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How to do a Tarot Reading – A Simple Guide

Updated: Apr 6

Tarot decks can be daunting for any beginner wanting to know how to do a tarot reading. How can an image have so many meanings?

How to read tarot cards

But here, there is no need to worry. We will lay out a very simple guide to help you overcome that inertia and get started on this journey.

I suggest you go through this article to understand what tarot card reading is about, before embarking on this journey of reading tarot cards.

This guide will equip you with a step-by-step approach to conduct your own tarot readings and interpret the cards’ messages appropriately. Remember there is no right or wrong here. It is more about listening to your inner voice and reading messages that come out while doing a reading.

Step by step approach on how to do a tarot reading

Step 1: Finding your tarot deck

For starters, I strongly recommend going with the Rider-Waite tarot deck. Most other tarot decks are inspired from the Rider-Waite deck, and this can help building a strong foundation.

Rider-Waite deck comes in many variants as well. Pick a deck which resonates with you. As an example, my first tarot deck was the Classic Rider-Waite Deck, which uses more of green in place of blue. But I rarely use that deck, as I prefer more colourful cards over the sober ones. My personal favourite is the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. The colours are vibrant and the details stand out.

You will be able to check any deck out through flip through videos available on youtube.

Step 2: Choosing a Spread

Decide what spread you would like to lay out beforehand. The Universe responds to pointed questions and having a clear cut view on the spread before shuffling can bring in more clarity into the reading.

Below I have given a sample 3 card reading to help you understand how to do a tarot reading.

Step 3: Shuffling and Connecting

Hold your deck in your hands, taking a few deep breaths to center yourself. Meditating beforehand can help in calming yourself and connecting with your inner voice.

Think about the question that you seek guidance on, like "What path should I take in my career?" As you shuffle, try to feel connected with your spirit guides and visualize the question at hand.

Many readers prefer cutting the deck with one’s non-dominant hand and separating it into two stacks and reuniting them. I don’t personally do this, and this is optional on you.

Step 4: Choosing the cards

At times, cards can jump out while shuffling. I generally prefer to retain such cards as these are messages from the universe. I keep such cards separately as clarifiers.

After shuffling I choose the cards for each of the position in the spread. You could choose the manner of picking cards at the outset. You can choose to wait for cards to jump out on their own, or choose for yourself from the top or bottom or anywhere randomly from the deck.

Step 5: Interpreting the Cards

Let us do this with the help of an illustration for a question “will I get a new job?’.

1.    Challenge - Eight of Swords:

  • Eight of Swords could indicate a feeling of being trapped and helpless.

  • You might be ruminating a lot and feeling pit for yourself. Your current job is feeling hopeless and you can’t see any new opportunity in sight.

2.    Advice - Ace of Pentacles:

  • Ace of Pentacles is about new beginnings. This card as an advice tells you to focus on new opportunities and look for an alternate job with trust and practicality.

  • Be open to opportunities as they arise as well.

3.    Outcome - The Sun:

  • The Sun, by the face of it, is a very optimistic card. The sun symbolizes energy, hope and enlightenment.

  • As an outcome, it symbolizes success, happiness, and fulfillment. And hence, can be taken as a ‘yes’ to the question of “will I get a new job”.

But be aware of the advise being given to achieved the desired outcome. Tarot is not predictive but more of a guide that suggests actions to be taken and directions to follow.

How to do a tarot reading : Reflecting on the Reading

Take time to reflect the overall message. Allow the messages and the cards to sink in.

How do the cards, individually and collectively, relate to your question? Don't view the reading as a set prediction, but as a tool for guidance and reflection.

Bonus Tip: Journal your readings. As your knowledge grows, and time passes, track your interpretations and how they unfolded in your life.

This is just the first step on your tarot journey. With practice, you'll develop your own style of reading, using the cards as a compass to navigate life's uncertainties. Remember, the most important tool you possess is your intuition. So, grab your deck, ask your question, and embark on the adventure of tarot!


My Digital World 🌏


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