8 Common Mistakes in a Tarot Reading and How to Avoid Them

When people approach the tarot, the most common question that arises is: How do I read the cards correctly? A tarot reading has many challenges and while we mostly focus on memorizing the card’s meaning for interpretation, it’s worth taking a look at the potential errors that can also creep in along the way.

This blog post explores some common mistakes that tarot readers may encounter and shows how to overcome them with clarity and compassion.

Pinterest Pin 8 common Mistakes to avoid in a Tarot reading

1.) Asking Yes/No Questions in a Tarot Reading

Opinions differ on whether you can ask Yes/No questions. However, during a tarot reading, it is crucial to maintain objectivity. A one-sided question always forces a specific response and outcome that may not give an accurate reflection of the situation.

Those types of questions often point to existing concerns about a topic. It is important to look at what causes doubts or blocks. Remember, the cards don’t decide for you but rather enable you to make up your own mind.

What you can do instead:

Ask a more neutral and open-ended question that allows you to look at the topic from a broader perspective. Instead of “Will I find a new job?” you can ask “What can I expect in my career moving forward?” This way, a tarot reading remains solution-oriented.

The card spread will then offer insights into potential paths and the energies surrounding the situation without a predetermined answer.

2.) Relying On Guidebooks Only

Don’t get me wrong, learning the tarot with a manual or by looking up the literal meaning is great to start navigating your way through the symbolic jungle of the cards.

However, an over-reliance on rigid interpretations can hold you back from exploring the many layers of a card’s meaning or the context of the querent’s issue. This can lead to a superficial tarot reading with no depth at all.

What you can do instead:

Listen to your intuitive prompts. Blend the knowledge from books or manuals with your initial feelings and instincts. Don’t second guess yourself and trust your inner guidance. Following that inner voice allows you to go beyond the surface meanings and adds your authenticity to the tarot reading and insights. This way the querent can resonate with you on a deeper level.

3.) Being Scared of “Bad” Tarot Cards

Pulling certain tarot cards that are perceived as negative or challenging can be a little tricky. The interpretation can cause tension and blockages, for nobody wants to be given a negative outlook on their situation.

But bear in mind that there is no such thing as good or bad when it comes to tarot reading. Even a so-called “bad” card conveys a profound lesson and points to areas of growth. Fear will only hold you back from receiving the message.

What you can do instead:

Try to perceive the cards as neutral as possible. Embrace all cards in a non-judgmental way, including the challenging ones. They are amazing teachers and reveal immense opportunities to focus on.

Always choose your words wisely and try to provide solution-oriented advice so that the querent will leave your tarot reading empowered regardless of the difficult cards in the spread.

"bad" tarot cards

© bycagla.com

4.) Forcing an Interpretation From a Tarot Reading

Sometimes there is just no connection to a spread or a querent’s question. That is okay. This has nothing to do with your ability as a tarot reader.

Oftentimes, it is an indicator of hidden aspects or unexpected messages that want to be explored. Never try to fit the cards into a preconceived narrative just to say something.

What you can do instead:

Ask questions and initiate a conversation. You got a strange gut feeling or don’t really know how to express what you see? Be transparent about that. This way you actively involve the querent into a reading and maintain a balanced communication. It will help clarify your blind spots and receive the card’s message organically.

5.) Ignoring Boundaries

I already mentioned this aspect in a previous blog post, but I think this can’t be stressed enough. Self-care and boundaries are vital aspects of a tarot reading. After all, it is an energetic exchange between the reader and the querent, which can be demanding.

Sometimes sensitive topics are revealed. To avoid emotional pitfalls or a bad experience, precautions have to be made in advance.

What you can do instead

Always communicate your rules beforehand so that the querent will know what to expect from your reading. Make it clear what topics you can provide guidance with and what boundaries you don’t want to be crossed. Also, ask about the querent’s boundaries and maintain a sensitive tone.

6.) Rushing Into a Tarot Reading

Never make haste when conducting a tarot reading. This will always drain your energy and result in misinterpretations or overlooking crucial details. Proper focus and energetic safety are key to maintaining integrity. There is magic in slowly connecting with the cards.

What you can do instead:

Establish a pre and post reading practice that will help tune into the cards. Make sure you cleanse the room and cards before and after a tarot reading with your favorite incense, like sage, for example. Tune into yourself, meditate, and take care of yourself emotionally and mentally.

If you feel energetic blocks or a sense of sickness, don’t conduct a reading. There is no helpful outcome from that. Also, make sure the querent isn’t sick either. You won’t be able to receive messages from their reading.

cleansing the cards

© bycagla.com

7.) Asking Too Many Questions

Don’t overcomplicate a tarot reading by asking a ton of questions at once. It will overwhelm you, especially if you are a beginner. You won’t get helpful insights. The cards in a spread will give you all you need to know at that moment. So, practice patience here as well, and don’t overdo it. 

What you can do instead:

Always encourage the querent to focus on one or two questions that are important to be explored. It will ensure a more concise reading and help you delve into the spread thoroughly with a more in-depth outcome.

8.) Focusing Only on Predictions

The whole idea of predicting the future with tarot cards seems very intriguing. But please be aware that a tarot reading is not like looking into a crystal ball. Instead, it is a wonderful tool for self-reflection and guidance. You see, the cards give us a glimpse of potential paths, but it’s the querent’s choices and actions that truly shape their destiny.

What you can do instead:

Instead of obsessing over future outcomes, shift your focus to something even more important: empowering the querent! Help them make informed decisions and navigate their life with more confidence and trust. That’s where the true magic of a tarot reading lies!

cheat sheet for a successful tarot reading


By avoiding these common mistakes, you are set to create a meaningful tarot reading and provide a lasting experience for both yourself and the querent. Always remember to embrace the process of learning and leaning into the cards intuitively.