Why one tarot card isn’t always enough

One of the most common questions I get asked in my tarot classes is, “Should I be pulling a card a day for practice?”

I don’t assign daily draws and sometimes that makes people nervous. The practice has become so common that a lot of newer readers are under the impression that it’s a universal habit.

This isn’t to say I’m against daily draws entirely. I, too, was given the advice to pull one card a day, and did for a good long time when I was first learning tarot. I still have journals that I kept from that period, where I would record my daily card and the thoughts and ideas it inspired within me.

But I also came to see tarot differently as time went on. Which is what happens when you do tarot over a long stretch of time. Your relationship to it changes. You start to see new angles to it. And sometimes your old ways of doing things no longer fit the way they used to.

One of the biggest shifts for me came when I stopped looking at my tarot deck as a collection of 78 individual cards, and instead started to look at it as one whole piece.

When I started to gain a deeper appreciation of the way cards interact with each other in a reading, I started to realize how much more information I can get from tarot when cards are working together.

Looking at one card in isolation doesn’t provide any interplay between symbols or elements, and doesn’t give any opportunity to look for patterns or contradictions that can help provide a deeper answer to a question.

I also started to feel that relying on one card put a lot of pressure on a single tarot image or archetype. This is why some spreads can feel like they only scratch the surface, especially if their positions create limiting contexts. Pulling just a single card at a time, or reading one card at a time in a bigger reading, doesn’t always feel satisfying because it doesn’t pull you deeper into the answer.

This isn’t to say that single card pulls can’t be helpful, or don’t have a time and place.

But it’s why I’m hesitant to assign daily draws as regular practice: I’d rather see you learn on three-card pulls so that you can see the interplay between cards.

It’s also why I’m not a big fan of pulling just one card when querents have questions. Sometimes, clients try to rush me at the end of a session in the hopes of asking “one last question,” even though we’re out of time. “Can you just pull one card?” they want to know, but it will feel as rushed as the moment itself:

Trying to squeeze one quick answer out of one card can feel like peeking into a film screening for a moment and telling everyone later that you watched the entire film.

A daily draw is great for pure practice if you want to give yourself a single card to study, learn about, and focus on for the day. To just look, rather than interpret. But if you are really trying to go further with tarot, and to see how cards work together to tell a story, then at some point you’ll need to start laying more cards down.

Studying just one at a time leaves out so many other perspectives.

If you’re interested in learning more about reading cards in combination so that you can use tarot as an intuitive language, you might be interested in Tarot Foundations Live.

Registration closes September 21. Learn more here.

Until next time,



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