One of my most unpopular tarot opinions is that intuition is not enough to be a tarot reader.
I know that goes against so much of the common advice out there when it comes to tarot reading:
“Just trust in the messages that come to you.”
“Go with your first impression.”
“Listen to your instincts.”
And yes, self-trust is an important component of being a tarot reader: You need to be able to get to a point where you feel confident enough to rely on your abilities as a card reader.
But intuition alone isn’t the only thing tarot readers need to develop if they want to read for others. Whether you are working with paid querents or working up to that by doing practice readings on friends and acquaintances, there are a lot of other soft skills that can make or break the experience for you and your querents.
Here are three essential soft skills to develop as a tarot reader (alongside your intuition, of course):
Listening: Listening seems...
Do you feel like your tarot readings are “chunky,” moving from one card to another rather than synthesizing the full story?
If you do, you’re not alone: It’s a common thing to get stuck on. There is a learning curve to tarot, and this is one of the bends that can take some time to move through.
The way a lot of us learn tarot is so focused on one card at a time. We learn that this card means this, that card means that. And when it comes time to put together a reading, we pull out a series of cards and try to add them together, only to realize our readings feel like they’re missing something.
How do you start to summarize what’s in front of you?
How do you start to see the bigger picture of your tarot readings?
How do you stop sounding clunky in your delivery, and start articulating your readings in a way that sounds seamless and unique?
Part of it starts with a willingness to try: To challenge yourself to push your readings to...
When people talk about learning tarot, the word “overwhelming” commonly comes up.
Maybe you have sat with one or more of these questions over time:
One of the things I’ve realized is that there is a difference between what we think we need to be...
Have you ever had a really good tarot reading?
I’m assuming that since you’re reading my tarot blog, you’ve probably had some kind of tarot reading before – either from another reader, or one you did for yourself.
If you’ve received a reading from someone else before and you loved it, what was it that made it so good?
I’ve had many readings over the years, some better than others.
Some of those readings have been predictive. Some of them were oriented to the present.
Some were introspective and decision based. Others channeled messages from Spirit.
It’s not the approach alone that makes for a good reading, though. Interesting predictions can be exciting to hear. Accuracy and resonance counts for something, too.
But in my experience, what good readings have in common with each other is specificity.
A good reading should feel personal to the querent. It should hit on some kind of specific truth, or a personal dream or desire that is aching to...
In my previous post, I talked about working with questions in tarot, and the importance of understanding your intention and focus when posing questions.
But what do you when you are reading tarot for someone who doesn’t have a question?
Or, what if you just want to perform a reading for yourself, but you’re not sure what you want to know? I think every tarot reader can relate to feeling called to sit with your cards without knowing why.
The idea of pulling a few cards “just to see what comes up” is a beautiful one – until it comes time to interpret those cards. That’s when things can start to feel murky.
You might have already heard me say that tarot cards can mean anything, everything, and nothing at all.
Questions help to give shape and context to what we see in those cards. A certain symbol might have a lot of weight in a love reading but might not even be considered in a career context.
Questions essentially give your cards a job to do once...
You might have noticed that I’ve started a new online tarot community, Tarot Study Hall, to build connection and conversation around the art of tarot reading.
One of the things I’m encouraging Study Hall members to do is set goals for their tarot practices.
But why? What’s the point?
It feels so linear to set a goal: You see where you want to be in the future, and you start working towards it.
Goal setting makes sense in so many areas of our lives. People set goals for their careers, their finances, their health, and more.
But when it comes to goal setting and tarot, it can feel counter to what tarot is all about: Why not just let your intuition guide you on your journey? Why not just feel it out intuitively and organically?
Letting inspiration guide you can certainly be part of the tarot journey. But structure can help a lot, too. Especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to learn about tarot, or you’ve been studying for a while...
A common learning curve that tarot readers share is figuring out how to synthesize the information in their readings.
So many of us learn how to read tarot card by card. A popular piece of advice is to pull a card a day as a way to study each card organically. This can be a useful practice, and one that breaks down what can be an overwhelming 78-card deck into bite-sized actions.
But where card-a-day practitioners end up getting stuck is when they want to transition into bigger readings. That’s where they start to feel unsure about how to combine cards, or find the patterns between them.
Similarly, when we’re relying on guidebooks to build our interpretations, multi-card spreads can end up feeling clunky as we work through them one card at a time.
This can also happen when we’re not sure how many details to work into a reading. Confusing complexity for potency in tarot reading can become a huge block for readers.
You don’t need to layer your readings with a...
“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...
Since opening the doors to Tarot Study Hall, I’ve had a number of people reach out with questions about what it is, and – most importantly – whether it’s the right place for them to be.
Tarot Study Hall is not another online course: It’s an ongoing immersion into the art of tarot reading. It’s a place where you’re able to implement what you’re learning about tarot. It’s a place to ask questions and find mentorship and guidance that will help you grow.
One of my former students, Elle, first came to me for mentorship a few years ago. Elle was spending upwards of two hours a day studying tarot. She would binge every tarot podcast she could find and loved collecting tarot decks.
But for all the time she was spending with her cards, she never felt like she was getting any further as a tarot reader. As a result, all those beautiful decks Elle was collecting felt like they were taunting her. “I feel so guilty...
One of the main things I focus on when I’m reading and teaching tarot is the importance of the question:
What is the goal or the intention of the reading?
Early on, I was always taught to read tarot using spreads. So many guidebooks I came across recommended three-card spreads – such as past, present, future – or larger spreads like the Celtic Cross.
And as social media became a more common place for tarot lovers to share their passion for card reading, it’s easier than ever to access hundreds, if not thousands, of tarot spreads at this time, for all kinds of topics.
But when I started reading tarot for others, I often found tarot spreads to be too confining for the flow of conversation that often unfolded. For all of the spreads I’d studied, I didn’t feel adequately prepared for the wide range of questions that querents would pose.
The problem with spreads is that if you’re reading on a specific question, then the spread your using has to...
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