Five things you need know if you want to read tarot

“I want to learn tarot. Where should I start?”

The truth is, we are living in the best time to learn tarot. There is no shortage of online content to browse through, and tarot books and decks are being published at a rapid rate.

Compare this to when I first got into tarot in the 1990s, when there was a slim New Age section at my local bookstore and less than a handful of tarot decks and books to choose from.

But with the choices you have today also comes analysis paralysis:

Where is the best place to start?
Which tarot techniques should you learn first?
Which lessons should you prioritize?
How do you know when to listen to your intuition about tarot, and when to listen to a teacher?

Learning tarot can be overwhelming at first. There’s so much information to take in, and so many different sources, that you might not always be sure who to listen to or what’s most important.

When you’re new to tarot, it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed by where to start. Like anything, it is a learning process.

Here are five things that I recommend every new tarot reader should do to get going:

1. Learn the history of tarot.

I can’t tell you how important this is. When we first get a tarot deck, it’s totally normal to flip through every card and start learning how to read them right away.

But where do they come from? What do their images represent? Why were they designed the way they were?

A lot of mythology has been built up around tarot over centuries, and it’s important to know the truth about its origins and its intentions. It will make your readings that much stronger when you understand how the cards evolved over time.

You don’t have to put off your tarot practice just to become a history buff, but at least get to know the story behind the tool you are working with.

2. Set an intention to follow-through

Learning tarot is a commitment. Taking time to learn, study and absorb information about tarot is just as important as making time to practice with the cards.

It won’t all come together instantly. If you’re serious about learning tarot and it’s something you want to be good at, promise yourself to follow through on what you’ve started.

3. Start with a classic tarot deck.

There are so many beautiful tarot decks available these days. It’s hard to resist their intricate artwork and brilliant designs.

But not all tarot decks are created equal. And not all artists design their decks through the eye of a tarot reader.

Which is why I recommend learning to read the Rider-Waite-Smith first. Even though the RWS was not the first tarot deck on the market, it is the deck that set the tone for what we see in many modern decks now.

It is also the deck that so many tarot resources have based their meanings off of.

Knowing the Rider-Waite-Smith will really help you build a foundation for your practice.

4. Practice patience  

Patience is such an important part of this process.

Tarot takes a long time to learn, like many things in life.

The cards might not speak to you right away, no matter how strongly you feel called to work with them.

That’s okay.

There is always something new to learn with tarot. As soon as you think you’ve mastered it, it will peel back a whole other layer.

Stay committed, but don’t rush through it. Part of the journey is in learning how to wait.

5. Learn to look.

Tarot is a visual tool. There is so much emphasis on learning the meanings of the cards that it’s easy to forget sometimes that the answers are often in the images.

Simply allowing yourself to see the image, the action it’s taking, the energy it might suggest, and what kind of story it seems to be showing is enough.

Learn to trust in what you’re seeing. It’s equivalent to learning to trust in what you’re feeling. And isn’t that why we learn tarot in the first place?

Are you ready to commit to learning tarot? Get on the waitlist for my upcoming Tarot Foundations course and start receiving exclusive tarot tips. Sign up here.