Tarot Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently asked questions and their answers

Is it a positive process?

Yes, always. Life's journey has its ups and downs and the tarot will depict these with its striking symbolism while enabling you to find a way forward…to seek solutions to problems…to see that every experience on a spiritual level facilitates your personal growth.

Were they once called the devil's picture book?

Don't worry. That title was given to all playing cards by early churchmen and had nothing to do with divination – they were condemning cards because they were used for gambling

But aren't some of the images scary?

The images tell it as it is. Unfortunately film and television makers often use certain images to create sensationalism and these can stick in the mind. Most of the pictures on tarot cards are stunningly beautiful… showing empowering human qualities such as confidence, love, spiritual wisdom.

But the cards are symbolic representations of all aspects of your life including some of the challenging themes such as conflicts, hurts and endings. When these so called frightening cards appear it means life's lessons are to be learned and sometimes things cannot stay as they are. For example, the death card rarely represents physical death: it reveals endings to situations, new beginnings, new roads or paths to explore and so on.

Are they good for healing or therapy?

Absolutely… they are positive psychology. A tarot consultation will empower you. You are able to see ways you can move forward and bring about transformation in your life.

Today tarot cards are not only used for divination but also as a symbol system for personal growth and development.

Psychologists believe the positive value of using tarot cards is how they help you to understand yourself by looking at the pictures… triggering responses from both the conscious and unconscious levels.

Father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung had this to say about the tarot in 1933:

“… the symbol of the sun, or the symbol of the man hung up by the feet, or the tower struck by lightning, or the wheel of fortune, and so on. Those are sort of archetypal ideas, of a differentiated nature, which mingle with the ordinary constituents of the flow of the unconscious, and therefore it is applicable for an intuitive method that has the purpose of understanding the flow of life, possibly even predicting future events… ”

Tarot can raise the workings of the subconscious mind and by doing so it can bring clarity and understanding to any situation.

Did you know the pictorial tarot cards are used for creative expression and artists including Salvador Dali have used the symbolism of the tarot in their work?

Tarot deck creator Arthur Edward Waite, a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, says:

“The true tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs.”

Can tarot reveal your future?

It seems uncertain whether any individual can predict the future… otherwise so called fortune tellers would be winning the lottery and there is no evidence that fortune tellers are lottery millionaires.

But choices and paths taken today can lead to certain future outcomes and this is where the tarot comes in. It can help you construct a future which is both positive and beneficial for you.

The potential for the future is always in the present NOW and linked to the past. So the cards will enable you to understand yourself and your life by gaining clarity and insight into the patterns of your life which shape events around you – and, therefore, create your future. They will help you make your choices which will determine what is going to happen.

Remember, your future is not predetermined. I believe you can control the direction your life will take and this is easier if you have useful information on which to base your decision.

Do you use upside down cards?

Some tarot traditions have opposite meanings attributed to upside down or reversed cards. I avoid confusion and read all the cards the right side up!