There are many reasons people turn to tarot reading. Feeling stuck in a rut, a bad break-up, curiosity, or maybe you’ve just stumbled on The Chilling Tales of Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Netflix this lockdown, and it has you vibing with the witch aesthetic.
Occasionally we all can crave a little touch of destiny. Whatever the reason, tarot cards can be a wonderful tool to help you build your intuition, self-confidence, spirituality, and mindfulness.
Tarot reading is not as obscure as it once was. With the development of social media platforms like Instagram and the influencer's rise, it is easy to find a tarot reader, maker, or blogger. If you search hard enough, you can even wrangle a free tarot reading online. There are thousands of books, blogs, and YouTube videos on the art of reading the cards; it can all be a little overwhelming.
The truth, there is no right way to do it, each reading is personal to you, and it involves your brand of intuition; no one can read your future quite like yourself. So, if you have found yourself with an amazon purchase on the way and a little lost when the deck arrives, we have seven top tips to help you get started:
1. Don’t be scared
A warning, people will be scared of the cards and that can be off-putting. For this reason, start reading for yourself whilst you learn how you want to do it and be open-minded. Each card has a myriad of meanings and symbols that can apply to any detail in your life.
Take a breath as the cards aren’t going to tell you you’re going to die. They are just cards. Tarot cards can be convenient: they are great for setting goals, helping with decision making, and developing mindfulness.
Think of this practice as a learning experience. There’s a lot to learn, a lot of decks to choose from, and a lot of cards within the deck. Tarot reading is very open to interpretation. If you pull a card and read meaning in the guide, but you don’t feel it's right, chances are it isn’t.
2. Find the right deck
If you’re getting started, I suggest the Rider Waite deck. It’s the most established and has the most available guides describing the symbolism of the images and their meanings. It's a great place to start. For meanings, you can buy a guide book (a lot of tarot decks come with one) or google the cards. You will find there are pages of websites and blogs to help you.
As you start to develop your skills, you can venture out into the more obscure decks! One great thing about tarot is that it has inspired many different artists to create plenty of beautifully illustrated decks to choose from.
There is a Major Arcana suit (these include cards like Death, The Empress, The Tower, and The Fool) and four Minor Arcana suits (Wands, Pentacles, Cups, and Swords). Major Arcana represents the bigger steps; if you pull one of these cards, it indicates something big in your life or future. Minor Arcana cards represent the smaller stuff.
Each of the four small suits represents a particular area of life. The suit of Pentacles, for example, points towards the material world.
3. A word a card
There are 78 cards in a deck. Each card has an intricate set of symbols and meanings, and it’s impossible to learn them all overnight. So, take it slow. Mastering tarot reading is a process, and learning to read tarot cards means you are always learning what they mean with each reading. To help break down each one, allot a word to each card. Pick a word that helps you remember the general themes in a card.
For example, The Death card indicates change, the ending or beginning of a journey and transition. Associate or write the word on the card to prompt you.
4. Ask a question
Think about why you are reading these cards. What are you hoping to get out of it? Do you have a question in mind? Do you think about your future? A person? A decision?
Concentrating and focusing on your subject will allow you to super focus on the meanings of the cards you pull. And, more importantly, how it might apply to you.
5. Start small: a card a day
Keep it simple when you’re learning and don’t head straight for the ten-card Celtic cross. One way to do it is to pull one card every morning. When you wake up, take five minutes to shuffle the deck, think about your day ahead, and pull your card.
Think about its meaning and how it might apply to you. As your day unfolds, see how connected it is! Take a picture of this card and keep it as a reminder; at the end of the week, reflect on your images and see how they applied to you.
6. Write it down
If you’re into blogging or keeping a personal journal, tarot reading can add a whole new element to your process. Writing down your daily readings along with the details of your day is a great way to see how the cards speak to you personally. This will help you remember the cards; because you can personally connect them to memories in your week and offer an insight into what your cards mean for you rather than a general interpretation.
7. Upside down vs. right side up why it matters
Each tarot card has two slightly different meanings depending on how they land right side up or upside down. Normally if the card lands upside down from you, the meaning can have a negative connotation.
The different meanings wouldn’t exist if you weren’t supposed to take notice of them, embrace the negative cards as they normally help with self-reflection, and act as more of a warning sign.
7. Have Fun!
Tarot cards are versatile and have many different meanings to different people. They can be used. However, you want to help with many different things. So remember to practice in the way you want to. Have fun with your readings and learn a little about yourself in the process!