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How to Use Tarot with a Skeptical Partner or Family Member

By July 6, 2017 May 4th, 2018

Tarot for Skeptics

We met Anna W. and her husband Josh at the Northwest Tarot Symposium back in March. While my team and I were talking with them, Anna mentioned how she uses Tarot with her husband. Josh isn’t a “woo woo” sort of person, so we were excited to hear her methods for engaging him and other family members with Tarot.

We started thinking about this concept of “Tarot for Skeptics.” Many of us probably have family members, romantic partners, or dear friends who are skeptical of the Tarot. How do you share Tarot with those loved ones without turning them off?

We invited Anna to share her favourite exercises for using Tarot with skeptical family members. I’ll let Anna take it away…

Tarot for Skeptics

The best way to engage a skeptical partner is to take the mysticism out of Tarot and use the cards as “life cards.” Because Tarot cards depict archetypes of human behavior, it’s likely that a skeptical partner will be able to relate to something about the card, regardless of how they feel about mysticism in general.

When I explain Tarot to my friends and family I leave magic out of it. I emphasize that Tarot is tool that helps you strengthen your intuition and get to know yourself better. Most people can agree that deepening your understanding of yourself and others is only a strength/positive!

When Tarot feels more approachable, personally relatable, and less abstract, even the most skeptical partner or family member can understand why someone else might value the cards regardless of their personal feelings about it (baby steps!).

Here are some exercises that help make Tarot approachable:

Life Path Cards

On your partner/family member’s birthday, calculate his/her life path number (numerology) and write up a quick summary of what it says. Include the card from the Major Arcana that correlates with their number and a brief description of their strengths.

Here is how to calculate someone’s life path number:

  1. Begin with your full birth date. Example: JUNE 11, 1985.
  2. Reduce the month, day and year down to a single digit by adding them. For example: June = 6. 11 = 2 (however, 11 and 22 don’t have to be reduced since these are master numbers). 1+9+8+5 = 23. 2+3 = 5
  3. Now add the resulting single digits together to get the Life Path Number. Month = 6, Day = 11 (or 2), Year = 5. The Life Path Number is 22/4 (11, 22, and 33 life path numbers are typically the only ones that are not reduced).

I did this for my mom’s birthday even though she’s very Catholic and was initially turned off that I was into Tarot. When she learned about her life path number 2 (intuition!) and her card, The High Priestess, she was floored with how much she could relate to everything I wrote.

Now she completely sees the value in Tarot and is very supportive/interested because it made Tarot personally relevant to her in a way that didn’t involve magic (<– counter to her religious beliefs).

tarot for skeptics

Your Favorite Cards (Part One)

Pick a deck that is unfamiliar to you and your partner based on the artwork. Ask your partner to look through the cards with you just to appreciate the artwork together, not to focus on anything mystical. Each pick your favorite cards and talk about the meanings of the cards you chose.

My guess is that your partner will find something personally relevant and have a more positive attitude towards Tarot.

Identifier Cards

Whether we admit it or not, most of us like it when our partner points out our strengths (You’re so strong like the Emperor! haha!).

Lay out the cards you use all the time and show your partner the card you most identify with and why. Ask him/her to look at the Major Arcana and pick the card he/she likes the best based on the image. Explain the card to him/her. See where it goes!

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With a more willing partner, you could try these exercises:


Your Favorite Cards (Part Two)

With your partner, pick four cards you like from an unfamiliar deck (eight total for Strength!). Once you’ve each chosen your four, explain to your partner what the cards can mean. It will likely spark some conversations about your relationship and values. You can take this exercise as far as you want.

Consider the story the cards you chose create. How do they fit together? In which order?

Craft a narrative that explains what they mean to you.

  • You could use this exercise before major life events to set an intention (marriage intention/ vow renewal/move/new baby etc.).
  • You could also choose cards to express your shared values “What are the things we want in life? What’s important to us?”
  • Or explore what’s missing in your life (adventure, better sex etc.). “ What are we missing/seeking/craving?”

If you’re really into it, you might frame the cards you chose as an art piece to remind you of your goals together.

Tarot for SkepticsDo a Reading During Troubling Times

Do a reading for you and your partner during troubling times. When your partner gains insight because of a reading, he/she will likely be more supportive because it now has personal value to him/her.

My husband was initially skeptical about how “real” Tarot was because I was only doing readings for myself or practicing with women in my class. Then it got personal for him.

We were having some issues with a business partner we had previously trusted. Ending that relationship meant a logistical nightmare. Continuing the relationship meant possibly more trouble. We were really torn.

Asking “how should we move forward with ___” and getting the 8 of cups made it a lot easier to move on without doubt or regret. It also acknowledged the emotional weight associated with this necessary ending.

Free Workbook – Five Simple Steps to Read Tarot With Confidence


If you’re new to Tarot (perhaps a former skeptic yourself?), I have just the Tarot tutorial for you.

I believe anyone can read Tarot – including YOU – that’s why I created a free eBook that includes five simple steps to help you read Tarot with confidence.

In this free workbook and tutorial series, I’ll lead you through 5 fun and practical activities you can use straight away to connect with the Tarot and your intuition.

Plus, you’ll receive my weekly newsletter with the Tarot card forecast and tips to help you read Tarot with confidence.

Click here to get the free workbook:



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Wish You Had A Tarot Card Meaning Cheat Sheet?

Get Your FREE Tarot Card Meanings Reference Guide

And Avoid Getting Stuck When Trying To Remember The Card Meanings