn The Craft
Yes, even though it is true that you do need to understand the meaning of the cards, you do not need to memorize the cards before you begin to do your tarot readings. If you prefer to memorize the tarot cards before you start getting ready to do practice readings on yourself and others, that is your choice, however.
But you will see something. As you practice your craft further, you will find that the cards’ meanings do change, and you will also develop more intuition and use that as you continue your tarot journey. Therefore, if you spend a good chunk of your time studying and working on remembering the tarot meanings through those booklets that you get with your decks, you will see how unnecessary that is as you progress with your tarot work; you will develop your meanings to the cards.
Tarot Myth #5 – You Can Only Use Tarot Cards To Predict The Future
Suppose you believe that tarot can only predict the future. In that case, no one can blame you for thinking that because movies and television shows depict tarot readers as mystical beings that can predict your future. However, you must know that it is untrue. Tarot has many purposes that have nothing to do with predicting the future. Instead, Tarot can help you gain insight into your life, past, and other aspects of your journey. As you learn more about tarot, you will see what an excellent tool it is because there are many uses for the cards. The cards can also help you with self-reflection and stir creativity.
Tarot can help you gain insight into your life, past, and other aspects of your journey.
Regarding future prediction, the tarot can give you insight into a possible outcome if you were to take a particular path. You have the free will to change it if you don’t like the outcome, and the tarot can give you insight into an outcome if you take alternative paths. You also want to be very cautious about putting too much stock into what the tarot predicts. You never want to rely on any tool for predicting your future because you always have the free will to change it.
Benebell Wen, the author of Holistic Tarot and The Tao of Craft, expresses concern about how so many people rely on tarot readings and other divinatory tools to predict their futures as she fears they believe that these tools nullify free will. She is right because even though tarot and other tools can give you a possible outcome, nothing is ever written in stone.
Tarot Myth #6 – You Must Never Buy A Deck As You Must Have Someone Gift You One
Did you buy your deck, and now you regret it because you are reading so many articles about how the only way you can become a genuine tarot reader is for someone to gift you a deck? I am going to ask you a question. If that were true, why are there so many tarot decks for sale on Amazon, Etsy, and at your local metaphysical store if there is one near you?
Here is another question I will ask. If you come from a religious family that shuns tarot cards, they share Myth #3 all of the time, and you are the one that has an interest in learning tarot, who will gift you a deck of tarot cards? Sure, you can add the deck you want to your Amazon wishlist, but what is the point if you can afford to buy a deck? I advise you to ignore this myth because that is all it is, and go and buy your deck if you have not done so already. You can also purchase used decks because you will hear people tell you not to do that, either.
However, you want to cleanse any tarot deck you buy, whether it is new or used, before using it. Place it on the window sill for a few hours in the daylight or overnight in the moonlight, or you can put it in a bag or a bowl with sea salt overnight. That will be enough to remove old energies from it so you can enjoy using your deck.
If you’re new to Tarot, you’ll enjoy our beginner’s guide to tarot page.
You may encounter some other misconceptions and myths about tarot that are not listed here. But I will tell you that if your intentions for using tarot are genuine and to help yourself and to help others, then ignore what you hear. Tarot is one of the best tools to provide insight for yourself and others, and many people don’t like tarot or are scared of it, which is why these myths develop. That goes for anything when you think about it. So my final words to you are not to allow anyone to convince you to stay away from tarot if they don’t like it. This is your journey! Now, I will list some excellent tarot books to add to your library as you embark on this journey:
1. Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth, by Benebell Wen.
2. Tarot for Beginners: A Guide to Psychic Tarot Reading, Real Tarot Card Meanings, and Simple Tarot Spreads, by Lisa Chamberlain.
3. How to Read Tarot: A Modern Guide, by Jessica Wiggan.
4. The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot: Your Complete Guide to Understanding the Tarot, Skye Alexander.
5. The Little Book of Tarot: An Introduction to Everything you need to Enhance your Life using the Tarot, by Katalin Patniak.