World Tarot Week? World Tarot Day? What?!

Best I can tell, the people who use tarot cards are those who want to believe in the idea of pre-destiny, or that there is some mystical “if I do this, then that will occur” order to the universe — beyond simple cause and effect. It’s kind of sad, really, to imagine someone thinking that by spending time with a deck of decorated cards, they’d be able to figure out what makes them or their loved ones tick. Even sadder is that in most cases people will pay someone else good money in order to have these “insights” given to them. Now that you know where I am coming from on the subject, I’ll get to the point.

World Tarot Week? World Tarot Day? What?!

I had a press release for Random House’s ‘Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards‘ app show up in my inbox, and my first instinct was to simply delete it. But there were a couple of things in the email that made me give it a second look. For instance, did you know that there is evidently a “World Tarot Week“? It doesn’t show up on any of my calendars, but because the press release says there is one, I am assuming that there must be those who celebrate it, or who will celebrate it, now that they know there is a reason to celebrate. In that spirit of celebration, Random House is dropping the price of their tarot app from $6.99 to $3.99 from May 22nd to May 24th; if you decide that you can wait until May 25th, it will only cost 99¢. If you are interested, you can find the app in the App StoreGoogle Play, and the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store.

The thing is that these cards are ugly; rather than looking like the traditional Tarot cards that any self-respecting Madame Zelda at a carnival might use, these app-based cards look like this …

Not very inspiring if you are trying to hoodwink someone into thinking that you can tell them about their past, present, or future, right? Maybe it’s just as well.

With that said, I have heard of one intriguing use for tarot cards that has nothing to do with trying to bilk people out of their money or prey upon those with a low skeptic threshold: there are fiction writers who use tarot cards to devise plots for their novels! Have you ever heard of this? Evidently it’s a mind exercise that some authors will do; they draw cards and use whatever the back of the tarot card says to help them figure out what might happen next in their plot. The gist is that you’d pick three to five cards to flesh out a character and to figure out places where the plot might go next; it’s a sort of mind exercise for writers who are stumped. That seems like the best use for tarot cards that I’ve heard of.

What about you? Will you be celebrating World Tarot Week? Do you put any stock in what a tarot card reading might reveal? Do tell. =)

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37 replies

  1. Jon’s Harasstrology Horriblescope Generator ( is the closest I’ve ever come to trying to cash in on this whole prognostication market. At least when I’m wrong you’re pleasantly surprised.

    • Your link isn’t working for me, Jon! And I am so disappointed! I wanted to see my Horriblescope! 😉

      • I think I see what happened – Disqus put a ) at the end of the URL: should work. The Facebook sharing feature doesn’t work anymore, but you can get as many just-as-valid-as-tarot horriblescopes as you’d like from it 😉

        • “An Aries’s Harasstrology Horriblescope for May 24, 2013.

          Today is going to be crummy. I don’t think you realize just how screwed you are. Donuts are usually awesome, today they’ll be deadly. Don’t go to the zoo today, or else.

          Today’s feeling: sad
          Your unlucky numbers (avoid anywhere found): 0,3,6,7, and 8.
          Your unlucky color: Coquelicot.
          Your unlucky time: 12:28:19 (Both AM & PM). Now go out and tell everyone your horriblescope, so they may be warned as well!”

          Awesomesauce. 😉

  2. World Tarot Day is also a bit controversial within the tarot community, for a number of reasons that aren’t relevant to this discussion. What is relevant is this. You admit to not knowing anything about tarot or World Tarot Day. Why not do some research before you decide to write about it?

    You assertion that “the people who use tarot cards are those who want to believe in the idea of pre-destiny, or that there is some mystical “if I do this, then that will occur” order to the universe” couldn’t be further from the truth.

    For many of us, tarot is a book of spiritual wisdom in picture form. Tarot offers the opportunity for introspection and creativity. Tarot helps those who honor a Higher Power find a quiet space in which to make a connection to Spirit.

    Tarot is also used as a psychological tool. Our reactions to the images and the archetypes promote healing, communication and self-understanding.

