What to expect and what not to expect from Tarot...
Skeptics dismiss the tarot as being totally arbitrary and subjective and warn those who try to understand the messages the tarot reveals, that they are wasting their time. When you go for a reading, for whatever reason, curiosity, pain or any issue, it is wise to approach the tarot with an open mind without any set ideas.
This is where the naysayers will chime in with their satisfied chorus of I told you sos. One logical argument I have often come up against when discussing the accuracy, or more likely, the inaccuracy of the tarot is the conundrum of why, if the tarot is to be taken as a true barometer of past, current and pending reality, don't the same cards come up again and again when someone concentrates on a particular question at hand?
Mathematical probabilities aside, a tarot reading, like the weather, is impacted on a moment-by-moment basis by changing external forces and shifting conditions. Even with the most advanced scientific equipment available, weather forecasting can be remarkably inaccurate, especially in the long-term.
The further out from an event, the less likely the weather conditions on any given day are going to reflect a forecast that was made weeks or even months earlier. And yet, those who are contemptuous of the tarot hold up the cards' ephemeral and changing nature as 'evidence' that the messages they divulge cannot and should not be taken seriously.
Ironically, even with thorough shuffling and the passage of time, cards can and do repeat themselves in progressive readings for the same person. While every card appearing in the exact order, over and over again every time is the stuff of bad occult novels and horror films, those who find themselves truly connected to a particular reader and firmly focused on an issue without distraction, will likely see patterns emerge.
I sometimes equate a tarot reading to a musical composition. While the notes remain the same - the placement of the cards in a spread and their generally accepted meanings do not change - every time someone interprets a reading, they bring something new to the piece, just as every musical performance has its own distinctive flavor and variations.
However, when the music is played live, it's filtered through the experience of the musician, as well as impacted by the level of their passion and talent--and at concert level, by the persuasive forces of the conductor and the synergy of the audience and fellow musicians. Unless something is pre-recorded, no matter how often you listen to the same piece, you will never hear the exact same thing twice, and so it is with the tarot.