In this Beginners Guide To Tarot we look at reading the tarot for beginners. Tarot reading is a very large and potentially complicated subject and we can’t get into all the details in an article like this. But we will give you an overview and hopefully pique your interest into exploring this fun – and intuitive divination tool.
A Brief History of Tarot Reading
Tarot cards have a deep history and they can be traced back to the 14th century. Even though some people today associate them with the occult, tarot cards were used for card games in ancient times.
The use of Tarot cards for divination purposes first took off in the 1700s. The meaning of the cards as well as the user guide were later released and by 1909, tarot cards had received a major upgrade. There was another revival in the 1970s and since then, the use of tarot cards for divination purposes has grown significantly.
Tarot Card Reading for Beginners
Tarot card reading is a fun and interactive process. However, it needs a good sense of intuition as well as the right knowledge of the symbols. This isn’t a fortune-telling task but simply an intuitive interpretation of certain questions or topics.
Tarots involve decks with cards that are used for interpretation. For a beginner, the process can be quite complex. This is because it involves several cards that need familiarity. To help you understand the whole process, here is an overview of tarot for beginners.
1. Choose the Right Tarot Deck
It’s an overwhelming yet exciting process when you have to choose your first tarot deck. There are a wide number of tarot decks and as a newbie, this can be quite challenging. Additionally, you need to understand that each deck comes with a unique set or artwork as well as symbols. So, this is definitely something that you can’t wake up and pick because you need to do comprehensive research.
To help you pick the right tarot deck, here are some tips that you can apply:
i. Go With Your Personal Feelings
Intuition is key to choosing the right deck that resonates with your being. You need something that you can personally and intuitively connect with. You don’t have to choose something that other tarot readers rave about because we are all built differently have our own unique connections.
Generally, beginners are usually advised to start with Rider Waite. But what if you end up going blank with such a deck every time you use it? What if you find a deck such as Fairy Tarot at you heavily connect with it? Well, it all goes with what you feel. For starters, I’d advise you to go through several tarot decks before you choose one that suits your needs.
Hold each deck and try to understand what each one of them makes you feel. In case you are making your purchases online, search for various decks, and pause to establish a connection with each deck that you come across. Which one makes you feel warmer and more connected?
ii. Explore the Card Imagery
You can love multiple decks and so this where you should take a break and explore the imagery of each card. Try to get a feel of your first reaction every time you come across new imagery. Do you like the images or their artwork designs? Are you attracted to certain pattern variations?
iii. Consider Your Tarot Reading Level and Ease of Learning
Like I stated above, most beginners usually start with the Rider Waite deck. It’s simply gorgeous, has imagery that’s straightforward, and you can easily get the right information relating to the cards in this deck. However, you shouldn’t strictly limit yourself to this type of deck. Remember that it all depends on what you feel and like.
So, you can check out Everyday Tarot deck as well. It has minimalist imagery that’s not difficult for a beginner to get acquainted with. The everyday Tarot deck has clear symbols that enhance the ease of connection.
iv. Consider the Size
Tarot cards come in different sizes e.g. giant for face-to-face readings or mini cards that you can read while you’re on the go. Generally, find a deck with cards that comfortably fit in your hands. They don’t need to be too small or very large for you to handle. Get a set that you can easily shuffle as you practice.
v. Do You Want Modern or Traditional Versions of Tarot Decks?
Traditional tarot decks are amazing and intriguing. However, the latest modern tarot decks are very beautiful with attractive imagery designs that relate to the current times.
2. Get a Question or Topic to Focus On
Once you have selected the right deck that you can emotionally connect to, then you need to get a topic or question to focus on. What would you like to know or learn during the initial stages of reading tarot cards? The reading process generally involves exploring and revealing insights in the present, past, and future.
Note: this is usually like the opening stage and you need to get it right. You need to perform your own ritual that’s geared towards the reading process. You can play soft slow music in the background, burn incense, light candles, or pray, etc.
