Logotopia, and the Little Twisted Nerve: Truth! - Part 6:
Tarot cards work. They are also fake. Seems contradictory, but resolving the contradiction is where the "magic" lies. Skeptics would have you believe that tarot is completely bullshit, essentially because the reasons that most tarot readers give for it working ARE bullshit, or at least inaccurate. Here is how they work, and it's pretty cool: Tarot occasions deep, introspective conversation. It provides an excuse for this introspection to occur. I liken it to party games like Spin the Bottle, or Truth or Dare. Sexy talk and sexy actions are sometimes difficult for people and have a hard time occurring spontaneously. The purpose of Spin the Bottle of Truth or dare is to provide context within which the sexy stuff can easily occur. Tarot works the same way with intense self-evaluation. The cards themselves mean nothing, they're just paper and ink, but the act of the reading and the psychologically weighty imagery on the cards help trick your thoughts you into a mode of reflection. Examining your life is a good thing, and tarot can go a long way to lubricating that process.