Why does Tarot work?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020



Recently, after one of my readings I was asked a great question; “so why do you think tarot works?”

It’s definitely a loaded question! And it really depends upon how someone approaches the reading and the Tarot itself.

Tarot has been around for centuries, and although there is mixed opinions and speculations about its origins, it wasn’t actually used for divination until about the 18th Century. It was originally designed as a game; Tarocchi was played as a parlour game reserved for Royals and the wealthy. It originated in Italy and France, and quickly spread around Europe and other parts of the world like Egypt, by the gypsies and mystics who adapted it for fortune telling purposes.

When the invention of the printed press came to be, it allowed mass production of the cards. The first to mass produce a deck was In Marseilles France, and this gave birth to the Marseilles Tarot Deck which is still in production and popular today.

So back to the question; Why does it work?

Well, in my opinion it works for many reasons. Starting with its ‘Egregore’.

An egregore is when a symbol, place, or thing has been charged with the same intention or meaning by the Collective: hundreds if not thousands of people who have focused on it’s one particular meaning or a result there of. As a result, it takes on a life or personality of its own, having been brought to existence by the united thoughts and intents of its users.

So, given that the Tarot has had pretty much the same cards and same meanings for those cards, for at least the last 200 years, it has an Egregore. Given to it by the millions of people who have used the symbols for divination purposes. This has charged each card of the deck with powerful meanings and symbolism, varying from each card to the next.

This is why Tarot cards can also be used in Spell work, and can be highly effective in channelling a specific energy associated with the chosen card. An example of this would be meditating on the imagery and symbolism of a particular card until it takes on a deeper more personal meaning for you. This is a great exercise if you wish to learn the Tarot, because developing a personal relationship with each card will help you better remember and understand it’s meaning.

Another reason why the tarot is so effective in relating messages to us is because it is a mirror.

Tarot has an uncanny way of bringing to light, things in which our subconscious mind already knows but is not yet seen by the conscious mind. This makes it a mirror. And a great example of why we should never consult the cards when we are overly emotional or feeling unstable in any way. The cards will mirror our mental state back to us especially when emotions are high. That's why it’s important to ground ourselves before a reading, so that we can clear away any lingering energies and open ourselves up to receiving positive messages. We manifest the energy in a reading, and we see what we want to see.

Tarot helps us connect to our ego and shadow in a way that allows us to look at matters objectively. If there is something below the surface, a personality trait for example that is preventing the achievement of some sort of goal, then the Tarot will reveal what it is exactly about ourselves that is holding us back. In my experience this usually refers to mental blocks, or baggage that we are unnecessarily carrying.

Just like a Rorschach test, the tarot can tell us valuable things about our psyche. It all depends on how we read the cards and what jumps out at us the most about any particular card.

And finally, the tarot is a vessel for Spirit.

Whether or not you believe in certain spiritual practices, most people can agree that each of us has either spirit guides or guardian angels around us supporting and gently guiding us to our highest purpose. And if you have experience with your guides, it is possible to speak directly to them. Most people do, usually through prayer.

Tarot like all forms of divinations, is a vessel for our guides to speak to us. It can sometimes depend upon the reader, and if they have psychic talents. However it is possible to read the cards effectively without having any sense of ‘divine’ or other guidance. Everyone has their own style of reading and interpreting the messages. For me, I use all of the above methods and more when approaching a reading for myself or someone else. These are some of my go-to theories about how to explain the intrigue and mystery that is the Tarot.



What do you think?

Do you believe it works?


Let me know if your interested in learning more about the origins or meanings of the Tarot!


All the love. x

Sara.