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5 Tarot Reading Tips

By Christine Hirlehey

So you’ve started to incorporate Tarot reading into your self-care routine, but you would like to go a bit deeper and get more out of the experience. Here are five tips to improve your Tarot reading.

1. Develop your intuition

Tarot cards are a tool to help you access your intuition, so it is your intuition, rather than your Tarot deck, that is the most crucial part of a reading. As such, developing your intuition should be your focus for improving your Tarot reading skills.

There are many different ways to define intuition, but I find it useful to think of it as information for the subconscious. Our senses, including psychic senses, gather vast amounts of data about what is happening in the world, seen and unseen. The conscious mind is unable to process all this information coherently, so it filters this information and feeds us only a small portion of this information. On the other hand, our subconscious mind can gather and process all this information. The subconscious will sometimes send important details up to us in times of need, manifesting as a gut feeling or light bulb moment.

Tarot is about actively accessing information from the subconscious mind, our intuition, to give us a better understanding of the world and make better decisions. Consequently, opening access to our intuition improves our Tarot reading.

There are many ways to nurture your intuition, and meditation is one of the most effective. While there are many different ways to meditate, the essence of the practice is to clear your conscious mind of current thoughts. This involves recognizing the chatter of our conscious mind for what it is and pushing it to one side, creating space in your subconscious mind. Over time this practice clears the mind and builds more capacity in the conscious mind to access the insights and information produced in the subconscious.

2. Know your cards

Tarot cards are tools for accessing your intuition, so it is vital to embed the cards in your psyche, allowing them to process the information held there and link it with the other data that has been gathered.

The best way to get to know your cards is to spend time with them, both physically and mentally. Pass the time by holding the cards in your hand, shuffling them and letting them pass through your fingers, building your innate knowledge of how they feel. When cards pull your attention, draw them from the deck and spend time with them. Re-read the meaning of the card described in your guide, and look at the card, seeing which of the described meanings is strongest for you, and what other meanings you see in the imagery and the feel of the card. Don’t forget that most cards have upright and reversed meanings and that you will need to try and explore both.

With time this will commit the cards and their meaning to your subconscious mind.

If you don’t find that you are building a connection with your cards, perhaps it is time to try a new deck. There are many different decks out there because different personality and intuition types engage with different symbolism and processes. You may find that you need to try a few different decks before you find the right one for you.

3. Keep a diary

Keeping a Tarot diary is a useful practice, even for experienced readers. Return to your records regularly and evaluate the quality of your reading with the value of retrospect so that you can see where your readings were accurate, and where they were hazy, and perhaps you need to focus your mental energy. You may also start to see patterns to when certain cards or combinations of cards come up, revealing further meanings.

4. Try different spreads

There are many different ways to lay out the Tarot cards for a reading, and how you decide to lay the cards is essential, as it is not just the meaning of the individual cards that matters, but also how they relate to one another.

Finding which spreads work best for different challenges and questions is usually a matter of experimentation, much like finding the right deck.

Talk to other Tarot readers and find different spreads online and try them out. See which spreads make sense to you and pull the best information from your subconscious.

When starting, it is best to begin with a simple three card spread and gradually expand your repertoire, rather than jumping straight into a ten card Celtic Cross! Ten is a lot of cards to interpret, and the relationship between the different cards is complex. A three-card spread will also be easier to include in your Tarot diary and revisit, facilitating this aspect of the learning process.

5. Keep your questions open

While it is not necessary to have a specific question in mind, Tarot readings often work best when you are clear on the subject that you want to address, as you can focus on accessing information in your subconscious that relates to this specific area of your life. However, while knowing what you want to know is useful, you need to maintain an open mind. The whole point is that the subconscious mind makes connections that the conscious mind can’t, and sometimes those connections won’t make complete sense to the conscious mind. It is essential to follow these connections where they lead.

Also, as with many things in life, outcomes are often about attitude as we create our world through how we respond to situations. With that in mind, it is important to go into a reading with a positive mindset. For example, if you are doing a reading on a new business venture, you shouldn’t be asking whether this particular venture will succeed or fail, but rather what you should be doing or focusing on at this time to bring success into your life.