Can Tarot Cards Read Minds?
Can the Tarot tell you what someone else is thinking or feeling?
Can you find out whether you boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband/hamster loves you?
This type of question comes up often, in many different forms.
"How does he/she feel about me?"
"What does my ex think about me?"
"How do my coworkers view me?"
"Does he/she want a relationship with me?"
...and so on.
Many new Tarot readers (and clients) ask questions such as these. When an amateur Tarot reader asks such questions, she frequently becomes confused, because the reading that was just performed does not make any sense. And, clients who ask questions such as these tend not to like the answers received, no matter what the actual answers are.
Depending on your personal beliefs (spiritual, supernatural, superstitious, or otherwise), you may have different feelings on this matter; yet, here is the take of a professional Tarot reader using the traditional method on questions such as these:
Traditional Tarot readers do not ascribe "mind-reading" properties to the Tarot cards, because the Tarot is intended as an empowering tool for personal and spiritual growth, not a magical force for prying into the mind and thoughts of someone else.
As such, Tarot cards can be used to answer any number of questions, and provide deep insights, into anything...about yourself. Traditionalists note that the client (or, if they are doing a self-reading, they themselves) already knows the answers to his or her questions, but those answers are locked or hidden in the client's subconscious. The purpose of a Tarot reading is to elevate those answers into the client's conscious mind, allowing the client to rationalize and understand the situation at hand, and allowing the Tarot reader to provide advice and guidance on what to do.
However, Tarot cards cannot magically, mystically, or otherwise look into the mind of someone else and tell you how that person thinks or feels, or the exact reason for someone's behavior or action.
Any other opinion on this is, frankly, a nontraditional, nonscientific belief that is completely unsupported by any empirical evidence. Furthermore, this is a dangerous, superstitious belief, because it allows a gullible client in need to fall for a charlatan "Tarot reader" who takes the client's money, spouts generic advice, and tells the client what she wants to hear ("oh, yes, your ex is totally thinking about you and still in love with you, secretly!").
As a professional Tarot reader who prides himself on the honesty of his consulting work and his ability to resolve real problems that his clients have, I find that type of deceitful "business practice" distasteful and disgusting, because it is preying on the weak and vulnerable.
The Tarot is a set of cards featuring symbols which signify various aspects of human existence (and, from the traditional view, our connection to the divine). These cards are not mind-readers, nor are they imbued with some sort of power that enables you to read another's mind through them. That is, in the view of a traditional Tarot reader, superstitious nonsense.
When you see a logo---a symbol for a business---do you attribute magical powers to it? When you see the golden arches of the local McDonald's, do you revel in awe at their mystical might? Probably not, because you recognize that the golden arches are the symbol for McDonald's. Likewise, it is just as silly to view the symbols of a Tarot card as possessing mystical powers of mind-reading wonder.
So, are these kinds of questions utterly worthless?
Well, yes and no. A professional reader should work with his client to clarify the question and find out what the client really wants to know, and why the client really wants to know it.
If a client tells me that she wants to know "how does my ex feel about me?", then my first course of action is to delve into the reason for her question. Why does she care about what her ex may be feeling and thinking? Often, the reason is because the client still feels a strong, emotional attachment to her ex. This continued attachment is rarely healthy. Therefore, we work together to create a reading that resolves her actual problem: her continued obsession with her ex. Once that is resolved, she can move on from her ex, find a better man, and improve her love life dramatically in real and complete ways.
What the Tarot cards can tell you in these situations is how you might view or interpret the feelings/thoughts of another person. For example, the cards could clarify your thoughts (conscious or subconscious) regarding the feelings which you think or suspect that someone has for you.
For example, let us say that you suspect that a person you have just met feels a certain way about you; perhaps a level of attraction is there. Let us suppose that you suspect that this person just might be in love with you, and you think you might know why.
The Tarot cards might be able to "confirm" or "deny" the validity of your thought (i.e., "that is a sensible reason" or "no, that doesn't make sense"), to some extent, although they do not necessarily tell you what are exactly, precisely the feelings or thoughts your love interest has.
Let us suppose that you draw the Queen of Pentacles in the position of signifying yourself in the reading. You may think, "Well, I am indeed an intelligent person. It is not a stretch to think that my love interest might be attracted to me for my intelligence; after all, intelligence is an attractive trait."
That kind of interpretation gives you insight into yourself, and even if the person in question is not attracted to you, at least you now are fully cognizant of a trait and quality which you have to offer to a worthwhile partner.
Notice what the Tarot cards are doing here: they are providing insight and clarification about what you already may be suspecting, openly or concealed. That is natural wisdom being cultivated.
However, the cards cannot tell you something along the lines of, "This person is feeling X about you, 100%!" And any time you are considering buying a Tarot reading from someone who promises you that kind of answer: RUN!
So, what should you do instead of asking such questions of the Tarot? Here is a suggestion.
A better and more effective reading would be one on your relationship status (or desired relationship status).
Consider creating a spread with the following positions:
New Relationship Reading
1st Position: What would I bring to a new relationship with this person?
2nd Position: What would I want my ideal partner to bring to a relationship?
3rd Position: What aspect of beginning a relationship should I be mindful about?
In this reading, you should utilize a traditional deck (reversed cards included).
This reading will give you the insight and self-awareness necessary to consider a relationship with the person in question and determine whether the relationship would be fulfilling to both you and to that person. It would also give you insight on your strengths and/or weaknesses, and help you to be better prepared for the task of building a romantic relationship with your love interest.
Tarot's power comes from the fact that it is a great tool for self-empowerment and self-knowledge. Such real, rational power is infinitely more valuable than superstitious beliefs regarding any supposed mind-reading capabilities.
Never ask the Tarot a question that involves mind-reading, unless you want nonsensical and meaningless answers that will probably cause more harm to your relationship than good.