Why Skeptics Should Start Using Tarot Cards

It’s not often that left-brained dyed in the wool skeptics run to their tarot cards for answers, but they should. Whether or not you place your faith into the mystical arts and sciences that create the foundation for tarot readings and intuitive guidance, you can still benefit from a tarot reading when you’re perplexed by a situation or the implications of making a major life decision.

The Origins of Tarot

Hungarian statesmen playing tarokk, public domain work of art.

Tarot was an Italian card game. That’s it. Just a card game. Tarocchini, as it is called, is a game that involves taking and trading cards to accumulate the most points. Tarokk, an alternative version of the game, was widely played by statesmen in the late 1800’s as a pastime. Tarot cards used to be a complicated and intellectually challenging strategic game with rules so confusing that we’ll just call them a wash – think chess, but more convoluted. It’s definitely not for the impatient.

A man named Antoine Court de Gébelin, a protestant pastor from Southern France, is responsible for tarot’s rebranding as a divination tool. In 1781, Court de Gébelin went to work on The Primeval World, Analyzed and Compared to the Modern World, an essay in which he compared the symbolism shared between tarot card characters and ancient Egyptian theology by way of the Book of Thoth,

Court de Gébelin’s theory ultimately caught on, making its way to French occultist Jean-Baptiste Alliette. Alliette, also known as Etteilla. Etteilla was a mystic and astrologer who would ultimately become the first recorded person to make a living as a professional cartomancy reader. Etteilla designed the foundation for most tarot card decks, as well as the tarot card meanings as we understand them today.

Small things have changed throughout the years, but that’s only to be expected. Tarot is a lot older than most people realize. People have been using card divination for more than one hundred years before the advent of sliced bread and gasoline powered automobiles. It’s an ancient practice that might seem arbitrary, but don’t be so quick to dismiss it as quackery.

How New Age Practitioners Believe Tarot Works

Spiritual Practice

Every single person with any kind of established relationship with tarot is going to tell you something slightly different about where the answers come from or how to interpret the cards. Some of them will attribute the guidance to the main deity of their religion. Others say it’s a form a mediumship, where people who no longer physically exist will answer questions from a different plane of being. You’ll also hear about spirit guides, or “the source”. The common thread in all of these beliefs is that there is an energy greater, wiser, and more esoteric than human energy that seems to respond to the tarot cards.

The definitive answer is that no one knows with a degree of absolute certainty. It’s founded on faith and belief, exactly like religion. Hope and optimism also play an important role, which is exactly why pessimists, realists, and nihilists don’t often find themselves exploring systems within the mystical sphere. There’s no one right way to believe just as there is no one wrong way to believe, leaving tarot up to countless interpretations and philosophies.

Simply put, it’s a spiritual belief. If you’re not the type of person to hold spiritual beliefs or superstition, you’re not going to join the new age groups. You won’t be using their hashtags or attending their weekly meditation circles. And that’s fine. Everyone has the personal freedom to believe or not believe whatever they want, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. Just don’t be so quick to write off everything they’re saying.

Why You Should Try Tarot, Even If You Think New Age People Are Loony

New age people are used to being viewed as a little to eccentric and kind of out there – it’s an obstacle of the trade that devout practitioners often have to overcome in their quest to perform lightwork. Even if you’re not receptive to what they have to say, you should still be receptive to using tarot as a problem solver or troubleshooter in your everyday life.

Skeptics postulate that tarot cards simply do not work. Some will go so far as to state that people believe they do by automatic suggestion. They pulled the card, they read the meaning, they looked at its position in the spread, and merely decided it was true. If you’re unlikely to believe that there is any spiritual significance to the card reading you’ve attempted, there might still be a wealth of practical significance that you’re overlooking.

Interpreting Tarot Cards and Exploring Your Mind

Tarot readings involve asking a specific question and having the cards “felt”, either by yourself or by the person reading you. They’ll shuffle and guide you through a reading. The cards are pulled to correspond to a position in a tarot card spread. There are different spreads for different types of readings, with the most popular comprehensive spread being the celtic cross. Some have as few as two cards, especially if the focus is narrow. The spread will have a spot for every aspect of the issue being explored, and the card that winds up in that spot ultimately becomes a smaller answer to a larger question.

Many people love tarot because they find the cards, situational aspects, and overall outcome reflects what they asked. They walk away thinking about the position they’re in and the decisions they should make. This applies just as much to a skeptic as it does to a full fledged believer

Using Tarot Cards for Strategy, Introspection, and Achieving Your Goals Even When You Think They’re Nonsense

The Rider Tarot Deck

Whether you believe there is divine messages to be derived from cartomancy or not, you’re still going to benefit from a tarot reading. Ask a specific question and get your answers, and ask yourself if the cards truly apply to you. If you turn your tarot reading into an exploratory process, you’re likely to learn a lot of things you may not have otherwise realized.

Maybe you’re worried about the state of your marriage. You decide to get a relationship tarot reading to identify any underlying problems with your significant other. In a position meant to designate your internal feelings, the Ace of Cups reversed appears. The meaning is “House of the false heart, mutation, instability, revolution”, according to the Rider Waite Tarot Deck‘s meaning guide. At first, you might recoil at this interpretation. Fight the urge to dismiss it.

Deeply ponder whether or not you’ve explored that aspect of your situation from that angle. Is it possible that your internal feelings indicate that you’re worried about your significant other cheating or becoming unstable? Has that been sitting in the back of your brain brewing? When you take the suggestion of the card to observe the situation through that lens, you might become more in tune with your actual feelings and perspectives. It might even encourage you to have empathy for the others around you by prompting you to consider the way they feel.

In this regard, tarot readings act like a mental exercise. It’s the same principal as using a writing prompt journal or reading a compelling think piece. Your brain will start to work, and you’ll listen to your gut. You might have to confront some things that are bothering you about yourself, like bad habits. Maybe you’ll need to confront things that are bothering you about someone else, like dishonesty or unreliability.

Tarot is the best way to pick your own brain. It’s so easy to get caught up in distractions and avoid dealing with big decisions or nagging feelings. If you allow yourself to make the most of a tarot reading, it will become the best exercise in self awareness.

If you’re interested in getting an accurate tarot reading online, you’re in the right place. Many of our intuitive readers use tarot cards to help people help themselves. You can book an appointment for a tarot reading by clicking here and choosing the best reader for you. 


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