Many people are interested in having the tarot cards read for them, but the high price, often coupled with a general lack of belief in the cards themselves, turn many of them away from professional readers. However, especially for those looking for a fun and quick reading, the many free online tarot card readings are a good option. Online tarot card websites may not be the most informative or factually correct, but they certainly have a good entertainment factor.
Lotus Tarot Offers Free Tarot Card Readings
Lotus Tarot, with card meanings written by Alison Day, is a website designed to offer tarot card readings to registered users. They offer free readings, and paid membership readings, but both require a free account on the site. The upside to the registration is that the website saves the readings you receive, so you can look them over at a later time.
Unlike many other free online readings, the Lotus Tarot website allows you to choose how many times the cards are shuffled. This lets you control the shuffling of the cards, which the website claims will make the reading more accurate. Connecting with the deck of cards being used is an important key to a good tarot card reading, and one of the reasons many people are dissatisfied by online readings.
The visitor is also allowed to pick their own cards. The cards used for the reading are displayed, face side down, after they are virtually "shuffled", and the visitor clicks on the three or six cards they want, depending upon the layout they choose. Most online readings simply show the cards that were randomly chosen, cutting the visitor out of the process.
Few Layouts and Using Only the Major Arcana Limit the Readings
Unfortunately, Lotus Tarot has some downsides that keep it from being the best of the free online tarot card readings. They are primarily a paid membership site, so everything is geared toward those who purchase memberships. Only three layouts are available for the free readings, and one isn't a layout - it's a short quiz designed to help you pick a significator card, which is used in some readings to designate the person receiving the reading.
There are 24 layouts offered by the site, but the other 21 of them require a paid membership. The other major issue with the Lotus Tarot site is that free readings only involve the major arcana, the first 21 cards of the usually 72 card deck. Some professional tarot card readers use this method, but it can lead to a less informative or in depth reading, as not all issues and energies are covered in the Major Arcana.
Expensive Membership Costs for Automated Readings
Lotus Tarot memberships cost $10 a month or $50 a year, and allow you access to the other 21 layouts on the site. However, these readings are still automated - they're just pre-written text and images that are displayed based on which card is clicked. While $10 a month is certainly cheaper than what most tarot card readers would charge for a reading, and certainly cheaper than the private live readings offered by Lotus Tarot, plenty of other sites offer as much (or more) for no monthly fee.
Lotus Tarot does offer a free, 12-week, e-mail course on learning tarot. However, there's no membership requirement for this course. Anyone can sign up for it, which makes it a benefit, but not just for paying members.
Alternatives to Lotus Tarot
For visitors seeking a site with more layouts but that still want the benefit of being able to recall older readings, iFate is a better choice. Other popular tarot card readings from sites like Llewellyn.com and Facade.com also offer more layout and card deck choices. All of these sites have plenty of free options, and make good alternatives for those looking for more than Lotus Tarot can offer.
Lotus Tarot Offers Saved Readings, but Charges for Layouts
Lotus Tarot has some benefits, but it also has some drawbacks. The automatically saved readings for even free members is a great tool, allowing visitors to check their old readings for new connections and insight. However, almost all of the automated layouts require a monthly or yearly subscription, which puts them behind other websites that offer 20+ layouts for free.
For readers looking for more online tarot card reading options, read more at Free Online Tarot Card Readings or 3 More Free Online Tarot Card Readings.
Free-tarot-readings.net, Accessed Sept 22nd 2009.
IFate.com, Accessed Sept 23rd 2009.
Llewellyn.com, Accessed Sept 21st 2009.
Facade.com, Accessed Sept 21st 2009.