6 Times You Should Not Read the Tarot

6 Times You Should Not Read the Tarot

Hi Tarot Tribe, it’s Ethony and I wanted to share with you some of the times that I would advise against picking up your Tarot cards. This is just my opinion, you have to decide where your line is with when you are going to read your cards or not.

Like everything I share, take what resonates with you and leave the rest.

Tarot is my profession and I have worked when I have not been at 100% feeling well and have had to create space and focus when things are currently crazy in my life. So not all of these are hard and fast rules, they are more like suggestions.

If you read the cards and any of these things are in play, you may not get a clear reading, you may pick up other people’s energy, or if you are reading for someone else, your Tarot cards may read you instead of your client.

1. It Crosses Your Line

If a reading crossed my ethics line or is a subject that I am not comfortable with I don’t do it. I have spoken about ethics a few times on my blog here are some posts if you want to learn more about my ethics and tarot opinions.


2. You Are Sick

Tarot readings for me are a ritual. I create sacred space and work with my Spirit Guides. Usually, after a full day of Tarot readings I am pretty tired, so when I am sick readings are out of the question. I don’t want to have to fight through a foggy mind and sore body.

There is, of course, a difference between feeling a little shitty, and being so sick I can’t move.

3. Shit Is Crazy

You know when you are having one of those times in your life when you would prefer to be looking in the face of a T-Rex?

I have found in my experience a lot of people come to the Tarot when they are in crisis or confused. They have tried to find the answers themselves and often feel like they are out of options.

Holding space for people who may be in crisis is a great skill for a professional Tarot reader.  However, it can be hard for people to really hear what is being said when they are frazzled.

Allowing some space to breathe and get some calm is often a very good idea before consulting the Tarot. This way you (if you are reading for yourself) or your querent can be more open to the reading.

4. Too Close, Babe

What is too close?

This is something you will have to determine for yourself. Maybe it is that the person you are reading for is too close to you and you don’t want to be blamed for anything. I have an old post about reading for friends and family you may want to check out.

Or, maybe the situation is something that is too close to what your you are currently healing in yourself?

I read for my friends and family but I do know where my lines are. I also know that I need to put my personal opinions about the situation aside and be a reader, that is what they need from me in that space. Not my regular sassy Gemini self.

5. You’re Tripping Balls or Channeling Patsy Stone

I will not read for someone who is off their face. They aren’t going to remember it anyway, which is simply a waste of my time and energy and while I have no problem slinging cards pretty much wherever I am needed, I treat them as a sacred tool.

Likewise, if I am drunk (which is very, very, very rare) I am not going to read someone’s cards. That is just me and I must confess, I am pretty straight laced. I rarely drink and mind altering substances hold very little appeal to me.

I would actually like to hear from anyone who has read under the influence of something (I am not inviting you to get wasted here) – did it affect your readings?

6. Burn Out City

When the tank is empty and there is nothing left to give, it may be better to focus on recharging than expending your energy. I find when I’m a resident in burn out city readings are rather taxing on my body.

This, of course, is not going to be the case for everyone. Some people can sling cards all day and not feel tired at all. For me, it is ritual so it takes energy for me to hold space. So I don’t like to read when I am burnt out.

It is always better to prevent burning out, but it is not always an option. Readers and healers need to take care of themselves too.

So that’s my list of times I would take a moment and reflect before reading your cards for yourself or other people.

Did I miss something?

When are the times you feel it is best to leave the cards? Any exceptions to the guidelines above?

  • Sonya
    Posted at 09:31h, 29 August Reply

    #5: I have read & channeled while drunk. It’s a vibrational thing. I am a happy drunk (99% of the time), and I am more relaxed, so my readings are clear and the energies around me are positive. However, I won’t read if I’m grouchy, because that’s just inviting in negative energies. IMO.
    I have read many times that people shouldn’t drink alcohol & definitely shouldn’t read cards if inebriated, because alcohol creates a low energy space & attracts that kind of energy, but that has never been my experience.

    • Ethony
      Posted at 13:41h, 29 August Reply

      I agree, being in a bad mood is probably not the best time to read the cards.

