Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Ethony Dawn, author of the new Your Tarot Court.

Ethony DawnThere are so many misconceptions about the tarot out there. For example, some people worry that a deck won’t “work” if they buy it, as if the cards will only magically “turn on” if someone else gifts it to them. You need to pick your own tools so you can vibe with them (and, let’s face it, we all have different tastes). In most cases, personally buying a deck is the only way that can happen.

Another lingering misconception about the tarot is that you have to be either a witch or have psychic abilities to use the cards. This misconception may have come with the way that tarot and tarot readers have been portrayed in the media (especially when it is portrayed in B-grade horror movies). While there is a large group of people that work with the tarot who identify as a Pagan or a witch, the two are not mutually exclusive. And, as both the tarot and the Craft becoming more and more mainstream, we are being seen as the everyday people that we actually are. The tarot is a wonderful tool for developing intuitive gifts, and can be used in magic as well as in divination practices. It is no wonder that many witches are drawn to the cards, myself included. However, you do not need to be Pagan or a witch to read the tarot and be an excellent card reader.

The tarot is a symbolic and visual language as well as being a tool for magic, healing, creative endeavors, counseling, problem solving, and so much more. No one group owns the tarot, as you can not own a symbolic system. Images and archetypes speak to all of us as human beings. It is one of the threads that tie us all together, and why tarot is so intriguing to people (even if they don’t want to openly admit it). There are tarot readers who are from every walk of life and religious background. Tarot decks and and tarot culture reach all over the world.

I have seen tarot readers in Chile outside of grand Catholic cathedrals in the middle of town squares. I have been to music festivals where people are reading the cards and enjoying the shade and a break from the heat. I have been to many tarot meetups and conferences where people from all over the world come to enjoy the many aspects of the cards. Some of these people may be witches, but it doesn’t matter if they are or are not.

You don’t need to be a witch to read the tarot. The tarot is for everyone, and the labels you choose for yourself don’t lessen your connection to the cards. It is the work, dedication, and knowledge that you invest in your tarot practice that is most important.

Our thanks to Ethony for her guest post! For more from Ethony Dawn, read her article, “Take Action with the Court Cards: What They Mean in a Spread.”

Written by Anna
Anna is the editor of Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, and Llewellyn's monthly newsletters. She also blogs, tweets, and helps maintain Llewellyn's Facebook page. In her free time, Anna enjoys crossword puzzles, Jeopardy!, being a grammar geek, and spending time ...