How Tarot Readings Work

Tarot cards are actually only one form of divination, but it is also one of the mostly widely uses. Reading someone’s tarot cards is said to be a way to determine potential outcomes, and is also a way to determine the influences that are surrounding a person, event, or sometimes even both. Contrary to popular belief, tarot readers do not show you an absolute future; the cards only give the subject a possible outcome, so that they can be armed with the knowledge to go out and make more informed choices. Therefore, tarot comes with a warning that there are no guarantees from a reading, and that is not an absolute future prediction.

How Tarot Readings Work


A spread is actually the arrangement that the cards are dealt in a reading. The two most common spreads are the Three Fates and the Celtic Cross, although there are many, many more. The Three Fates has three cards; the past, the present, and the future.

The Celtic Cross has 10 cards that represent a variety of things including conflicting influences, the past, the future, and your personal hopes.

Major and Minor Arcana

Every tarot card deck has two types of cards; these are called the Major and Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana pretty much resembles a regular deck of cards with cards numbered one to 10 divided into four suits. The deck also has face cards that feature the king, queen, page and knight.

The Major Arcana on the other hand has stand-alone cards that each have their own special meaning. These cards usually include the Devil, Strength, Temperance, The Hanged Man, Death, and the Fool.

Where Does it Come From?

Different tarot readers have different ideas as to where there talent for reading the tarot cards came from. Many believe that there “power” comes from within themselves and that the cards are just a medium to let it out. Others say that they tap into a universal mind, and others say that their gift comes from the gods or other supernatural entities that give you the gift of tarot reading and psychic abilities.

There are many readers however, that don’t give an explanation at all for their abilities. They feel that there is no way of understanding how this mindset works. It is a gift and they accept the gift without questioning the why; much as we accept the gift of being able to play the piano or being gifted in the arts.

What is the Power of the Cards?

Very few tarot readers will tell you that it’s just possible to pick up a deck of tarot cards and preform a reading. It doesn’t work that way, and you have to have some form of talent to pull a reading off. Sometimes the cards are viewed as having no power and all, and sometimes they are viewed as at least pointing the reader in the right direction. Whichever one you believe, know that tarot reading is more than a parlor trick, and should be believed in.