Recently, I’ve been trying to think about how my tarot practice evolved into what it is today in terms of the habits and beliefs I’ve built around my processes.
There are so many things that we learn about practices like tarot on our own, through trial and error, experience and reflection.
It’s not possible to learn everything from a teacher, mentor, class, or book. Our knowledge builds from so many different sources, influences, and experiences.
Here are a few things no one ever taught me about tarot, but that I learned to do along the way all the same:
1. It’s okay to take a moment to study the cards you’ve pulled before delivering any messages.
When I’m reading tarot for someone, I don’t launch into the reading the moment the cards are pulled. I always take my time to see what’s shown up, look for patterns or other interesting details, and consider the elements that are present.
Sometimes this long pause makes querents nervous,...
A common question I hear from tarot students is, “Should I be using clarification cards?”
And if so, how?
Clarification cards – or clarifiers as I like to call them – are additional cards that are pulled when the initial reading doesn’t feel like it’s giving a reader enough information.
Just describing this technique sounds benign and helpful. Why wouldn’t you want to get a little more information about a reading, right?
But talking about clarifiers is like opening a can of worms: This technique draws strong opinions on both sides of the fence about whether it’s necessary or useful.
My tarot practice has evolved over time, and I’m sure yours has too. (Or if you’re still new to tarot, trust me when I say it will – we all grow and adapt to our own ways of reading cards.)
Just as I used to use reversals, there was also a time I experimented with clarifiers.
But in the end, I found that clarifiers didn’t add much...
Tarot is an interesting tool because whatever we take into ourselves – our influences, beliefs, experiences, and knowledge – can become a new lens through which to filter the cards.
No matter how many outside ideas you learn about tarot…
No matter how many different tarot meanings you try to take in…
No matter how many different approaches you take here…
Every reading you do will go through you own point of view.
And that is something that is built through all kinds of experiences and perspectives.
Our experiences give each of us a unique vantage point from which we stand. If you read tarot, or you’re learning how, it helps to reflect on your personal advantages and how they might influence your readings, or allow you to connect with querents.
It can be influenced by different jobs you’ve had:
Work gives us all kinds of skills. Many jobs help with people skills, and if you want to read for others, then it helps to be open and...
A few people have asked me my thoughts about tarot certification programs in recent months.
This conversation can get quite heated in the tarot community.
I have shared thoughts before about certification here, and still feel the same way by and large. To sum up some of my earlier thoughts, my main reason for being wary of “certification” is that there are so many ways to read tarot, and different systems and correspondences.
While I have come to sense that tarot card meanings tend to be shared knowledge among readers, tarot techniques stand apart from that – and are not universal.
Some readers will swear by the esoteric correspondences of the Golden Dawn and teach that you must use astrology, Kabbalah and more to truly read tarot.
Others, like myself, will tell you to leave all that stuff to the side and just focus on the cards.
Some tarot readers focus on intuitive and psychic development, others don’t.
And then there’s the question of what happens...
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...
Can you learn how to read tarot by watching other readers on YouTube?
Or by picking up tips through Instagram posts?
Or by watching 30-second TikTok tutorials?
I pose the question because it’s something I’ve been sitting with a lot this year.
I’m part of the last generation that grew up without the internet. We had landlines, answering machines, cassette tapes, CD players. Barely anyone I knew had a home computer when I was in high school.
But it was becoming cool to get one, along with a Hotmail account. But people still mailed letters, applied for jobs in-person or over the phone, and – thank the gods – none of us had our adolescence documented from start to finish on social media.
When the internet was catching on, it was exciting. I loved the idea of being to talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Growing up as a teen in the suburbs made it harder for me to find information about tarot. I had to make-do with the limited resources I could get at the...
To read reversals, or not read reversals: That is the question.
At least for a lot of tarot readers out there.
It’s come up in every tarot class I’ve taught, and I often see minor dust-ups online between tarot readers about whether reading reversals matters or not.
Some might find it hard to believe that tarot has controversies, but it does.
However, I’m not of the opinion that there is a right or wrong answer here.
First, for those who aren’t familiar with reading reversals, it’s a technique that allows for reading a tarot card upside down.
This technique is deck-dependent to some extent. It can depend on the artwork of your deck.
Or on the type of deck altogether. If you’re using Tarot de Marseille, playing cards, or even oracle cards, reversals may not factor in at all.
I used to read reversals. But then I stopped.
Why? Because my tarot reading style had changed, and I got to a point where I no longer needed them. As I got more influenced by...
I was reading an interview with a celebrated occult writer last year and was surprised when he admitted that he almost only reads esoteric books.
When I’m scrolling through my social media feed, I often stop to look at posts about what people in the tarot community are reading. And usually those updates feature books about tarot, divination, spirituality, or magic.
When you’re passionate about something, you tend to gravitate towards it. And I spend my fair share of time reading about tarot, too.
Sometimes my tarot students have confessed that they feel pressured to read every single thing they can about tarot – even if it’s at the expense of making time to explore other interests or give their intellects a break by changing the topic.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with setting out to gain a substantial level of knowledge – in fact, I encourage it. Tarot, spirituality, and the occult are lifelong paths on which we are always learning....
When I ask people why they want to read tarot, the Number One reason I hear is, “I want to develop my intuition.”
So many of us want to experience trust and alignment within ourselves, and the universe. And tarot can be an amazing way to open up to that.
But there is a lot of confusion about intuition and psychic ability out there. These are concepts that we need to develop with discernment, responsibility, and groundedness if we really want to embrace them in our lives.
This goes for whether you read tarot or not – intuition is not reliant on divination.
There is no shortage of psychic advice out there in cyberspace these days. Take a scroll on Instagram and you’ll likely come across posts encouraging you to trust your psychic skills and cut off those “low-vibe” friends. Or memes that remind you that your intuition is never wrong.
But – and this a big but – the problem with that is that it’s really easy to confuse other...
“How long will it take to learn tarot?”
I often hear this question from new tarot students, and aspiring readers who want to go from beginner to pro fast.
Truthfully, there is no one answer to this. How long it takes to learn something like tarot depends on a lot of factors, such as:
What your goals are as a tarot reader;
How much time you put into learning; and
Your methods of study and practice.
I spent about 7 years studying, learning and practicing before I launched my tarot business.
To some, that might sound like an awfully long time. To others, it might not sound long at all - I know plenty of people who still consider themselves tarot beginners after studying for longer.
It's not a race and there is no definitive timeline to follow. How long it takes it relative to who you are, how you approach your tarot studies, and how proficient you become in your card reading skills.
I didn’t start out with business as an end goal, and that influenced my path - because I...