your tarot reader isn't a mind reader

Why Your Tarot Reader Asks for the Backstory

your tarot reader isn't a mind reader

I. just. read. cards.

When you get an email Tarot reading online, you can expect great value from the service if done by a professional. In some instances an email reading trumps an in-person reading; you can read here about the many advantages of getting an email Tarot reading. However, there are some key difference that you need to be mindful of if this is your first time ordering a reading online. 

One of the key differences is that many professional Tarot readers will ask for the back story for the issue/question you are seeking help with. In a face-to-face reading this often happens too but more organically, as you are invited to start talking about why you have come to the reader and how they can be of help to you.

The are a few reasons a Tarot reader will ask for the back story:

  • Your Tarot reader isn’t a mind reader. This may seem obvious and like a no-brainer to those of you who already have some knowledge about divination in general and Tarot more specifically. You may be surprised if I told you how many people have asked me ‘Can you read my mind?’ When I tell them what I do for a living!
  • Your Tarot reader may or may not be ‘psychic.’ People often confuse Tarot readers with psychics and the confusion is easy to understand since Tarot card readers are often forced to list their services under the ‘Psychic’ directory heading since there is not always a separate category for Tarot. Being psychic isn’t the same as being able to read someone’s mind. It means that you receive information about the person you are reading for from the spirit realm, with or without the help of spirit guides.  Personally, I believe we are all psychic to a certain extent but I also believe that nobody has this gift on tap and that those who claim to have it on tap (i.e. claim to always read with 100% accuracy based on psychic info) are charlatans, con artists and cold readers. That said, Tarot readers are highly intuitive and most readers do get psychic hits during the course of the reading – knowing the backstory certainly won’t get in the way of that!
  • Your Tarot reader needs to be made aware of if there are any issues that you are seeking help for that may be better address via a referral. For instance, for health, the best you can hope for from the Tarot is help with any underlying emotional cause – anything else warrants a referral. If you were to ask if your finances will improve but fail to disclose a massive debt, there really is nothing your Tarot reader can do for you. For money matters, you are generally better off seeing a financial advisor. What a reader can do for you is helping discern and dissolve blocks to abundance. This is why it is very important that you are honest and upfront with your reader about the real reason you are coming for a reading. Many people secretly hope that a Tarot reading will handle the problems they have failed to shoulder full responsibility so far – No cigar!
  • Your Tarot reader needs to know if the guy you are looking for a reading on to possibly reconcile with is abusive (and no, it doesn’t matter if he’s your ‘soul mate’) in which case she will refer you to a domestic violence help line instead of doing the ‘Will he come back?’ reading. Also, some of us will not read on situations involving a partner who is married to to another person for ethical and karmic reasons.
  • Your Tarot reader interprets the cards in light of the information give. There are almost infinite possibilities as to what any given card can mean and the meaning changes depending on the following parameters: the nature of the question, the circumstances of the client’s situation, the actual cards draw, how the cards interact with the each other and the question, and the reader’s ability to see (both rationally and intuitively) and correctly interpret the cards.

If you want a good reading, with accurate and relevant advice from the Tarot, you need to establish a trusting working relationship with your reader. If you feel that you do not want to trust them with the back story, it may be that a) email Tarot readings are not for you or b) you are better off connecting online with another reader whom you do feel you can trust.

I hope this is helpful and I’m here to answer any questions you may have about my services or the Tarot in general.


Lisa Frideborg

Comments 3

  1. Fab info! More people should understand how tarot readers work/what they do before seeking a reading.

    I don’t think “cold” readings are bad or a form of trickery, though – I do them often with cards, but I do see them develop into a story to help the person with the most important aspects of the concerns that they really have. It’s best to have the information to see how the cards apply to the person’s life, but it can be an ice-breaker or starting point of a conversation, IMO.

    1. Post

      Hi Sue, thanks for commenting and glad you like the info. ‘Cold readings’ is a term we are not using in the same way from you how you describe it. I am referring here to the technique used by charlatans and stage magicians as a form of mind reading trick. You can read about it here:

      By how you use ‘cold reading’ I assume (correctly, I hope) just pulling a card and talking about what you see for that person based on the card’s message?



      1. Yep! You are totally right. I pull a few cards to see what I pick up about the person’s story and roll with it from there!

        Thanks Lisa!

        Blessings to you!

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