I’ve recently been inspired by a tarot reader friend who has been doing big, deep-dive readings for himself each week to get a sense of what to prioritize in the days ahead.
I know it’s popular to pull a card a day, but sometimes that can feel like information overload with a lot to take in and not enough time to carry through on all of tarot’s messages.
I like the idea of a weekly tarot pull to set the tone for the week ahead. I find in general that I’m most effective and focused when I start off my week with a clear sense of my top priorities. A lot can happen in the span of a few days, but I can also waste a lot of time if I haven’t clearly identified what I need to be moving forward.
And these days, it feels like there is so much to do: I have new writing projects I want to make space for. I have my new Tarot Study Hall community to build upon. And I have been busy with the little vintage resale business my husband and I started last year.
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...
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...
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...
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...
This isn’t the first time I’ve shared thoughts on questions in tarot readings, but it’s been a while since I wrote about the subject.
And recently, I’ve had some good conversations with tarot clients and peers about the types of questions we can explore together. It’s been inspiring me to ruminate further, and to expand upon the topic.
Asking the right questions is something that, in my opinion, takes time to refine. And that doesn’t just extend to tarot readings.
The questions you ask yourself when you’re making a decision can help or hinder your path to clarity.
The questions you ask when you’re talking with other people can influence the quality of your connections to those around you.
The questions that pop into your head throughout the day can sway your future actions: “What if I did this? What if I try that?”
And of course, all of these questions can lead us in one way or another depending on how we approach them....
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...
I have a general rule I follow when I’m online:
I don’t argue with strangers.
Not that I don’t argue with friends or acquaintances, either. I know better on all fronts that social media doesn’t often lead to good things when people are in disagreement.
This isn’t to say I’m against dialogue. It’s just that quite often, when I see people arguing, they’re spending more time trying to change each other’s minds than they are trying to understand each other’s perspective.
I find the same thing happens in the tarot community. When I first started connecting with other tarot readers, I joined some Facebook groups to meet other readers and have a dedicated space to share about tarot.
But after a while, I started to feel like those groups were counterproductive to what I was seeking. So often, posts devolved into virtual shouting matches, just like so many other experiences on social media.
And very often, the arguments that I...
When I was first learning tarot, I used to look down at my cards and feel completely lost as to what to focus on first.
I kept hearing that tarot was full of rich symbolism, but I was taking that advice a little too far.
I’d look at the number of clouds in the background of a tarot card and wonder, “Do those have numerological significance?”
Or I’d look at the colour of clothes a figure was wearing and wonder if I should take up colour theory and psychology to be able to fully understand tarot.
The problem was that by taking such a granular approach to my cards, I was overwhelming myself with details. I couldn’t see the full story of a card because I was so distracted by the little things instead.
And often, these were things that didn’t add to the insight or overall message I was looking for.
I wish someone had told me back then that not every symbol or detail had to count in every reading.
Sometimes, there are certain details in a card that...
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