When the Tarot cards just don’t make sense.



I expect is happened to us all. From seasoned professionals to absolute newbies- you shuffle the cards, lay them down, look at them and- nothing.


Not one thought of any sense comes to you. In this blog I want to look at why this can happen, and what you can do about it.


#1 You lost track during shuffling. I believe Tarot works on the focus of your mind. So if your attention slipped during shuffling the cards may well be reflecting some one else, or a different question. The cards are making sense- its just they are on a totally different topic to you.


Its simple to rectify. Always stay focused during shuffling, and start again if you feel your concentration slipped.


#2 Your question/topic doesn’t allow the cards to make sense. I have found that’s sometimes too closed a question that makes assumptions that aren’t accurate create chaotic spreads that can be hard to untangle.

So “Will I start my new job in January” may seem unreadable because the cards may be saying “you’ll start a different job in February”


Sometimes its easier to put the spread away and simplify the question leaving it more open “What do I need to know about changing jobs this Winter?”


#3 You don’t really want to know the answer. If – as I believe- Tarot is connecting through the minds focus then if you have asked a question and deep down you are really anxious about the answer then the cards can appear chaotic.

If it is an important question about health of a loved one, infidelity, or something really emotionally charged to you then check in. Are you ready to face this at the moment?


I find a gentle question like “what do I need to know about xxx” allows the cards to reflect how much you are able to handle right now, rather than dealing with absolutes.


#4 This future is very uncertain- you are being shown multiple timelines. If you read tarot at some point you are going to need to think about fate, how the future works, and whether we have free will.

I do not believe the future is fixed. I believe our choices in the past predict and define our futures to a greater or lesser degree.

If you are constantly changing your mind about a decision, or the timeframe includes lots of people making a decision- then the future may be very unformed when it comes to a specific question.


This can be frustrating, I find its best to ask to different questions “what is most likely to happen” and “what can I do to make this happen”.



#5 the answer is there- you just can’t see it. In many ways this is the only real answer to my question of “when the cards don’t make sense”. The cards always make sense- its just not always in a way we can see at first


. So if ever you do a reading and just can’t fathom it there are some simple techniques that usually help.


· Just stop thinking and look at the cards. We live in a go-fast world. Often just stopping- not reaching for the book, not talking or over thinking. Just allowing your eyes to gaze at the cards is a powerful pause in understanding the spread.


· Check in with yourself (or your querent). Were you really focused whilst shuffling, are you sure of this question/topic.

Are you really in the right frame of mind for this reading today?

And check your question- is it clear and simple?



· Start describing the images in the cards. Tarot is such a wonderful tool. The images contain the symbols to help us to understand them. Describing (ideally out loud) what you see in the cards can often start a narrative thought chain which leads to reading the spread without effort.


· Look for symbols that connect the cards. There is often a “symbol trail” between cards- a bird, a specific colour, the lay out of the images, hats, shoes, a shape, a flower. One symbol that starts to connect the cards in a unique way and can help you understand the narrative.


· Focus on how the cards make you feel. Tarot is an art, its more than a collection if keywords. How does a card make you feel, does it stir a memory, an emotion, a response?

If reading for someone else you can show them a specific card and ask them how the card makes them feel as a starting point for the reading.

Taking it out of the head and into the heart can be a really helpful starting point.


· Make a cup of tea. Less helpful for those of use reading professionally, but reading block is more likely when we read for ourselves I find.

So pause- go for a walk, make a cup of tea, take a shower. Allow your mind the time to wander through the spread.

You might want to look at the spread last thing at night, then journal first thing in the morning. Allow yourself the time to consider.


· Research one card. Its too easy to get lost researching the cards, and too loose track of the reading itself. Pick one card- the one that is most important or seems to make less sense. Look into that card and then see if it “unlocks” the reading. (I have heaps of free Tarot resources on my website here if you are looking for a little extra information)


· Ask the tarot. I saved the most practical answer until last. But it makes sense, if you feel confused about a reading- ask the cards.

I leave the spread out, re-shuffle the rest of the deck, and ask “what do I need to know” (or a more specific question if needed). You could do this for the entire spread, or focus on one card that seems to be a struggle.



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