How Tarot Works According to Me

Jaymi’s Note: This post is a snippet that I removed from Tarot Inspired Life. It details the “science” or the how I see tarot working. Enjoy

Part of the allure of Tarot and other divination devices is that they seem to “work their magic” without any rhyme or reason. Some people believe Tarot messages come from the cards having tapped into some sort of universal energy current, or concepts taught to them by their higher selves. While no one really knows for certain how the cards work, we do know that there is an uncanny synchronicity to them. They work. They give us exactly what we need to know when we need to hear it at (and sometimes when we don’t want to hear it). When I’m asked “how does Tarot work”, I tell them:

Tarot is nothing more than a pack of seventy-eight cards with nifty (and precisely designed) images on them. That’s all the Tarot physically is. The true power of the cards comes from within the person examining the cards. This power comes from our beliefs, our experiences, and what things we give importance from this world. It comes from our mental ability to create associations to all the cards’ imagery, symbolism, and colors and how we synthesize something new from it. And when a reader reads for a seeker, this power melds into an even stronger one from the combined beliefs, knowledge, and experiences of both the Tarot reader and the client. In rare cases, usually when the reader is also psychic, then a third entity, a divine being, can lend their hand to the reading by making sure the right card gets flipped over.

If this doesn’t clear the air on how Tarot works, I have three other explanations for how the magic works:


A term coined by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, synchronicity represents events in our life that seem to hold special meanings for us. For events to be synchronistic they must be randomly occurring, such as the haphazard throwing of Tarot cards that somehow wind up coinciding with the particulars of the question in that moment.

The Stars Are Right

In this theory, the energies of the EXACT moment determine the advice given. These energies include: positions of the stars and planets, the energy levels within the reader’s and the seeker’s body, the thoughts streaming through both of our minds, our belief in Tarot, the exact space we share, and where we are sitting. All these factors contribute and become channeled into the cards. Thus, when the deck is shuffled and I turn over the card, it is this energy that pushes “the correct” card up to the top of the deck to tell the seeker what known or hidden knowledge they need to know about their given situation.

Disco Ball Perspectives

In this explanation, I ask people to imagine a 78-paneled disco ball with an image of a Tarot card attached to each panel. Each panel represents a different perspective. Some perspectives appear near to what is going on, others are on the other side and cannot hear what is happening. Perspectives that are up close and personal are the ones that get selected from the deck.

So what are your thoughts on how Tarot works? Feel free to post your ideas in the comments.