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BTP2: The 3 Biggest Myths About Reading Tarot

By January 12, 2016 November 16th, 2017


The Tarot is full of insight and meaning, but it is unfortunately widely misunderstood. When you’re first learning about it, you’re bound to run up against some superstitions about the Tarot that just won’t serve you. What’s more, they’re simply not true! In today’s podcast, I’ll discuss the three biggest myths that Tarot beginners encounter that kill their confidence, and what you can do to overcome them.

In this episode, we’ll talk about

  • Whether the Tarot determines your future
  • What connection Tarot has to religion, and why people say it’s “evil”
  • If it’s best to read Tarot for yourself or pay for a reading

Let’s jump in!

[Tweet “The 3 biggest myths about reading #Tarot #tarotpodcast @biddytarot”]



Brigit: You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 2: The 3 Biggest Myths About Reading Tarot.


Welcome to the Biddy Tarot podcast, where you will learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide.

Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence.

And now, here is your host Brigit Esselmont.

What We’ll Cover in Today’s Podcast

Brigit: Hello and welcome!

I am so glad you are joining me again for this episode of the Biddy Tarot podcast.

My goodness, there are more myths about Tarot than ancient deities.

Everyone seems to have their own personalised techniques, private rituals, rules, and mantras, about how you should and shouldn’t read Tarot.

But, for the Tarot beginner, taking this all in and knowing what is true, and what is not, can be overwhelming. For some, it can even be so off-putting that you feel like you want to quit Tarot altogether. And obviously that’s not something that we want to happen.

So in today's podcast, I want to name, and bust, three of the biggest myths that Tarot beginners face that can kill their confidence, and make reading Tarot seem impossible.

So let’s get straight into it!

Myth #1 – The Tarot Determines Your Fate

Have you ever heard someone say that they're too scared to have their Tarot cards read because it might make something bad happen?

I’ve heard it so many times where someone will say, “Ooh, you know, it’s nice that you read Tarot, but I don’t want to consult the cards because what if it tells me that someone is going to die? Or what if it tells me that my relationship is going to completely break up and come to an end?”

And what’s really interesting, and to some extent really sad, is that people think that by laying out the Tarot cards in front of them is actually creating the future for them. Rather than it being about you as an individual creating your future, it is as if the Tarot – these cards with pictures on them – will create the future for you.

And that is totally not true. Trust me!

What this seems to reflect is kind of like a victim mentality – that the future is completely out of your hands, and that your life happens to you, rather than because of you.

But here is the truth.

The Tarot doesn't shape your future – you do. So, when you see cards around what might happen in the future – let’s say you do draw the Ten of Swords, and you have just asked the Tarot about your relationship. And you draw the Ten of Swords, and so if you know this card you will know like in the Rider-Waite deck, it is a man lying face down and he has got ten swords stabbed into his back – and the sky is black. Overall it is not a nice looking card, and what it can signify is very painful endings.

But, as we all know, with endings come new beginnings, right?

So we might see this card in a relationship reading and freak out because we think, ‘Oh my goodness, this Tarot card is telling me my whole relationship is going to come to an end.’

And then you might think, ‘Well, therefore, I don’t want to read the cards because I don’t want to know anything bad that is going to happen.’

But here is the deal: If you believe that you shape your future, then you can see a card like that and say, “Okay, so there is this possibility that some negative stuff is coming up in my relationship. What can I do now to either completely avoid that, or minimise the impact of it?”

Or, you know, even sort of find that sort of positive opportunity in it.

So it is not saying to you that Tarot – when you draw cards like that – it is not saying to you: Well this will now definitely happen. Because this card has just been drawn, this will happen. No matter what you do.

It is more like – I guess like a pre-warning to what may happen.

And then you have got this beautiful window of opportunity where you can put in place actions that will ultimately shift your path. And you can work towards your desired outcome.

So it is really my strong, strong belief that you have the ability to make conscious decisions to create the outcome that you want, and the Tarot serves as a guide to making those conscious decisions. It doesn’t tell you that this will happen, no matter what – and because the card has been drawn it is now going to happen, right?

So that is an absolute furphy.

