When people ask me how long it took for me to start reading tarot professionally (seven years), I always preface my answer with this:
There is no one timeline or linear path with tarot. It is an ongoing journey where you can always be learning.
Some people take less time than I did. Some take more. There is no right or wrong, and no perfect amount of time to measure your own progress against.
But there are things that held me back along the way that I do believe slowed me down. Not that I was in a rush, but if I could have gotten better a little bit faster, I would have taken that option in a heartbeat.
Some of the things that I got stuck on were:
Mistake #1: Confusing complexity for potency in a tarot reading.
You don’t need to layer your readings with a bunch of techniques – reversals, astrology, numerology, significators, etc.
Solution: Don’t second-guess yourself if a reading feels clear and direct. All you need to do when you read tarot is read the cards in front of you. Sometimes too many techniques just get in the way of the answer.
Mistake #2: Getting stuck on the same meanings for certain cards – and not knowing how to read them in a different context.
Solution: One thing that every tarot reader needs to know how to do is to make tarot interpretations relevant to any position or question. Which isn’t always easy to do if you’re used to seeing the Death card transformation, or the Tower as upheaval. Taking a wider view of each card creates flexibility and fluidity in your readings – and allows for much more nuanced interpretations.
Mistake #3. Striving for perfection every time.
Learning tarot isn’t always easy, and there can be a lot of subtlety to it. When you’re reading for yourself, it can be hard to maintain objectivity. When you’re reading for someone else, it can be nerve wracking if you’re worried about saying something way off base.
This is why I always stress the importance of practice, as well as surrender. Allowing yourself to make mistakes, experiment, play, and learn from everything you get right – and wrong – in your tarot readings will all add up.
Expecting yourself to be the perfect tarot reader right away (if there even is such a thing) is a lot of pressure to live up to. When you give yourself permission to develop your skills over time, bit by bit, then it frees up a lot of head and heart space for the learning that’s to come.
If these ruts sound familiar, I’ve got an invitation for you: You’ve probably already heard me talk it up already, but my fundamentals program, Tarot Foundations, gives you a structured journey through the tarot. You’ll learn how to read every card, work the elements into your readings, and more.
Plus, everyone who joins by September 27 will have access to a 12-week tarot development circle, which includes live integration sessions where we’ll have Q&A, intuitive exercises, and tarot practice.
If you’re ready for structured guidance to help you connect to tarot, I’d love to see you in Tarot Foundations.
Until next time,