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Healthy Inquires: Six Tarot Reading Mistakes to Avoid

Tarot reading mistakes to avoid - Mother Tarot

Tarot is a powerful tool for self-reflection, guidance, and insight. However, even seasoned readers can fall into common pitfalls that can cloud clarity or cause distress, fear, or disempowerment among other unfortunate effects. 

Steer clear of these six Tarot mistakes for a more enriching and accurate reading experience.

1.Confusing Emotion with Intuition

Intuition is the quiet voice. Emotions are the louder voices. Distinguishing between the part of you that’s wise apart from your feelings at the moment is crucial to discovering the truth. 

The card images and meanings act as creative prompts to encourage the brain to make connections. By doing so you find a path or multiple paths forward through the question itself. 

Tarot reading mistakes to avoid - Mother Tarot

2. Seeking Omens

By the end of an accurate reading, you will always feel better and more clear-minded—that is, if you’re careful to avoid seeing the cards as omens confirming yours or a client’s worst fears or greatest desires. They are simply tools and have no living connection to us, only the connections you create. 

How you frame the questions you ask yourself in a Tarot card reading is crucial. In my readings, I almost always ask “how?” In so many words, because we are usually looking for answers that relate to something we want. “How do I accomplish this?” or “How do I find love?” Etc. 

God helps those who help themselves—this rings true for conversations with ourselves, which personal Tarot readings very much are. And if we’re professional readers, it’s our job to use the cards in such a way that leaves clients feeling hopeful, inspired, and empowered. 

By working constructively like this, what can seem to be omens within the card images or meanings become mere symbolic reminders of what’s possible, not definitively probable. 

3. Asking Questions We Don’t Want the Answers To

Most of us would not like to know when we will die even if we could know the answer. So learn to ask God or the Universe for advice instead of definitive answers, which cards on their own can’t realistically provide. 

For example: do you really want to ask the cards “Can I get pregnant?” if what you want is a baby? 

Better to ask “How do I take the best steps toward becoming a parent?”

This frames the question in such a way that you can be open to options that are within your control, like adoption. 

If, as it turns out, it’s more difficult for you to get pregnant, you don’t need the cards to confirm that, nor would that be productive.

Always ask the cards for advice and ideas to consider, not answers. 

Empress Card Reversed Meaning - Mother Tarot

4. Overthinking/Reading Card Reversals

Speaking of omens, it’s slightly unfortunate that most Tarot decks are rectangular simply for the fact that reversed cards can feel so off putting. Looking at something upside down can be stressful when the mind is in an open state. 

Learn to turn reversed cards right side up to avoid the confusion of reversals. I used to advocate for either reading or not reading reversals—now I’m firmly in the camp of no reversal reading. I invite us all to practice this extra bit of self-care. 

Distressing card reversals are the reason that I designed my Tarot decks to be square. They can be read like little compasses, drawing in the four elements, seasons, directions and/or moon phases. The choice is yours, but note that there is no implicit negativity in any of those systems that can stress us out. 

5. Neglecting to Journal, Walk, or Converse About Your Reading

In order to remember the reading and make it count, we have to process what we learn while thinking about the cards. 

To me, the best ways to do so are by journaling, walking, and talking. All of these are good activities for connecting the two sides of the brain. This helps us think constructively. 

I find that the sooner you process the better, that’s why I advocate for pen to paper during the reading if you’re alone. 

Write down the cards and then write about what the card inspired you to think about. Stay in a constructive mindset and try to work out plans and positive ideas related to your question or inquiry. 

A notes app on your phone also works for the writing magic to happen, but if you’re likely to get drawn elsewhere on your device, stick to an actual real life journal. 

6. Attempting to Conjure Psychic Powers

This is the one I hope you will hear and understand the most. Tarot reading does not require psychic, mystical, or mediumship abilities. 

Most of us either do not possess these talents, or we don’t have control over them if we do. No one should use powerful tools they don’t know how to use. 

They are often used by those who possess, develop, and hone these talents, but most of us will just confuse ourselves and simply engage in what psychologists refer to as “magical thinking” if we try to conjure mystical skills we don’t have.

This kind of thinking is where you make connections between mystical thoughts and real life events, even when they aren’t rational connections. Over time, this can lead to an addiction to pattern seeking, and a certain submission to unseen forces.

The point of Tarot card reading for regular folks like you and I is to gain clarity on an inquiry. This requires quieting the mind, being present, and thinking constructively using the symbols, imagery, and meanings written into the cards as prompts for consideration—not direct messages from spirits and the like. 


By being aware of these Tarot reading mistakes and complications, and actively working to avoid them, we enhance our outlook, produce more clarity, and unlock creative insights into our lives. 

Remember, Tarot is a tool for empowerment and reflection, and by approaching readings with care and mindfulness, our wisdom can truly guide us on our paths.



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