Well basically tarot is always 100% on point and accurate, and never goes wrong.
You however may well not always get it quite right. I would go so far as to say that you probably will make mistakes in how you interpret, communicate or translate the reading.
We are all human in the end!
So lets take a look at some of the things that can go wrong with tarot.
#1 You are not focused (or the person you are reading for is not).
This can often happen when you are reading for yourself & just throwing a few cards down. You were planning to read for where to go on holiday, but your mind was actually else where.
This happened to me when I started doing email tarot readings, I had a photo of a family member on the screen behind the email. I looked at the cards and realised they simply didn't resonate at all. My mind had slipped to the photo and the reading was reflecting the family member!
I am careful now, I read in my caravan with a clear desk and no distractions. I take tarot reading seriously whether for myself or a client- and if I have distractions I deal with them first! I hear a lot of talk about how to cleanse your tarot deck, personally I think having a clear mind as a reader is far more important.
#2 You don’t really want to know the answer, or you have a different question in your heart.
I had a lady come for reading some years ago, interested in how to develop her business. But the spread was all about family, marriage & home. I told her the reading seemed more focused on family than business, and she admitted she had discovered she was pregnant that morning, and was worried about how that would impact her life.
The tarot had picked up on the question in her heart not her words. If a reading doesn't seem to answer your question- check in with yourself or client. Try finding the story between the cards and see if it makes sense, but applies to a different area of your life.
#3 You are in a rush and the reading is not complete- you need more cards to fully understand.
Sometimes it just takes a little longer to piece together what a reading is saying.
I did a reading for a lady which said she needed to make her peace with someone. It didn't make sense to her- she had good relations with her husband, family and friends. So we moved onto the next question- I was certain it would become clear- sure enough she asked about her sister whom she was very worried about. The cards were clear she needed to visit her sister who would welcome her support. Suddenly the last spread made sense. Before committing to a new business venture she needed to visit her sister and help her in her life.
The peace was for the sister, not the client, I just needed more cards to make the link clear.
Often I find tarot readings open gently, layer after layer. Sometimes not everything is clear in the first spread, sometimes it is just too complicated to piece together straight away.
#4 Your question is not worded well, or you don’t understand the relationship between the question and answer.
An important part of tarot reading is getting the question right. I always play around a little with the question, either rephrasing as part of an email reading, or rewording and explaining to a client what I am reading for.
The way the question is worded needs to reflect the spread you are using- otherwise the two simply don't fit.
I think this is an overlooked skill in tarot reading. A carefully worded question with the right spread is the foundation that allows the taro to express itself.
If you ask the tarot "will I get the promotion next week?" the Tarot may be saying no- it will be next month, OR yes- but it will only last two days, OR no but don't worry it wasn't for you anyway, OR yes- but only if you re-write your CV.
Make sure their is room in your question and spread for everything the tarot has to say. I often like to include an advice card, short & longer outcome cards, and need to know card.
#5 The answer is so far from what you expected that you can’t understand it, (you asked is A or B would happen, and the tarot is saying C)
Sometimes a client is asking about a choice, a decision, options- and answer is so far from what they expected it is hard to understand.
I read for a friend at a workshop recently. She is planning an event and wanted to know which was the best of three venues. The cards were muddled, but in the end the meaning became clear- all three. I have seen this happen time and time again, and it reflects my core idea that tarot helps us to widen our possibilities- but only if we allow ourselves to see that in the reading.
If the cards aren't making sense look carefully- are they making sense but it just isn't what you would expect them to say?
#6 Everything is just fine, but you are tired, distracted, in a bad mood, hungry, drunk or otherwise unable to read the cards.
It happens to us all, and is a difficult part of being a "professional". Part of my job is to switch on the mind-set and focus because it is my job. If I have a busy tarot day ahead I prioritise my time not reading to relax and nurture myself to ensure I can be focused when reading.
Trust your instinct, if you are not in the right headspace to do a tarot reading, don't!
So if you read Tarot- for yourself or others. Always be gentle and responsible. Your tool of tarot may be infallible, but we as humans can get the message muddled.