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The Tarot Card Reading Guide You've Always Wanted

If you've ever attempted to read your own tarot cards, you know it can get super complicated, super quickly.

But the fact is, it really doesn't have to be a huge ordeal.

No matter what type of deck you choose to use, and no matter what spread, the outcome is always the same: You receive answers to the questions you have about yourself, a situation, or a possible outcome.

First, choose your deck.

Don't be silly; you don't choose a deck. A deck chooses you.

Walk into a store that smells like incense and let your heart lead the way.

Close your eyes and run your fingers over the decks like you're touching old, dusty, leather-bound books in a whimsical indie movie.

Or just pick the deck with pictures you like the most. If you're a child of the '90s, get yourself a Lisa Frank Tarot Deck and remember the joys of your youth.

If you're not into those options, go for the lowest price tag and call it a day.

Go home and get spiritual AF.

You've got your cards already, which basically makes you as qualified as a storefront psychic, so you might as well be a professional seer.

But before you sit down to gaze into the future, you have to center yourself.

I hate sitting still as much as the next person, but one thing all enlightened people have in common is they can sit still a lot longer than the rest of us. So it has to be good for you.

Find a quiet space without distractions, place your deck in front of you, and quiet your mind for a few moments. Take deep breaths and just relax.

Ask a question and shuffle up.

What do you want to know? Any question you have is fine, whether it's about personal relationships, whether or not you should get a dog, or even which major you should pick in college.

Think about your question while you shuffle the cards and allow your thoughts to ruminate on it.

Whenever it feels right, just set the deck down in front of you.

Oh, and don't overthink that last part. You don't need to wait for a sign from God or anything; just set it down whenever you feel ready.

Start your engines and pull a card.

There are a lot of different card layouts, or "spreads," you can use for a tarot reading, but for the purposes of this beginner's guide, let's keep it simple with a three-card spread.

In a three-card spread, the first card you pull represents yourself, the second represents the situation you're asking about, and the third card represents any obstacles toward getting what you want.

Once you've finished shuffling, you can cut the deck in half, place the top half to the left, and pull your cards from the top of the pile on the right.

Or, you can leave it as is, pulling cards from the top. Dealer's choice.

Pull the first card, but before you pull the second or the third, take a minute to reflect on that first draw.

Write down your first impression of the card. Does it make you feel excited? Does it look ominous to you? Does it make you think of something else, or remind you of anything from your past? Write it all down.

Also, pay attention to any bodily messages you receive when you see the card. Does the card make your stomach turn or give you butterflies? Do your hands tingle? Do your knees start to feel like they're weak?

Just scan your body and notice what's going on, without judging it or feeling the need to make anything up if nothing is going on.

Next, take notice of what's going on in this tarot card. Are people communicating or struggling? Is there a lot of movement or stillness? This one factor can often indicate the issue you are dealing with and its solutions.

Once you've gotten all this down, write down what you think it means.

Repeat this process with the second and third cards you draw.

Closing the reading.

While this is not the same as an expert tarot card reading, it does allow you to develop an intuitive understanding of the cards and build a relationship with the meaning behind them.

Once you've done that, you can look up the actual card meanings either online or in the booklet that came with the deck. It's always fun to compare and see how closely your intuition matches the written explanation of the card's meaning.

Journal about any impressions you had from your reading, and write down everything you liked or anything you felt was off.

Remember that, sometimes, the cards will give you an answer to a question you didn't even know you'd asked, and it won't make sense to you until later on.

Good luck, and may your psychic intuition guide you.