When I first started offering readings to the public, I would pop up at a farmer’s market every Sunday. I met many beautiful people throughout my year at the market, but I also saw many people who wouldn’t come near my tent. They’d find the market director to complain about what I was doing, or they’d grab the rest of their family and hightail it out of there.
I believe there are a couple of reasons that people are afraid of Tarot readings. First, I think it has to do with fear of the unknown. If someone doesn’t know a lot about Tarot, they’re probably going to rely on their limited knowledge. More than likely, this includes what they’ve seen in movies or on TV. Unfortunately, a lot of those films/shows are in the horror/supernatural genre where Tarot isn’t shown in the best light. I’d feel a bit uneasy too if my only association with Tarot was pulling the Death card, and then someone died.
Also, when we start venturing into unknown territory, our mind can make things a bit uncomfortable because it prefers stasis. It’s going to do its damnedest to keep things from changing.
I feel like religion is another major player in peoples’ fears surrounding Tarot. Some people have a fear that working with Tarot cards invites demons into their life or that Satan created the cards. I wholeheartedly disagree with this. The cards themselves are just pieces of paper with images printed on them. I see them as a tool to help us use the imagery and symbolism to tap into our unconscious and receive the messages we need most at any given time. Essentially, we’re making the unconscious conscious.
Also, a Tarot reading asks us to accept responsibility for our lives. It asks us to accept that we create ourselves through our choices and our actions. It might feel more comfortable for someone to deny their responsibility and, instead, blame a force outside of themselves. Once we’re willing to take a good look at how we’ve arrived at where we are, we can begin to consciously create our destiny.
Since my days at the market, there have been several events where someone approaches me expressing their discontent about the fact that I’m offering Tarot readings. Instead of passing judgment, I spend time listening to their concerns and then explain my approach to Tarot and how I believe it works.
Many times, these people leave with a better understanding of Tarot, and they even express their gratitude for taking the time to chat with them. Heck, some of them have even sat down for a reading! It’s up to us as readers to help educate people who are afraid of Tarot. You never know whose life you could change just by taking the time to enlighten them and share your knowledge and love of Tarot.