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Why the Tarot works, a theory based on modern Quantum Mechanics

Updated on August 19, 2016

While the word ‘Tarot’ is somewhat widely recognized, the mechanisms and inner workings of this system and other systems of divination are not quite as widely understood. There are a number of theories on the topic and for some people the simple explanation of ‘it just works’ is enough. For some us, however, a real working understanding can be beneficial.

In order to try to explain my personal view point on this we will need to explore a concept in modern science called ‘Quantum Entanglement’. While I am not a physicist, I would still like to try to explain these concepts in a way that people can understand, without using terms like “spirit” or “God” or any other terms that require specific religious or philosophical beliefs. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into the kind of technical paper you might find in the scientific community, but I find that quantum physics presents a model that helps us to understand psychic phenomena.

‘Quantum Entanglement’ and Tarot

To put simply, quantum entanglement is the idea that if you split an electron in half and separate the two, whatever is done to one to one half of the electron also happens to the other at the exact same time regardless of the how far apart they are, as if they were still connected. You could put one half of that electron halfway across the galaxy and the it will still respond to its other half instantly. Since all the particles in the universe came from one single point of energy during the big bang, every particle in the universe is connected. The big bang is still just a theory, but it seems to tie in with the idea that ‘all is one’ and to me it is like a metaphor for how the universe is really just one mind experiencing itself in as many different ways as possible. So by following this same line of thinking, it makes sense that the person who is performing a reading would be able to connect to the mind of their client no matter where they may be located in the world, or perhaps even the entire universe.

‘The uncertainty principle’ and Tarot

This may explain how the diviner can connect to another person’s consciousness, but this still doesn’t explain how the cards themselves can present their messages in such an amazingly uncanny way. To explain this we can once again look to another aspect of quantum mechanics called ‘The uncertainty principle’. This concept is a little more difficult to explain and a full discourse on this would be well beyond the scope of this article, but I will do my best to illuminate this idea in a way that is easy to understand.

The basic idea is that when the cards are shuffled, enough randomness is created that no one knows the exact position of any of the cards in the deck and therefore they exist in a state of potential until someone actually LOOKS at the cards. The famous ‘Double Slit’ experiment showed scientists that the act of measuring data causes it to collapse from a potential state into a fixed state. To simplify, the images of the cards technically do not exist until they are turned over and observed by a conscious being that then ‘measures’ the data with its mind, causing the images on the cards to change from a potential into an a fixed state. This can be sort of difficult to understand, but so far it is the only explanation that I can come up with that actually makes sense.


Of course, my theory is just one of many and I can’t take credit for coming up with this idea on my own as former NASA Physicist Tom Campbell is the person who turned me on to this idea in the first place. Another theory is that the cards are simply alive and deliver their messages of their own accord since all matter has its own form of consciousness and the spirit of the Tarot does as t will, but I would hate to sit down with an atheistic scientist and try to argue that point. Regardless of the true inner workings, my experience has shown me that the Tarot DOES work and I cannot deny the clarity of the messages it is capable of delivering.


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    • Oztinato profile image

      Andrew Petrou 

      2 years ago from Brisbane

      Excellent little article. It would be good to add more later.

      Entanglement seems to be one of the new fangled "science words" that try to take the credit for much more ancient concepts. For example, Sympathetic magic (which is poopooed by atheist scientists) has been using entanglement since Neanderthal times! By bringing two objects together the objects were said to influence each other at a distance etc.

      I also believe that every particle shares a minute part of ALL the general qualities of the universe: including infinitey. Hence the fall of a leaf or card is infinitely complex and, as you have correctly pointed out, intimately connected to observers.


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