Free tarot readings are readily available online, and are a popular method of fortune telling nowadays. However, are free tarot readings really worthwhile?

Most free tarot readings are computer generated – that is, a computer program randomly chooses which images to display on your screen. Usually, a neutral interpretation of the card that can be applied to any situation accompanies the display. To a skeptic this might appear just as good as a real tarot reading, but to those that actually believe in the abilities of tarot to give love readings, success readings, money readings and so on, this won't do at all. The powers of gravity, the skill of a human reader is required to give a true and accurate reading.

Think of it this way – how well do computers "read" things like text that's entered into them and meant to be parroted back over the speakers? How well do computers translate text between foreign languages? Consider this example of computer-translated text from French: –

"To be or n' to be not, here is the question.... Qu' there of nobler for l' is; heart? to support the blows of sling and the arrows of outrageuse fortune? or s' to arm in war against an ocean with miseries and, of brave fight, to cross there short?"

You can maybe recognize the rudiments of Hamlet's famous speech there ("To be or not to be, that is the question" &c. &c.) but as this demonstrates – no computer can do a job only meant to be done by a human. Computers do not understand things, they only perform tasks they have been coded to perform, and don't have a way to "know" if what they deliver makes sense or not. Is this really what you want to trust your fate to?

Alternately, some online tarot readings are what are known as "canned readings." In these cases, a single reading is created that can apply to most situations, and this same reading is delivered to every client who orders a free tarot reading.

Rarely, one might find a genuine tarot reader offering free tarot card readings. Sometimes this might be a promotional effort, in which case you're in luck as they'll be at the top of their game, trying to cultivate repeat clients. However, in many cases, people offering free tarot readings have something more sinister in mind.

There's a famous con, dubbed by Cat Yronwode "The Gypsy Fortune Telling Scam." In this, a fortune teller (often offering free or low cost readings) informs the client that their problems are due to some kind of magical interference or curse, and then pushes the client to buy from them any number of expensive magical or spiritual services that they claim will remove the supposed curse (which probably never existed in the first place.)

The fact is, most cases I've seen of "free tarot readings online" performed by a real person who wasn't an amateur trying to practice, have been cases of this.

There's an old saying – "You get what you pay for." In the online world, where everything costs money (bandwidth, domains and so on) anything that claims to be free is particularly suspect, free online tarot card reading included.
For those who seek actual spiritual guidance, be warned – don't waste your time on free tarot card readings. Find yourself a genuine tarot reader. Use the following guidelines:

*Look for tarot readers who are knowledgable about the cards.
*Avoid tarot readers who charge hundreds of dollars for one tarot reading. At best, it's going to pay for advertising.
*Avoid tarot readers who use multiple aliases or who own several different fortune telling companies which they try to make appear as unrelated.

With these tips you should be able to find the spiritual service you need.

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