Q&A: Are Tarot readings accurate?

This is another one of those questions that cross my path often. I suspect other readers have heard it a time or two.

Q: Are your readings accurate?

A: Accurate compared to what?

When you measure anything, you have to have some basis for comparison. Any valid scientific experiment has a control. Think of an track meet. In a sprint, you can’t put the finish line anywhere…it has to be based on the distance from a start line. Runners can’t just go willy-nilly around the field, they have to go a certain distance in a defined space while the time is measured in order to determine the winner. Even if you are measuring something as ethereal and changeable as energy, you still have to define your terms. Think of the energy contained in a matchstick, o r a candy bar. One way to measure it is a calorie, defined as the energy needed to raise on gram of water one degree centigrade.

Which begs the question, what is our unit of measure for a Tarot reading? Exact outcomes? Precise words? Lottery numbers? Shapes on cards?


Objective measures like this are accurate. They are repeatable, and do not change no matter how you feel or what you believe about them. Science and skeptics love objective measurements.

Are objective measures the point? What is the point of Tarot? What are you trying to get out of a reading anyway? What is Tarot designed to give? If you want an exact prediction like when you will get married, what gender is your baby, will you get such-and-such job, or what the next winning lottery number will be, then you will be very disappointed with psychic readings. By those concrete units of measure, my readings are no more statistically accurate than any other guess or coin toss.  Does that mean Tarot is worthless or a scam?


Tarot is about as successful at these kinds of predictions as a cell phone is at hammering a nail in a board. They simply are not supposed to do that. This is the 21st century. We know the Earth isn’t flat and we know life is a little more complex than crude, side show mentalism and so-called predictions.

An enlightened, modern Tarot reading is more like contemporary psychology than stage magic. Tarot has evolved. It is a way to broaden our point of view. It is a way to confront difficult emotions, and challenging emotional situations. It is a way to understand the things that brought us to where we are and to discover new ideas that can help carry us forward. Tarot is creativity and imagination put to good use. Tarot, as it is meant to be, is like using your cell phone for gps navigation. It might not predict what you’ll see when you arrive, but Tarot can help you find where you want to go.

How do you measure the accuracy of emotion, spirituality and art? In psychology and marketing studies often use some rating scale (the Likert scale for example) to assign a number to a person’s feelings, beliefs or opinions. In other words, it makes subjective measurements. This is more realistic way to think about the accuracy of a Tarot reading. It is all about the inner world, not outer measurements.

If you want to know when you will get married, Tarot isn’t accurate. If you want advice about how to steer your love life in a better direction, Tarot can help. If you want tomorrows lottery numbers, chances are slim that you will get them in a reading. Want to decide which direction to take your career? Tarot can help. It all comes down to ideas and inspiration, and realistic expectations. A Tarot reading is as accurate as you make it to be. The choice is, as always, yours.