8 Tarot Rules to Ignore (and a threesome gone wrong!)

Rules exist for a reason, but some rules were made to be broken. I’m going to give you 8 Tarot “rules” that you can feel free to ignore (and 4 that you should consider following) – but first a little story about a threesome, because who doesn’t love a good threesome-gone-wrong story?

A good friend of mine was recently invited to take part in a threesome with a married couple.

At first she was hesitant but then she though what the hell? I’m not getting any younger and this seems like an interesting way to spend a Friday night!

Three days before the event was to take place, she got a text from the couple, outlining all their “boundaries” and ground rules for the threesome. The list was exhaustive. No kissing on the mouth, no prolonged eye contact, no cuddling, no perfumed or scented products, gluten free lube only, sex toys must be phthalate-free and vegan friendly, etc, etc. The word boundaries appeared several times.

After mulling it over for five minutes, she felt like this event sounded more 3rd Reich than 3-way and so she gracefully declined.

And I don’t blame her! Rules can wreck things, but they also have their place. The yoga studio I go to has a strictly enforced no talking rule and honestly, thank fuck. Otherwise you get people piping up during class about all their injuries and health problems. No thanks!

But too many rules can kill something. Like Tarot. Tarot is a wonderful thing to explore and have fun with, but there are all these weird beliefs and “rules” floating around, most of which are complete crapolla.

What I hate about this is that newbies come across these “rules” and get caught up and worried about whether or not they’re doing it right. It makes people feel uptight about Tarot and that’s just wrong!

So here are 8 Tarot Rules for you to completely ignore….and yeah, I know that whole threesome story didn’t really have much to do with this, I just wanted to share it 🙂

Rule #1: You must be gifted your first Tarot deck

This is the most impractical rule of all. If I waited for someone to give me a deck before learning Tarot, I would still be waiting. I’m not sure where this idea originated or what the supposed consequences of buying your own Tarot deck are, but this is definitely a rule to ignore.

I bought my very first Tarot deck – The Secret Tarot – on Amazon many years ago and my Tarot journey has been filled with light, joy and discovery. In other words, I didn’t drop dead immediately after buying my first deck 😉

 

Rule #2: You shouldn’t let others touch your cards

I suspect this rule was dreamed up by some Purrell packing germaphobe who sees everyone as members of the great unwashed. But I think the real idea behind this rule is that others will energetically contaminate your deck and then all your readings henceforth will be a wee bit fucked.

I don’t really buy into this line of thinking and I wrote a blog about it. Basically, you should be clearing your deck between readings anyway, which takes care of all those energetic boogers and whatnot.

 

Rule #3: You MUST have the querent shuffle the cards so their energy is incorporated into the reading

Personally, I like this idea. But I don’t often let my clients shuffle because most people are 100% spazzy at it and cards end up flying all over the place! I do the shuffling and then I invite them to choose their own cards – so you get the best of both worlds.

However, when I do distance readings (like over skype or email) my client can’t choose their own cards, so I do it for them. Does this mean their energy isn’t sufficiently infused in the reading? No. Of course not. Setting the intention to connect with your client’s energy is more important than them being physically present (in my opinion).

 

Rule #4: You must wrap your deck in a silk cloth when you aren’t using it

I think what this rule is really all about is treating your cards like they’re special and not just tossing them on your coffee table and using them as coasters and bookmarks. But some Tarot peeps take it way too far….

I’ve heard a few Tarot authors suggest throwing out the original box your deck came in because it just isn’t special enough to house your cards. Whaaaat? I love organizing my decks on my bookshelf and keeping them in their original boxes helps me locate them. So no. I won’t chuck the box.

You don’t need to wrap your deck in silk or even skanky polyester for that matter. Just treat your deck nice. Here’s how I store my cards and maybe it will give you some ideas.

 

Rule #5: You must memorize all the Tarot card meanings before giving someone a reading

Nonsense! I think you should have a good understanding of all the Tarot card meanings before calling yourself a professional Tarot reader, but you can start giving readings at any point in your Tarot studies, even on day one (provided you make it clear to the person your reading for that you’re just learning).

This obsession with memorizing all the Tarot meanings before you can do anything with Tarot is just plain silly. It’s also the wrong approach to learning Tarot, which I bitched about in this blog post: 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Learning Tarot.

Understanding the Tarot meanings is an important part of Tarot study, but don’t get too hung up on it. And don’t let it stop you from diving in and giving readings to lucky friends and other willing victims!

 

Rule #6: You should never read Tarot for yourself

This is like saying you should never masturbate.

I guess the concern here is that you will be too biased to give yourself an objective reading, seeing what you want to see and letting your emotions get in the way.

It’s a valid concern and something to be aware of, but don’t let that stop you from hopping on the non-stop fun train that is self-readings. Tarot cards and self exploration go hand in hand and anyone who says otherwise is a total killjoy.

 

Rule #7: You have to be “spiritual” to read Tarot or be born with “the gift”

Well I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to love crystals, yoga or meditation or any of that stuff to be a great Tarot reader. Reading Tarot isn’t really about being “spiritual” but you do need to have an open mind.

