How to Read Tarot for Yourself (When You’re Feeling Emotional)

Have you ever been told you shouldn’t read Tarot for yourself when you’re upset or stressed out?

This is because your brain (and intuition) are effected by strong emotions and it can make for a biased, unhelpful reading.

But here’s the thing: this is when you really want to do a reading! Who waits until their life is perfect and stress-free to do a reading? NOBODY!

And while there are other ways to deal with stress and uncertainty, like binge watching Glow on Netflix, scarfing a whole box of shortbread cookies and yelling at your boyfriend, doing a Tarot reading might actually be the healthiest option.

So the challenge is this: how do you read Tarot for yourself when you’re feeling upset, excited or stressed out? How do you stop your desires, fears and emotions from biasing a reading?

Luckily, there’s a way!

Step One: Instead of reading about your specific issue, ask yourself how do I want to feel in this situation?

A couple of months ago I was dealing with a painful and frightening health issue. I was faced with having to make a big decision regarding surgery. Because I felt so charged up about my health, I knew it would be impossible to do an unbiased reading about it.

When I asked myself how do I want to feel (in relation to my health issue)? The answer was calm and clear. I wanted clarity as to what steps I needed to take and I wanted to feel calm and relaxed about it all.

Step Two: Once you’ve identified how you want to feel, ask your cards: What do I need to do to feel ____________? Then draw a card.

The card I got when I did this was the Four of Wands.

Hanson-Roberts Tarot

To me, the Four of Wands is about community and coming together. It seemed to be telling me to reach out to the community of people who’ve experienced the same thing as me and gather information and support.

So that’s what I did! Afterwards I felt calmer about the whole thing and clearer about what decision is right for me.

The key is that you are doing a reading about how to feel the way you want to feel in relation to your issue – but not about the issue itself.

You aren’t asking what should I do about my problem? What do I need to know? What’s going on here? – you are simply asking how can I feel the way I want to feel?

It’s a very empowering act and it allows you to pull yourself out of the drama of your problems and make strides in a positive direction.

So next time something is bothering you, try this Tarot exercise and see what happens!

24 thoughts on “How to Read Tarot for Yourself (When You’re Feeling Emotional)”

  1. Hi, Kate. 🙂

    I was looking through your FAQs when I read your blog about reading Tarot Cards when you’re emotional and decided to try it. My issues were about a situation with being cut from receiving my SSI money because they needed information from me(And unfortunately, I was.) and I didn’t give it to them because I didn’t know what kind of information they needed from me and I couldn’t call them because my smartphone uses minutes and waiting time takes forever. And my landline doesn’t work when calling 1-800 numbers. I can only make local calls. I felt like no one understood me, no one loved me, I’ll never be with my Twin Flame/Soulmate etc. So I decided to do this technique you created with my Clow Cards.

    This is the results I got:

    “How do I want to feel in this situation?”

    I want to have peace of mind, relaxed, confident that everything will work out, and happier.

    Then I asked my Cards: “What do I need to do to feel happier?”

    I shuffled and cut my Clow Cards twice and then drew a Card using the Pop-Up Method. The Card I drew was The Sand Card.

    The Sand Card is an Arabian looking woman made out of sand and she looks like she’s meditating. I always feel like she’s praying for me and maybe she is. I touched the Card with my fingertips and closed my eyes(I can pick up information faster and easier than looking at the Card and/or holding it in my hands.). She said,

    “To feel happy, one must go within.”

    I know what she meant by that. She meant that to find my happiness, I have to search deep inside myself because to be truly happy, I have to make myself happy. True happiness isn’t an outside source. It’s something you have to search for inside yourself. Certain outside things make us happy, but that’s only temporary. To find long lasting happiness, you need to be at peace with yourself and make your own self happy. Instead of relying on material objects.

    I think the reading went off topic, but I think The Sand Card was saying this not only about my situations, but also to relax and find inner peace which can also lead to me feeling less stressed, less depressed(I’ve been severely depressed and stressed out for a long while now.), and much more happier.

    I haven’t tried this exercise reading with my Mystical Manga Tarot Cards, but I will the next time I have an issue.

    Thank you for the exercise. 🙂 I feel better now. 🙂

  2. Hi Kate! Hope you are doing good amidst the health issue. I have been dealing with a debilitating health issue myself without respite past 8 months. I tried out the technique and drew Ace of Wands. Not sure how to read into this.

  3. I used this approach during a time of grief, pulling out the cards that brought me comfort. (I can tell you I definitely didn’t want to see the fucking death card at the time or think about transformation.)
    Would it be ok to share this on another site? Of course I would attribute it to you.

  4. Thank you for this. When I have clients who are too emotionally connected to an outcome I typically won’t allow them to shuffle because their energy will only produce what they desire or fear. So this will be a great way of getting around that.

  5. This is excellent tarot reading advice. And a good way to become more familiar with the cards and their meaning for us. Thank you. <3

  6. Really fantastic way to find some clarity and support when you have an emotional issue. I’m always asking what should I do and I don’t get very helpful answers. Thanks for this great tarot reading advice.

  7. What a great technique, Kate. Thank you for devising it and sharing it–and most of all, for showing how effective it is by sharing a personal example.

  8. Teresa Becker

    Oh man, I wish I had seen this when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer! You have such a beautiful way of looking at the situation in a positive way, I love it!

  9. Hi Kate. This is a really good idea. I hope you have resolved your health issue and are now well. Blessings!

  10. rebecca ferrell

    Thank you for your tutorials and insights. I have become discouraged with the tarot as it has been giving misleading information. I had several experienced readers draw for me and their information seemed valid but did not check out with reality. I love the decks, i want to trust them. Its hard when a good reading is totally off. Any thoughts on gaining trust again? Thanks again for your website and insights. 😉

    1. Hi Rebecca,
      Try using the cards for journalling, rather than predictions and readings – at least for a few weeks. I think the only way a reading can be “misleading” is when we use it to predict the future.
      Instead of using your cards for readings, try some fun exercises with them. Go through your deck and choose your most favorite card and your least favorite card – journal about them and what you like/dislike about them and how they relate your life right now. I find that doing stuff like this with Tarot can actually give you more insights and ideas than actual readings. Good luck!

    2. I hear what you are saying ive been trying for this particular job for months and i did a reading for myself to see if i would get the job all 5 cards came out in my favor but later that day i checked the mail and did not get the job i was so disappointed and began to loose faith in the cards although i did not want to so i spoke with someone and she informed me that not all readings are 100% accurate there could be many factors and she named some she also suggested to ask the cards again what was the issue for the different reading and not to give up on the tarot.

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