Are you curious about Tarot? Is it something you’ve always wanted to learn? 78 Cards??? That can seem just a little intimidating and overwhelming. But you don’t have to learn all 78 card meanings before you can actually read Tarot! But if you’re really interested, what’s stopping you? You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! Even though I’ve had a life-long fascination with Tarot, it wasn’t until later in life that I finally picked up my first Tarot deck intending to actually LEARN how to read. And that is the first step…
Step 1 – Buy a Tarot Deck!
It’s easier than you think. Many bookstores carry them… I know Barnes & Noble does, and I’m sure many of the other stores like that have them as well. Check on Amazon.com. They have a huge selection and you can even see some samples of the cards themselves. And don’t forget Google… type in “Tarot Cards” and see where some of the links take you. My biggest recommendation on choosing your first deck, though, is to take a little time, explore, and find a deck that appeals to you. The artwork of the cards themselves has always been what’s drawn a certain deck to me. So make this first step of choosing your deck an enjoyable project that you’re doing for yourself.
If you’re checking things out on the internet, relax, take your time, and see what you can find. sometimes, you’ll feel as though a certain Tarot Deck speaks to you. When I was first looking, I was drawn back again and again to one certain deck. I would look at others, and wind up coming back and admiring it. It was after I’d done this several times that it dawned on me that this was the deck for me… it was speaking to me. Why else would I keep returning to it? So I purchased it (through Amazon), and, to this day, it’s my favorite, go-to deck! Choosing your first deck is the first step you take on the journey… so enjoy it!
Step 2 – So now what? You have your very first deck in your hands and you’re anxious to do your very first reading!! Hang on for a minute and take a deep breath! Look at the cards, one at a time. This will be the beginning of your intuitive impressions of your cards. Something you may want to do is start a journal. As you look through your cards, jot down a quick note about them… what you notice, how they make you feel, what each card “says” to you. Almost all decks come with a “Little White Book” (L.W.B), which explains each card. Some L.W.B’s are just quick little notes on the traditional meaning of each card. Some L.W.B’s are quite extensive. Whichever type your deck came with, set it aside for now. After you’ve gone through your cards, check the book and see if your impressions are similar to the traditional meanings. This is a great way to start getting familiar with your deck.
You might be wondering when you can actually do a reading. Well, now would be good! First of all, you’ll need to shuffle your cards. This is where you’ll have to decide if you want to read reversals or not. Reversals are when a card appears in your spread upside-down, and generally, they have a “reversed” meaning. Depending on how you choose to shuffle your cards, you can incorporate reversals or not. This is entirely up to you. I, personally, prefer not to read reversals, but I do keep one of my decks strictly for when I do want to use them. Like I said… it’s your call to make. Perhaps, if you’re just starting out, you may want your cards to all appear in an upright position, at least until you become more familiar with them. Your readings will still be just fine whichever you choose to do.
One of the best ways that you can familiarize yourself with your cards is by doing a One Card Daily Spread (yeah… one card doesn’t seem like much of a spread, but it’s a start). Take a quiet moment to yourself, feel the energy of the cards. A few deep, cleansing breaths… and think of your question. When I do a Daily Card, I like to ask for guidance for the day ahead of me… my personal focus for the day. Shuffle your cards for as long as you feel is necessary, until it feels “right”. It’s difficult to explain what that means… the cards will feel as though they’re ready to be read. Then, with your non-dominant hand (if you’re right-handed, this would be your left hand), cut the deck, re-stack, and take the first card. This is your Card for the Day. Congratulations! You’ve just done your first Tarot Reading!
Now… take a moment to really look at the card. How does it make you feel? Notice all you can… the colors, the degrees of light and darkness, the general attitude the card presents. This is reading the cards in an intuitive way. After you’ve done this, feel free to look up the meaning of the card in your L.W.B. Were your intuitive impressions close to the traditional meaning? Make some notes in your journal so you can refer back to them at the end of the day and see how your card came into play for you. As I said earlier, this is a great way to begin your relationship with your cards and start connecting to them. The more you work with your cards, the more familiar you’ll become with them, and the more you’ll connect to them. Don’t worry about learning
the meanings of all 78… that comes in time… and you’ll get there!
Step 3 – Learning a few easy spreads. 3 Card Spreads are a great place to start. The good thing about a 3 Card Spread is that you can tailor it to the specific needs of your question. Let’s say you want to know where your relationship is heading. You could try the following: Card 1 – Where you are at this point in the relationship. Card 2 – Where the other person is. Card 3 – Where the relationship is going. Lay the cards out as left to right. You can feel free to pull a 4th card as well, for clarification or advice. 3 Card Spreads are very adaptable and can address just about any question you may have. Here are some more examples…
Your Situation – Action You Should Take – The Outcome
Mind – Body – Spirit ( good for understanding YOU)
Where You Are Now – Where You Want To Go – How To Get There
You can see that a 3 Card Spread can really be about anything or any situation… career, love, relationships, etc… They’re a wonderful way to begin with Tarot Readings. And one thing you should know… the more you practice, the more you’re going to learn. One piece of advice, though… if it’s an emotionally charged issue for you, it can be difficult to be objective. Doing a reading when you’re upset and overly emotional about something is not exactly a great idea. Wait till you’re
a bit calmer, or have a reading done for you by someone else. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself looking desperately for the answers you WANT as opposed to the information the Tarot Cards are offering you. I don’t hesitate to go to someone else for a reading when I know that I’m not able to read objectively for myself.
As I said at the beginning, 78 cards can seem overwhelming, but with a little patience and practice, you can begin doing readings for yourself in no time. Most importantly, enjoy yourself!
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