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Tarot: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Tarot: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
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A common misconception about Tarot reading is that it’s all about seeking positive affirmations and words of empowerment. While there certainly are elements like these that can be found within the cards, we must remember that the Tarot does not sugarcoat anything. Tarot reading is more of a search for truth.

That said, another myth about the Tarot is that it can expose dreadful, unchangeable things about the future. This is simply not true. The Tarot can help you intuitively predict what’s coming, but you and your decisions can always transform your path. Whether we like it or not, the core purpose of Tarot is to encourage us to be unapologetically honest with ourselves. Its wisdom comes from its wonderful ability to illuminate both the light and the dark- and our greatest learning happens when we accept this duality.

So, are there “good” and “bad” Tarots cards? The short answer is: yes. However, the longer answer to this question might make you think otherwise.

The Good

Some Tarot cards are inarguably awesome. When you draw these cards, you feel a sense of wonder, excitement, and warmth. You feel reassured that everything is where it should be and you are reaping the benefits of your own hard work. You know that the universe is on your side at the moment. The imagery on good Tarot cards like these is unmistakably pleasant as well.

And these kinds of cards rarely make you question your actions or intentions because, well, life is really good right now and the Tarot wants you to bask in the glory and appreciate it while it lasts. This doesn’t necessarily mean that good cards lack depth; many of the most positive Tarot cards offer wonderful insight and encourage you to reflect on how you actually made it to where you are. But with these cards, what’s good is really good.

The Bad

It’d be easy to wish that we would always draw “good” cards like the ones described above. What’s harder to recognize is, if that were the case, we would miss out on an incredible about of wisdom and growth.

Reassurance is great and at times well-deserved, but that is not always the best way for the Tarot to support you on your journey. This is where “bad” Tarot cards come in. These are the cards that aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. Instead, they make you question yourself, your actions, and the people or situations in your life. When you draw these cards, you may feel confused, uneasy, and strange. You may even feel sensitive or offended by something the Tarot is bringing up. Maybe your ego is taking a hit, or you’re being forced to realize that you made a bad decision recently.

Cards like these point out that life isn’t happening in the way you imagined it would. But on the bright side, cards like these aren’t actually so “bad” after all. If you interpret, learn and accept what they are telling you, these seemingly bad cards can bring about positive change into your life. Doesn’t that make them “good” after all?

The Ugly

Sometimes, when it is absolutely necessary, the Tarot brings up all the really tough things we’ve been hiding from. And with this comes an immense amount of emotion: pain, regret, worry, loss. Drawing these types of cards feels like you’re being turned inside out and upside down all at once. You may feel like breaking down in tears or running away as far as your broken heart will carry you.

Cards like these bring up the darkness within you and expose its omnipresence in the outer world too. Whether you’re experiencing relationship issues, abrupt change, or some form of loss, these dark parts of life will never be easy. But what’s amazing is that the Tarot knows that things will get better. These cards also remind us that there is always room for redemption, action, forgiveness, and love. And that silver lining is what makes the ugly truth of these cards and makes it beautiful.

Whenever you read Tarot, remember that all cards are good in their own unique way. Stay open to both the good and the bad, and you are sure to learn something new.


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