According to one site on the web, ‘virtual tarot’ is a gag. But tarot has the strange habit of surprising us, and on one site, the comment

‘the virtual tarot thing is just a gag, what you do is put a . (period) in the petition and write the answer, then actually ask it and it will say your answer’

is followed by a rather sweet reply –
‘realy it is believeable.
realy it answered correct.’ [sic]

After working with the cards since 1973, very little about the tarot would surprise me now. The sceptics of the world always doubt the cards, and cite instances similar to the above, where there seems absolutely no way the cards we choose can make sense. Often they will suggest that it’s because the meanings are so wide that they could apply to anyone or anything, and there is no doubt that the cards are archetypal and therefore do apply to many different situations. However, I have seen many instances where the cards chosen – virtual or real – have been so apt that I have been amazed, once more, by their accuracy.

The fact that a virtual reading can work with no physical contact between the client and the cards seems to refute any suggestion that the reader engages in some sort of chicanery. However, to my mind it corroborates my view of the tarot – that it works on the quantum levels of consciousness. I am no scientist, but – just as the physicists say that perception and intention can change reality – with the tarot the intention behind the reading is key. We, as conscious beings, are interacting with the quantum levels of awareness, the smallest particles of reality which, in my view, are consciousness. This theory – that everything is a form of consciousness, and that the physical world is not only affected by consciousness, but is consciousness – is gradually gaining credence among physicists and mathematicians (see, for instance, Roger Penrose’s Shadows of the Mind, and The Emperor’s New Mind).

Thus a virtual reading – where you choose the ‘cards’ electronically – will be as valid as a face-to-face reading with a tarot counsellor.

I have also read for fictional characters. Authors, wanting to know the motivations of – and outcomes for – their characters, can find tarot readings exceptionally useful. The cards read as seriously for fictional characters as for real clients, probably because the archetypal imagery of the tarot derives from the same mythic, imaginal levels as our dreams and imagination. To the tarot that layer of consciousness is as real as any other, so a character – whether real or imaginary – comprises complex hopes and fears, background issues, unconscious motivations, and hopes and fears.