When Should You Not Read Tarot Cards? | A Simple To Follow Guide

  • By: Reece
  • Date: 20 February 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

While there are few hard and fast rules for reading tarot cards, there are definitely guidelines which can make your tarot readings more meaningful and psychologically healthy. Tarot cards can be read effectively any time that you are feeling calm, clear-headed and comfortable with the question and/or querent.   

Whether you’re just starting out with tarot, or you’ve been working with tarot cards for some time and are now starting to think more deeply about how you use them, you may be asking yourself whether there are times when you should not be reading your cards.

When should you not read tarot cards? Emotional states or moods are important considerations for tarot reading. Good tarot readings require the reader to be calm, clear-headed and comfortable with the issues on the table. This is the state of mind that best enables the contemplation and insight that are needed to get the most from tarot cards.

Does mood affect tarot readings?

Avoid coming to a tarot reading when you feel very anxious, sad, angry or overwhelmed by some other emotion. Strong feelings can blur your thought processes and cloud your judgement in interpreting the cards meaningfully. This can lead to readings which either tell you only what you want to hear, or answer a different question to the one which you or the querent consciously wish to address.

Should I give multiple tarot readings for the same querent and question?

It can be unhelpful or meaningless to repeat tarot readings for the same querent and question within a short time period. Tarot cards are a tool for illuminating the path towards the future rather than predicting exactly what will happen next in a particular situation.

The future will not change according to which card is drawn next from a pack. It can shift according to changes made in views, actions and overall course in life as a result of contemplating a tarot reading. Time may be better spent meditating on a first reading than conducting a second reading.

Requests for immediate successive readings on the same issue indicate that a querent does not understand the nature of tarot, or that they have failed to understand and act on their initial reading and will likely have no better grasp of any further readings. It is wisest to decline these kinds of requests and to resist the temptation to draw cards for yourself in this way.   

Can I give tarot card readings for anyone?

In the same way that the tarot reader’s mood is important, you should also consider the emotional state of the querent. If they are highly distressed or overwhelmed by something, they will not be in a position to consider the tarot cards and connections between them in a constructive way and may not get any benefit from a tarot reading.

If a querent is highly emotional, it is generally better to delay a reading until they are calmer and in a better position to think through the issue they wish to explore with tarot.

If you find that you have very strong positive or negative feelings towards a querent, this may cloud your judgement in interpreting the cards and they may get a more useful reading from another tarot reader. 

Should I read tarot cards to make life decisions?

Tarot cards can be helpful tools for thinking about the broader background and context to life decisions, and considering the full range of options that might be available. If, however, you feel dependent on using tarot cards to make life decisions, this could become unhealthy.

In this case, you should take a break from your cards and practice thinking through problems and making decisions through your own knowledge, intuition and judgement. The same knowledge, intuition and judgement are needed to read tarot meaningfully and will stand you in good stead when you return to your cards.

Should I read tarot cards after drinking alcohol?

This is a matter of judgment and depends on the individual reader and quantity of alcohol (or other intoxicants) consumed. Small amounts of alcohol may not have a significant effect on some people. Large quantities of alcohol will impair anyone’s cognitive ability, flow of imagination and good judgement, leading to a poor or meaningless tarot experience.

You might want to think about combining alcohol and your readings in the same way you would consider drinking around your work or hobbies. Some people are comfortable and confident writing a report or carrying out a DIY job after a glass of wine or beer with a meal. Few people would do a safe or competent job after several drinks.

What time of day should I read tarot cards?

Tarot card readings can be done at any time of day or night when other conditions are right. Some readers are early birds and find that their minds are clearest and most focused in the mornings. Others may be night owls and find that they get the most from their tarot card readings in the evenings or late at night when others have gone to bed.

As long as you’re not too tired or too distracted to take in and contemplate the cards you are laying out, it could be a good time of day for a tarot reading.


With time and practice you will develop your own intuition for when you should or shouldn’t read tarot cards. The recommendations in this article are guidelines to help you reach this point and we hope you find them useful. Good luck on your tarot journey!

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