3. Shuffle the Cards
This is like resetting the cards. Shuffling is important because it allows you to connect more with the cards and get better clarity. You need to “connect” with the cards, you can shuffle as many times as you need in order to get better clarity. Once you are ready to read the cards again, place them face down.
4. Spread the Cards
For starters, begin with a 3-card spread. Understand that the position of the tarot spread reflects a certain aspect of the question you are seeking to answer. A 3-card spread is a nice and simple way of starting your reading journey. This is because it symbolizes the past, present, and future spread.
Note: Each card has its individual meaning and before you consider reading, let your mind scan the cards and take time to absorb your reactions to the displayed images. What are your feelings and emotions towards the displayed colors and symbols?
Once you have fully familiarized yourself with your emotions, interpret the individual meanings of the cards. Remember that when you are revealing the spread, it should be one by one and from left to right.
5. Get the Meaning of the Cards and Their Location
A reference manual is an important companion at the beginner’s stage. You need to use it as a reference to help you get the right meaning of the tarot cards. Each tarot deck normally comes with a reference so you don’t have to worry about getting it. Besides that, there are numerous alternatives, especially online where you can get interpretation resources.
While you are using the reference for interpretation, don’t forget to check your intuition as well. Your reading skills will develop as you move towards self-dependency. Understand the meaning of the tarot cards in regards to the type of question you are seeking to answer.
Note: in most cases, tarot reading involves interpreting the type of randomly selected cards and their positions by giving them meaning.
6. Read Extensively
Even once you have mastered the basics of tarot reading, growth is important. You are not going to be stuck at the beginner’s level for months. The best way to grow and develop your tarot reading skills means that you should do comprehensive research.
Set time aside and read tarot books. Even though there are thousands of them, choose a book that resonates with you and can help expand your knowledge-base. This way, you will significantly improve your relationship with the tarot card system.
7. Close the Reading
Opening and closing tarot reading sessions is alike a ritual. So, how you close is important. Once you have finished the reading, spend some time meditating and releasing the connections or energies that have formed around you. It should be noted that some people add in prayers to thank the energies for assistance.
Besides that, closing is important because it helps you to gradually transform mentally and physically from a focused tarot reading state and back to your normal state. So, be grateful at the end, clear the cards, and ease yourself slowly from that concentrated state. Make sure that you also store the cards in a safe and clean place for the next use.
Note: opening and closing a tarot reading session is like creating a space where you become mentally aware. This is important in meditating, listening to your institution, and the surrounding energies.
8. Practice and Practice
Doing research, reading books, and manuals as well as practicing are the only things that will get ahead. You need to be confident when reading the cards and this can only happen if you practice frequently.
The best thing about practicing is that it leads to familiarity. The more you come across different cards in the deck, the more you understand the design. This includes the patterns and systems and how they mean.
For instance, why do we have major and minor arcana and how do they relate to each other? You will understand that there are also sub-categories within the two arcana and how they are set up. Practicing is beneficial because it broadens your understanding of the cards and enhances your knowledge base.
Note: there are several tarot applications that you can use for reading practices and tracking your progress.
9. Don’t Forget to Have Fun
As a beginner, you might get overwhelmed constantly. But don’t let you demotivate you because the more you learn and practice, the easier it becomes. Make sure that you have fun throughout the journey as you figure out new things.
Of course, there are times when you will get disappointed and frustrated. But the key to remaining focused is to create your own sunshine through the journey. If you are struggling, then simply pull out three cards. Read them to yourself and watch out if the advice is correct. Trust me that within no time, you will be looking forward to holding these sessions.
Common Mistakes that Most Beginner Tarot Readers Make
Beginner tarot readers usually get carried away by the excitement of reading cards or they simply get overwhelmed. As a result they normally end up making mistakes that may slow their learning journey. To ensure that you maximize your sessions and quickly learn everything. Here are the common mistakes to avoid:
Not Preparing Your Deck
Well, preparing your deck doesn’t just mean picking them up and getting ready to use the cards. If you were to do so, then this would simply make the cards just pieces of people. You prepare Tarot cards by imbuing them with your energy.