And, also, you know, the cards might show up some, I guess, speed humps along the way. So things that might throw you off course a little bit, or things that you might not necessarily want to have happen, but, ultimately, seeing these things and having a warning of what may come up, gives you again that opportunity to determine how you are going to manage those little speed bumps along the way.

So, I want to be very, very clear. The Tarot itself does not determine your fate – you do. Okay?

It is your decisions and your actions that shape your future and your destiny.

The Tarot is simply a guide to help you see:

  • Where are you right now?
  • Where might you be heading?
  • And what actions can you take to bring you closer to your goal?

So here is what I want you to do instead. So we are going to bust that myth. That myth is gone. It doesn’t exist anymore. We know that we can determine our fate – not the Tarot. And here are a couple of things that you can do instead.

So, Number 1: Use the Tarot to find out what might happen if you stay on your current path.

So, I really believe that the Tarot can help us understand mostly what is happening in the present. So when we do start to look at the cards to understand the future, we are predicting the future.

Now predicting the future means looking at our present circumstances and thinking: Okay, based on what is happening right now, where might we be heading?

That is predicting the future. It is not telling the future. It is not saying, “This will happen.”

It is simply saying, “Based on what is happening right now, here is where I think things will go.”

So the more that we can understand what is happening right now – in the present time – the more power we have to really shape where we are heading.

So, Number 1, use the Tarot to find out what might happen if you stay on your current path.

Number 2: Understand what actions you need to take to manifest your goals.

So, we want to be using the Tarot in a way that helps you achieve the kind of life that you most want to live. We want it to help you align with your Soul’s purpose. We want it to help you have an empowered and an enlightened life – ultimately.

So the Tarot can actually help you understand what actions you need to take in order to reach those goals and dreams.

So it is as simple as asking the Tarot:

  • What do I need to do right now?
  • What can I do to bring me closer to my goals?
  • If I don’t like where my current path is taking me, what actions can I take in order to change my direction somewhat?

And, finally, Number 3: Be Proactive and make conscious choices in your life.

I think we can get into a pattern with Tarot where we go, “Well, the cards said this would happen. Okay, now I just sit back and wait for it to happen – whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.”

You know, it might be like, “Well the Tarot cards said I am going to sell me house. So, therefore, I don’t really need to do anything. The house will sell on its own.”

But, hopefully, you and I both know that it doesn’t necessarily happen that way.

So the Tarot might say the circumstances are very favourable for selling you house, but if you sit on your bottom and you do nothing, then it is unlikely that it is going to happen.

It is more about taking the opportunity and, again, making those conscious choices about what you can do to take advantage of those favourable situations.

And, likewise, if you see something that you don’t necessarily want to have happen, you can be proactive and make some conscious choices now, in order to avoid that unwanted outcome, or minimise the negative impact of it.

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So, that’s Myth Number 1 – the Tarot determines you fate – absolutely busted! Gone! And you now know what to do: Be proactive and make some conscious choices with the Tarot.

Myth #2 – The Tarot is Evil

Alright, so let’s move on to Myth Number 2.

Now this is a contentious one, so let’s see how it lands.

So, Myth Number 2: The Tarot is evil…ha ha ha ha….that is my evil laugh to go along with it.

Well, have you ever been told that you'll go to hell if you read the Tarot?

Or, that you're a devil worshiper because you are consulting the Tarot cards?

I sure have, and it is often as a result of people who are very religious. And I want you to know that I completely respect people’s religions, and I completely respect people’s beliefs.

What makes me sad is that I feel that Tarot can be very misunderstood.

And so when I hear people telling me, “Why are you reading the cards? It is evil. You are going to go to hell. You must be a Satan worshipper,” it just makes me really sad because I think the Tarot is not being fully understood when it is looked at in that way.

So here is the truth: For me, I believe the Tarot is simply a tool, and how you use that tool is up to you.

So yes, there are instances where some people will use the Tarot for, I would say, the Dark Arts; and they do use it alongside dark energies; and they maybe use it with other darker practices and so on.

But on the flipside, there are many Tarot readers who are using Tarot for other things. And they might be using it to understand more about the future and predicting the future; some people might be using Tarot for counselling or coaching people; some people might be using Tarot for creative purposes.

