Introduction to the Science of Tarot, Magick, and Manifesting

Science is our gateway to understanding the universe’s wonders. It’s a journey of observation, experimentation, and analysis, aimed at unraveling the mysteries of nature through diverse theories and models. The scientific method, fundamental to this process, includes steps like questioning, hypothesizing, experimenting, and concluding, all wrapped up in the collective wisdom of peer review. If you have landed on this web-page you are likely a skeptic metaphysician.  We are, too.

Science and Tarot may seem like an unlikely pair, but they share a fascinating connection. Science is the path we tread to understand the universe, relying on observation, experimentation, and analysis. Tarot, on the other hand, delves into the soul, using the cards to unveil profound truths and guidance. Surprisingly, science has something to say about Tarot.

Evidence-based approaches focused on the power of belief and goal achievement are well documented and highly studied.  This includes concepts such as the placebo effect, synchronicity, confirmation and negativity bias, growth mindset, and self-fulfilling prophecies.

The Science and Psychology of Tarot

Tarot is a journey into the soul, rooted in the belief that these mystical cards can reveal deep truths, patterns, and guidance. Each card is a window into symbolism and intuition, opening doors to our metaphysical and interpretative realms. Tarot is not just a tool; it’s a bridge to self-reflection, decision-making, and the exploration of our psychological and spiritual landscapes.  But is it rooted in science?  The science says: yes.  We’ve listed our references at the bottom of this page to properly credit the origin of the thoughts— and to demonstrate the authoritative appropriateness of our research:  Harvard, National Library of Medicine, and University of Notre Dame to name a few. I have done our best to summarize but please review the source information for yourself.

The Power of Intention in Tarot

The impact of intention, demonstrated in various studies, is significant in influencing actions and outcomes, closely aligning with the practices of tarot reading. Setting clear intentions before a tarot reading focuses our thoughts, creating a space where every card speaks to us in a language of deeper understanding.

Some of the best-known scientific exploration of tarot comes from Dr. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist who studied under Sigmund Freud and made noteworthy contributions to the field of psychology. One of his key ideas was the concept of the “collective unconscious,” which referred to humanity’s shared knowledge and the ability to recognize and understand each other as characters, or “archetypes.” These archetypical characters, such as “the hero,” “the outlaw,” “the ruler,” and “the wise sage,” exhibit distinct traits and personality patterns that resonate universally with people, transcending differences in age, sex, gender, race, or socio-economic status.

According to Jung, all archetypes reside within every individual, concealed by the subconscious mind. For example, many people are reluctant to acknowledge their inner “villain,” even though they may play this role in someone else’s narrative. Jung advocated introspection as the path to profound self-understanding and happiness. He endorsed tarot cards as a tool for comprehending our unconscious motivations by connecting with the characters and concepts these archetypes portray. Recognizing them, he believed, enabled us to better forecast our future through a deeper understanding of how the past has evolved into the present.

Evidence-based Approaches to Goal Achievement

Embracing evidence-based strategies for achieving our goals, we find inspiration in Dr. Gail Matthews’ groundbreaking research. Much like planting seeds in the fertile soil of our aspirations, writing down our dreams and goals is the first step toward their realization. Those who diligently pen their aspirations, formulate concrete action plans, and maintain a supportive connection with a trusted friend are the architects of their own destiny. Through this process, they transform their dreams from mere wishes into tangible realities, nurturing the growth of their ambitions with each update and achievement.

Belief, Placebo Effect, and Tarot

Belief wields immense power, much like the way a placebo can influence our well-being. In the realm of the tarot, this belief takes root and intertwines with our innermost selves. The journey through tarot cards delves into the core of our being, akin to peeling away layers of a profound mystery. As we engage with the cards, we uncover hidden truths, unearth fresh insights, and elevate our spirits. Just as a placebo can trigger remarkable healing in the body, our belief in the tarot’s mystical language can manifest tangible benefits in our lives, connecting us to the unseen forces that guide our paths.

Synchronicity, Confirmation Bias, and Tarot

In the tapestry of tarot, the threads of synchronicity and confirmation bias create a rich and meaningful picture. Carl Jung, the pioneer of analytical psychology, beautifully articulated the essence of synchronicity. He said, “Synchronicity is an ever-present reality for those who have eyes to see.” This profound concept finds its echo in tarot readings, where seemingly random cards align with our personal narratives in ways that feel deeply intentional and meaningful.

Synchronicity in tarot is about recognizing those magical moments when the cards reflect our life experiences, not as mere coincidences but as meaningful connections. It’s about seeing the universe speaking to us through the language of tarot, revealing insights and truths that resonate with our soul’s journey.

Meanwhile, confirmation bias in tarot readings reminds us of our natural tendency to seek out and interpret information that aligns with our pre-existing beliefs and experiences. It’s a psychological phenomenon that highlights how our interpretations of the cards are often colored by our own perspectives and expectations.

