We’ve all heard various myths about tarot—at least those of us who have studied tarot. But lots of people haven’t studied tarot, so how can they know what to believe or not believe? Many professional readers consider educating the public about tarot, including busting tarot myths.

Author Kim Huggens has listed 4 common tarot myths in her recent book Tarot 101 (an awesome book especially for those who enjoy a course-like structure to their tarot studies as well as plenty of depth mixed with fun). She writes:

Methods of Obtaining a Tarot Deck

Some suggest that only a deck gifted to you will work. I have brought almost all my decks, and I am sure they “work.” I find that the idea that the magic is in the physical deck itself rather than in the skill and ability of the tarot reader leaves no room for improvement. Further , if we all waited to receive a tarot deck as gift before beginning reading, some of us would be waiting forever!

You Must Be Psychic to Be a Tarot Reader/You Are Born with the Gift of Tarot

Obviously, if you believed tarot is a gift and cannot be learned you wouldn’t be reading this book. As to whether you need to be psychic or not, this is a personal belief. I don’t think I am psychic. I may be intuitive, and when I use the cards I may be tapping into something beyond myself, but the term “psychic” is a problematic and overly simple explanation of how tarot works.

Storage and Care of Your Deck

Many people believe you should not let others touch your cards and that they should be stored in a certain way (a black silk cloth, a special bag or box, etc.). This is purely a personal preference. If you believe that your cars work for you because they are linked to your energy through contact, then having others touch your cards may interfere with that contact. If you don’t believe this, then having others touch your cards may not be a problem for you. The same applies to the storage of your deck.

Whom You Can/Cannot Read For

It is often said you cannot read for yourself. I have found this to be true insofar as it is difficult to remain objective and clear when reading for yourself, since you are too close to the issue at hand. You may color the reading with bias, or filter it with your desires or fears. However, objectivity can be learned and practiced, and sometimes there’s nobody else to read for. Others believe they shouldn’t read for people they are close to: you may find your objectivity failing if you are particularly close to the person you are reading for.

Kim has listed some common myths. What are some others that you find still in circulation?

Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...