    You are absolutely correct that many writers use tarot for creative prompts, and I appreciate that you mentioned this point. But to suggest that this is the best use of tarot that you have ever heard is weird, considering you don’t seem to know about most of the common uses of tarot.

    Yes, there are those who use tarot to commit psychic fraud. We legitimate tarotists work hard to make a distinction between those unsavory characters and us. Thanks for making our job that much harder.

    And, by the way, the image you included is from an oracle deck, not a tarot deck. Yes, many tarotists also appreciate oracles, but we can tell the difference one from the other. If you did even the barest minimum of research you would be able to as well.

  3. Having this woman report on World Tarot Day is like having a fan of Hank Williams Jr. report on Opera. There are very good tarot apps available for those who understand the philosophy behind tarot and how eye-opening a personal journey it can be.

    • I think it is awesome that my post prompted you and Christiana to comment. Such a difference in the tones of the comments, tho. Where Christiana tried to educate, you took a completely different tack.

      Reenee, a suggestion. Perhaps instead of taking the overly defensive position that you did by insulting my reporting ability and the taste of Hank Williams Jr. fans everywhere, you might have taken this opportunity to explain the philosophy you believe is behind tarot, and explain how eye-opening your personal journey has been.

      Why don’t you start with explaining the science behind it?

      Side note: “this woman” has a name, and it is posted in the byline at the top of the post; trying to belittle me and show your superiority with your less than respectful label is more telling about your personality than it is about mine. You might want to work on that. 😉

      • I’m only here to make people think. My post did that. I saw no need to explain anything. This is a column about apps. You just happened to pick an app that you had a hard time explaining how it might be useful to someone. I’m also a geek, so I understand that can happen. If you were offended by “some woman”, well I’ve been called much worse and have survived.
        Taste……..Hank Williams Jr. fans……really???

        • Wow Renee, you certainly have an inappropriately high sense of yourself.

          It’s really amazing to me that you would respond in such a rude way. A little advice – if your goal actually IS to make people “think” you will find you have a far more receptive audience if you aren’t intentionally rude and obnoxious. I don’t expect you to be able to comprehend that but hey, “I’m only here to make people think”.

          As for Judie being offended by you referring to her as “this woman” – the fact that people have called you far worse doesn’t make your rudeness any more appropriate. Your response does, however, give me a better understanding of why that has been your experience… but that’s besides the point.

          • I find it very interesting how the author was able to side-step the topic of tarot by starting a smear campaign against Reenee.

        • Right on Ree! I didn’t find you comments “rude” or “obnoxious”. You’re just telling it like it is. The analogy of “having a fan of Hank Williams Jr. report on Opera” seems totally appropriate – People who have great knowledge in one area will often make comments about something they know nothing about. Do some research. For one thing, ‘Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards‘ App is an “Oracle Deck”, not a Tarot Deck.

          Most of these “Apps” are just card generators with generic meanings …not even close to a real reading – Apps can’t replace a trained Tarot Reader interpreting the cards. The general public still thinks only in terms of “Gypsy Fortune-Teller”, when they hear “Tarot”. Most modern Readers don’t do “fortune-telling”.

          It’s actually quite the opposite of what Judie suggests – they don’t believe in pre-destiny or fate. Modern Readers explain to their clients that the future is NOT set in stone. The most a Tarot Reading can show you is the current trajectory you are on and what the possible out come(s) is – then the client can make informed choices in their life – which is the real power of a Tarot Reading, not predicting the future.

          Not to mention the cards can be used for a myriad of uses besides divination. Many therapists and psychologists use Tarot in their practice! In NYC recently, there was the “Tarot & Psychology Conference”, with prominent psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists in attendance.

          Thus why we have an interntational World Tarot Day/Week …to try to educate the general public about this rich tradition.

          • Exactly, Dax. Well said.

          • Dax, I just want to be clear that you are saying reputable psychologists or counselors might use tarot as a means to “show [their patients] the current trajectory [they] are on and what the possible out come(s) is – [so the client can then] make informed choices in their life”? Seriously?