Before I started studying Tarot I remember assuming that you had to have some sort of innate psychic gift or be a member of a special group to be able to read the cards. When I figured out that anyone could learn Tarot, my mind was BLOWN!

 

Rule #8: Never use a second hand Tarot deck

My Mystic Meg Tarot – a second hand deck

The worry is that the previous owner’s energy will be so powerfully embedded in the cards that it will mess up all your readings and bring bad ju-ju into your home. But guess what? You can cleanse your cards!

I have a couple second hand decks and I did a little extra energetic clearing when I brought them home – I saged the crap out of them, placed them on the windowsill overnight to let the moonlight bathe them and then placed them in a bag with a handful of quartz crystals. I’ve never had any issues with second hand decks – and neither should you!

Some GOOD rules…

Just like the no talking rule at my yoga studio, some rules improve things. Here are the four Tarot rules I actually follow:

Good Rule #1: Clear your deck between readings

It’s a sage stick – not a doobie!

I put this in the same category as brushing my teeth before bed and washing my hands after I use the bathroom.

I typically clear my deck by knocking on it once or twice with my knuckles and then shuffling it with the intention that the shuffling is clearing the deck of any old energy. You might want to do something more elaborate, but that’s your fish to fry!

Good Rule #2: When choosing cards for a reading, choose with your left hand

Your left hand is connected to your right brain, the seat of intuition and creativity. So using your left hand to pick a card is like letting your intuition take charge for once.

Do you have to do this? No. Lightning bolts won’t spring out of the sky and strike you down if you choose with your right hand. But just choose with your left – trust me!

Rule #3: If a card flies out of the deck while shuffling, you must include it in the reading

Jumper cards are special cards – they’re like messages from the universe. Or an indication that you’re a shitty shuffler. In any case, I like to give them the red carpet treatment and not only include them in the reading, but pay extra close attention to them.

Rule #4: Don’t read for yourself when you’re really upset

 

Strong emotions scramble the brain and I can say from experience that giving yourself a reading when you’re all in a flap about something will be as helpful as a teenage grocery boy when you ask him what aisle the chutney’s in.

But what if you really, really WANT to do a reading? Then do this – it’s my special reading technique that helps you get peace and wisdom from your cards, even if you’re all shook up.

What do YOU think?

Which silly Tarot rules have confused you in the past? And are there any Tarot rules/guidelines that you follow? Tell me all in the comments below 🙂

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10 Responses to 8 Tarot Rules to Ignore (and a threesome gone wrong!)

  1. fim says:

    Even before I started reading Tarot, I was buying decks for myself. They were just beautiful to look at. Besides, I think gifting myself is exactly the right thing to do because I’m always taking care of everyone else, and disregarding my own wants and needs. I do use beautiful cloths, and pouches, and decorative boxes to keep my decks in, because they’re cool, and I’m showing my decks how much I love them. I also have some which remain in their original box. My own personal way of ‘clearing’ my decks is to Reiki them. I also do a strange shuffle technique, mainly because it’s fun. I make piles; three on the top row, two in the middle like and three on the bottom, and I begin with a little saying: “The geese fly out to the four corners of the world, and sit in counsel. Each word is a placement of a card on a pile. Starting at the right side, lower right, and going diagonally, to form a geese formation, and then placing a card in the four corners, and finally finishing by placing cards in on the center piles, before placing the rest of the deck randomly out. After all cards are placed, I choose two random piles and combine them. Then again, two more and so on until all my piles have been randomly combined, and I have my last two piles (half of the deck in each pile), and do a casino shuffle, and then a riffle, and place them to cut. I do cut with my left hand. I do turn the cards over into my spread with my left hand – that intuitive connection. I also usually choose the last card from the bottom of the deck, which I refer to as the ‘hidden factor’ card which will bring into my reading something I might have not considered. I love your videos, and really appreciate the videos you make.

  2. Laura Williams says:

    I’m a really shitty shuffler and way too many cards fall out or jump out. I don’t think I should read them because of that. I think they just come out because I’m a really bad shuffler. What do you think?

  3. Sharon says:

    Hi Kate,
    All the rules I ever heard about Tarot involved shuffling (always 3 piles to the left) and selection (all the cards straight off the top of the third pile or whatever), and I still sometimes channel those silly ideas and feel a wee bit guilty if I don’t follow them. But I’ve seen you shuffling and selecting for your weekly reading on line, and I’ve seen others doing different, very casual things, and I’ve mostly learned to relax about it and trust that setting the intention will suffice, and I’ll get what I’m supposed to get. Cards that fall out of the deck while shuffling are worth checking out, though, as you say.
    Always love your posts, they make me guffaw, and sometimes they make my day!!
    Thanks, Kate!

    • Thanks Sharon – glad you enjoyed 🙂 I remember one of the first Tarot books I ever read (I think it was Eden Gray’s book) and it talked a lot about shuffling and piles and cutting the deck to the left. I think I ignored it all right from the start just because I couldn’t remember it all (so I was a bad student from the very beginning!)

  4. OMG! I soo love your personality!!

    “Rule #6: You should never read Tarot for yourself – This is like saying you should never masturbate.”

    You crack me up and I look forward to your posts. If you would ever like to work together let me know. Would be so much fun.

    Judi Jamieson The Psychic

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