How Does Tarot Work?

I am often asked how exactly tarot works. How can a stack of cards give you advice or predict the most likely outcome of a situation? So this is my feeling about the Tarot; how it works, and how I use it.  

Most of us can readily admit that there is something ”beyond” ourselves, something limitless, something Divine. But do you ever wonder how such a source could communicate with you? There are many stories from various religious traditions where an unexpected interaction or a sudden vision of the Divine caused blindness to the human unprepared to accept such an encounter. Although most of us acknowledge that there is “something” beyond ourselves, at the same time we are often reluctant, and even fearful of anything outside of our perceived reality. And so we keep such things at a safe distance. Maybe we attend a church or a temple once a week, but we are not ready to believe that every moment of our daily existence is absolutely infused with Divine energy, with what some might call Magic.  

The things that are referred to as “other worldly” might actually be right here in this world, but we refuse to accept them and label them as something outside of our logical, knowing mind. But if we could accept this truth then moment by moment communication with the Divine would be our reality. All is One and we would be living in that Divine energy, fully incorporating it into our existence, as easily as breathing in and out. But that is not how most humans normally function, is it? Instead we draw a big dividing line between that which we can accept as known, and part of our human experience, and that which we label as unknown, and place outside of our reality, somewhere up in the sky, or far away in space, or in a place that we call Heaven. We imagine that there might be some kind of love and wisdom “out there” somewhere, but we reserve those thoughts for our fairy tales and Sunday sermons. In day to day life such things as Divine wisdom, Higher Self, Angels, Spirit Guides, and Tarot Cards fall in the realm of “other” outside of our supposed logical mind.  

If logic is what we believe in, then let’s approach the Tarot logically. Let us first assume that higher wisdom and Divine Energy is available to us. But if angelic messengers and spirit guides were talking to you on a regular basis, appearing in front of you at your workplace or whispering in your ear while you drive your car, we must admit that you would risk insanity. If an angel suddenly appeared in front of you and told you that God has a message for you, you would seriously question your own sanity, and hesitate to tell any of your friends about it. Essentially we have bound the hands of the Divine. Praying all the time - asking for this or that - and yet also not ready or willing to have a true encounter with the one(s) to whom we pray. So what can be done? Actually, let’s first talk about what HAS been done.  

Your whole world is filled with love letters from the Divine, from God, from your higher self, from your own inner wisdom - whatever label you are comfortable with - there are signs and symbols and messages sent to you ALL THE TIME! God is always reaching out, always surrounding you with love, always sending you just what you need to grow and evolve into your highest self. Unfortunately you don’t always recognize this language, and you are unaware of these messages most of the time. The butterfly that floated and hovered around you for a while, came to let you know that your deceased loved one is ok and still sending you love, did you notice it? The intricate patterns of frost on your windshield that glittered in the morning sun in which was written in the language of beauty, “You are Worthy” did you see that? The stars, that were sparkling last night in the black sky, were a message of hope just for you. It said; “Hang in there, and don’t give up hope. This struggle will be resolved soon.” And in a million other ways the language of Divine love is being sent to you every day. But you, and most all of us, miss those messages over and over again. Only once in a while do they get through, and when they do we are amazed and we label these incredible, blissful moments as “magical” - again reinforcing the idea that they are uncommon, and outside of our day to day life. Additionally, it is the rather ridiculous mindset of humans that we expect God to speak to us in BIG and AMAZING ways, like in the example of stars above, but at the same time we miss those types of messages that are written in the language that transcends language. And then when the message comes through in something less immense, and more everyday, we scoff at that too, thinking, “How could a Deck of cards communicate Divine messages?” Again I will say that we  have tied the hands of the Divine. We are unprepared to face a direct encounter, unable to see the messages all around us in the natural world, and unwilling to accept messages in ordinary man-made items such as Tarot Cards. If you reflect upon this deeply, you may begin to admit that the difficulty in receiving messages of guidance and love exists not from the side of the sender but with the one to whom they are being sent.  

The Tarot system is actually a great vehicle for transmitting wisdom and guidance. In fact, 22 of the Tarot cards are believed to represent a complete path to enlightenment. The other 56 cards represent the various ways in which big spiritual lessons are manifesting in your daily life. Spread out in the cards before you, through imagery and symbols, here are messages of guidance and an objective look at where you are on your path. Here is the clarity your prayers have been requesting.  

If you accept that Divine messages and guidance CAN come through such a thing as cards, the next question might be, “HOW?” How can I shuffle the deck, lay out the cards and have a perfectly relevant and applicable reading come out? It seems so random, doesn’t it? But remember that this whole world is made up of vibrating particles. Essentially everything is vibrating and everything is connected. You don’t even have to study physics to understand vibrations. Let me tell you about something called ‘Sympathetic Vibrations”. My first real world experience of this was when I was teaching singing lessons many years ago. In my studio at that time, there was a bookshelf against the wall just a few feet from my piano. On that shelf was a candle in a glass jar that had a loose fitting metal lid, the kind that just sat on top of the jar, with holes in it that was supposed to reduce the amount of smoke and soot created by the candle. Whenever I played middle C on the piano, (regardless of soft or loud volume) the metal lid vibrated in sympathy with that pitch and made a rattling noise. It wasn’t subtle, it was obvious and a little distracting. I had to move the candle to another room. This is an example of a sympathetic vibration. The sound from the piano playing middle C was some kind of “match” with the candle’s lid, and therefore vibrated in sympathy with that pitch. We know that sound is vibrations. Can you also accept that thoughts, feelings, and intentions are vibrations? Can you accept that each card has its own vibration which could vibrate in sympathy with your intentions, or with your higher wisdom, or with the Divine? When you begin to understand your world as vibrations and energy, then the Tarot begins to make perfect sense. 

 I, the Tarot Reader, shuffle the deck, in the energy of pure love, with the intention that you receive the message that will best serve your highest good, for the highest good of all. Before shuffling the deck I request, and thank, your own high level guides (your guardian angels, ancestors, Saints, Deities) to join us in the space and give you the wisdom and guidance needed to achieve your soul’s purpose. I also request, and thank, my own guides to give me clear vision to interpret the cards. Only pure intentions are welcomed into the space. It is a highly spiritual and sacred practice to me. I am honored and grateful to deliver these messages, guidance and encouragement to those who are seeking clarity on their path.  

Remember, the Tarot is just a tool. Can Tarot be used for negative intent? Of course it can! Just like there are humans with a lot of integrity and humans who are lacking integrity, Tarot Readers are the same. So how can you find a good Tarot Card Reader? Easy! - what is their VIBE? We already said that everything is vibrating, right? So ask yourself, what kind of vibe do you get? Does their style resonate with you? Have they clearly stated their intentions as a reader? Remember we also said that everything is connected, so check in with your own vibration as well. When you are considering getting a reading what is YOUR intention? Are you interested in receiving guidance? Are you hoping to prove that Tarot Readings are just a lot of silly hocus pocus? Are you doing it for entertainment? Know your own intention FIRST and then seek a reader who resonates with your intention. If you want entertainment, you can surely find that easily. If you want true guidance, you may have to research a little further to find a reader you are willing to trust to deliver the advice you are seeking.  

I have written this within the truth of my own understanding of the Tarot, how I use it and how I have experienced it.  

Lots of love,



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