Divination // Do You Have To Be Psychic To Read Tarot?

I had a conversation today with a fellow songwriter from LA who was in town for a few days. She’s a fan of tarot and has had a few (actually, sounds like many) readings herself, and she was curious about my Tarot by Text offering. She couldn’t wrap her head around how that would work, because didn’t I need to be there to read the client’s energies and communicate with their guides or whatever?

It’s a fair question. (I mean, a lot of psychic mediums are able to ring up spirits long-distance, but I digress.) The trouble is that it’s based on the assumption that because I read tarot, I must be a medium. That kinda got my wheels turning. Is that what most people assume? Do you have to be psychic to read tarot?

Short answer: No, not at aaaaall, bb.

Long answer: I think that kind of depends on how you define “psychic.”


In most people’s minds, a psychic is someone who is in open communication with spirits, like, all the time. We’re talking whispery dead people voices, visions of grandma, seeing auras and whatnot. And absolutely, there are people who identify as mediums and report that their experience is that clear and tangible. But there are plenty of mediums whose communications come in more subtle shades. Inklings, nudges, and thoughts — stuff like that.

That’s what we’d call intuition. The little feeling that nudges us off the train a stop early where we end up meeting a new flame. Or the instinct to call mom and she’s all “I WAS JUST ABOUT TO CALL YOU!” It could be that niggling feeling that something’s not right, and you should probably make sure Mrs. Norris hasn’t crawled inside the dryer again. I dunno, you catch my drift.

Thing is, there’s no *HARD LINE* between those two definitions — Intuitive v. Psychic. Just like gender, sexuality, and electromagnetic waves, intuition is a spectrum: zero being basically a rock with no sense of its connection to the universe at large, and 10 being David Bowie. You can lie anywhere at all on the Intuitive Spectrum and practice tarot. But just like with all things in life, a strong and more developed sense of intuition…? Probably gonna make it easier.

I like to think of tarot as the Rosetta Stone between us and the spiritual world. It’s the bilingual dictionary that Sprit uses to translate Ghosty Talk into Hoomanese. We’re basically holding up these cards to the universe and saying, “Hey, Universe, I speak Tarot! These make sense to me! Could you drop in for a chat?” We mortals use all sorts of things as spiritual translators — numerology, religious texts, the I Ching — Spirit doesn’t really care, they’re just glad you wanna talk.


Bottom line, the tarot is here for all of us, at all levels of our practice. Being intuitive just helps us to translate those communications with more ease and clarity. The less connected to your intuition you are, the more likely your cute little human ego is to mistranslate things. I don’t claim to be a medium, but I’ve had my fair share of “spiritual experiences,” shall we say. (Stories for another time.) And sh*t, I am downright buzzing with vibes during my readings. When the true meaning comes through to me and out my mouth, I can just feel my body get all white-noise-y like “Yesssss, girl, you nailed it.” Intuition Spectrum: 6 or 7, maybe?

So don’t let the fact that you’re not Miss Cleo get in the way of you and the tarot. You can build a connected practice over time, and your intuition will grow as you invest in it. There are lots of ways to stretch that muscle. Go to yoga. Talk to your plants. Take more pensive baths (with wine, duh.) Open up them chakras, henny, and get that intuition flowing! You’ve got this.

Holley MaherComment