            • Thanks for asking Judie. This is why I said, do some research – To be clear: reputable psychologists/counselors have been using Tarot for decades – and now it’s becoming even more prevalent. No, I am not saying they use Tarot for divination (as in”fortune-telling”) with their patients – they use it in other ways – when I was talking about using Tarot to garner information/possible outcomes, I was speaking of “Tarot Practitioners/Readers”. Tarot is often used in Gestalt methods, with patients, to elicit response from the subconscious via the images, similar to how hypnosis might be applied……..

              • So it is akin to using an ink blot?

              • Dax- that being the case it sounds like tarot cards are being used like ink blots. (Honestly in all the years I worked on my doctorate in pastoral counseling I NEVER heard of such a thing.)
                Where I find this problematic is that something connected historically to divination and the occult is being used to delve into the psyche. It is way too easy to then blur the lines and move into the “the cards know…” Mindset even if that is not the goal.

                There are so many ways to do the same work without the baggage that comes with this approach that I find it perplexing why any reputable therapist would intentionally blur the line or create the opening for that to happen.

                  • My oh my. Dax you posted you comments on Judie’s post here-

                    Website- http://rainbowpsychics.huh
                    Home › DIVINATION › World Tarot Day? We have a LONG way to go Folks…World Tarot Day? We have a LONG way to go Folks…

                    And then you try to distance yourself from tarot as divination? Really?

                • Actually – that is exactly right, Dan. When I teach tarot one of the methods I teach is to look at the card and see what you see within it.
                  In the course of a reading, when a client points to a particular card and can express a particular reaction to it there is a great opportunity for insight.

              • Dax, I just had a look at the site associated with your email, and I am impressed by your chutzpa, to say the least.

                What you are promoting behind the blanket ‘psychologists are using it’, and “if it didn’t work, they wouldn’t be using it….” wannabe-Jedi-mind-trick statement is the fact that your site is all about making money with divination and psychics, even as you post here that “Tarot’s historical connection to “divination” or “The occult” is irrelevant.”

                It is completely relevant, and a few minutes spent on your site just proved my point. You and your ilk are the exact type of charlatans that I was talking about in my post.

                THANK YOU for making my point.

                And sure, tarot may be a tool that some reputable people are using to “elicit response from the subconscious via the images, similar to how hypnosis might be applied”, but for you it appears to be all about the money.

                “Our Video Psychics average $6 – $8,000 per month! Are U Psychic?”

                That’s a tweet by YOU, syndicated on the sidebar of YOUR site. Nice.

                Even better, you and your defenders are trying to say that tarot isn’t about destiny … so how do you explain the “Destiny card reading” offered by your site? I’ll let you slip on the whole “Fortune Telling” subheading, since it isn’t under tarot.

                You don’t get to have it both ways.

                Have fun with trying to associate a higher purpose with what you are doing. If that helps you sleep better at night, then more power to you. =P

                • Wow… that really shut down the nonsense. Maybe Dax will think twice before challenging someone to “…do some research”. You did and isn’t it interesting what showed up. :)

                  Or maybe he will realize that you can’t tweet about “Video Psychics making thousands per month” AND try to make the case that you are legit in the very same day.

                  • Sorry folks, nothing to hide here. The Tarot Guild is an organization for professional Tarot Readers. is a website where we help clients in need of guidance and insight. There’s nothing to apologize for there. We are providing a valuable service – so what if our Readers make six figures, so do therapists and psychologists (not everyone agrees with their methods either). There’s nothing “illegitimate” about that.

                    • Dax- you can provide any “service” you like and if people pay they pay. But don’t come here and try to pretend tarot cards are being used by trained therapist in the same way ink blots are used and call US out about it when you are tweeting “R U Psychic?” and looking for new “video psychics” on Twitter. Have a shred of integrity please.

                      You have every right to put out there whatever you want to put out there as you sell your snake oil. Just don’t try to hide behind some veil of legitimacy and PLEASE do not try to place yourself as a “psychic” on par with clinically trained psychologists. I have more to say but I’m sure you can simply predict what it would be. :)

                    • Again, you’re are mistaken about what I was trying to say. One thing doesn’t negate the other. I wasn’t trying to say that the “fact” that therapists use Tarot somehow “legitimizes” it~! Tarot doesn’t need legitimizing, for those of us that use it, and those that get benefit from it.

