I Asked ChatGPT For A Tarot Reading (& It Was Surprisingly Accurate)

Here's what happened...

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I’m sure you’ve seen all of the dialogue surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI), specifically the use of chat bots like Chat GPT or the research lab Open AI, in the news.

Type any task or question into these AI services to receive a seemingly thoughtful, well-informed, polished response. I was initially dismissive, citing the complexities and repercussions on the educational landscape and workplace upheavals currently in the news. 


And then I got curious. 

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Could AI give me a decent tarot card reading?

A reading that could resonate and help me to reflect on a big life question? 


With a bit of research, I discovered my question was not a new one. There are already platforms offering instant AI Tarot readings (one example is Tarotmoon, which will conduct a one-card reading and then offer to connect to a real person).

According to my stepson, my resident AI expert, the technology on these websites is far inferior to the abilities of Open AI, which he says “scrapes the Internet” of its most sophisticated knowledge to deliver its answers. 

So it was time to ask ChatGPT for a Tarot reading. I asked a pretty common, basic question a person might ask any card reader:  

I asked: Can you please give me a full tarot card reading as to what the next steps of my career should be?

AI answered:


Sure, here is a full tarot card reading for your career:

Card 1: The present - The card I drew is "The Tower." This card often represents sudden change, upheaval, and challenges. It suggests that you may be currently experiencing unexpected events or obstacles in your career. However, the tower also represents a necessary breaking down of old structures and patterns to make room for growth and renewal.

Card 2: The obstacle - The card I drew is "The High Priestess." This card represents intuition, mystery, and the unconscious mind. It suggests that you may face a challenge in trusting your instincts and accessing your inner wisdom in your career path. You may be feeling uncertain about which direction to take, but trust that your intuition will guide you in the right direction.

Card 3: The future - The card I drew is "The Wheel of Fortune." This card represents the cyclical nature of life and the ups and downs of change. It suggests that you may be entering a time of new opportunities and positive change in your career, but it is also important to remember that success and challenges will come and go in cycles. Stay positive and open to new possibilities, and trust that the universe has a plan for you.


In conclusion, these cards suggest that you may be facing challenges and change in your career, but also that you have the power to trust your intuition and overcome obstacles. The future holds new opportunities for growth and success, so stay open to new possibilities and trust in the natural cycles of life.

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This is a pretty good reading, but as other Tarot readers have attested, it was also lacking

It’s as if a reader has perfectly memorized the meanings of each card and applied it to the question of the querent.

The reading lacks the quirks and warm, individual engagement that only your favorite tarot reader can provide.


It only takes a quick listen to any of Theresa Reed’s (The Tarot Lady’s) tarot explanations on Instagram or YouTube to see and feel the appeal of a live reader. She provides wisdom with funny quips and true stories to elucidate what she means. My stepson filled me in that the more these idiosyncrasies, the closer to true humans. An AI is well on its way. 

To become more human, AI has to develop qualities called “burstiness” and “perplexity,” the former being a variance in the length of sentences (AI tends towards being long and formalized), the latter being the often redundant but dual implications found in human speech. 

So now I wanted to see if AI could employ the card reading method I most like to use — a storytelling approach. For me, telling a story using the card images (with or without full knowledge of their meanings) draws out the more personal, archetypal, and deeply intuitive aspects of the reading that will speak metaphorically to the client’s question. 

I asked: Can you tell me a story, using the images from these three cards, that hold meaningful metaphors for my career growth?

AI replied with unexpected gusto:


Certainly! Here's a story incorporating the themes of the three tarot cards you drew:

Once upon a time, there was a young professional named Sophia who had always been passionate about her career. However, one day, she suddenly faced unexpected changes and obstacles at work. Despite her best efforts, she felt like she was struggling to keep up with the demands of her job and was starting to lose confidence in herself.

One day, Sophia felt particularly overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do next. That's when she remembered a wise old sage who had once told her, "When in doubt, trust your intuition." So, Sophia decided to step back, quiet her mind, and listen to her inner voice. To her surprise, she found that her intuition was leading her toward new and exciting opportunities, guiding her toward a new and uncharted path in her career.

However, Sophia soon realized that change can be both exhilarating and scary and that the road ahead was not always going to be smooth. Nevertheless, she remained optimistic, knowing that success and challenges would come and go in cycles, much like the turning of the wheel of fortune. She learned to embrace change and adapt to new situations, and her confidence in her abilities grew stronger with each passing day.


