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...
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...
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...
This year I’m doing something I’ve wanted to try for a long time: I’m taking a painting class.
When I was younger I used to love drawing, crafting, and creating all kinds of things with my hands. Like many adults, I’ve let some of those interests fall to the wayside over the years and I’ve come to miss them.
There is something incredibly grounding about working with your hands.
I’ve always been interested in painting, but when I’ve tried to paint on my own, I’ve often felt out of my element.
I don’t know if I’m applying too much pressure on the brush. Or how to make an image look the way I see it in my imagination. Or which details to put on the canvas first.
Basically, I don’t know where to begin or what to focus on when I’m on my own.
I know that art can be expressive and fun, and that technique doesn’t have to matter.
But the thing is, it matters to me: I can be creative in all kinds of ways in my life....
To read reversals, or not read reversals…
That is the question – at least for a lot of tarot readers out there.
Questions about what reversals mean, and whether to read them at all, is one of the most common inquiries I hear within the tarot community.
I’ve talked before about my thoughts on reading reversals here. I did work with reversals at a previous point in my tarot practice. I do think they can be an effective technique, but that’s what I always tell people first and foremost:
Reversals are a technique, not a rule. There are different ways to read tarot cards, and as a tarot reader you will gradually develop your own style and approach that incorporates various techniques that you feel are effective. But you won’t necessarily adopt every card reading technique out there.
When I have read reversals, I have looked at them as something that isn’t quite working the way it should, or as a possibility that has yet to grow. There are other...
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...
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...
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