When it’s Best NOT to Use Tarot

I write about good times to use tarot cards all the time, sometimes in ways a lot of people not so familiar with how it works may not even consider. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, sometimes it’s just not the best idea. Here’s the main circumstances when, in my opinion, using the tarot is not appropriate. 

Avoid Tarot When Highly Emotional

High emotion times are not the best to read tarot. Let me explain…

 “I was upset so I drew a tarot card, and I drew the TOWER! I’m DOOMED!” (Or insert some other “negative” card here)

“I think my parter might be cheating on me so I drew a card and got the Nine of Swords! They’re definitely cheating, I just know it!”

First, how is this helpful or healthy when we’re in the midst of breaking down and just want answers? It’s unfortunately not. And it’s not our fault either. We’re just not made to be objective when we’re upset and emotional. That’s not how our brains work. It’s important to give ourselves time to be mad, and time to process. Tarot can wait until we’ve had time to wrap our head around the situation. 

I’m definitely not trying to insinuate that we can’t ask the tarot questions about an emotional matter. After all, that’s what we often use it for. I’m just trying to convey that it’s probably not a good idea when we’re still blinded by emotions or right in the midst of finding out something upsetting. 

So what can we do instead? 

Just wait. Even if it’s just a day, hours, or even a few minutes is better than none. Give yourself time to breath, focus, and ground your energy before you pull a card. Once you finally ask your question, pull a card, and try to look at it as an outsider looking in. Feel it’s energy with the same respect and care you would for a friend or client. Don’t let yourself look at the Tower and immediately feel doom and gloom. Ask the Tower what it wants to teach you in that moment, and what old things it’s getting rid of to make way for new. (Or whatever questions are most appropriate for the particular card you may pull)

Better yet, if you don’t feel as though you can be objective, try getting a reading from a professional reader. That’s the best way to ensure the reading will be unbiased and accurate. 

Third Party Tarot Readings (you be the judge)

Oh the controversy that comes with third party readings. I’ve heard it all and from every side of the coin. By third party, I mean getting a reading about someone who doesn’t know you’re getting a reading about them. While some tarot readers don’t mind these types of readings, others will not do them without permission from the third party. Most will do them on a case by case bases only, and make the decision based on the situation. 

I personally tend to fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to third party reading. While I do find some situations unethical to read for, others I have no issue. Love readings are where this comes up most frequently. While it’s not impossible to do a love reading while not also reading about the partner, it’s not always easy, and sometimes just not what the client is looking for.  

Alright, now that we have a little bit about the ethics out of the way, when else is it NOT a good idea to use tarot?

Using Tarot to Spy

This is where the third party ethics come in to play. While I completely understand why most of us want to ask questions about a third party at times, it’s usually not the best way forward. 

First and most importantly, relationships revolve and depend on communication to keep them going. There can be no healthy relationship without it. So, a good question to ask yourself before reading about someone in secret, is why. Why is it you want the reading in the first place? If it’s a partner, are you afraid they’re being unfaithful? If it’s a friend, are you afraid they’re mad about something that they don’t want to talk about? Sometimes, as convenient as the tarot may seem, it’s a lot better for the relationship if you just ask the person in question instead of asking the cards. It’s a matter of respecting the other persons boundaries, and taking their feelings about the situation into account.  

At times, even the tarot won’t give you the answers you’re looking for if you’re not meant to know them in that moment. Other times, even if it does, they can be hard to accept. Are you ready for that? This is an important question to ask yourself before picking up your deck. 

With that said, there are still certain circumstances when I will absolutely do a third party reading, especially if it’s essential for the person to be able to let go. Sometimes it’s the only way. I understand that sometimes we have already tried to talk to the person in question, and it left more questions than answers. In cases like that, tarot can be both helpful and therapeutic. 

Just try to think before you pick up your cards, and ask yourself if this will really be helpful to the situation. Sometimes that answer will be yes. If it is no, try to rephrase your question, or just put them down and have a talk. We don’t do enough of that these days as it is. 

What are some reasons you would choose not to use Tarot? Share with us in the comments below. 

Written By: Flora Green @heart_of_a_witch

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When It's Best Not to Use Tarot, The Witch's Guide


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