An Introduction to Tarot
A year ago
The best way to start reading tarot cards is to do just that, start! Don't be afraid to jump in and give it a try. After all, what's the worst that could happen? Once you get going here are some guidelines for how to proceed.
Create the Space
When you are ready to do a reading, set up an intentional space. Light candles and incense, set up an altar, or design a space that helps you connect to your spirituality and intuition. Begin the reading with a breathing meditation and a grounding exercise.
Ponder the Questions
Once you feel centered and aware, form the questions you would like to ask for your reading. Avoid asking yes or no questions, and try one of the following questions if you’re unsure where to start try these to get your ideas flowing:
'What will support me through this situation?’
‘What have I been ignoring in this situation?’
‘Where is an opportunity for growth in this situation?’
Instead of centering your questions around other people, try to focus on yourself and actions you can take. Since you can only control yourself and your own actions, , your readings will be most beneficial if you ask for answers that you can directly act on.
Once you have your question in mind, focus on it. Lay the cards out before you, or shuffle through them in your hands. Focus on the energy of the cards, and scan your hands over them. Draw cards as your intuition directs. You may feel a tingling in your hands, whisper in your ear, or an image may appear in your mind’s eye. It takes time to cultivate this practice, but spending time with your deck and practicing often will help.
Pull as many cards as you think you should, but start with 1-3 cards for something easier to read. Lay them in front of you. Spend time looking at them, holding them. If you pulled them as a group, look at them together, then separately. How do these inform the question you posed?
Consider the Spread
If any cards are positioned upside-down, do not rearrange them. Reversed cards mean that the energy or meaning of that card is being blocked or ignored in your life. For example, if you pull a card whose meaning is ‘beginning new creative projects,’ the inverse of that card would be ‘your ability to begin new creative projects is being blocked’ or ‘you’re ignoring your potential to begin a new creative project right now.’
Be Your Own Guide
If you want to challenge yourself, ditch the instruction books that come with your deck. While they are informative, and often very beautiful, use them as a reference after you have finished your reading. Using books that tell you what each card means robs you of the ability to grow your intuition and cultivate your own self-trust. Instead, look at the colors, shapes, and the postures of the figures on the cards, and decipher what they mean to you.
This can be very scary at first, to read without any book for guidance, but relax back into meditation and allow yourself the love and safety to interpret without judgement. You may call on your inner-child or creative self for help with this process.
Take photographs of your spreads and keep a tarot journal to note what questions you asked and how you interpreted the cards. Sometimes when you struggle to verbally read cards, it can come out more easily on paper. Keep track of your readings over time to help cultivate a relationship with your tarot divination practice.
A great way to cultivate your tarot practice is to keep your deck with you, or keep it in a sacred space. Wrapping your cards in cloth, housing them in a special tarot card box, or keeping them with charged crystals can help you connect with them over time.
Find Your Path
Across cultures, there are many subtleties in how tarot is read, so allow yourself to develop a practice that resonates for you. Be creative, and let go of the idea that there is a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ way to read tarot. The joy of reading tarot comes from the ability to trust your intuition, trust your readings, and create a narrative in your readings that you specialize in. Anyone can pull cards and read the definitions from a book—only you can bring your own perspectives and specialties to a reading, so cast your self-doubt aside and pull a card!
Nicole Marino of Positively Mystic creates wooden hand-designed spiritual and magic tools for divination, scrying and ritual and is the artist behind the Tarot Card Holder in our Lemurian Love box Learn more about her business’s offerings on their Etsy & Website.
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