You don't have to be psychic to use Tarot cards. You do need, however, to be in tune with your intuition. Our intuitions are our natural ability to instinctively sense things in the world around us. Intuition has nothing to do with our cognitive abilities. It is a gut feeling we get regardless of the logistics of a particular situation. Intuition lets us know when something is wrong when all appears right. For example, there are times when we may meet someone who appears wonderful to everyone but we still may feel something is not right with that person. We may not be able to put our finger on it but we know something isn't quite as it should be. That is our intuition warning us. What happens in a case like this is that although we will act friendly outwardly inwardly we are guarded because of the feeling we have on a gut level.
Being psychic now is a little different. Psychic ability is one in which one's senses go beyond the normal range of perception. It is considered a gift of sorts. Different people who are considered “psychic” may actually have a specific type of gift. Some of the ways this gift of being psychic can manifest is in being able to see things beyond the normal vision. Some can hear beyond normal hearing and some can channel into the spiritual realm. These are not the only ways to be psychic, these are simply some of the more obvious forms it takes. However, just like intuition, a person who is psychic can innately use their gift without having to think about it consciously.
To be an effective reader one does not have to be psychic per say but should be attuned to their intuition. The more we use our intuition in regards to interpreting the tarot the stronger it becomes. It's like anything else. The more you do something, like using your intuition in this case, the better you become. Tarot cards are tools with which to focus our intuitive senses on. We also use our intuition to focus on the person being read to get an accurate picture of what is going on in that person's life.
Some people are naturally intuitive and even psychic while others have to work a little harder to get the same sense of what's going on. When you buy a box of tarot cards they are not “magic” in and of themselves. It's the reader's energy that is imparted into the cards that makes them effective for the reader. The person's connection to the symbolism on the cards is what creates the magic. It is the symbolism that opens the person's intuition in relation to the card. This is because each picture creates a feeling in the person that is in turn interpreted based on the person's feeling and applied to a reading.