From the outside, tarot might seem like it’s easy to learn: You get a deck of tarot cards, read along with the little white book, and away you go.
Or, you just feel your way through a reading, letting your intuition guide you.
Well, actually… there’s more to learning tarot than memorizing the card meanings you find in the little white book that comes with your tarot deck.
And while intuition can certainly influence a tarot reading, it’s not always so easy to figure out what our intuition is telling us, or how (or if) intuition even works. I’ve had many people come to my tarot workshops who admit they “don’t believe they are very intuitive” and are hoping tarot might help develop that part of themselves.
So don’t take it for granted that simply owning a tarot deck and flipping a few cards will somehow reveal an insight or answer that wasn’t available before.
If you want to read tarot…you have learn how to do that. It doesn’t usually just happen by magic.
But don’t be discouraged if you’re finding tarot to be complicated. There are so many books, courses, and blogs about tarot that it can be hard to absorb all of the information.
The kicker is that no matter how much you learn, there’s always something new: A new angle, or new interpretation to consider.
And sometimes that’s part of the struggle. There is such an emphasis on learning what the cards mean that other considerations get lost in the shuffle.
Here are some of my go-to tips that you don’t often find in the guidebooks:
Tarot card reading isn’t just about going off a feeling: Reading is actually part of the process. But instead of reading text, you’re reading images, details, and symbols that can help you gain insight into a situation.
Having attention to detail can be a helpful skill if you want to read tarot cards. But don’t limit yourself to only paying attention to what you see in the cards.
Be observant in your day-to-day life.
Do you tend to rush through emails, books, and news articles, and then end up missing important information? If so, push yourself to take your time to read things thoroughly.
Tarot requires that we become detail-oriented, and you can practice attention to detail as you move through your daily life – with or without your tarot deck.
Stretch your awareness in all directions and take time to figure things out yourself. You can be “in practice” all the time, not just when you’re sitting down with your cards.
Tarot readings often teach us about the exchange of energy in our lives. We see messages about abundance and flow, and depletion and imbalance. These threads run through our personal and professional relationships, work, self-image, and more.
Tarot can help show us the areas where we are giving more than we’re getting, or vice versa. It can show us how to have better relationships, and how to correct any mismanaged situations we’re in.
Yet many aspiring (and sometimes established) tarot readers struggle to have awareness about the boundaries in their own lives, or the consequences of their actions on others.
And that’s gone both ways: I’ve mentored other readers who struggle to say no to clients who try to take advantage of their time and energy.
But I’ve also seen and experienced plenty of instances where other tarot readers cross boundaries left and right, with me and others in the community. How? By demanding information and advice that’s private or personal, by asking for unpaid labour, and by using other people’s social media platforms to promote their own businesses.
We all have different boundaries. They aren’t always compatible with other people’s, but understanding when we need to soften or maintain a boundary, and to be aware of when we might be crossing someone else’s allow each of us to step into more integrity as readers:
3. Know what you believe in.
Do you believe we have souls? If so, what is a soul? Where does it come from, and what is its purpose here on Earth?
Do you believe in reincarnation? Angels? God? Goddess?
Do you believe in destiny, or free will?
Do you believe in psychic ability, or rational thought?
What is consciousness, and why do we have it?
These are just some questions to get you thinking about where your own beliefs sit. Tarot can be a spiritual practice, but it does not come with its own set of inherent beliefs.
As a tarot reader, it can be extremely valuable to be centered in your own beliefs, whatever they may be. This isn’t to say you have to go out and study every spiritual path there is, but it can help to know your perspectives – and it’s also important to admit that you don’t have all the answers. (None of us do.)
Especially if you decide you want to read tarot for others.
To deliver a message about karma or ancestry, for example, isn’t very helpful to another person if you don’t have the framework to put it in a deeper context for them. So while tarot guidebooks may connect certain cards to karmic influences or other belief systems, those correspondences may not work for you if you’re not sure what they mean.
Know how to explain your beliefs if they are part of your reading style.
Don’t just throw messages out there at random and then leave your sitter to puzzle through it themselves. If you want to act as a spiritual guide for others, then you will have to do the work to get there.
Until next time,
p.s. Are you ready to develop your tarot skills further? The Power of Tarot was written to help you enhance your spiritual framework, clarify your beliefs, and define your tarot process. Get it here.