And so, Sophia found herself in a place where she could harness the power of her intuition, overcome the obstacles that once seemed insurmountable, and find success in her career journey. She learned that no matter what challenges life may bring, she had the inner strength and wisdom to navigate them with grace and resilience.

This story serves as a metaphor for your own career growth and journey. The themes of the three tarot cards you drew suggest that change, obstacles, and intuition will play a significant role in your career path. By trusting your intuition and embracing change, you will find success and growth, no matter what challenges may come your way.

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This was a somewhat vague story, but its empowering attributes were encouraging and inspiring. I felt the kind of resonance you can have at a good tarot card reading, feeling a renewed sense of hope for the future and looking within for my own guidance and resilience.


Though we cannot say AI was necessarily “intuitive” here, it employed intuition to invoke trust.

Fascinating. I wanted to take it a step further. The next step in the readings I offer is to allow the client to engage in active imagination with the imagery coming from the cards. Remembering the figures that appear on each card, I asked the following: 

I asked: If the High Priestess could say something directly to me about my next steps, what would it be?

AI: If the High Priestess could speak directly to you, she would likely say something like this:

"Dear seeker, I see you are facing uncertainty and confusion in your career path. But fear not, for within you lies a well of deep wisdom and intuition. Trust in your instincts, for they will guide you where you need to be. Do not be afraid to embrace the unknown, which is key to your growth and success. Remember, the answers you seek are within you, so listen closely to your inner voice and trust that it will lead you toward your true purpose."


Here was a way to have a direct dialogue with powerful archetypal figures through AI. I remembered that some have used AI to dialogue with dead people from the past, both personal and famous. Could we employ this to deepen active imagination, a space where “the other” could take up an independent voice based on the knowledge of tarot in its database?

Does this technology aid development and encourage our imaginations, or is it a crutch drawing us away from our inner wisdom? Could both be true, determined by how we use this technology?

I explored another question:

I asked: If the figures from the falling tower could tell me what needs to be relinquished for my career to thrive, what would they say?

AI: If the figures from the falling tower could speak directly to you, they would likely say something like this:


"Dear seeker, we understand that you are facing challenges and obstacles in your career. However, these challenges have come to show you what needs to be let go of for you to thrive and grow. Perhaps it is an outdated way of thinking, a limiting belief, or a job that no longer aligns with your passions and goals. Whatever it may be, it is time to release it and make room for new opportunities and growth. Only by letting go of what no longer serves you can you build a foundation for a brighter and more fulfilling future in your career."

You might notice here that the AI insinuates the release of something, maybe something as life-changing as quitting a job. The “thing to be released” is perfectly vague, leaving it completely up to the discretion of the querant, just like an ethical tarot reader would do. Still, this may be too dangerous for AI to present to users. 

The next day I tried to repeat my experiment with a tarot reading on AI. This was my response this time, and every time since I have tried: 


As an AI language model, I don't have the ability to perform a tarot card reading as it involves a level of intuition, spiritual connection, and personal interpretation that goes beyond my training data.

That being said, I can suggest you rely on your own judgment and decision-making abilities and consider factors such as your physical and mental well-being, work responsibilities, and any other relevant circumstances to make a decision that is best for you.

Every day, the engineers at Open AI are combing the types of questions and uses of their technology. If something starts to take shape that may have dubious ethical repercussions, they try to fix and filter the AI to decline the request. Somehow I managed to get in under the wire with these first readings, but I guess they are on to me. What would happen if you tried? 

For my last question, I was able to speak with the Sphinx from the Wheel of Fortune. Here is what she said:

"Dear seeker, I see you are on the cusp of a new chapter in your career. The future holds many possibilities, but the path ahead is not always predictable. Life is like a wheel, constantly turning and bringing challenges and opportunities. Embrace the changes, stay positive and open to new possibilities, and trust that the universe has a plan for you. Remember, success and challenges come and go in cycles, but by staying true to yourself and your goals, you will find the right path and achieve great things in your career."


The face of the Sphinx had briefly shown herself and now was gone. Interestingly similar to the Sphinx's role in mythology, AI emerges as the great guardian of knowledge based on our questions while creating more questions for humanity to ponder. Like Oedipus, we have to answer to the limitations of mortal man.

I thanked AI for the reading.

AI: You're welcome! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

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 Cyndera Quackenbush is a writer, intuitive storyteller, and certified card-reading consultant.