Sylvia Sky, astrologer, Tarot reader, and gemstone enthusiast, is a widely published author of books and articles about spiritual matters.
This Card Means There's a Chronic Source of Trouble in Your Life
The Difference Between Psychics and Tarot Readers
When a Tarot reader is able to tell you, a perfect stranger, what is happening in your life, it seems reasonable to think that Tarot readers are "psychics" and "Tarot is psychic." But that isn't true.
Genuine psychic talent is a rare gift—granted at birth to very few. Tarot-card reading is learned, and studies can begin at any age. While a genuine psychic's abilities and connections are not always on call, Tarot can be practiced, tested, and called upon at will—because no psychic ability is required.
Studying to master Tarot-card reading takes several years, but, like driving, anyone sufficiently intelligent and motivated can learn it, improving their skills with practice. Experienced Tarot readers—mostly mature individuals—can so accurately tell you about yourself that the reading seems magical, or like mind-reading. Good Tarot readers don't read minds. They are skilled at reading cards.
Tarot is an excellent tool for revealing the path that lies ahead of you. "Psychic" hotlines should admit it when they are really sending clients to Tarot-card readers, as they often do. This would enhance their credibility. Unfortunately the Tarot readers working for hotlines are reading for dozens of clients per shift. They communicate through a headset's electromagnetism, and remotely. These stressful conditions can reduce the accuracy of their readings.
A Card of Divine Favor, Too
Why Tarot Looks "Psychic"
Remember being amazed, as a child, by people who could type without looking at the keyboard, or play piano without sheet music, or knit without taking their eyes from the TV? Their mastery, which came from experience, looked like magic.
Each of the 78 Tarot cards has two meanings: one when the card appears right-side up, and another when the card appears upside-down, or "reversed." The Tarot reader has memorized 156 card meanings and studied to understand each card's complicated cultural and spiritual symbolism.
The finest Tarot readers learn to trust the cards and feel confident because they've spent years learning and practicing. There's also the challenge of conveying to the client the message of the cards in a clear and helpful way.
What the Tarot Card Reader Knows and You Don't
Students of Tarot learn that most clients will ask about one of these four topics:
Tarot-card symbolism helps people see for themselves where their current situation is leading them. The Tarot-card spread freezes a moment in time, unveiling the road just ahead. That's what feels so magical and healthy about Tarot. The cards might helpfully suggest that a change in the client's habits of thought or behavior will lead to a better outcome.
Mind Readers or Not?
In my experience, the Tarot is always right although the reader might read the spread incorrectly. Tarot-card readers get tired or have off-days like everyone else. Noise, alcohol, dirt or mess, pressure to hurry, and electromagnetic pollution can all interfere with accuracy. I personally think remote Tarot reading is not accurate enough to pay for.
Some Tarot readers will ask new clients what their questions or concerns are. Others trust the cards to reveal the client's question or concerns. Both kinds of readers are legitimate. Tarot readers don't read minds. They read cards.
The reader should be skilled and experienced enough to interpret clearly what the cards say and how they fit together in sequence. That is how Tarot "hits the nail on the head" for so many people.
Tarot is Positive. Even The Devil Card is Positive.
People are attracted to Tarot cards because their symbolism is embedded in humanity's collective unconscious. The Tarot card applies the ancient symbolism to our contemporary life. For example, the Devil card includes carefully selected multiple symbols that indicate not that "the devil" is chasing you but that you feel stuck with a habit, relationship, or way of life you feel too enmeshed to change. You've chosen the devil you know over the devil you don't. Notice that the chains on these people are loose. The card is suggesting that they -- and you -- can choose to get free.
The illustrations here are from the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck, the most popular because it has the clearest symbolism. In some decks, for example the Thoth deck, the symbolism is more esoteric although the cards' meanings are the same.
True psychic powers are so rare that most of us will never meet a true psychic. It is much easier to find a skilled Tarot card reader, and for best results, meet them in person. This way you both know who you are dealing with. Fake Tarot readers do exist, but they cannot keep faking because the work is spiritually empty and the word gets around. Over the years I have met and had readings from some obvious fakes who suddenly started "speaking Aramaic" on the spot, or told me I died in the Holocaust, and so on. Usually they are very troubled people.
