Tarot card reading isn’t a complicated affair, but it takes a lot of practice and a sharp intuition to truly divine the meanings found in the cards. The movies make it look so simple, don’t they?
The very first step is getting a deck that speaks to you, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sometimes it’s just about getting artwork you like. Sometimes it’s more than that. It’s not that uncommon to find a deck with spectacular artwork you love, and yet it just sits in your hands like a dud. When shopping for cards, find a place that allows you to open a deck and actually rifle through cards. The one card on the outside of the box just isn’t enough.
Pick a few cards, and think about their meanings. Do the images just yell out to you with a clear interpretation, or do you find yourself scratching your head as you look at them? This is the key.
And if you are more experienced at Tarot card reading, then don’t be surprised if your needs change over the years when it comes to your decks. The deck you start with may not cut it after a while. That’s part of the Tarot journey.
Reading Tarot cards isn’t just one precise method. There are really lots of ways you can use the cards for divination or spiritual guidance. Once you get the basics down, you can always branch out with new techniques and new spreads that suit your personality.
Even so, you have to start somewhere. The basic approach for Tarot card reading is to shuffle the cards while you focus your thoughts on a question or situation. Then you lay out the cards in what is called a spread or a layout. From there, you can examine each card and piece together your answer from the cards themselves as well as their positions in the layout. So it’s not enough to learn the meanings of all 78 cards, but also how those meanings translate in the various positions of a Tarot spread.
The most well-known spread is probably the Celtic Cross, with 10 cards in a cross and staff design. Though common, it’s not exactly a simple place to start. Card positions represent things like external influences, personal hopes and your underlying subconscious. It can be a tough one, though it will give you a thorough picture of your situation once you’re through.
Want a less scary place to start? Try a 3 card spread that just shows you the past, present and future of a problem. Shuffle and pull three cards. They’ll show you a relevant piece of the past that will help you know, an important aspect of the present, and the final outcome in the future.
You have a deck, and you know a few spreads. You’re off to a good start with your Tarot card reading but have you thoroughly learned the entire deck? There is nothing wrong with have a guidebook or cheat sheet on hand as you are starting out but to really engage your own inner intuition, the cards should be learned by heart.
Rote memorization is one approach, but it can be daunting (and a little boring). Try to see the “why” behind each meaning by making associations with the symbols on the card. Little mnemonic tricks can really make this much smoother for you.
For example, one of the features of the Fool card is that there may be a friend or acquaintance trying to warn you about a possible downfall. But that’s easy to remember when you look at the dog chasing the man in the card. Just remember that the dog is trying to give a warning to the Fool. Depending on the deck, each card will have these kinds of small symbols to help you remember all the interpretations bits and pieces.
Another popular trick is to tackle one card in depth at a time, even going so far as to meditate on the images or sleeping with the card under your pillow.
Tarot card reading isn’t really difficult but it can take some dedication to really master the detailed meanings behind the classic archetypes of the cards. Spend some time with your deck, and you’ll be reading Tarot cards in no time.