On rare occasions, one might find a genuine tarot reader offering real tarot card readings free of charge. This might be a promotional effort, in which case you're in luck – your reader will be at the top of their game, trying to cultivate repeat clients. However, in many cases, people offering real 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 using a lure of low cost or free readings) informs the client that all the troubles in their life are due to some kind of magical curse or hex work. They frequently announce that things will get worse if the client doesn't buy from them, immediately, any number of expensive magical or spiritual services that they claim will remove the black magic (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.
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. Fake fortune tellers also use this method by memorizing or copy-pasting a single reading to give all their clients, and many computer generated readings are also done this way.
Most other kinds of online free tarot reading are genuinely original, but still generated by computer – that is, you send your inquiry to a computer program which either selects at random which images to present on your screen, or uses an interactive code to select your cards. Usually, a neutral card interpretation that can be applied to any state of affairs supplements the display. To a skeptic that doesn't believe there is such thing as a real tarot reading, this may seem every bit as good as hiring a genuine fortune teller, but to those people 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 talent of a human reader, and much more is required to give a true and accurate tarot 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? Mull over this example of computer-translated text from Portuguese: –
"To be or not to be, here it is the problem. A valorosa soul, must ella supportar the pungentes blows of the adverse richness, or be armed against a diluvio of pains, or put end to them, fighting them?"
You can maybe recognize the rudiments of Hamlet's famous third act monologue there ("To be or not to be, that is the question" et cetera.) but as this demonstrates – no computer can perform a task only meant to be done by a human. Computers do not have the capability to understand, they only do whatever jobs they have been coded to do, and have no way to "know" if what they deliver makes sense or not. Is this really the kind of device to which you want to trust your fate?
There's an old saying – "You get what you pay for." In the online world, where all elements cost money (bandwidth, domains and so on) anything that claims to be free is particularly questionable, real online tarot card reading included.
For those who seek legitimate spiritual guidance, be warned – don't waste your time on free tarot card readings. Find yourself a real tarot reader. Use the following tips:
- Seek out tarot readers who are knowledgable about the cards.
- Avoid tarot card readers who charge hundreds of dollars a single tarot reading. At best, it's all 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 guidelines you should be able to find the genuine spiritual service you need.