Tarot for Beginners
My first experience with tarot was when I was six years old. I loved to watch my mother pulling cards from her Rider-Waite deck (I use this same deck my mother used for my readings now). I remember asking her what the cards did and why she was using them. She explained she would use the cards when she needed an answer, her specific instructions were to “never ask too much, always be respectful of the cards and listen to the honesty of their message”. Those words always stayed with me.
I recall in my teens as I became more and more fascinated with all things mystical, I would pull cards daily. This was before I knew how to channel. I recall my mother grabbing the cards and saying, “You’re asking too much”. Now as a full-time reader, I understand what my mother was saying, the relationship you have with the cards must be one of integrity and mutual respect. By over asking a question you are manipulating the cards' message.
Tarot cards are there for us to give us guidance and to make us look into ourselves and meditate about what is happening in our personal orbit regarding love, money, career, goals, and our general life path. Every tarot deck usually comes with a guidebook to help to learn tarot, although there is no single right way to read and interpret cards. It’s about tapping into your own intuition and learning from your own experience.
The cards truly do have a mind and soul of their own and they usually will not answer if you don’t listen.
I read tarot using my own unique approach, I never put a limit to how many cards I use. In my sessions, I use channeling whilst pulling cards. These days when working with tarot it often feels like an out of body experience for me. After my reading, I usually have no recollection of what cards I pulled or what I said during the session. I do not follow any learned spreads, rather I organically pull cards under Spirit's and my guides instruction.
Allow the Cards to Choose
In the beginning stages of learning the craft, I would follow learned spreads and it was most certainly a wonderful way to begin working with the medium and building my knowledge within a framework. Moving into an advanced relationship with the cards, I implicitly learned to trust myself as a reader and chose not to follow any law or rule book surrounding spreads but rather intently listening to myself and source to a degree that I hadn’t in my earlier practice. You will know once you have arrived at that place with the cards as it is a freeing feeling.
My advice: Follow the rules when building trust with the cards, and once you have built a solid foundation, then start reading using your own spreads and your own rules.
Do not be afraid to see or hear the Truth. I understand the meaning behind the story of the cards is subjective to a large degree but the once the cards are connected with the higher power your interpretation must come from a non-egotistic space and that is always where you want to be when connecting with tarot.
Here are some important guidelines when using tarot:
Respect the Story of the Cards
Tarot isn’t a one size fits all type principle, everyone has a different style of reading and a different reason for calling on the cards. The most important aspect of working with tarot is working within the framework of the story the cards are unfolding. If you are looking for a simple Yes or No answer it is best to use a Pendulum. Anything beyond that tarot is a longer, broader and more expansive tool.
Opening Prayer/Closing Prayer
You are connecting to a spiritual portal when working with tarot, please respect this process and great spirit, saying a prayer of intent and protection before working within this realm is advised. Prayer work helps to seal the energy at the end of session ensuring you don’t continue the energy of the cards after the session.
Don’t Get Caught Up on Meaning, Explore Feeling
The best way to learn tarot is through practice. The best readers I know are all self-taught. While it is imperative to understand the meaning of the cards, try not to break up the organic energy and feeling of the reading with constantly referring to materials of the resource. Trust your inner connection and dialogue with the cards and explore the feelings when certain cards arise. It is important for any reader to have built a relationship with the tarot from the heart and the emotional connection to the cards is key to the sincerity of the reading.
The cards will respect you if you respect them.
Don’t Associate Ego With Tarot
Tarot is a truth-telling tool, it is not there to tell you what you want to hear, it is a direct source from spirit and is essentially the connector between you and source. Too many people overpull or look for forwarding insight when they have their answer directly in front of them. For example: you think Tony is a great guy and want to date him again, you keep pulling a series of cards that would indicate to think twice before entering a connection but you continue to pull until you see the answer your ego wants. This is definitely not the way to do tarot.
Know when to walk away from the cards and always listen to what they are saying without your own ego controlling the reading.
Don’t Overshuffle or Bang the Cards
Banging cards breaks the direct connection with Source, I highly discourage that form of handling the cards. Most readers have their own unique way of shuffling and cutting the deck. My personal way is to shuffle until I feel it is right to cut and then I will cut into three decks choosing just one deck to focus on. If I am doing an in-person session I will always have the client shuffle and cut the deck into three, putting their own energy on the cards. I don’t particularly like to shuffle tarot like playing cards in a casino, rather I keep the shuffle loose and with fluid energy rather than banging them, bending them or being rough with them.
Don’t Forget to Cleanse Your Deck
I discourage cleansing your deck too much, but once in awhile, it’s good to have a reset of energy on the cards. A great way of cleansing the cards is to place a crystal of your choice on top of them and have them charge in the moonlight on a plate of salt. The salt cleanses any energy on the cards but the crystal acts as a life force putting back into the cards, think of this process as an energy circuit. I like to use Spirit quartz crystal in my clearing of the cards, if I don’t wish to do a full salt cleanse I use a fresh, unused bundle of sage and wrap the smoke around and in between each card, always remember to not reburn sage but dispose of it after the cleanse.
There Is No Need to Compare Yourself
What the “High Priestess” and card combination means for you, may not resonate for another. Essentially, whilst there are set meanings behind the cards, the meanings and how you interpret the story is completely subjective. Don’t get caught up in how others see but rather trust your own vision and connection with spirit and the impact your readings will have for yourself or others will be beyond your comprehension. This is a personal and safe space connection with the cards you are building not one where competitive aspects are welcome or needed. We are all students of life and spirit.
Create a Comfortable Reading Space
Get comfortable when using the cards, you may want to light some incense, a candle, make sure your back is supported when using the cards and that you feel comfortable within the environment you are reading from.
Enjoy the work and enjoy the process, it’s the journey of working with tarot that is most rewarding rather than the end result of a reading. Tarot encourages us all to be in connection with ourselves to a much closer degree and to build the bridge of connection to source and our guides. Give thanks to the cards and they will richly return the gratitude back. The tarot is an energy source that is infinitely within you.