Point/Counterpoint: Are tarot readings real?

Debating the merits of a tarot reading
Image by: Herbert Wang
Journal staff debate the merits of tarot readings.

Tarot Cards are just another illusion

Tarot cards absolutely serve purpose; they’re mystical, fun, and shine a light into the unknown.  However, spending time and money on any manner of fortune-telling is hazardous.

Tarot readings involve connecting spiritual elements to major life events, offering insight into one’s past behaviour, future, and personal strengths and weaknesses. It sounds benign at first, but in reality too many people rely on this type of clairvoyant guidance to direct their lives.

Because tarot card readings are extremely general and can be interpreted in several different ways, tarot readings are used in many instances as a form of therapy. People who refer to tarot card readings in daily life often use them to reflect on their own decisions and goals.

The problem is, unlike professional therapeutic methods, tarot readings have no scientific backing. The cards offer very general insights, making it useless for someone aiming to understand their specific struggles. The querent must have blind faith that some card inscribed with vague rhetoric will supposedly give them the answer they need.

Furthermore, the querent is the one driving the session, and ultimately gets to choose what questions to ask and how to interpret cards.

If not interpreted properly, the cards can become an instrument of confirmation bias. People hoping for certain answers will see those first before examining all the card’s possible meanings.

It’s important to partake in tarot readings with an open and critical mind. Despite its alluring qualities, tarot cards are more arbitrary than reliable, and people should decide their own future through experiences, values, and cost-benefit analyses.

Nahira Gerster-Sim, Opinions Editor 

Tarot has value and contains a little bit of truth

I’m not the most spiritual nor religious person in the world. In fact, I’m—mostly—a stringent logician regarding coincidences in life. Even if you don’t believe in the supernatural, there’s value in a good tarot reading.

First of all, it’s important we never fully discount that there’s a higher power out there. For all our progress in science there’s still much we don’t know about our world and how it works.

For those who believe in the power of tarot, it’s important to respect the mysteries of the universe that are beyond our reach and to listen to the cards when they tell you not to send that messy text to your ex.

For those who don’t and will never believe in the supernatural, I’d like to make an appeal to them as good methods of validation and affirmation.

Tarot readings can be vague, much in the same way that zodiac archetypes can describe pretty much anyone. A tarot card reading could be easily interpreted to fit one’s lifestyle, regardless of what comes out. But there’s no real harm to these readings because sometimes, people know what they need to hear deep down inside and need that external push to make the right choice.

I’ve had tarot readings done that described my life with chilling accuracy, and it felt like the stranger who was reading me had known me my whole life, other readings required a bit more interpretation to understand. Either way, the cards told me something I needed to know, and I acted accordingly.

At the end of the day, whether the supernatural is real or not, tarot cards have a place in our world, and can help you if you let them.

Uwineza Mugabe, Senior Lifestyle Editor


point/counterpoint, tarot cards

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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