  • Michelle
    Posted at 07:52h, 30 August Reply

    I love reading when I have smoked a good Jay! It brings everything to the table.

    • Ethony
      Posted at 15:54h, 02 September Reply

      Loads of people do 🙂 I haven’t done it, maybe one day x

  • Rhonda Deal
    Posted at 17:28h, 30 August Reply

    I don’t drink either, but I have a friend who is also a neighbor who shows up at my door for a reading when she’s drunk. It makes me uncomfortable because I know she won’t remember a lot of what we cover in the reading. Even worse, she often drags her boyfriend with her and wants a reading about their relationship in front of him! Or she tries to make him get a reading, too. I wouldn’t mind so much if was just her, but it makes me very uncomfortable to have him there, too.

    • Ethony
      Posted at 15:53h, 02 September Reply

      My goodness, that is a lot. I am going to be a post about having people listen to your readings.

  • Vix
    Posted at 21:27h, 30 August Reply

    For me, reading drunk is like playing pool. I have this reaaaally small window where I actually feel way more intuitive and connected than usual (I think it’s about 3/4 of a drink in, the same time when I’m really good at pool) and then after that no freaking way! I avoid reading at all when having a drink and I don’t read for at least 24 hours after I’ve had any alcohol. I don’t drink that often these days at all and I find the more energy work I do the worse I’m affected by alcohol! I totally get this is a personal thing too though. I’ve done readings for people who’ve been properly drunk at events and I read really differently for them. I usually just go with “here’s this card, it means this” rather than doing any kind of intuitive reading for them. Fab post Ethony!! x

  • Miika Leigh
    Posted at 23:52h, 30 August Reply

    Regarding #5 – I have read the cards for people while I was under the influence of alcohol (tipsy, but not drunk) and I was able to better integrate the cards’ meanings with my intuitive feel of them in relation to the query, probably due to alcohol’s inhibition-lowering properties. I have found I’m slightly more accurate reading for others with spreads incorporating a past or present position if I have a little alcohol in my system (like one drink). I’m that person everyone turns to to vent or for advice outside of my capacity as a reader so I haven’t notice a difference with me passing on the cards’ messages in future or advice positions.

    • Ethony
      Posted at 15:56h, 02 September Reply

      Sometimes, a glass of wine is totally needed.

  • Jolie
    Posted at 12:17h, 31 August Reply

    I’ve read under the influence before. It wasn’t terrible but then again I wasn’t wasted lol. Just relaxed. I prefer to read completely sober though. Great tips, Ethony!

  • maria
    Posted at 12:36h, 27 May Reply

    I read while high on weed once. It was one of my best readings but my intuition was very strong. I was reading for a friend and I picked up on her infidelity which made her slightly uncomfortable. Spirits were also confirming things by turning on and off lights… it was an interesting night.

  • Mia
    Posted at 23:53h, 13 July Reply

    I read wile ridding the Whitehorse I find it really don’t matter if your cards want to tell you something that’s important they will tell you high or drunk but I was wondering if anyone can tell me Everytime I ask my Tarot cards this Specific question over and over again it always answers me yes and perfect detail but when I asked the person about it he swears there’s no way possible. Anyone can tell me if my cards have been lying to me?

    • Ethony
      Posted at 17:27h, 16 July Reply

      When was the last time you cleansed your decks? Try that see if it helps.

  • Stacy Hankinson
    Posted at 11:05h, 19 September Reply

    I totally get not reading drunk. I have but in fun. Although my friend said it made sense to her. Today though I just feel drained. I tried to read and I can’t feel the cards. I feel like I need a recharge as I have read a lot lately. Also I can’t clear my mind because there is so much I keep thinking of. Is it a good time to just recharge and regroup before reading again ? I just don’t think it’s accurate today.