And so you can start to see that we use this tool that is called the Tarot, that is the most important thing. It is not the Tarot itself.

So I do agree that in some cases the Tarot can be used in ways that, in my opinion, are unethical and not for the best purposes. But that doesn’t mean that the Tarot cards on a whole are completely evil and shouldn’t be used for anything, right?

In fact, what I really believe is that when we use the Tarot as a positive tool, Tarot can be really one of the most spiritual tools that’s available to us because it’s helping us connect to our intuition; it’s helping us connect to our Soul; it’s helping us connect to our Spirit; and the more that we have time with these cards, and really start to unpack the Tarot as it relates to our intuition, our sub-conscious, our inner workings, the more it brings our attention to our Inner Selves.

And to me that’s a very spiritual practice.

And, in fact, the Tarot has been used many times alongside Divination.

I think divination is a very interesting word. On the surface we think of Divination as, perhaps, just telling the future, and finding out what’s going to happen, but think about the word – divination. Divine – it is about connecting to the divine. And that, to me, is a very spiritual practice.

So when we are working with the Tarot cards, we are using the cards to connect with the Divine. And I can’t see, personally, how that makes the Tarot cards evil.

And, finally, you know, Tarot in fact has many religious connections with Judaism, Christianity, Paganism, and a number of other religions.

So, as an example, take a look at the Lovers card in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck and you will notice that it’s a very close depiction of the Garden of Eden which we know from the Bible. And so seeing these connections in the Tarot cards to Christian symbolism and other religious symbolism just makes me wonder why we are seeing these cards as evil and not okay, like in conjunction with religion?

To me it just doesn’t make sense.

So, for me, this is a complete myth.

The Tarot is evil – myth busted! Gone! Not even in our mind anymore, because I really do believe that the Tarot is an incredibly spiritual tool when we use it in the right way.

So, to help you bust this myth in your life, here are three things that you can do instead:

  1. Use your Tarot cards consciously and wisely, and be ethical – so we can use Tarot cards in a way that kind of may be linked to our Shadow Selves, or a part of ourselves that is not necessarily serving our Higher Self. For example, you know, when we sort of compulsively consult the cards and ask the same question over and over, then we are not really serving our Higher Self in that practice.

So the way that we can use Tarot for good is to use it very consciously and wisely. And, again, be ethical. Use it in ways that are ethical for you, and ethical for the people that you are working with.

  1. Don't pick a fight – you are going to have a number of people, unfortunately, who when you say that you read Tarot are going to say, “Well that is evil and I can have nothing to do with the Tarot.”

What I think is really important here is that we just need to respect that we each have different belief systems.   Nobody is necessarily right or wrong. Yes, for me, I have a strong belief that I think for people who believe that Tarot is evil, I feel sad because I think it means that the Tarot is being misperceived. But I am not going to try and push that thought and belief on someone else who is firmly stood in the thought and belief that Tarot is evil. It is just something that I might acknowledge, and then just move on. There are plenty of other things that we can talk about that will help us bring some common ground.

And I think, you know, what is also really important is just share how you experience the Tarot cards. You don’t have to try and convince someone else that Tarot is fine and like, you know, you are crazy because you think it’s evil – that’s not really up to you. What you can do is say, “Well, I use the Tarot cards in this way and it’s helped me create a very spiritual connection,” and really just end it at that.

  1. If you are harnessing or harbouring any guilt or misconception that the Tarot is evil, then it’s time to just let that go.

It’s not serving you to feel that Tarot is evil; unless of course again if it is very much part of your religious believes. But I suspect if you are listening to this podcast, you wouldn’t be thinking that way.

I know of many, say for example, Catholics or Christians who read Tarot with a very clear conscience and open heart. So I want you to know it is very possible to read Tarot and also remain faithful to your religion.

Okay, so that’s Myth Number 2: Tarot is evil – No, it’s not! Busted! Gone! Goodbye!

Myth #3 – You Shouldn't Read Your Own Tarot Cards

So let’s move on now to Myth Number 3: You shouldn’t read your own Tarot cards.

Now you might have heard someone say to you at some point in time, “There’s no way that you can ever read your own Tarot cards. You are not objective enough. You are going to read into it what you want to see. It’s just not okay.”


