9 Tarot Cards That Aren’t as Scary as They Seem

An image with an orange background, showing three of the bad Tarot cards: the Hanged Man, the Tower, and Death.

Tarot’s Most Intimidating Cards

“Tarot’s scary!” Maybe you feel this way, or maybe you know someone who does. It’s true that all the imagery of heavy grey skies and swords sticking out of hearts can be a little unsettling. However, many seemingly bad Tarot cards don’t deserve their negative reputations. Tarot explores the sacred mystery of human life and all its many passages. That’s why it has been described as the Book of Toth, or truth. This truth extends to the good and the bad parts of existence alike, but every card in the deck — even the so-called bad Tarot cards — can be used to guide you toward a better future.

So, let’s explore the scariest cards in the deck and shed light on the ways in which they might be misunderstood.


Maybe this card should be called Renewal or Transformation instead, because that is actually exactly what the Death card indicates. Yes, to certain people out there, this may still seem like one of the bad Tarot cards, as it could mean that something important is going to end. Yet endings are the only way to enjoy new beginnings, and that is ultimately the only way for you to continue your growth. You’re ready for something better!

Change can bring expansion and opportunity. What do you need to complete in your life so you can have a fresh start?

The Tower

As far as bad Tarot cards go, there may be no other as notorious as the Tower. But what does it really mean? Well, maybe your life has suddenly been disrupted, leaving you feeling like you’ve been thrown from a tower. If so, it could feel like you’re experiencing a natural disaster! Sometimes you have to face your problems before positive change can occur. Damaging patterns of behavior can no longer be ignored. If you hang on to old structures, you’ll be swept away. That may sound pretty bad, but if you accept change, even when your conscious mind doesn’t welcome it, things could spin out in your favor!

Ten of Swords

This scary card indicates a complete ending before a new beginning. Traditional versions of this card show a person dead, face-down on the beach.  Heartache, loss, fear, and the deception and envy of other people have done you in. It may seem like it’s one of the bad Tarot cards, but it can bode well if you take it seriously. Releasing the painful patterns that have kept you locked in misfortune can help you bring about a fresh start.

The Hanged Man

Let go to find your greatest good. What does that mean? Sacrificing control can help you gain power. You might receive the Hanged Man when you feel like you’re stuck in a state of suspension and can’t get out. Letting go of your need to control everything and being patient can help you accomplish your goals and reach your highest good. See things through the lens of your intuition, and practice gratitude when it looks like nothing will budge. Hanging suspended isn’t fun, but it could produce more enlightenment and joy than you can design for yourself right now.

Nine of Wands

You’re wounded, but if you hold steady and trust that the worst will soon pass, you’ll get through it. Courage, discipline, and tenacity will bring you a breakthrough. Don’t give up — you’re gaining one of the most precious qualities a person can have: wisdom. Believe it or not, this battle is leading you toward enlightenment.

Five of Pentacles

You’ve experienced changes that have led to difficulty and loss, possibly financial in nature. However, as far as “bad Tarot cards” go, this could indicate something as simple as a hit to your self-esteem. Forces within and without you want to come to your aid. You can counteract some of the consequences you’re experiencing by asking yourself: “What led to this, and how can I ensure that it will never happen again?” Answer the question honestly.

You won’t be rescued, but you can reach out for help if you so choose. The Five of Pentacles reminds you that aid is close at hand. The light in the window promises warmth, nourishment, and friendship. Simply knock on the door for a new beginning.

Five of Wands

You may be dealing with some competition, but don’t play the victim. Jump into the fray and fight (metaphorically speaking) a little. From the perspective of Spirit, everyone is fighting to ensure the best outcome for all the people involved in this drama.

This looks like a wild street fight, but it’s actually a “play” battle between children. Just as puppies might growl, bite each other, and roll around with their siblings, everyone involved is simply honing their survival skills. Despite appearances, they’re all on the same team. The only question you should ask yourself is: “How can I win, and how can I help the others win too?”

Six of Swords

The Six of Swords gets viewed as one of the bad Tarot cards because of its symbolism. The image shows a boat with swords puncturing the bottom. Is it going to sink? No, because by being vulnerable you’re actually being strong. Sometimes, you truly can rely on others. You will be rescued, and it’s happening now!

Help is on the way. All you need to do is get in the boat. Somebody else is driving, and they know how to take you to safety. You are about to escape and land on friendlier shores.


This card often represents an authority figure, so if you don’t like authority, this can definitely seem like it’s among the bad Tarot cards. However, this card may represent an authority figure who wants to help you succeed. Even an authority figure you generally find disagreeable may support you, if only because when you get more of what you want, they get more of what they want too. Try to learn from the people around you so you can adopt their strengths and let their energy empower you. Additionally, this “bad Tarot card” can actually indicate that aligning yourself with what your spirit desires can help you attract positive authority into your life.

What Bad Tarot Cards Really Mean

To sum it all up, the truth is that there are no truly bad Tarot cards, and thus there is no reason to consider any one card “scary.” The way you respond to things outside your control is what actually determines whether you’ve gotten good or bad Tarot cards within the context of a reading. Stay aligned with Spirit and your greatest good, remain receptive to change, and create a plan of action. If you do, you can use even the scary and so-called bad Tarot cards to bring about a win.

Looking for a deeper connection to Spirit? A Tarot card reading is your answer. Tarot cards give you a direct connection to Spirit so you receive profound insights into your past, present, and future. Our Tarot card psychics interpret Spirit’s messages for you so you know what you’re getting is the unadulterated truth. Learn more about how psychic readings work backed by real testimonials, and read through our Psychic Tools & Abilities Blog for more insight on Tarot readings.

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