                      I was pointing out there are many uses for Tarot, 100s of millions use it and even more people get benefit from it – in various ways. I never said that I didn’t use Tarot in counseling, life coaching or that predictive elements don’t come up in our readings.

                      I was speaking to Judie’s original premise that all of us that use Tarot either believe ourselves, or try to convince our clients, that the future is set in stone and only “WE” can divine their fate! …that’s BS.

                      Obviously you you are unaware of the services I and my colleagues actually provide. We don’t TELL people their future – our sessions ARE in fact counselling and life coaching. We help our clients make informed decisions in their lives.

                      You are obviously ignorant to the fact that therapists and psychologists DO use Tarot in their practices – why do you think they hold a “Tarot and Psychology Conference” in NYC each year!

                      When you say “do not try to place yourself as a “psychic” on par with clinically trained psychologists”, you obviously must have also missed earlier in the thread when I mentioned I discovered Tarot through studying counseling – not the other way around –
                      missing that I AM classically trained in therapy and pastoral counseling, and I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist.

                      However, even if I wasn’t, I and my colleagues ARE professionals. on par with any other “professional” out there. We’re aren’t sitting behind neon signs in our front windows, lighting candles and telling people they have a “curse”, bilking them out of their money.

                      Not everyone wants to go to a therapist, or be in therapy for years! The services we provide are legitimate and respectable. If we weren’t helping people, they wouldn’t come back or refer other to us, nor would we be making six-figure incomes…..

              • Hi Dax, Sorry for jumping in this thread late, but I’m curious about the use of Tarot as a projective test. I’ve not come across this in either the clinical literature or the history of Gestalt psychology (seems much more akin to psychoanalytical methodology). Can you provide a few references in the clinical literature to the use of Tarot? Looking through Google Scholar and PsychINFO doesn’t seem to be revealing much for me other than a few popular press books on the subject. A few journal citations or APA-accredited programs that mention using it would be great for me to have in my files!


      • Thanks, Judie. But does everything of value have to have “science behind it?”
        When you see a beautiful piece of art, do you ask to know the “science behind it?”
        When a poignant film makes you cry is the first thing you wonder about the camera on which it was shot?
        There are many psychologists, artists and theologians who debate and discover the many valid ways in which tarot works. But I think few of us go first to the concept of “science.”

        The closest I would personally come is in discussing the concept of archetypes, a la Jung. Each tarot card represents an archetype. As we discover these archetypes we discover more about our own personal journey through life, the purpose for our suffering and the options in front of us. Is that science? probably not. Is it helpful? Immensely.

        • Christiana- are you then completely distancing yourself from the connection between tarot cards and divination? Would you argue they are, for example, more akin to rorschach ink blots and the insight they can offer thanks to the response of the person interacting with them?

          • That’s a very good way to look at it Dan …They do work that way, kinda like Rorschach images on steroids. Our minds think in pictures….

            • Yes but as I commented in another thread Dax I then question a reputable therapist using a vehicle that is historically connected to divination- especially with someone who is vulnerable and looking to address something by meeting with a therapist.

              • Sorry Dan, I didn’t see the other comment about that until now. I actually got involved with Tarot BECAUSE I was studying Pastoral Counseling LOL …I find it amusing you had the opposite experience, never having heard of Tarot being used in counseling. Tarot’s historical connection to “divination” or “The occult” is irrelevant . Most people are actually unaware of this. The point is “it works”, and can be used many ways by therapists. It’s a powerful exploratory tool. S” much so, that they now have a whole “conference”, held in NYC, just for this! lol …if it didn’t work, they wouldn’t be using it….

          • Not at all. There are many uses for tarot – divination is certainly one of them. But I think it is fair to say that there is a huge difference between divination and fortune-telling, and that most of the legitimate tarot community is working hard to distance ourselves from “fortune-telling,” as it is generally perceived in the community at large.

        • Christiana, To me, the things that are most valuable are the things that are most true, and I usually find that most things that are true do have science and/or mathematics behind them.

          Now, if you are talking about feelings and pure emotional response, that is a different thing entirely. And if Tarot is helping you with understanding what’s going on with your life, then that’s great.


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