Maybe you have heard that before. I certainly have.

And, you know what?

I actually reckon it was probably one of the professional Tarot readers' associations that made up this myth just so they would get some more clients!

Just kidding!

But for some reason there seems to be this funny belief out there that it’s not possible to read your own Tarot cards, and therefore you shouldn’t.

I think the complete opposite. I actually believe that reading your own Tarot cards is one of the best and most powerful ways of reading the Tarot, and using the Tarot. I mean, think about it. You could be in a reading with someone else and they are interpreting the cards for you, on your behalf. But it’s still like having a middleman in between you and the cards and your intuition because you have got someone else trying to interpret them for you.

When you start to learn how to read the cards for yourself, with a clear mind and a very open heart, then you start to get those intuitive messages directly downloaded to you. So that connection between you, the cards, and your intuition, becomes incredibly strong and, for me, that’s such a wonderful way of using the Tarot.

And, so by using the Tarot and reading the Tarot cards for yourself, what you’re doing is you’re connecting with your Inner Wisdom, and you are making guided, conscious choices – which is a wonderful way of using the cards and perfect for Spiritual Enlightenment.

And when you’re first starting to read Tarot, you are your best client. You know, you don’t want to necessarily go out and start practicing Tarot reading on anyone and everyone because you are like, “Well, I’m not really sure if I’m ready to do this.”

You start practicing with yourself. And I want you to know that’s perfectly okay, and you will become your best client. And even over the many, many years of practicing reading Tarot, you’ll probably find that you continue to read Tarot for yourself. I certainly do. I think it’s one of the most insightful ways to learn more about who I am, and what I am doing, and what my role is in this lifetime. The Tarot really helps me connect to who I am and make those conscious choices.

So, I guess, there is one caveat here though, and there are some common mistakes that people make when reading Tarot for themselves. [00:19:52] And this is a recently, juicy, chunky topic – we are going to cover this in a future episode, but I want you to know it is possible to make some mistakes when you are reading for yourself. But, so long as you are consciously aware of those mistakes, and you’re staying on top of them, I think that you can get so much out of reading the Tarot cards for yourself.

So, here are three tips to help you bust this myth and read your own Tarot cards with confidence:

  1. Just do it! Go and read the Tarot for yourself
  2. When you are reading the Tarot for yourself, set the intention to be open to your intuition with the Tarot cards as your guide, because when we allow ourselves to really listen and tap into our intuition, and pay attention to the messages that are there for our Higher Selves, then I think we get the most out of reading Tarot for yourself
  3. Get into flow with your Tarot cards – integrate them into your everyday life. Now, I don’t mean grab them every time you have got to make a decision and pull out a card, and see what the Tarot says, and that’s the only way you can make a decision. I mean more like perhaps when you’re thinking about your career, or your business, you might draw a card or two just as you’re mapping out some choices. And it happens in a certain flow – as in: You think about the situation first and you connect in with your own intuition, you come up with your own answers, and you connect with that Inner Wisdom, first; and then if you still have got some gaps in your understanding, then consult the cards and see what additional information it can add to whatever life challenge or question that you might be asking.

So it is a really positive and proactive way of working with the Tarot cards.

Alright, so we have effectively busted three of the biggest myths about Tarot.

So, we have busted the myth that Tarot determines your fate. We know that it doesn’t. You determine your fate.

We have busted the myth that Tarot is evil. We know that Tarot can be used for beautiful, spiritual activities and, you know, really enriching our connection with the Divine and our Inner Selves in a very spiritual and soulful way.

And we have busted the myth that you shouldn’t read your own Tarot cards. We know that reading your own cards can really enhance that connection with your intuition.

So there you have it – three Tarot myths busted!


Alright, well, if you loved this Biddy Tarot Podcast episode, then make sure that you leave a five star review on iTunes, and subscribe to get the latest podcasts so that you don’t miss an episode.

I want to thank you so very much for listening today. It has been an absolute pleasure as always, and I am so looking forward to continuing to be part of your journey with Tarot.

Until next time, I am sending you lots of love and support, and loads of Tarot goodness.



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