No one can say for sure how tarot cards work, but anyone who has had success with them as a reader or as the recipient of a reading can tell you that, in capable hands, they do work very well.
As a seasoned reader, I'm constantly amazed at what can be discovered with the cards and how remarkably accurate predictions can be. Tarot cards, even in the hands of a less than adept reader, can give some surprising results.
The amazing accuracy of the cards may have something to do with the fact that ancient, esoteric knowledge is woven into their imagery.
For example, all of the planets traditionally used in astrology, the days of the week, numerology and archetypes can be found. And, one of the most powerful elements in the tarot, is the incorporation of the Hebrew Qabala and the Tree of Life.
Even if the reader does not fully comprehend all of this - and no one possibly could really understand it all - the influence of these things is present in the cards.
These elements represent innumerable possibilities and potential opportunities or points of resistance in various aspects of life that matter to people: Career, inter-personal relationships, money, success, romance and so on.
The tarot can shine a light on potential opportunities or problems by helping you tap into these same archetypal and symbolic representations that exist in your own subconscious. Reading the tarot means being able to interpret these symbols and relate them to something tangible or intangible in the life of an individual.
One of the main reasons people go for a tarot reading is to get an overview of a situation. They want all the information they can get, so they can select an appropriate course of action for themselves.
The tarot shows us possibilities. It reveals that some elements in the future are fixed, others are changeable. Many are in the hands of others and their own exercise of free will.
We cannot control everything in our lives because we cannot control the attitudes and actions of other people - at least, not easily. But, we can be prepared for the future, for both it's opportunities and its possible perils.