Are There Good and Bad Tarot Cards?

It's more complicated than you might think.

Throughout popular culture, we’ve seen certain cards in the tarot deck portrayed as bad luck or omens of misfortune. However, tarot isn’t black and white. There’s no such thing as good cards and bad cards, instead, it all depends on the situation at hand.

I know what you’re thinking, “What do you mean there are no bad cards? When has The Tower/Death/10 of Swords ever been a good card?” Well, here’s the thing, yes these cards often reference that changes and challenges are ahead, but that doesn’t mean your life is going to fall apart.

Don’t let the imagery of skeletons, impaled swords or burning buildings scare you, tarot cards aren’t inherently negative or positive. Instead, it’s all about perception and perspective. Every tarot card has positive and negative traits, which come to light depending on your interpretation within a given reading.

Look at it this way, let’s say you’re in a bad relationship and pull The Tower card. This might mean that your relationship is going to end and you’ll have to deal with a difficult breakup, but in the end it will be a good thing. Another example of this can be seen through Death card. Sure, this card may look scary when you’re pulling it up, but instead of literally meaning death, this card means transformation. So, it could indicate that you’re going to experience a big change in your life—whether that be a new job, a new relationship, etc.

Additionally, sometimes a “good card” can indicate too much of a good thing. Just like there are no bad cards, there aren’t technically good cards either. The Sun is often regarded as a positive card, representing positivity, optimism and success. But, depending on your spread, this can mean that you’re approaching a given situation in an overly optimistic or childish manner.

Another example I love to give of too much of a good thing comes from one of my personal readings. A few months ago, I had just begun seeing a guy that I’d met on a dating app. I did a reading and got an entire spread of suit of cups cards, which typically represent positive emotional vulnerability pertaining to romantic relationships. Under normal circumstances, this would be a great thing, but I quickly caught on that this guy was love bombing me and the relationship ended shortly thereafter.

In order to understand how the cards work on your own, you’ll need to do a deep dive into the nuanced meanings of each card and be able to apply them to your own life. This may mean picking up an additional guide or deck, which is more tailored to your pulling style and preferences. Let us know which cards you frequently associate with positivity and negativity in the comments section on social media.