    • Ethony
      Posted at 12:44h, 19 September Reply

      For sure, if you are not feeling it then recharge your cards and batteries and try again another day. It happens to everyone. 🙂

  • Bad kitty love
    Posted at 04:46h, 27 September Reply

    I have been lit (drunk/stoned/ etc.) and read. Mostly the readings were more on the depressing side.
    turn a fun time around quickly
    I have not read that way since thin
    Could have been what was going on at the time in my life or being a new to reading

    I seam to have a problem with timing
    I have trouble getting a reading for current events/ situations
    Always months later it makes it difficult to learn new decks

  • nikki a
    Posted at 09:37h, 28 October Reply

    Hi Ethony,
    I have an unpopular opinion for you-
    I prefer reading while on stimulants.

    (i am not advocating drug use. this is simply my own experience- I am not saying my experience has been any better or worse than anyone elses, and just as I would appreciate if people were respectful of my opinions, I will respect theirs.)

    I’ve been reading for about 15 years now. I certainly don’t consider myself a professional, but i’ve had plenty of time to explore tarot & learn what resonates for me (in any state of mind)

    my mind feels completely open when I read while using drugs- uninhibited & connected much more deeply than while sober. I guess i would describe it as elevated consciousness-
    feeding off of another person feeding off you feeding off them.
    (& YES, I understand that what I just said was THE definition of using drugs for their desired effectst/being high 😛 )
    FYI: I’m always honest upfront with whoever I’m with about what I’m doing/if I’m doing anything.

    in my experience as a (very casual) recreational drug user reading on stimulants-it amplifies the energy between myself & the person I’m reading for & produces a deeper, more empathic connection between us.

    I’ve scoured the internet trying to find more information about why reading while under the influence of anything but fresh air is so frowned upon, but havent found much of any use. (that is how I ended up here). I’m sharing my experience because 1- it’s my own, 2- it is wildly underrepresented (haha) & 3- there is no right way or wrong way to read tarot. (maybe someone will have some great resources on this topic that I can check out?)

    I understand what a tremendous responsibility it is to read for someone, and in that respect it should be your duty to ensure you’re mentally, emotionally, spiritually & physically capable of handling it- drugs or not. using substances for spiritual practice isn’t anything new, as long as you’re respecting the sanctity of what you’re bringing to the exchange. (I will admit- as a bit of a empath on the best/worst days- I’d be weary of what state any person meddling with my juju was in, :P.) I can definitely say that not all drugs are created equal, (and I’ve tasted just about the entire rainbow) and nothing else gives me that same sense of connectedness as knowing I’ve just changed someone’s life. ❤

    I apologize that this has become as long as it has… thank you for reading this far! (hopefully!). and double thank you for engaging your audience about this, it feels nice to be heard once in awhile, you know?

    keep doing what you’re doing ❤

    • Joseph McCowan
      Posted at 19:51h, 26 February Reply

      Hello I to feel more connected with the vibrations and feel very in tune while on stimulants I tend to go way deep spiritually intuitive. As a empath myself I feel so much and feel even more on stimulants. You are not alone I really enjoyed reading your post.

  • Cuddlz
    Posted at 23:22h, 21 February Reply

    I once read for an event where everyone was drunk or high and there was lots of loud music! I had a few drinks and it helped my confidence and intuition a lot. It was my first time reading for so many people and the energy vibration I felt was crazy high. How the readings went depended on what the querent was putting on the table. Had a few crazy accurate in depth readings and a couple of people just wanting to know about their future partner. But afterwards I felt high as a kite from all of the energy coursing through me!

  • Joseph Arp
    Posted at 08:51h, 28 February Reply

    I have tripped on mushrooms with the cards and it is amazing. Love the cards, and I love talking to them while tripping. I’ve read for people who are under the influence of pretty much every drug imaginable. Mushrooms and other psychedelics readings range from fairly benign to highly spiritual.
    Alcohol and hard street drugs always dredge up ugliness in readings. Especially belligerent drunk tough guys.
    I used to drink a lot a lot, but my journey with the cards and spirits has lead me to put down the bottle.

  • Cindy L Plont
    Posted at 01:40h, 22 March Reply

    How do I go about getting a reading??

    • Ethony
      Posted at 18:40h, 25 March Reply

      Hi Cindy, I am taking a break at the moment because I am sick. I will hopefully be back soon.

Post A Comment