There are so many myths about reading tarot out there, and one which still seems common is that you shouldn’t read your own tarot cards.
I’m not sure where this myth originated, but there’s a strong minority of tarot readers who never choose to read for themselves because they believe that you can’t be objective. However, most tarot readers reject this myth and see tarot as an excellent spiritual tool to develop your intuition and seek answers to personal questions.
So which one is the truth?
The Problem with Objectivity
The core problem for tarot readers who don’t read for themselves is objectivity. They don’t think a tarot reader will see past their own biases and interpret the cards correctly.
This is reasonable. As a tarot reader myself, I’ve found myself reluctant to accept the meaning of a spread before and chose to seek out another tarot reader for guidance. Ironically, the reader will usually give the same answer but will describe it in a more useful way.
Your tarot cards may give you the hard truth, and when that happens, many readers will want to reject the interpretation. Most often, they will draw clarifying cards until they get something positive, not realizing that they’re fishing for answers. They will also hunt for other interpretations online, in books, or from another reader.
Fear of Fortunetelling
Fishing for your future isn’t helpful. It’s about controlling your reading instead of controlling your life. When people reject cards, what they’re really rejecting is their own free will.
They don’t believe they have the power to affect their future, so what they see in their cards is an inevitability. In their subconscious, reinterpreting a spread to be more positive is how they rewrite their destinies.
I don’t think beginners are necessarily to blame for this poor approach to tarot. Many readers will frame their good interpretations as inevitable too and that there’s no possible way for the client to mess it up.
Because of this, beginners who start reading for themselves adopt this bad habit or recognize they can’t stop themselves from seeing the future with a fatalistic perspective when they get a bad spread. It becomes a safe choice not to read your own cards.
You shouldn’t fall for the same mistaken idea.
Reading Tarot Strategically
I’m not saying you must read your own cards, but I do think you should reframe how you approach tarot before you make this kind of decision for yourself.
First, you need to understand that you have free will. There are many divination methods out there that are more static, but tarot is not one of them.
Second, by their very nature, the cards reflect a possible future at the time of the reading. How you respond to that reading will determine the likelihood of the cards manifesting into reality.
That means you should approach tarot strategically. The interpretation you receive is one you can accept or reject – and your future actions will determine whether that interpretation will come true.
Once you reframe your perspective of tarot, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to be objective in the first place. From there, you’ll have the ability to read for yourself most of the time and can make the choice based on preference.
Me? I prefer to have someone else read my cards. It’s fun. But I usually read my cards at least a few times per month anyway. It’s just more convenient and immediate, and that’s not something I want to give up.
Embracing Your Intuition
The primary reason you should read your own tarot cards is that it helps develop your intuition.
There are a lot of exercises you can do and you can learn from reading other people over time, but reading your own cards helps you to create a more intimate relationship with your intuition, especially with tarot.
I’ve found that I have a special connection to some cards (like the Ten of Pentacles) and those feelings inform my readings with others. The reason this is so important is that you know more about your own life experiences than the collective life experiences of other people.
Memories, images, and sparks of inspiration are unique to you and this is magnified when you read for yourself. You create a much larger context to draw from.
Having Both Personal and Professional Readings
But what if you don’t read for other people at all – is it still worthwhile to learn to read for yourself?
Yes. If you really love tarot and you plan to do it more than once a year, having your own deck or downloading an app will allow you more opportunities to have tarot readings in more situations. And when you do enjoy a tarot reading from someone else, you’ll be able to take their reading and mesh it onto your own understanding of the cards.
More than once, my awareness of the cards allowed me to combine the reader’s intuition with my own. This is true whether you’re doing a live consultation, a recorded reading, or a Pick A Card. Two minds and two intuitions are better than one.
You also tend to ask better questions and provide more details in the first place which can improve your readings in general. Not bad, even if you never get to the point of memorizing cards and must rely on the book.
I also think it’s a good idea to read for yourself when you’re learning tarot. You may choose to drop it later for the most part, but it can be a valuable tool to meet your cards and understand their meanings from a personal perspective.
Reading your own tarot cards is a personal preference, but some readers needlessly stop themselves on the mistaken assumption it’s not possible. As long as you approach tarot with respect for your free will, you can interpret your cards with objectivity.
Once you embrace personal readings, you allow yourself to use your intuition in a special way. Reading your own cards allows you to develop a relationship with tarot you wouldn’t otherwise have, which will enrich any future tarot experience you become a part of, whether you’re a reader or a client.
It’s your decision as to whether or not you read your own cards – but make it your decision.