People use tarot cards for a number of purposes: The could be seeking guidance at important turning points in life or maybe they just want a cool party trick.
Reading tarot cards can be an intimidating project.
I avoided it for years, mostly because I didn't care enough to learn. The prospect of having to memorize every single card in the tarot deck just made me look the other way.
I eventually discovered that reading tarot is a combination of intuition and memorization, that, with a little patience, can be a powerful tool to access answers I had buried deep in my unconscious.
Tarot brings out the answers to questions you actually already within you, by delivering information from your unconscious mind to your conscious awareness.
Here's how to do it:
Choose a deck.
When shopping for a tarot deck, it's important to keep an eye out for the art that speaks to you directly.
This will be important when pulling cards because the strength of your reactions to the artwork will influence both your connection to the cards and to your own intuition.
Once you've chosen a deck that speaks to you, check to see if it comes with a booklet that includes the meaning of each card in the deck.
If it does, great! If not, you can use websites like Crystal Reflections to help you navigate later.
Do not let the lack of a booklet deter you from picking the deck you want. What's most important is the strength of your connection to the cards.
Prepare to read your own tarot cards.
When you get your deck home, relax in a quiet space that makes you feel calm and centered.
Sit down for a moment with your deck in front of you and take five minutes to focus on just your breath. Allow any thoughts you have in without trying to push any of them away.
Really take in whatever comes to your mind.
You may or may not have some questions arise before you sit down, or you may have one come up during this brief meditation that you never expected.
The important thing is to breathe so you feel as relaxed and centered as possible.
Shuffle the cards.
When you have your question fully formed, reach for your deck and hold it for a minute with your eyes closed.
Ask for guidance. I don't care if you ask for it from your higher self, God, a deceased relative, the universe, or your family dog.
I don't even care if you just say, "Please give me guidance," to nobody and nothing in particular.
Then, with your question in mind, shuffle the cards until you feel the energy in them change. This is subtle, but you'll notice it if you're paying attention.
The deck itself doesn't need to change, but the cards might start to feel different in your hands. Whenever you're ready, you can stop shuffling. Don't overthink this part.
Pull the cards.
Once you've finished shuffling, you can cut the deck in half, placing the top half to the left and pull your cards from the top of the pile on the right.
You can also leave it as-is, pulling cards from the top. Use your intuition, or in laymen's terms, do whatever you want.
Pull your first card and place it in front of you.
Notice your first thought when you see the card and write down your first impression of it.
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?
Next, write down any body messages you receive when you see the card.
Does the card make your stomach turn, or give you butterflies? Do your hands tingle, or 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.
Notice 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. Then you can use the notebook that either came with the deck or the website I mentioned above to get your answers online.
Close your reading.
You can continue to pull cards until you intuitively feel ready to stop, or you can do a basic three-card reading of past, present and future.
In a three-card reading, the cards read from left to right, so the left card symbolizes the immediate past, the middle card is the present situation you are dealing with, and the future is an indication of what will occur should you take the advice given to you by the cards.
Ultimately, this is not the same as an expert tarot reading, but it's all you need to start understanding tarot and how to utilize it for your own purposes.
May your intuition guide you!