How does this happen? Well, hold the cards with your hand and feel them. What is your experience? Put them in your special place, sleep with the deck under the pillow for a couple of nights, do the cleansing process, and put the cards out under the glare of the full moon.
The preparation process, just like the reading session, is a ritual itself that needs to be perfected with time. Tarot reading is all about intentions and energies so you have to get this right from the onset. Once you have made an intention that you want to use the cards then you will release energy that connects with them.
Don’t Cram Anything and Read the Manual
You need to know what message is in each of the 78 cards. However, we do not expect you to know this in a couple of days. Do not cram anything as you will end up with mental clutter and confusion.
Keep reading the manual from time to time. Make it your companion. This way, you will improve your memory and develop the right connections with different cards.
Don’t Throw in Numerous Cards
During your research and practice, you might learn about multiple card spreads. Many beginners usually learn about the Celtic cross, a type of 10-card spread that can provide an amazing holistic snapshot for everything that’s happening in your life. However, this is a detailed spread that can be complicated and you might easily mess up the message in the cards. Don’t be in a rush because even a three-card spread highlighting the present, past, and future can still be effective.
You Are Just a Messenger
As you learn and develop skills, don’t get carried away and think that you have new powers. This is a mistake that most beginners make by thinking that they now have “powers” that others don’t have. As a tarot reader, you are just a messenger and nothing more.
Once you have started the learning process, it’s always advisable to separate yourself from this craft. This way, your ego or pride won’t control you. Whether you are doing it for fun or monetary purposes, the aim of tarot reading is to deliver a neutral message. This way, you will have good connections and also allow the cards in the deck to speak to themselves.
Tarot For Beginners: FAQs
Q: How Do I Become a Good Tarot Reader?
A: Just like any other program, learning and having a good memory is key. For a beginner, I would advise you to read, write, and listen a lot. Remember that there are a total of 78 cards and eventually you have an understanding of what each one of them means.
But as a beginner, don’t pressurize yourself. Learning is a gradual process and you have to give yourself time. Learn the difference between the arcana. This can be through the colors or the layout of the cards. Overall, you need to create your own mental formula in order to break the cards into customized groups. This way, you will learn faster.
Q: What Do I Need In Order to Read Tarot Cards?
A: You basically need just a tarot deck. Most beginners usually start with the Rider-Waite deck that contains simple color schemes and imagery. Besides that, you can find the interpretation of the cards in this deck in tarot books or even online. Note that the illustrator took the time to create colorful and clear images with well-outlined symbols.
Q: Are There Tarot Card Groups?
A: There is a broad range of tarot decks and they all have a certain similarity. But if we are to classify them, then we’d have the minor and major arcana groups.
Minor arcana consists of around 56 cards that relate to everyday life. Major arcana, on the other hand, consists of 22 cards that have significant influence. Major arcana cards are usually standalone (they don’t belong in suits) and they represent serious life events.
Q: Can I learn Tarot Reading 3-4 Days as Some Books Suggest?
A: Well, I understand that there are many books out there that promise to help you become a good tarot reader within 2-3 days. The truth is that this is highly impossible! Unless you have a top-notch photographic memory.
What you should understand that knowing how to read tarot isn’t a competition. There are 78 cards and you don’t need to cram anything because you will be going through random cards frequently. The key is to memorize and understand the meaning of each card eventually. I am not saying that these courses are bad, but how competent will you as a tarot reader in two or three days?
Q: Are There Good and Bad Cards?
A: As a tarot reader, you need to understand that there are no bad and good cards. Each card usually interprets specific messages to specific people or questions. When you are learning, you should know that there are no stocked-up interpretations for each card and everyone will be chosen based on the context of the reading.
Q: Is a Tarot Reader the Same as a Fortune Teller?
A: No. A tarot reader helps people to unlock answers regarding their paths in life including the decisions and choices they are considering to make. Tarot readers don’t predict the future but simply offer insights that can help people to figure out their lives.