The internet is a natural home for tarot readers. It began back in the early days of Web 1.0 with small personal sites and blogs, and has developed into a wide-ranging professional tarot community with many kinds of online readings available – from quick and fun automated apps to hour-long interactive conversational readings.
Very cool, you might think, but how exactly do they work? How can someone located on the other side of the planet connect to another person and produce a tarot reading that is both relevant and accurate?
No-one knows. It’s that simple.
There are theories why an intuitive or psychic individual is able to tune-in to their client’s ‘frequencies’ without being in the same room. One of the most common ideas has to do with quantum physics. Before your eyes glaze over, all you need to know is that the universe is made up of infinitesimally small particles.
That’s everything: space, atmosphere, earth and, of course, people. Scientists think that when a particle is disturbed in one place, a connected particle is activated in another. This is known as ‘entanglement’.
The theory rests on Jung’s ‘collective consciousness’; the idea that all humans share a web of consciousness that most are unaware of. This level is also made up of particles. Some people are able to dip into the collective consciousness and create a psychic link between themselves and another person. Don’t worry, they cannot read your mind, however they somehow receive blocks of thought, feelings or mental images related to that person. Tarot cards are simply vehicle that reflects those energies so the reader can interpret them for the client.
The Global Consciousness Project, originally created at Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab at Princeton University, is an organization which examines data for correlating patterns that may indicate the presence of a collected human consciousness. Their website is well worth a visit if you want to explore these ideas.
Another related idea is that time is a made-up construct we use to make sense of our lives. Some theorists believe that time does not actually exist and all events are taking place simultaneously.
It’s enough to make your head explode!
If this is so then it makes sense that tarot can reflect what we call the past, present and future. It’s up to the reader to unravel the story.
How then is the connection made between two geographically distant people? Most readers do fine with a first name, a place and a date of birth. Just enough information to focus on the person asking for the reading. Having their email address and question in front of them helps as well. Somehow, entanglement happens and the reading works perfectly.
Types of online readings
As technology progresses there is an increasing number of ways that humans communicate. Here is a selection of methods which can be used to conduct online tarot readings, together with their advantages and disadvantages.
Many tarot websites offer free brief automated readings. They are based on software algorithms and can be a lot of fun. However, they cannot offer anything like the depth, insight, experience and nuance that you will get from interacting with a real person.
Email tarot readings
Some tarot readers offer readings by email. The whole reading is conducted in writing. The client submits their question and payment. The tarot reader then conducts the reading and types it out in document form.
The advantages of email readings are:
• It’s easy to include images and a photo of the spread
• The client can keep it for future reference
• The reader can take their time – the lack of pressure is helpful
• The reader has a copy on file to refer to when the client requests subsequent readings.
The disadvantages are:
• Email readings have to be typed out; unless the reader is a fast typist it can reduce their hourly rate.
• The reader needs to be fluent in grammar and spelling, and be able to communicate their thoughts clearly in writing.
Recorded video tarot readings
Recorded video readings are similar to email in that the reader conducts the reading on their own and then directs the client to a private web page to view/download the reading.
Advantages of recorded readings:
• The reader is completely in control, so can pause and edit the reading
• The client gets to see the reader and the tarot cards
• The client can pause the video at any time
• The video is usually downloadable and can be kept by both parties for future reference
• The reading can be completed more quickly than a written reading.
Disadvantages of recorded readings:
• The reader must be comfortable in front of a camera, otherwise they will appear nervous and amateurish
• The file size of a recorded video reading can be very large.
This kind of tarot reading is becoming more popular, especially with commercial sites. For an individual reader they can make a lot of sense as it is very similar to conducting a face-to-
face reading. Payment is generally made up front and both parties decide on a mutual time. Computer-to-computer Skype is free.
Advantages of a Skype reading:
• Reader and client are able to interact as if they were sitting together in the same room
• Both readers and clients report that accuracy is enhanced
• The client can see the cards being chosen
• It’s a cost-effective method of conducting a reading – no call charges, no travel expenses
• Calls can be recorded as MP3 files.
Disadvantages of using Skype for online tarot reading:
• A webcam/microphone set up, or built-in webcam is necessary
• Both reader and client need to be relaxed with each other or the reading will be awkward and stilted
• The reader cannot review or edit the reading
• Connections may lag and break down
• Difficult to allow for interruptions.
As can be seen, tarot and the internet go together very well. A word of warning though – be careful of unscrupulous operators who are well-versed in extracting money from vulnerable clients.
Don’t get a reading on impulse; ignore those, “We have experienced readers waiting for you now.” messages. Take your time and choose wisely. A caring, ethical reader will be happy to be contacted by email or social media, and will spend time helping you decide which sort of online tarot reading will suit you best.
McTaggart, Lynne. The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe. Updated ed. New York: Harper, 2008.
Talbot, Michael. The Holographic Universe. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
Radin, Dean I. Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality. New York: Paraview Pocket, 2006.