So you want to read the tarot?
But you have no clue where to even begin.
No worries! I got you! I am going to help you with the most basic, beginner information right here, and right now!
My tarot journey began back in 2004 when I was just 21. I visited Lily Dale, NY – a Spiritualist Community – with my best friend and suddenly I knew that I needed to begin working on my own psychic abilities.
For Valentines Day, my then-boyfriend (now-husband) got me my first deck – the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck. The RWS is the “traditional” deck that most people think of when they think of the tarot.
I immediately purchased every book I could find. I joined website forums. I was on a mission to read, memorize, and learn every single thing I could about each and every card.
What happened? I burned TF out. Seriously.
Can you imagine trying to memorize 78 card meanings? And not just that but the symbolism, Astrological associations, elemental associations, etc? Yeah, burned out was an understatement.
Over the next handful of years I picked up the cards randomly. I’d go through bursts of energy that drew me to them, but I never fully stuck with it. I still hadn’t learned the biggest secret to reading tarot. In fact, I wouldn’t learn that until 2017!
Ok, but Laura, what is the biggest secret to reading tarot?
Alright. I’ll tell you. Are you ready?
INTUITION. TRUSTING YOURSELF. LISTENING TO THE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD AND YOUR HEART.
Yes. That is it, my friends. That’s the key to successfully reading tarot. You have to trust yourself to interpret the cards correctly based on what your intuition is seeing and telling you. You have to listen and feel what your intuition and head and heart are telling you the cards mean and how they apply to you or the Querent (person you are reading for.)
The second part to this big secret is this… Fuck the “Rules”. Whatever you read that you HAVE to do in order to read, just ignore that baloney. You do not have to do any rituals prior to reading that do not feel right for you. You do not need to have altar cloths or crystals. You do not need to cleanse your cards or shuffle them in any specific way. Again… trust your intuition here. Your intuition never leads you astray.
ALRIGHT WELL CAN WE JUST GET INTO IN NOW?
Sure, sure lets go.
PART 1 – CHOOSING A DECK
So the first thing you need to have in order to read tarot, is a deck. Duh. But which deck, because holy moley, have you typed Tarot Cards into your Amazon search bar recently? Wow. There are quite a few decks out there now!
A. KEEP IT TRADISH – Choose the traditional Rider Waite Smith (or RWS) deck as your beginner deck. Why do I recommend this one? Because in my experience, 90% of books and sites are going to be interpreting the cards based on the imagery of this deck. You will use books and sites, I’m not saying that you never will, because you will. But as a beginner, my advice is to pick just one resource. More about that later.
B. GO ARTSY – There are many decks that I’ve purchased based on the fact that they are pretty. The Revelations Tarot is one of my faves, as is the Gilded Tarot. StarChild and MoonChild Tarot are breathtaking. The Fountain Tarot as well.
C. ANIMAL LOVAHS – If you love animals, check out the Spiritsong Tarot. It is a good deck in that it includes 2 keywords on the cards to help you interpret. The guide book it comes with (AKA – the Little White Book or LWB) is pretty good at helping you read based on the traits of the animals in the card. Check out Tarot Fauna on Etsy as well — that one is on my wishlist and its gorg!
D. DARK DECKS – The Wild Unknown is a lovely, dark deck that I use for Shadow Work. It’s a no-BS deck that tells it like it is, won’t sugar coat things for you, and really can bring up some painful issues that you need to address. The imagery is very dark but hauntingly beautiful. It’s one of my favorites.
C. WHIMSICAL & THEMED DECKS – There is a deck out there for anyone and anything, including David Bowie fans – check out the Starman Tarot. There is Happy Tarot, Kawaii Tarot, Fairy Tarot Decks, Game of Thrones Tarot Decks, Cat Tarot, Dog Tarot… I’m out of breath, let’s just say search for what you want and you’ll find it!
HOW DO I KNOW IF THE DECK WILL BE A GOOD FIT?
That unexplainable click you feel when you pick up the deck, or see photos online. If you just FEEL it is the right deck, then it is. Besides, if you are anything like me, you’ll become a collector of decks anyway. But just start with what feels right.
OKAY, GOT A DECK. NOW WHAT?
The best step to take next is to order the cards and just flip through them and look at the images.
There are 2 parts to the tarot: the 22 cards of the Major Arcana and the 56 cards of the Minor Arcana. I won’t really go into what the differences are right now, but look through and see what you think of each card.
Go buy yourself a pretty, sparkly journal or a plain one, whatever. Start pulling a card each day for yourself. Write down what you feel from the card. What do you see? What is going on in the image? Write down anything and everything that you feel called to include. Do this daily and watch how your interpretations come easier and when you feel ready, start to see how the card showed up during your day.
DON’T EXPECT TO BE AN EXPERT OVERNIGHT.
I’ve been studying tarot for 14 years and every day I learn more. You will not know everything. You will need to practice daily in some capacity in order to even feel like you’ve got some mastery over it. Don’t rush into reading for others until you feel confident. Don’t feel the pressure to become a professional either. Keep it fun. As you build your confidence you can join online groups to trade and swap readings to help build your experience. You can also take online courses to help you fine tune your practice.
DON’T TRY TO READ LIKE ANYONE ELSE.
You have to develop your own unique way of reading. Take bits and pieces from other readers and resources but fit it into your own brand. The second you ignore your intuition, you block yourself from your own ultimate success.
I hope this helped you in your quest to begin reading tarot.
Have more questions? Leave it in the comments! I will be doing many more posts that are related to tarot.
Much Love xx Laura Sirena