There are plenty of reasons why tarot culture is thriving online: it’s visually stunning, approachable, and teeming with potential for introspection. No longer viewed as a mere fortune telling tool, many are using tarot as a meditative practice that reflects the interplay of spiritual and emotional factors in their lives.
With this zeitgeist has come a slew of online tarot readers offering live web-based readings. If you’re curious about exploring the world of online tarot readings, read on for tips on how to get the most from the experience.
Before Your Reading
Find an advisor that resonates with you
There’s no shortage of top sites that offer tarot readings, and most show available advisors along with personal bios that list their specialties and convey their personalities.
Read as many bios as you need until one resonates with you. They’ll typically list years of experience, areas of expertise (romance, career, life guidance, etc), qualifications, and philosophy. These are all details that can help you decide on a good match.
Choose a format
Online tarot readings are typically done through video, live chat, or phone. A video chat is by far the most intimate, though it also allows the advisor to read your body language and reactions. A perk of a live chat is that you can save a transcript of the reading for future reference, although the drawback is that you won’t be able to see the cards in your spread. The same goes for a telephone reading, though some may feel more comfortable expressing themselves when they’re not on camera. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks, and ultimately it comes down to what would make you feel most comfortable.
Prepare your questions ahead of time
Once you’ve decided on an advisor, take a few minutes and think about what you want to ask them. It helps to first focus on an area of your life you’re most interested in exploring. Do you want to know about your love life? Are you debating taking a new job?
Then narrow it down to a concrete question. Psychics often say that the more specific the question, the more specific the answer. Try to think of specific questions, and word them so they produce actionable responses.
A few more suggestions:
- DO focus on the present
- DON’T focus on how long you’ll live or what will happen to you in the distant future
- DO focus on areas of your own self-growth and personal fulfillment
- DON’T try to get in the minds of other people
Familiarize yourself with the tarot deck
This isn’t a requirement, but it’s worth considering for a few reasons. For one, if you get a phone or chat reading, you won’t be able to see your cards, and it might help to have some background or a mental image of what appears in your spread. Also, the images on tarot cards are evocative and intentionally universal. Though they do have deeper levels of interpretation beyond the literal, any gut reactions you have to a card is worth paying attention to.
Understand what tarot can—and can’t—tell you
Most psychics believe in free will and will tell you that nothing is set in stone. This belief goes even further in tarot circles, where many view tarot cards not as fortune-telling devices but tools that highlight what’s already happening under the surface. Opinions certainly vary from one reader to the next, so if in doubt, ask your reader upfront: How should you interpret the reading? Are these predictions for the future, insights into the present, or something else?
During the Reading
Let’s be practical for a second. If you’re speaking with an online tarot reader, you’re probably paying by the minute. The more straightforward you are, the more you’ll get out of the session. So have your questions in front of you, and try not to circle around topics or second-guess yourself too much.
You don’t have to tell the reader your life story (and there are good arguments for why you shouldn’t). But don’t feel like you have to hold back either. Tarot readers have likely heard it all, so don’t worry about censoring yourself out of embarrassment.
Most importantly, though, be honest with yourself. Even if you don’t want to articulate everything out loud, ask questions from a place of honesty and accept the results without shame or denial.
Ask for elaboration
It’s okay to ask for clarification or elaboration. If you don’t understand any part of the reading, tell the advisor. If you want to explore a card further, ask them what else they can see. While every advisor differs, most will have no problem with you steering the reading in a different direction or asking how a card applies to other areas of your life.
Sometimes the information you hear in a reading only becomes clear with time. You’ll hear a lot during your reading, and some of it may be emotional, so don’t rely on your memory to retain it all. It’s good to document the insights and advice your advisor gives you so you can check in on them. And in a more practical sense, reading your notes further down the line can help you decide if that advisor’s worth reaching out to again.
Don’t get defensive
You may hear things that aren’t easy to stomach. Shortcomings, self-imposed limitations, and obstacles may come up during a session, and these can be the most potent seeds of growth if you’re willing to accept them. Of course if you feel like your advisor is being judgemental, or even if something they say is simply inaccurate, it’s perfectly fine to communicate that to them. But before getting defensive, try to be honest with yourself and ask yourself if there’s some truth in the cards that you can learn from.
Ask for actionable advice
A tarot reading isn’t a mystical experience that will instantly change you. The purpose is to uncover subtle patterns that can and should be addressed in order to grow. If your cards reveal jealousy, ask your advisor how you can be more trusting. If they reveal people in your life with ulterior motives, ask for ways to be more cautious without turning cynical. Don’t settle for abstractions: chances are your advisor will be able to share techniques, meditations, and advice for making positive changes.
After the Reading
Let everything sink in
Sometimes it’s good to sit with your results for a few days and see what sticks with you the most. Instead of trying to force a reaction to your reading, let the most important parts rise to the surface. Try to hold the reading in the back of your mind as you go through the week, and see if any events in your daily life trigger a connection to something your tarot reader brought up.
Check in on your notes
Revisit the notes from your reading from time to time to see if any of the themes have materialized in your day-to-day life. It may be that something your psychic said didn’t make an impact at the time, but down the line you recognize its relevance to your life in a subtle or new way.
It’s tempting to retrospectively ‘score’ your psychic based on how much came true. But remember that tarot readings aren’t meant to predict the future as much as they help us clarify our present. Even if you disagree with what you were told, use it as an opportunity to explore why you disagree. Statements that miss the mark can still benefit us if we use them to clarify where we stand.
The burgeoning online tarot community is giving more and more people the chance to check in with their spiritual and emotional selves. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced tarot client, you’ll find plenty online to accommodate your interests and desire to learn more about what the cards reveal. As there’s no shortage of online tarot readers and platforms to host them, it’s up to you to find one that resonates with you, do a little prep work, and embark on your reading with confidence, intention, and a bit of self-reflection.