These may not be myths for every Tarot reader, but they certainly hold true for me and many other readers I’ve come to know over the years. It’s time we take back our power and dispel the foolish superstitions and doubts circulating in the mainstream. It’s time we’re seen as the well-read and educated professionals we are; helping others balance their mind/body/spirit connection. We can be an integral part of other’s success as well as our own.
1. Tarot readers are too foolish or stupid to have “real jobs”. Nope. Definitely not the case. I know many readers who currently hold, or have held, incredible mentally-demanding day jobs including project managers, corporate trainers, accountants, analysts, psychologists, medical doctors, nurses and countless more. As a matter of fact, most modern-day professional Tarot readers know quite a bit because they read myriad books, delving into several areas of study including philosophy, history, theology and science to hone their craft. Many readers also have an extensive vocabulary because of this study and the use of keywords and personal definitions to explain the cards.
2. All Tarot readers can read crystal balls, palms, tea leaves, runes, I-Ching, and talk to the dead. This is false. I try not to get annoyed when people find out I’m a card reader and ask, “Can you read my palm?”. Sorry. No. Tarot readers read cards. Many professional readers have knowledge of other divinatory tools like runes and palms, or they can connect with unseen frequencies (dead people, angels, etc…). Some just read Tarot cards. Often, lifelong card readers pick up other tools as their journey progresses in helping others.
3. Tarot readers are not psychics. Also false. The definition of psychic includes, “…denoting faculties or phenomena that are apparently inexplicable by natural laws…” There are varying forms of psychicism including clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, mediumship, etc… The Tarot is a psychic tool used to delve deeper, beyond the physical senses, to validate what is already consciously or subconsciously known and to clear away the mist of the unknown. Even if one has no knowledge of the cards, the tool can be used to make a “psychic connection” with the Higher Self. Everybody has the ability for psychic access. Some just find it easier than others, and some must use tools, like the Tarot, to connect with it.
4. Tarot readers are all new-age, crystal-wearing, hippie freaks. (See #1) Peace and crystals are just cool. Don’t hate or judge a book by it’s sparkly cover.
5. Tarot readers worship the devil and/or will bring negativity upon you. There is a Devil in the Tarot (#15 Major Arcana). Like all cards in the deck, meanings may differ between individual readers; however, many readers will agree the Devil is seen as a representation of overindulging the senses, and the ability to get lost in the material world if you don’t rise above it. The Devil, or Lucifer, is known to many as the angel of light and intellect in this dark world. I see the Devil (or better yet, evil) as living in ignorance of the connection we have with each other and all things. There are certainly some devil worshipers who also dabble in the Tarot. There are also Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, etcetera who work with the cards. It’s rare in today’s landscape to find a Tarot reader, let alone a professional reader, who is a strict follower of the dark arts, with dark intent. Not once has a person left a reading with me feeling doom and gloom. My readings don’t bring negativity. They enlighten situations, and I’ve been told by many friends and clients they felt a “shift” in their energy. After a reading with me, they felt lighter and even unburdened (kind of the opposite of evil, huh?).
6. Tarot readers are witches. Sometimes, but the modern witch should not be observed with negative connotation. Witches, or Wiccans, follow a path with differing systems and understanding (like the different forms and sects of any major religion). They celebrate cycles of the moon, sun and seasons, and most have a very strong connection with Nature. Many (if not most?) Tarot readers, like me, don’t follow a particular religion or order. I find a snippet of Truth in many philosophies, beliefs, faiths , and science. I don’t align myself with a single ideology as I my understanding doesn’t fit neatly tucked away in a single-worded definition.
7. Tarot readers are only in it for the money. (If it’s a gift they shouldn’t be charging at all.) Admittedly, there are some who take advantage of others, and I believe their karma will be paid in kind at some point; however, most Tarot readers are in it to help others on life’s journey. I quit a very lucrative day job to follow my passion to help others through Tarot. After almost 20 years, I can charge what my knowledge and expertise are worth. I didn’t begin by charging; it took many years to build up the confidence to ask for $5. However, I have earned my price points as my skill and knowledge have increased. I have studied for hundreds and hundreds (dare I say thousands?) of hours with the Tarot. Like any profession, my time, energy, and expertise are worth something. You don’t pay an intern anything while they learn. The junior is lucky to get above minimum wage, but their pay increases with each milestone they reach. You will pay the master craftsman an exceptional amount for the work they do. While my ability to read cards may be a “gift”, it doesn’t mean my time and energy are free. We’re all gifted or have natural abilities and interests which could make us better at some things over others. I need to eat, have a place to live and cover my living expenses just like anybody else. Therefore, I charge money as a trade for the knowledge I share in my area of expertise. I will also barter for goods of equivalent value.
8. Tarot readers are a bunch of lonely croney old women, gay men, or guys who live in their mom’s basement. There may be a bit of truth to this statement, but look at the three groups I just mentioned; they all represent an attachment to the feminine in some way. There is a passiveness associated with femininity along with maternal patience and compassion. This bodes well for anybody in spiritual service. Outside of that very limited generalization, Tarot readers come in all sexes, sizes, ages and personalities! The guy who put me on my spiritual path was a wizard-like tech nerd with a beautiful brain, quick wit, and piercing green/blue eyes. James Wanless PhD (creator of The Voyager Tarot), in his keynote address at the Denver Tarotcon last month, mentioned that we really want to attract more millenials to the art, to carry it forward. Tarot needs to become hip, modern and open. It needs to come off the New Age shelf and take it’s rightful place in the Self-Help, Life and Business Success sections. This can occur when crones, gay men and guys who live in their mom’s basement come out of their caves and houses in the dark forest to circulate and share with others in a very public way. Tarot conventions, conferences, meetups, concerts and art gatherings are great opportunities to meet those whose Tarot fancy may be struck. Look at how quickly comic conventions went mainstream after people realized just how “cool” and fun a gathering of like-minded, albeit creatively different, people can be.
9. The only people who visit Tarot readers are those with a limited intellect and low income. Not at all. The modern Tarot reader is a type of life coach. They are often considered an alternative, or great addition, to traditional therapy. I am offered clients from psychologists who feel certain patients can benefit from a Tarot reading conducted in my style. Most of my personal clients are leading professionals in their fields. There are some, not with limited intellect but with limited sense of self, who rely on Tarot readers to make their decisions for them. These are the people, rich or poor, who are easy prey for the few who give the rest of us a bad name. I’ve had to fire a couple of clients who wanted to see me too often, using me as a crutch or excuse for the decisions, or lack thereof, in their daily lives. It should also be noted that intellect and spirituality are often divorced of each other. You don’t have to be dumb or smart to know Truth when you hear it.
10. Tarot readers don’t really believe in what they do. Do they? If they’re good readers they do! I know that my readings, and those of many other Tarot professionals, are incredibly detailed and accurate. A legitimate reading will validate situations, negating any question of, “Is it real?”. Of course I believe in what I do because I am witness to the power of a reading every single time.