What to Do if Tarot Gives You Bad News

Posted on May 03, 2016
Tarot Deck

Bad news is hard to swallow. Nobody wants to hear of illness in their family or be reminded of their relationship problems, so many people avoid bad news altogether. So much so that some Tarot card readers actually have policies to not tell their clients the “negative stuff”. But the truth is, bad news is often a blessing in disguise. Bad news and difficult situations in life make you a much stronger person, if you face them head-on. Embrace it and plan for brighter days ahead. Here are a few ways our expert Tarot readers say to deal with the bad news that the cards serve up.

Related Article: How to Do Your Own Tarot Reading

Consider the placement of the card

Seeing a “negative” card appear in your Tarot reading can be frightening. The first thing to look at is the card′s placement — the physical location of the card in the Tarot spread. The cards in your Tarot reading are laid out in the table in a specific pattern. The spread helps determine the actual meaning for each card as it relates to your life. Spreads feature past, present and future outlooks, based on their placement.

  • Negative cards in the past
  • If your negative card is placed in the past, the negative situation is behind you.
  • Negative cards in the present
  • If it′s in the present (which may be the reason you′re getting the reading in the first place), this negative energy is moving out of your life.
  • Negative cards in the future
  • If the negative Tarot card is in the future, you have the ability to change the course of events — or, at least, take control of them. But if you don′t make the proper adjustments to your life, that negative situation may still occur. Placement is your biggest clue when it comes to the not-so-happy cards showing up in your Tarot reading.

Avoid the power of negative thought

There′s a belief that negative thoughts become realized if you spend your days worrying about the worst that could happen. By obsessing on the negative, you might actually cause negative situations. Beyond the mental trauma caused by constantly harping on the worst possible scenarios, there′s also a physical toll — lethargy, stress, reactiveness … and it′s easy to attract double trouble if that′s all you′re focusing on. Remember that one negative card does not dictate your entire spread. A skilled reader can show you the bright side of your entire spread. Focus on the positive while remaining aware of the negative.

Have an open mind during your reading

The best way to get the most out of your Tarot reading is to be as open as possible to all possible scenarios. You don′t get a reading to confirm what you want to happen; you get one to confirm what is happening and why, and the possible outcomes. Put away your fears and expectations, and just let the process unfold. Many times, we book Tarot readings to answer specific questions, closing ourselves off to other issues that may need addressing. But the Tarot cards don′t lie. They always reveal an answer, sometimes just not the answer we were hoping for. Remember to focus on the light cards that do show up (as they always will). This will help you be more open to any negative news that may arise.

Speak honestly to your Tarot reader

It′s important to be open and honest with your reader — the same way you would be with your doctor or therapist. Psychics, mediums and Tarot card readers know when people are being defensive or holding back. And even if they don′t pick up on it, the cards will. You′ll get the most out of your reading by answering the questions of the Tarot reader honestly and openly — trying to make them guess will boggle both of you.

Ask your Tarot reader lots of questions

Some people think that having a Tarot reading done is a one way communication street. Absolutely not! It′s your money, your time and your life. Ask as many questions as possible, and if you run into a reader who isn′t addressing your concerns, you may be seeing the wrong person. A good Tarot reader will walk you through every card, ask you questions and talk about the situation at hand. They expect you to communicate with them through the process as well. Ask questions about their interpretation of the cards, and ask for clarification if you feel you need it. Remember that you′re allowed to ask your Tarot reader as many questions as possible, in your allotted time. Be respectful and mindful of that and your reader will lead you to the path that gives you answers to the important questions.

Related Article: How to Do Your Own Tarot Reading

The last step: make an action plan

Getting great news in a Tarot reading is one thing. Actually obtaining the wonderful things you′ve been told, while avoiding or confronting the negative, is a whole other challenge. The goal is to leave your Tarot reading with an action plan: a tactic to address the answers you were just given. When you have that, negative news from a Tarot reading means much less. You already know what you′re going to do about it. A good Tarot reader will ask you, in those last few minutes of your consultation, if you have any questions. Here′s your response: “What is my action plan to reach these goals?” They′ll either know the answer right away, or they will pull a couple of more cards for you to get that answer. Either way, a good reader will not let you leave without that question answered.

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Tarot Cards & Their Meanings

The tarot is a series of 78 tarot cards used in fortune telling, psychic readings, and insight into past, present, and future events. These tarot card definitions help you understand how to interpret your tarot reading. Tarot cards are divided into 2 main sections—the major arcana and minor arcana—and further into 4 suits:

Before a tarot reading, the cards are usually arranged in a spread. A tarot spread is the pattern in which the cards are placed on the table to be interpreted by a tarot card reader. There are many different types of tarot spreads—entire books have even been written on the subject. Spreads can be as simple as a 1-card draw, or complex enough to use all 78 cards.

One of the most popular spreads is called the 3-card spread, which gives you answers to immediate questions about your relationships, career, and life in general.

A Brief History of The Tarot

No one knows for certain where or when the cards originated—some say the practice goes all the way back to ancient Egypt. What we do know is that reading the tarot cards gained notoriety sometime around the 18th century.

The tarot can be used for many different purposes. The archetypal images reflect your story back to you, and bring you insights on situations in the lives of those around you. Those same images make good meditation companions or provide you with a ‘thought for the day.’ You might even use the tarot as a writing prompt in a blog, or as inspiration in artwork. There is no limit to how these images can be used, you just need to decide what works for you and go for it.

Modern technology made it even easier to get daily readings, peruse different interpretations of the classical images, and connect with others who share your interest in the cards. Of course, before you can get really immersed in understanding the tarot, you have to know a few basics. They’re not difficult, and once you recognize them you can master the mysteries of the tarot.

The Major Arcana (Tarot Trump Cards)

The major arcana (trump cards) represent your journey through life, starting out as the innocent and carefree card representing The Fool (at number 0), and going through all your stages of life until you get to The World (at number 21). Each of the trump cards represents an important issue in your life and asks that you pay particular attention to this situation. As you get to know the Major Arcana, you’ll see that the first 11 cards represent your journey out into the world while the last 11 represent your journey into your own awareness.

The Minor Arcana

The minor arcana is a grouping of 56 tarot cards that acts as a support system for the major arcana. It's divided into 4 suits, much like playing cards, and each suit has 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards. Traditionally, these court cards are called page, knight, queen, and king.

Some decks may use different titles for these figures but their meanings and their positions in the hierarchy of the court cards remain the same. Each suit of the minor arcana corresponds with a specific area of life, and each card has a meaning within that area. The number 1 is the first in a sequence (representing beginnings).

The numbered minor cards may have images on them, or they may just have ‘pips’ on them like playing cards, depending on the deck you're using.

Each suit of the minor arcana is also associated with specific signs of the zodiac.


Wands (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)


Pentacles (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)

Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Cups (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)

Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Swords (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)

Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

The tarot provides guidance that has stood the test of time. And as with any tool, the tarot needs to be used responsibly. The cards themselves are not good or evil—it’s how you use them that creates them a positive or a negative experience. After all, the tarot is just a collection of images and have no power on their own—it’s their mystery that allows them to endure. What wisdom do those images want to share with you today?