An experienced Tarot reader focuses on you and the question you asked, and handles the cards confidently, like a professional.
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.
© 2011 Sylvia Sky
brian from uk on November 21, 2019:
Ýes i agree there not magic they just seem like pretty pictures to me but again some of us have had experience s through out our lives very few have.to put it as a human speciies we are connected through some aural field which is connected to the earth and spans out into the universe then one day we meet or we start talking to a perfect stranger and if were open at the time we might get some sort of message but we dont always act on it as it seems strange and not normal unfortunately thats the ego talking as quite often it likes to be in control
Sylvia Sky (author) from USA on June 10, 2015:
Hello, Jean! I am very happy to hear you are having success with psychic development and online readings.
Jean Bakula from New Jersey on June 09, 2015:
I've been taking Intuition and Psychic development classes, and notice that I connect the dots differently in a reading now than I used to. I am clairsentient, and go with what I feel now more than what the cards tell me. The online readings still work out fine.
Sylvia Sky (author) from USA on June 08, 2015:
Tarot works regardless of our opinions on our own or others' giftedness.
Adalheid on June 08, 2015:
You are wrong about long distance readings. And some tarot readers are psychic and actually the cards are just a tool for them, a way to frame or make sense of something.
I don't like tarot readers who are not psychically gifted, there's something missing there, too easy to misinterpret, and I've had bad readings by non-psychic tarot people.
True, the cards never lie, but the interpretation of them is vital. And distance is no barrier to a real psychic.
Jean Bakula from New Jersey on September 08, 2013:
I've had a little experience with online tarot readings now. I don't like it that much, but they have been accurate enough so that my clients seem happy. I try to pick a time where we can both concentrate--they on their question and me on them, and maybe that helps. I know sometimes I have days when no matter what I do, the reading is about myself or someone close who I have on my mind.
Bev G from Wales, UK on September 18, 2012:
This is an interesting and informative article. I like the way you explain exactly how much work goes into learning to read the cards. It is a life-long experience - the tarot always has something to teach you.
I have to disagree with your point about the accuracy or otherwise of long-distance readings - I've done them for years and never had any complaints :-)
My father had a reading done by a psychic reader once - it was incredibly detailed. As you say, few and far between.
Laura on February 04, 2012:
That said, I have seen a human tarot reader who clearly appeared to be channeling _something_ during the course of a reading, and have done online tarot readings which told more of a cogent "story" with the choices of card images displayed than the "randomizer" software code behind such software and websites can explain...
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on January 07, 2012:
Great information. I always wondered about the difference between Tarot and actually being psychic.
Sylvia Sky (author) from USA on October 06, 2011:
Thank you,Julia, for the comment! I would say that the "magic" is the wisdom embodied in and accumulated in the cards. You have probably had one card that kept popping out of the deck while you shuffled that turned out to be a key card in the reading. Who controls that, I don't know!
Julia Gordon-Bramer on October 06, 2011:
Thanks for this. I have explained it this way many times, except for one thing: the "magic" part, to me anyway, is how the right cards always appear. With those 156 potential meanings (and all different), compounded with different meanings in the placement of spreads, there does seem to be a little bit of unexplainable magic from where I sit. :-)
Jean Bakula from New Jersey on October 04, 2011:
That was such a good explanation. I have trouble with the people who sit there with stone faces, giving me no clue whether they are even hearing me! And the drunk ones who try to debunk tarot, but always want to listen to another's reading. Thanks for telling people the hours of study it takes to learn meanings for 78 cards that mean something else upside down (and not always opposite) and differing by the spread you use. I just wrote an Astrology hub to explain how much work goes into learning how to cast charts after my awful experience with Reddit where they swore at me. Then I answered another question, and one of them was nasty and said "What does psychic mean, or auras?" I wonder if some of them live on this planet. Nice job. Take care.