A look at how the Tarot works

In my previous post, I shared a bit about the history of the Tarot and briefly introduced you to the cards. Today, let me tell you how the Tarot works – and doesn’t work.

There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the Tarot, which isn’t surprising given its portrayal in the movies. Picture this:

A young girl goes to a fortune teller, who pulls out the Death cards and says something like: “Oh, Death! Someone you love is going to die today!” *Cue dramatic music in the background.*

I say: Bullshit!

Tarot cards - Death

From the Mary-El Tarot Tarot deck – I love this version of the card. It depicts what Death truly represents – the end of a cycle or transformation.

For one, Death very rarely means the literal death of someone – so breathe! For another, the Tarot does not tell you exactly what will happen, or exactly when it will happen, and a reading isn’t set in stone. Hello, free will!

The Tarot provides you with a road map

It is based on your current circumstances, on your current thought process and actions. It’s excellent at telling you what may be blocking you or holding you back. At indicating the broad themes that are playing out in your life. It does indicate an outcome as well, but it is always based on the present. It can always be changed depending on your actions, on the work that you do to actively bring about a change in yourself.

The Tarot is not set in stone

People often mistakenly believe that the Tarot will tell you your future. But it doesn’t…not really. The best way I know how to explain it is using this quote from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho:

“When people consult me, it’s not that I’m reading the future; I am guessing at the future… How do I guess at the future? Based on the omens of the present. The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.”

It’s always about the present. It’s about the energies surrounding a particular problem that may be perplexing you. The Tarot can give you juicy guidance on your blocks  and on how you can resolve those blocks; it can give you a deeper look at the situation and tell you what you can do – NOW – to improve things.

The future is always unknown. The Tarot makes it easier to navigate through the currents of life. Click To Tweet

Sounds juicy?

Give it a spin! For the next 15 days only I’m offering personalized Tarot readings at a special introductory price of INR 550. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to really see what a Tarot reading can uncover for you. Book your reading now!

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I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. While I certainly believe that the silliest of decks can read for the most serious of questions and vice versa, it’s also been my experience that each deck has a niche mode in which it shines brightest.

  2. I am fascinated by Tarot. My daughter gave me a deck about 19 years ago. I do believe that Tarot came to me rather than me pursuing it. I do wish however they would rename the Death card Transformation. Nice post

    • Some decks do, Suzy. There are SO many decks out there, and it’s such a bummer that most of them aren’t available here in India. But I know that there are some that have renamed the Death card to Transformation (and also The Tower to something else), but I can’t remember which ones, offhand.

  3. I concur with what most of the people above have mentioned. I too had some wrong misconceptions about tarot and assumed that it predicted the future. I guess I need to read up more about it.

    • I’ll be sharing a lot more about the Tarot here on the blog. That should give you lots more insights into how to Tarot works. 🙂

    • No Neha, they are two different things. Angel cards are Oracle cards. My next Tarot post is about the differences between Tarot and Oracle cards. Hopefully that will answer your question better! 🙂

    • That is what a lot of people believe, isn’t it? But it’s not really true. I’m glad the post helped clear the confusion. 🙂

    • LOL! None of the Tarot cards are ominous, even the “scary” ones – they are just shadow aspects, much like life – positive and negative. Understood correctly, they’re actually quite transformative!

    • There’s really not much future prediction with Tarot, even though some Tarot readers claim they can tell you the future. I think you just need to get a reading to understand, but do make sure you choose the right Tarot reader. If you choose someone with a limited understanding of Tarot, their readings will reflect that, and the answers you get may lead to more questions!

  4. My younger sister recently wanted a tarot deck and a guide .. we have not yet decided on one.. your thoughts are true, nothing can provide us the future before it has happened.. it may answer queries and provide us a peace of mind.. 🙂

    • If you haven’t decided on a deck yet, keep an eye out for next week’s tarot post. There will be recommendations at the end of it. ?

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