Tarot Cards have this taboo thing about them. When many people envision tarot card readings, it usually involves some old crone, perhaps sitting out in a square in New Orleans with candles lit, or a mom and pop shop with a neon sign that’s flickering, with yet another old crone hacking up a lung in the window. This vision can go from kitschy to ripoff in the blink of a third eye, when in fact many of these readers could be legit. However, I’m here to tell you that you can read your own cards for the day while sitting on the toilet, or over your morning coffee, or whenever, and wherever. Yes, YOU can read tarot cards yourself. You don’t need to be a “psychic” either.
I like to use tarot cards in a therapeutic/therapy sense – I call it Tarot-py! I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek professional help from a therapist, or professional card readers (I do both, and read for others)… but there is no reason to burn a hole in your wallet for daily readings… unless you’ve got the income to do it, then have at it! Get the professional, unbiased, readings… but while you are at it, create your own “tarot-py” routine to grow your intuition and strength even more. Who knows, maybe one you day you’ll provide Tarot-py sessions to others!
Buying a deck is easy. You can get them on Amazon or at mystic shops in your area. Artists are making their own decks now too. Just search on Etsy. It really doesn’t matter what deck you get, as long as you like it. That sounds very broad and vague, but that’s on purpose because what pictures/illustrations call to me in a deck, might be different to what calls you in. You might like bright colors, or a particular style of drawing. Another might like the tarot in the form of animal illustrations, etc. It really doesn’t matter as long as the deck makes you smile and feels like “you”.
Once you have your deck, it’s a good idea to “cleanse” it. This means you just want to set your intentions for the deck, and create a clean slate in your mind. You can burn some sage and waft the smoke in clockwise circles around the deck as you hold it, set it out during a New or Full Moon, or just sit quietly and meditate for a hot second, and think about what you want to get out of your new journey with tarot cards.
Now it’s time to do a reading! There are countless beginners books on tarot cards, and websites. I frequent Biddy Tarot for card meanings and ideas for different spreads to read. They also have a free PDF to help get you started, and courses that you can take. Every card in the traditional tarot technically has the same meaning, so just choose a book or resource whose style of writing suits you. Don’t try and use a resource that you don’t understand.
The more you read, the more you’ll be able to intuitively find the message that the deck is sending you. Most of these messages are in our subconscious already. The cards are basically the device that helps draw out what we are suppressing, in denial of, or what we should be celebrating and cultivating.
In a reading, you can shuffle the cards while you think about the answers you are searching for. Shuffle like you would a regular deck of cards, or any other way, as long as you are mixing it up. Never ask yes or no questions. Go deeper with the how’s and the why’s, etc. Once you are done shuffling and asking your questions, it’s time to start pulling cards. Either fan the cards out, or just pick from the deck while stacked. Pick whatever cards you feel a natural draw to. Lay them out in the spread chosen, and start researching the meanings of the cards as they pertain to the positions in the spread. I’ve been reading cards for a few years, and I still don’t have them memorized. Really sit on these meanings and your question. It’s helpful to journal your findings so that you can really discover what you are looking for, and you have something to refer back to if the topic is ongoing in your life.
Most importantly, have fun, and don’t freak out if the Devil or Death cards show up in a reading. ;o) Change can be very, very good… and necessary.
And now, for the elephant in the room. It probably sounds odd that someone who does readings would encourage others to do it themselves. Think of it this way: If you see a personal trainer once a week, but never workout any other days and implement their teachings, you will not see results. If you see a therapist once a week, but just complain and you don’t act on the steps your therapist gives you… what’s it all for? And anyone worth their salt will seek out motivation and growth for themselves too! I think of tarot and astrology the same way. If you actually put what you learn into practice, you will reap the benefits!
I also must disclaim this since mental health is such an important topic, and one that many people take advantage of:
I do not think tarot cards/astrology/etc are a replacement for clinical help from licensed professionals when it comes serious mental illness, or any other diseases. They can help a person when they are on the mend and in therapy to further their healing, but it is not a cure on it’s own!