In the interplay of synchronicity and confirmation bias, tarot becomes a powerful tool for self-reflection and introspection. It invites us to open our eyes and hearts to the signs and messages that surround us, while also urging us to remain mindful of our personal biases and perceptions. This dynamic dance between the universal and the personal in tarot readings encourages us to explore deeper layers of understanding and connection, both with ourselves and the world around us. It transforms tarot from a mere divination tool into a journey of discovery, where each card opens a door to deeper wisdom and insight.

Negativity Bias, Barnum Effect, and Perception in Tarot

In the realm of tarot, our journey is deeply influenced by the nuances of human psychology, specifically the phenomena of negativity bias and the Barnum Effect. Negativity bias, our natural tendency to pay more attention to negative experiences, can color our interpretation of tarot readings. It’s a reminder that sometimes, we may unconsciously focus more on the challenging aspects of a reading, overlooking the positive messages and insights that are equally present.

The Barnum Effect, on the other hand, speaks to the universal nature of tarot’s wisdom. It’s the idea that certain aspects of the readings can feel deeply personal and specific to us, even when they are broad and universally applicable. This phenomenon highlights the tarot’s unique ability to resonate with our individual experiences, making each reading feel intimately relevant.

In the dance of tarot reading, we are invited to become aware of these psychological undercurrents. Understanding negativity bias encourages us to seek balance, reminding us to give equal weight to the positive and uplifting elements in the cards. Acknowledging the Barnum Effect allows us to approach tarot with a discerning mind, understanding that while the cards may speak to universal truths, they also open doorways to personal insights that are uniquely our own.

This interplay of psychology and perception in tarot is not just about understanding the cards; it’s about understanding ourselves. It’s a journey that challenges us to look beyond our instinctive reactions and to embrace a more holistic perspective, enriching our experience with the cards and deepening our journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

Growth Mindset and Tarot

The journey of tarot reading is beautifully aligned with the principles of a growth mindset, a concept that breathes life into every aspect of our being. Imagine approaching each tarot card not just as a revelation but as an opportunity for growth, learning, and self-exploration. This is where the growth mindset shines, transforming the tarot experience from simple fortune-telling into a profound journey of personal development and self-improvement.

In the world of tarot, a growth mindset encourages us to see beyond the immediate meanings of the cards. It opens our minds to the lessons hidden within, urging us to ask, “What can I learn from this?” and “How can this help me grow?” With every card we draw and every reading we contemplate, we are invited to expand our understanding, to challenge our preconceptions, and to embrace the journey of becoming.

This approach to tarot makes every reading a dynamic conversation with the self, a dialogue that nurtures our inner growth and resilience. It’s about recognizing that each card is a stepping stone on our path to self-discovery and enlightenment. Whether a reading brings forth challenges or triumphs, a growth mindset helps us to embrace them as vital parts of our life’s journey, each with a lesson to offer and a gift to impart. In this light, tarot transcends its mystical roots and becomes a tool of empowerment, a guide on our path to personal evolution and enlightenment.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies in Tarot Readings

In the mystical dance of tarot readings, the powerful phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophecies takes center stage, intertwined with the art of personal affirmations. Imagine each tarot card as not just a symbol of potential but also as a canvas for affirming our deepest desires and intentions. When we engage with these cards, they reflect back to us not only possibilities but also affirmations – words and thoughts that resonate with our aspirations and goals. As we internalize these affirmations, aligning them with the narratives of the cards, we start to shape our reality in accordance with these visions.

The power of personal affirmations in tarot reading is profound. It’s about speaking to our inner selves, declaring our intentions and desires with conviction and belief. This practice transforms our outlook, fuels our motivation, and guides our actions. If a reading points towards healing, growth, or success, the affirmations we attach to these outcomes ignite a sense of purpose and direction. We become not just observers of our fate but active creators, drawing upon the energy of the tarot and the strength of our affirmations to manifest the life we envision. In this journey, tarot becomes more than a divination tool; it emerges as a source of empowerment, a companion in our journey of self-discovery and personal transformation.

Positive Emotions and Tarot 
In the realm of tarot, every card is a gateway to positive emotions, a finding echoed in the inspiring research of Dr. Barbara Fredrickson and Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky. Imagine each tarot card as a canvas, painting emotions of hope, curiosity, and empowerment. These readings do more than forecast our future; they invite us to explore a world of positive feelings. As we delve into the symbolism of each card, we tap into a spectrum of emotions that can transform our perspective on life. It’s a journey that broadens our minds, encouraging us to think more creatively and embrace new possibilities. This isn’t just about finding answers; it’s about discovering joy, peace, and inspiration in the process. The practice of tarot, much like the research by Dr. Fredrickson and Dr. Lyubomirsky, underscores the power of positivity to not only enhance our emotional well-being but also to open doors to personal growth and fulfillment. In this light, tarot becomes a tool not just for guidance, but for emotional upliftment, aligning our hearts and minds towards a more optimistic and expansive outlook on life.
Tarot, Prayer, and Physiological Changes

