How to Spot Fake Tarot Card Readers
A Tarot Card, Reversed
Getting a True and Accurate Tarot Card Reading
I've had my Tarot cards read just for fun. Because I myself can read Tarot cards, I am impressed when the readers are tactful and skilled, and am amused by the gross incompetence of others who try to extract a buck from vulnerable people. A table at a psychic fair, or Tarot software, or a 1-888 number doesn't mean the Seeker (that's you) will get a sincere and accurate reading.
You want a knowledgeable and experienced reader, so here are tips for sorting the real from the fake (or flake):
- When the Tarot reader or software lays out your cards, some should be upside-down ("reversed"). If all the cards are upright, you're getting a feel-good reading that neglects to mention possible problems and—here's where Tarot excels—their sources and solutions.
- I've seen fake Tarot readers who keep dealing out all the cards in the deck, while watching my reactions as they do it. This type will likely tell you what they think you want to hear, or, even worse, merely tell you what they think. Few Tarot "spreads" use all 78 cards in the deck, and those that do may take hours to read. A Tarot reader may not know how to read cards at all if they—Lord have mercy!—are dealing them all face down.
Reading Your Mind, or Reading Your Cards?
Some good Tarot readers will ask what your question is. Others are certain that the cards will reveal the Seeker's situation. Both kinds can be legitimate, so don't judge the reader if they can't read your mind. They read the cards.
Fakes will elicit personal information and spin it out into "readings." If you're at a psychic fair or street fair, first listen in on what the reader is asking other clients.
No ethical or trained Tarot reader ever predicts death. You see that in operas and movies scripted by ignorant people. Tarot cards are symbolic, not literal. A good reader will explain this. Here are some other red flags to look out for:
- Beware if your reader relies on a Tarot textbook or computerized interpretations. Untrained or inexperienced people should not goof with Tarot or pretend to tell fortunes. Stories abound about people terrorized or scarred for life by playing, without understanding, at Tarot-card reading, or consulting a fake.
- A fake Tarot reader drinks wine, beer, or cocktails before or during readings.
- Real Tarot readers will discourage you from seeking the answer to "What is my fate?" or "What will happen for the rest of my life?" Tarot is very specific (except about calendar dates) and it's best when asking a question to limit the view to two years into the future.
- The Tarot might address not the concern you have in mind, but another that is in fact more pressing or important. A Seeker's question may be a desperate "Will I meet a man to marry?" but if she's in bad financial trouble, the cards will show financial trouble, which is their way of advising her to face that matter first.
Blatant Misuse of the Tarot
- No real Tarot reader will repeat your reading on the spot if you are only hoping for an answer that better pleases you. We do not second-guess the venerable Tarot.
- Fakes talk about curses and spells. They may offer to create or neutralize curses and spells for huge amounts of money. Get up and walk away if you hear this nonsense. Life is not like Harry Potter or video games.
- Real card readers will not grab your money out of your hand and say "Very lucky, very lucky."
- A real Tarot reader will not scare you, or call Tarot "spooky" or "scary." More likely, they will say it's fun.
- Real Tarot readers know that Tarot is not ancient or Egyptian. Tarot first appears in Italy in the 14th century as a card game and becomes a tool for divination in the 18th century.
- "Angel cards" were invented in 1996 as a fad, so do not consult them for serious questions.
For heaven's sake, before racking up your credit-card balance, check out any Tarot network or practitioner. Online psychics like Maria or Celeste are fakes (real psychics have a first AND last name and they don't need to advertise), but some online and phone-line Tarot practitioners are truly looking at cards while talking with you. Best of all, find a live Tarot reader who comes recommended. Ask at salons, coffeehouses, spas, health-food stores, and hotels, and check references, which a real reader will be happy to give you.
A good Tarot reader will be kind, polite, and clear, and show how you can correct or avoid any negativity.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2010 Sylvia Sky