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How to Do a Tarot Card Reading

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If you want to learn how to read Tarot cards properly, then you must develop a strong intuition and familiarize yourself with each Tarot card symbol. 

In this article, we will go through the step-by-step process on how to read Tarot cards and the basic things you should know to get you started reading Tarot cards in no time. 

What Is Tarot Card Reading and the Philosophy Behind It?

Tarot card reading is the practice of using a Tarot deck or cards to help interpret the past, present, or future. 

Tarot cards are mystical, like astrology. Both philosophies of these practices often consult the astral plane when it comes to looking for guidance in life. However, these practices differ when it comes to focusing.

Astrology is much calculated, and the focus is on planets—how they are positioned at a certain time and how this has an influence on human affairs and the natural world.

Tarot card readings are not as calculated as astrology. They are drawn out by someone’s spiritual guide or your intuition. You use your spiritual guide in choosing Tarot cards and read the cards to connect to your inner wisdom.

The practice starts by formulating questions—anything that you are uncertain of, like your relationship or career. Then you draw or shuffle the cards and interpret the ones you pull.

Intuition is also an important aspect of Tarot card reading. Before you delve into the cards, you must absorb your (immediate) reaction to the images, symbols, colors, objects, and feelings in the Tarot card.

How to Position Your Tarot Cards: The Different Types of Tarot Card Layouts

1. Selecting a deck

As mentioned earlier, Tarot card reading requires intuition. Intuition is defined as the ability to understand something immediately without analytic reasoning. You will also have to use your intuition in selecting a deck. The artwork and symbols in the deck should resonate or speak with you. 

There are thousands of Tarot decks out there, and it can be overwhelming to choose which deck will fit you. The main tip here is when you are drawn to a deck over and over again; you should follow your intuition. 

You may visit the Top 57 Best Tarot Decks of All-Time page to view the highest voted Tarot deck list of all-time.

2. Develop a question, topic, or focus

You should exactly define what you want to accomplish or your desired end result. People tend to be too curious when using a Tarot deck for the first time, especially when they are faced with great uncertainty in their lives. As a result, they don’t know what question to ask first. By defining what you want to accomplish can help you on your journey to Tarot card reading.  

The idea of Tarot card reading is to illuminate a path forward. Therefore, your questions should be broad, clear, and open-ended.

Here are some question statements you can use.

  • What’s my next best step today?
  • What’s my career calling?
  • What’s my current career path?
  • What obstacle do I need to overcome?
  • What is the future nature of this relationship?
  • What’s the best step for me to take now?

3. Clear your Tarot deck

In every reading or every time you use your Tarot cards, you are transferring your energy and the person touching the cards energy to the deck. It has already absorbed the energies from your last reading. Therefore, it is important that you remove the residual energies. 

The best way to do this is by shuffling your Tarot deck a few times. You can also meditate with your Tarot deck and pass each card through the smoke of palo santo or sage. Cleansing your cards will guarantee you accurate readings. 

4. Memorize and understand each card in the deck

You must memorize the Tarot deck, which is made up of 78 cards: 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana.

  • Major arcana. These are the 22 trump cards of the Tarot deck and typically numbered from 0 to 21. These cards are the most recognizable and impactful cards in a Tarot deck because they represent life lessons, karmic influences, and the big archetypal themes in your life.  
  • Minor arcana. These cards focus on the everyday actions and decisions you must face. These are people, circumstances, feelings, and events we encounter on our personal journey. It is made up of four suits with 14 cards each. Each suit is associated with the four elements: Wands (Fire), Cups (Water), Pentacles (Earth), and Swords (Air).

5. Cutting the deck

Using your left hand, cut the deck and pull the cards on top of the table in front of you. You should have 2 piles of cards. Choose the card that is on the top of the right pile and turn it over. You can also cut the deck into 3’s and reorder them or even fan the tarot cards like poker, and choose the cards based on your intuition with your right hand. 

You can choose one card or several cards. Once you have chosen a card or cards, lay them face down in your spread and turn them right so you can gaze at the card’s symbols, imagery, and words.

The key here is to fully connect with the cards and pay attention to what comes to your mind first. You can also try different tarot card spreads.

How to Position Your Tarot Cards: The Different Types of Tarot Card Layouts

3-card tarot spread

After shuffling, you can pull three cards from your deck, divide your shuffled deck into three, flip over the top card from each of the stacks, and let each card speak to the following. Card 1 represents your past, card 2 is your present, while card 3 is your future.  

5-card tarot spread

After shuffling, you can pull five cards from your deck or divide your shuffled deck into five and flip over the top card from each of the stacks and let each card speak to the following. Card 1 represents your past, card 2 is your present, while card 3 is your future, card 4 is the reason behind your question, and card 5 is the possible result of the situation.

Ending the Tarot reading

When it is time to end your tarot card reading, silently say thank you to your cards, be grateful, clear your cards, and make sure to store it in a safe and secure location. It is best that you store your cards in a wooden Tarot card box or a black-lined bag. Adding gemstones or crystals may also increase the psychic ability of the Tarot cards.  

Ready for Tarot card reading?

The Understanding Tarot Cards online course by Skill Success is for those who are interested in learning about ways to use Tarot cards. You will also gain an understanding of Tarot cards, where they come from, what each of the 78 cards means, and how to do a reading with them for yourself or for others.

If you are curious and just want to ‘know more’ about Tarot cards, what each of the cards means and how to do a reading, then this course is for you. You will have more understanding of how to do Tarot card reading—for yourself and for others.

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