In the sacred space where tarot and prayer intersect, we find a profound impact on our physiological state. Just as prayer can quiet the mind and bring peace to the soul, tarot reading offers a similar sanctuary for contemplation and reflection. Engaging in tarot is akin to a meditative prayer, a ritual where each card becomes a focal point for introspection. This practice of deep concentration and mindfulness during tarot reading can trigger physiological changes akin to those experienced in prayerful meditation. It’s a moment where the heart rate may slow, breathing deepens, and the mind achieves a state of calm clarity. This isn’t just spiritual; it’s a physical journey too. In this tranquil state, our bodies respond – stress levels may decrease, and a sense of overall well-being can envelop us. Tarot, like prayer, becomes not just a tool for spiritual insight but also a catalyst for physical and emotional healing, showcasing the remarkable power of our minds and spirits to influence our bodily states.

Religious and Spiritual Beliefs’ Impact

The world of tarot is not just about predicting the future; it’s deeply intertwined with our religious and spiritual beliefs. These beliefs, rich in symbolism and meaning, echo through the imagery and archetypes found in tarot cards. When we delve into a tarot reading, we’re tapping into the same wellspring of wisdom that nourishes our spiritual lives. Each card can reflect our deepest convictions, challenge our understanding, or affirm our faith. The influence of our religious and spiritual beliefs in tarot readings is profound. They shape our interpretations, guide our intuition, and often provide a framework for understanding the messages the cards reveal. In this sacred space, tarot becomes more than a divination tool – it becomes a mirror reflecting our spiritual journeys, helping us to see our beliefs in a new light, and encouraging us to grow and evolve in our spiritual understanding.

The Role of the Reticular Activating System (RAS)

The Reticular Activating System (RAS) in our brain is a marvel, a filter that directs our focus and shapes our perceptions. In the mystical world of tarot, the RAS plays a transformative role. When we engage in a tarot reading, our RAS tunes into the symbols and meanings of the cards, aligning with our intentions and deepest questions. This selective attention allows us to see messages and insights in the tarot that we might otherwise miss. It’s not just about the cards; it’s about how our mind chooses to interpret and give meaning to them, guided by our innermost thoughts and desires. The RAS thus becomes a bridge between the tangible world of tarot cards and the intangible realm of our intuition and insights, enabling a deeper, more personal tarot experience that resonates with our unique journey.


The interplay between science, psychology, and practices like tarot and magick is intricate and multifaceted. These practices have a substantial impact on mindset, behavior, and overall well-being, underscoring their value in both personal and spiritual realms. Your belief is key. The magick is inside of you.


  • Introduction to the Science of Tarot, Magick, and Manifesting
    • Thomas S. Kuhn, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” ISBN: 9780226458120.
    • The Science and Psychology of Tarot
    • Sallie Nichols, “Jung and Tarot: An Archetypal Journey.” ISBN: 9780877285151.
  • The Power of Intention in Tarot
    • Lynne McTaggart, “The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World.” ISBN: 9780743276962.
  • Evidence-based Approaches to Goal Achievement
    • Heidi Grant Halvorson, “Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals.” ISBN: 9780452297715.
  • Belief, Placebo Effect, and Tarot
    • Walter A. Brown, “The Placebo Effect in Clinical Practice.” ISBN: 9780199933850.
  • Synchronicity, Confirmation Bias, and Tarot
    • C.G. Jung, “Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle.” ISBN: 9780691150505.
  • Negativity Bias, Barnum Effect, and Perception in Tarot
    • Roy F. Baumeister et al., “Bad is Stronger Than Good.” Review of General Psychology, 2001.
  • Growth Mindset and Tarot
    • Carol S. Dweck, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” ISBN: 9780345472328.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecies in Tarot Readings
    • Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson, “Pygmalion in the Classroom: Teacher Expectation and Pupils’ Intellectual Development.” ISBN: 9780819183818.
  • Positive Emotions and Tarot (Research by Dr. Fredrickson and Dr. Lyubomirsky)
    • Barbara Fredrickson, “Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the Upward Spiral That Will Change Your Life.” ISBN: 9780307393746.
  • Tarot, Prayer, and Physiological Changes
    • Larry Dossey, “Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine.” ISBN: 9780062502520.
  • Religious and Spiritual Beliefs’ Impact
    • Ralph W. Hood Jr., Peter C. Hill, Bernard Spilka, “The Psychology of Religion, Fourth Edition: An Empirical Approach.” ISBN: 9781462517364.
  • The Role of the Reticular Activating System (RAS)
    • H.W. Magoun and V.B. Mountcastle, “Reticular Formation of the Brain.” ISBN: 9780674767746.
  • Conclusion
    • Lisa J. Miller (Ed.), “The Oxford Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality.” ISBN: 9780199357379.