How to Do Tarot Readings

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If you are interested in divination, then tarot cards are an excellent tool to add to your repertoire.

Tarot has a rich history dating back to the 1400s.

With such an extensive tradition, there are bound to be variations in the manner in which the cards are used today.

This corpus of information can seem daunting, but by understanding the basic principles of tarot, you will be well on your way to becoming a proficient reader.

The Deck

If you do not have a deck, it is important to find one that resonates with you. Set an intention before you shop, and use your intuition to decide which one is right.

Readers with several decks may also employ this method to choose which cards will work best for a specific type of question or for a specific reading.

If you have no experience with tarot, it is best to stick with a standard deck, such as the Rider-Waite.

The illustrations on these cards can aid with interpretation, and there are many guides specific to this deck.

In time, you may find other cards that resonate with you more, and you are always free to change decks.

Before You Read

Before you read, you will need to familiarize yourself with the cards. There are 78 cards, which are divided into the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.

The Major Arcana are the twenty-two trump cards. The Minor Arcana consist of the following four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles.

It is helpful to find a reference book to supplement your understanding of the history and meanings behind the cards.

Many experienced readers recommend that you create a tarot journal.

Record your reactions to the cards, generate keywords about each image, and note anything you learn as you move forward with your practice.

Some experienced practitioners insist that you must commit extensive information about each card to memory, while others feel that a more intuitive interpretation is the best.

Both perspectives lend insight to your readings.

On the one hand, having an understanding of the codified meanings of the cards allows you to tap into the rich history of tarot.

On the other hand, tarot’s purpose is to enable you to reconnect to your intuition by opening a channel for Source energy.

It is up to the reader to decide which approach will yield the best readings.

The Reading

Your environment plays a role in a reading’s clarity and accuracy. Remove clutter, and set up your area so that you can concentrate on being a clear channel for Source.

Clearing your cards before you start a reading is a good practice.

This can be accomplished by shuffling your cards, smudging the deck with sage, or placing a clearing crystal on top of your deck before you begin.

Prior to a reading, it is critical to breathe deeply, develop focus, and remove as much mental, spiritual, and emotional baggage as possible.

Next, shuffle your deck. There is not one correct method for doing this. Just be sure that you feel that your cards are adequately mixed.

You’ll have to decide on a spread.

If you are a beginner, chose a simple spread, such as a three-card spread. Either you or your querent should ask an open-ended question of the cards.

You can either speak the question aloud or hold it in your mind.

In a three-card spread, the first card that you draw is the most important. The first card often stands for the present.

Then, you select two additional cards, which are to be placed on either side of the central card.

If you are dealing the cards facing yourself, then the card on the left will represent the past, and the card on the right describes the future.

The past card requires one to consider prior experiences in relation to the question.

The future card is not set in stone, but it often indicates the way that events will transpire if the querent continues to follow his or her present path.

For each card, pay attention to how you respond to seeing it. You may wish to look up additional meanings in your tarot reference guide to gain more insight.

Some readers also take into account whether a card is reversed, but if you are just beginning, you may wish to keep the reading simple.

At the end of your reading, clear your deck by shuffling it once more. Give thanks for all that it has shown you during this session.

Just like any other skill, reading tarot takes time and practice. When you are developing your skills, start by performing readings for yourself, friends, and family.

With each engagement with the cards, you will strengthen the connection to your intuition.

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