The tarot is a beautiful, binding, helpful, and honest tool that can reach into our skeletons and place the truth inside our ribs. It can give it a heartbeat, a quickened pace in our search to find our highest potentials. However, there are times when tarot is inappropriate. There are times when it is out of place to do a reading or seek a reading. This may seem counterproductive. Any tarot reader should surely be able to read on any topic, at any time, right? No. Above anything, a reading should be helpful. Some of these topics will just muddle the path. Some can get you in a whole heap of shit.
- No reading should EVER predict or speak to a physical death. First of all, you don’t have to be psychic to say that someone is going to die. We are all going to leave our physical forms and diminish back to matter and energy. But, even though death is a certainty, it should never be predicted through the cards. The role of a tarot reader is to help, never harm. Telling someone they will die in 6 months because of a card pull is going to leave them shaken, scared, or ready to sue. Readings should leave everyone feeling empowered, not looking over their shoulder to see when something is coming.
- It is illegal to medically diagnose, to give legal counsel, or financially advise someone if you are not an authority in that topic. A card cannot tell you if someone has cancer. It cannot tell you how to beat cancer. These topics are serious, and should be directed to the people who can give adequate help. It is better to risk losing a client than to take money for something that you have no experience in. Being honest, and directing the client to the proper channels will leave a better impact. The client will not see you as money hungry, or here to take their hard-earned dollars. They will see that you were more invested in helping them than in making a profit.
- Tarot cannot replace real life experiences. It can shed some light on those experiences, but it cannot be a substitute for experiencing and learning. Think of it this way: card 7 in the Major Arcana is the Chariot. The Chariot speaks to action through discipline, freedom to move based on choice, an alignment between the body and the spirit through physical moves, and many more meanings. If you pull the Chariot in a reading, you hold a bright and beautiful card in front of you. The metaphor of the Chariot is stunning to be sure, but guess what, you still must drive the chariot to go anywhere. That’s right. You. The seeker. You are the driver; the Chariot is the transportation. If you are not in the driver’s seat, holding the reins and ready to run with that metaphor, you will not go anywhere.
- The tarot is not meant to do the work for you. This even includes engaging with others. Many tarot readers will not even read 3rd party readings because they find it obtrusive in energy. I am one of these readers. My cards are not spies. Asking a question such as, “how can I help my boyfriend this week because he is stressed at work?” is not a 3rd party question. In fact, it is a beautiful question. A 3rd party question would be “My boyfriend has been acting weird. Is there someone else in his life, and what is he doing with her?” Nothing in this question points to the seeker. All of the energy is directed at the absent boyfriend. Some don’t find this to be a wrong question to ask. The opinions in this blog post are my own. I am not saying I am better reader than those who perform 3rd party questions. I am saying I believe this question to fall into the scope of when tarot readings can fringe on the boundaries of ethics.
- Another time that a tarot reading can become inappropriate is when you feel like you cannot get through any struggle or conflict without turning to the cards. If the routine is always: conflict, tarot, conflict, tarot, this is not helping. This falls back into the scope of asking the tarot to do all the work. The tarot can help with many conflicts, but before you engage in any reading or discussion, you should be relaxed and at least at peace in the moment. Journaling, walking, exercising, and any number of activities are great ways to relax, refocus, and become mindful of what exactly you want to ask. Then you are receptive, and ready to be challenged or charged. If you have a huge fight with a friend and then immediately turn to the tarot to figure out what to do, you are not investing first in finding mindfulness. And if there truly is an energy transfer, your cards are getting a whole heap of angry and bitterness if they are your immediate go-to.
- Another common inappropriate practice is picking new cards till you get the ones you want. That would be like someone dating you till their first choice came along. That’s a serious party foul, right? It is similar in tarot. There are no “good” or “bad” cards. If you do a reading, or ask for one, and receive the Tower, Death, the Devil, and the 10 of Swords than you do have a lot going on right now. But if you keep pulling until you get the Sun, you are not putting the focus into dealing with what is in front of you. You are looking for the salve when you should be looking for the armor to adorn you for the warrior you are and will need to be. Let the cards speak and say what they need to say. If they say you still have a battle to fight, put on your war paint and howl.
This are just my opinions; these are some of the values that I follow when I read for myself and others. I do not believe that my tarot cards are the crystal ball to all my answers. They are a unique and powerful friend. They will say what is meant to be said, and allow me to think about questions and possible actions. Just like any healthy relationship, boundaries are key. Boundaries do not diminish love. I love my boyfriend, but I don’t want him around for ladies’ night. There are times when tarot will not provide what is needed. That is okay, and not unexpected. We cannot get all of our knowledge or growth in one place.
**If you think that I could be a good match for you as reader, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let me know any comments or questions you have about this, or anything with the tarot. Respect is key, and I love to hear other opinions. I don’t want to live in an echo chamber. Stay wild!**