There is much truth behind jokes. The joke of the divine trickster is that he’s serious.
The tarot cards come up and are read not only for their symbolism, but for their place in the spread. Are you familiar with Egyptian cartouches or Sumerian murals? Well, the sequence of the symbols mattered as much as the symbols, and each spread has its own meaning beyond the cards. So a three card spread is laid in a line but it’s the number three and connected to the thaumaturgists triangle, the symbol that preserves balance thus the purpose of the pyramids. So when reading a series of three cards it’s based on the context of your question, but it is always circumstance, cause, and balance.
The most popular spread, at least most often seen in movies and stuff, is the Celtic cross. It’s actually based on cabalistic lore. The cross is like the Native American medicine wheel. A thumbnail sketch of the world around the seeker, and each card represents the four elements of life. The self is in the middle and the counter to self. They say we always are accompanied by our own death, so the central card is always crossed. Then to the right hand you have a pillar of cards. They are read from the bottom up. The bottom being manifest existence and the top being the raw potential being played out in that event or situation. Mulkuth to kether.
Is ‘psychic’ ability needed to give a reading? No, because in fact the forces that a psychic reads are already there. Any event is linked together with any other in a chain much like the butterfly effect in chaos theory. What makes you seek a reading makes the cards lay as they do, and likely even made you have dreams before you sought to divine in any way. So, much like the ideo motor response behind a Ouija board and planchette (which did exist well before Parker Brothers made one) and behind pendulum dowsing, is also behind spreading the cards. Even from a purely scientific view it’s still all part of one connected system. When considering the worth of tarot you have to ask yourself is the chain of cause and effect coherent and understandable? A synchronicity as Jung said or is it really an unintelligible mess filled with random events? It seems even in science it’s all or nothing, order or chaos, and I don’t see reality falling apart do you?
Now even in divination, intention is everything. You can get a nonsense reading. You have to be moved. You have to feel the call of your question to have tarot adequately reveal the answer, but many things move us. You should find someone who made a study of it, or else it’s like getting a Spanish speaking person to translate Chinese. Anyone can learn it, but they do need to have studied.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.