Uncertainty sends a lot of people to their local tarot readers, or inspires them to pick up the cards themselves.
Sometimes the reasons for that uncertainty are obvious. Someone might be in a precarious situation at work. Or has just gone through some personal upheaval and they’re looking for reassurance that everything will be okay.
Other times, though, uncertainty is driven by our inner selves, rather than external factors. Our culture is so fixated on self-improvement and striving towards (an often vague notion of) potential that it sometimes causes us to live too far in the future.
This kind of thinking gets us so focused on what’s next that we’re not always connected to where we’ve landed, or whether we’re happy with who and what we are in this very moment.
We hear encouraging words to strive for more, to change for the better, to edit out our messes and flaws.
But – and this is a big BUT… it’s important to remember that not...
My tarot students often hear me say this:
It’s the best time ever to learn tarot. It’s so much easier to find information about tarot these days than when I was first introduced to the cards.
There’s an endless assortment of YouTube channels, tarot blogs, tarot websites, and more. And the number of books being published on tarot each year right now is incredible.
And of course, there are a lot of tarot readers sharing tips on social media as well.
But like anything else, not all information is created equal. Just because someone has a big social media following doesn’t necessarily mean the information they’re sharing is accurate.
Even though we have a wealth of information at our fingertips, the popularity of influencers and accounts isn’t always based on the quality of information they share. Instead, it might be because of the way they carefully curate their feed, or the aesthetic through which they present themselves.
Context is also...
If there’s one thing that gets overlooked most when it comes to learning tarot, it’s this:
Why do you want to learn tarot?
What do you believe it will do for you?
What do you want to use it for?
What do you hope to be able to gain from the experience?
There can be any number of reasons to learn tarot. You may have several answers to each of these questions, or just one or two.
There is no right or wrong. There is no ideal reason, no purpose that is better than any other.
But to have a purpose behind learning tarot can really help you to figure out what to focus on, which classes to take, books to read, or techniques to understand.
For example: If you want to read tarot for other people, then it will for you to focus on being able to answer a wide range of questions. I always say that if you read for others, you need to be ready for anything that might come up.
Developing tarot skills that help you be flexible, adaptable, and fluid in your tarot readings is key...
When people ask me how long it took for me to start reading tarot professionally (seven years), I always preface my answer with this:
There is no one timeline or linear path with tarot. It is an ongoing journey where you can always be learning.
Some people take less time than I did. Some take more. There is no right or wrong, and no perfect amount of time to measure your own progress against.
But there are things that held me back along the way that I do believe slowed me down. Not that I was in a rush, but if I could have gotten better a little bit faster, I would have taken that option in a heartbeat.
Some of the things that I got stuck on were:
Mistake #1: Confusing complexity for potency in a tarot reading.
You don’t need to layer your readings with a bunch of techniques – reversals, astrology, numerology, significators, etc.
Solution: Don’t second-guess yourself if a reading feels clear and direct. All you need to do when you read tarot is read the cards in...
Years ago, before I was reading tarot professionally, I used to do a lot of tarot parties for friends to get practice.
I was at a café one night where a friend was having a trunk sale for a jewelry line she was selling. The room was full of my pal’s friends and family, and I didn’t know many people there.
A woman sat down for a reading with me. I laid down my cards. I saw something in them that was so specific: A story about a family inheritance.
Except that’s not what I told her.
Because what I thought I was seeing did not match the meanings of the cards that were in front of me.
I wasn’t experienced enough yet to know how to trust myself as a tarot reader.
So I played it safe.
I gave a by-the-book reading – literally – rather than talking about what I’d initially seen.
And it wasn’t exactly wrong. But it wasn’t exactly right, either.
It was generic, safe, and middle-of-the-road enough for this woman to find something...
I remember how disappointed I was when I got my first tarot deck.
I went in with big expectations. I’d always thought of myself an intuitive, perceptive person. I felt spiritual.
And I wanted that connection to something greater – be it the universe, deity, or my higher self.
I was so excited, and a little bit nervous, when I shuffled my cards and started turning them over. I wondered: What would I learn? What would I see in my reading?
I went from excited to crushed pretty quickly. As soon as my cards were laid out, I felt…nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true: I didn’t get any visions or insights because I had no idea what to make of the cards in front of me.
But I did feel a mix of disappointment, confusion, and insecurity. That insecurity was directed towards myself: What if I’m not the spiritually connected, intuitive person I thought I was?
What if I’m just not cut out for tarot?
I know that sounds dramatic, and it is. I had gone...
When I read tarot for my clients, I rarely use tarot spreads anymore.
Moving away from tarot spreads has been one of the biggest transformations in my tarot practice since I started reading full-time.
When I first started out as a professional reader, I used to put so much time and energy into my tarot spreads: I would create custom spreads for each client, based on questions and topics they sent me in advance.
I thought they were absolutely amazing.
But once those spreads were put to use, I soon realized they weren’t always as helpful as I thought they would be.
Why? Because tarot readings are conversations, and like any other dialogue, they flow in new and unexpected directions.
Which meant that once my readings started, sometimes my querents would say, “I think I have some different questions I need to explore instead.”
Inevitably, many of my big, beautiful, customized tarot spreads would go out the window in order to accommodate a more organic tarot...
When I started learning tarot, my goal was to be able to read tarot for other people.
I’d been getting all kinds of readings – palm, tarot, psychic, Akashic records – for years.
I had long been fascinated and awed by the way each reader seemed to hit on things that were so true and personal for me.
I cherished each of these experiences and wanted to be able to help others in the same way.
As soon as I could, I started reading tarot for friends and family, and eventually strangers. Over time, I built up my skills enough to feel confident charging for my readings.
When I first started my tarot business, I had certain visions of how it would all go. But I soon realized that, like many things in life, there are always surprises – and learning opportunities to grow from.
One of the things that I had to grasp was that tarot clients don’t necessarily think like tarot readers.
One of the biggest ah-a moments I had around this came up around tarot...
What does it mean to stay grounded when you’re reading tarot? (Or engaging in any other spiritual practice, for that matter.)
Like many things, the answer will depend on who you ask.
For me, groundedness can encompass many things:
Groundedness isn’t something only tarot readers should care about: It’s something everyone can benefit from cultivating in their lives.
But when you’re reading tarot for others, groundedness becomes particularly important. Because sometimes, you might have a querent who is struggling to stay present themselves. Or who needs some help discerning what’s true, and what’s not.
It’s so easy to get carried away with a...
A lot of people talk about tarot through the filter of it being a "gift." Which implies there is some kind of raw, natural talent or ability inherent within a tarot reader from birth.
While raw talent is real, I see the same way I do music, writing, art, carpentry... any kind of skill, really.
Which is that it is a skill, and even raw talent benefits from some practice, polish, and knowledge of the canon in which it resides.
When I reflect of my own path as a tarot reader, I also have to acknowledge that a lot of what it took for me to get this far with it happened through a willingness to work on myself.
People skills are a big part of tarot reading.
I've met a lot of people in this world who claim psychic ability and strong intuition, but when you sit down to talk to them they have terrible listening skills, or say things that rub the wrong way.
Being honest with yourself, keeping your ego in check, and reflecting on beliefs or behaviours that aren't serving you - or others -...