Tarot and intuition seem to go hand in hand: At least that’s what a lot of us are told when we start working with the cards.
But finding the synergy between an intuitive hit and following the cards as you’ve learned them can be a steep learning curve as a tarot reader.
Maybe you’ve found yourself wondering that very thing: “When should I go with the basic meaning, and when should I go with my first impression instead?”
Sometimes what sits behind this question is the fear of getting a reading wrong by going too off track with your interpretation.
I don’t think there’s a perfect answer or pat solution to this: Sometimes, you just have to be willing to go out on a limb with your interpretation to see if it resonates. Practice, experimentation, and patience go a long way to building your relationship with the cards.
Of course, what works for me may be different for someone else – intuition has its own ways of manifesting within each of us....
When I meet someone new and they learn I’m a tarot reader, they usually get curious – but also sometimes nervous.
“When you read for someone, do you connect to their energy somehow?” They ask.
I immediately get a vision of myself as a multi-tentacled being reaching into my clients’ auric fields to tap into their current states.
Which I imagine is what some people assume happens in a tarot reading.
While that might be kind of cool, in reality I’m not a supernatural being (much to my chagrin), and I’m not tapping into anyone else’s personal, psychic spaces during a reading.
But things do get personal. It can be an uncanny experience to receive a tarot reading that seems to cut through to the heart of your very soul.
And questions about energy between reader and querent go both ways. I’ve often had students in my classes ask, “How do I make sure I’m not absorbing someone else’s energy when I read tarot for...
“Whenever I try to read my cards, I’m not sure how to tell whether my intuition is coming through, or if I’m just remembering something I read in my guidebook.”
This is a common refrain I’ve heard from aspiring tarot readers over the years.
I’ve talked about this elsewhere, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it every now and then: I think that the assumption that every tarot reading has to feel like an intense psychic download is something that ends up blocking a lot of tarot readers from connecting with their cards.
Which is unfortunate when you think about it. So many of people are called to learn tarot specifically because they want to deepen their intuition and trust themselves more.
But once you’re putting tarot into practice, there can be a disconnect between you and your cards.
Maybe the messages don’t flow as easily as you expect them to.
Or maybe you’ve careful studied the little white book that came with your deck, but...
A recurring theme I’ve been moving through this year is the connection between intuition and embodiment.
It’s something I was recently talking about in one of my tarot classes, and it’s something that’s come up through conversations and teachings I’ve had with other practitioners.
One experience that really drove it home for me was when I was studying with Mary Grisey earlier this year, in her psychic mediumship training.
When we think about intuition, channelling, or psychic experiences, there’s a tendency to assume these are things that will happen to us through “higher” or external influences. But instead, these are experiences that often start from within.
If you’re familiar with my work, you’ll know I take a practical approach to tarot and divination. I believe that readings of all kinds are an acquired skill that can be developed and improved with time, practice, and process.
But there’s also an...
One of the most common questions people have about reading tarot is, “How do I connect to the energy of the person I’m reading for?”
From my experience, there’s nothing special you need to do when you’re reading cards for someone else. Your tarot deck contains all kinds of answers and information.
Knowing how to read your cards is what’s important. You don’t need to psychically reach into your sitter for answers that are already present in a reading.
If you were doing a purely psychic reading, however, without any divinatory tools involved, the answer might be different.
But if your aim is to read cards, then that’s where your focus should be whenever you are interpreting a message.
When you are giving a reading, you don’t need to “connect” to someone else’s energy as though you’re hooking into them – all you need to is a listening ear and a willingness to communicate. Just like any other...
“How do I know if I’m using my intuition?”
This is a question many of us ask at some point in our lives. In the tarot world, the spiritual community at large, there is a lot of emphasis on intuition as a means to tune into, and tune up, your perception.
But learning to trust yourself is a life-long process, and one that can be in flux for many reasons.
I’ve met so many people over the years who felt down on themselves because they weren’t sure if they were connected to their intuition. They questioned whether they were aligned enough, or spiritual enough.
And sometimes, they questioned whether they were worthy of pursuing practices like reading tarot.
Many of us have moments when we question whether we’re seeing a situation clearly.
Sometimes you might be mulling over a tough decision and you can’t hone in on a clear answer. Other times you might miss a red flag in a situation, which causes you to doubt your perception overall.
A few years ago, a question came to sit with me:
Do we focus too much on intuitive development in tarot?
I’ve shared before about some of the misconceptions I had about tarot early on. I felt so much pressure to intuit and download messages psychically that I didn’t take proper time to sit down and actually look at my tarot cards.
Which was a big misstep, but there is so much information the tarot lays right out in front of you. And yes, reading tarot can feel like a psychic experience, as it is eerily accurate. I’ve had clients ask me, “How did you know that?” when I hit on something so specific that I couldn’t have known otherwise.
But I just tell them as I see it: It’s all in the cards.
Still, I have spent time learning about other skills. I’ve studied mediumship and channeling. I’ve gone through a lot of workbooks and classes about intuition and psychic ability.
Has it helped me as a tarot reader? It probably doesn’t...
Predictive questions are some of the most common and popular types of tarot readings.
Especially if you read tarot for friends, family or clients. Mainstream perceptions of tarot are strong when it comes to connecting tarot to fortune-telling, or future-telling.
While some tarot readers prefer to avoid predictive readings altogether, there can be a time and place for them. And personally, I’ve done a ton of predictive readings for myself and others over the years.
Even though I do believe we can shape our futures and change our directions, there is still something helpful about getting a sense of where things are headed.
But it’s not always easy to get a clear prediction, or to make sense of what we’re seeing in our cards if we’re doing a future-oriented reading.
Here are some of the guidelines I follow when I’m doing predictive readings:
1. First, whenever I talk about predictions in tarot, I’m clear that I’m not looking for things names,...
There are tons of tarot myths out there.
But don’t believe everything you hear.
Because it’s not all true. And not everything you hear about tarot is helpful, either.
You want to know which myth I wish would disappear?
The belief that tarot readings have to complicated in order to be accurate.
There is something within our human nature that likes it when things feel hard.
So we go for the really complex, multi-layered tarot spreads.
Or we search for overly complicated tarot techniques, believing that that is where the answer to life’s mysteries exists.
Life is complicated enough.
Tarot doesn’t have to be.
I truly believe – no, I know – that the most powerful tarot readings don’t come from complicated techniques or approaches.
In fact, I think that the more convoluted tarot gets, the harder it can be to get to the heart of the answer you’re seeking.
I always come back to three main principles in my card readings:
What is intuition? What does it feel like? What function does it have?
When we are asked to define intuition, to articulate where it comes from, or how it manifests, responses vary:
Some say that intuition is instinct. That it is physical, visceral. That it sometimes comes in the form of a mistake. That it can remain an undefined, unformed relationship, perhaps being a function that is always slightly out of reach.
When I’m connecting with others through a tarot reading, particularly when I’m teaching others how to use these tools, the word intuition often gets connected to the act of divining, of picking up on underlying messages or energies based on a blend of symbols, images, patterns, and archetypes.
Intuiting messages through a divinatory practice – whether you are doing predictive readings or self-reflective ones – is often a creative, interpretive process. It causes your mind to work in a different way, as you are actually reading things that...