Contrary to what many free loving, hippy Tarot readers will tell you, there IS a wrong way to read Tarot!
I know, because I’ve done it. Countless times.
When you’re Tarot readings feel shallow, confusing, unhelpful and unsatisfying, it’s not because you didn’t sage hard enough or that you ate too much dairy and it clogged up your aura.
It’s probably because you’re making one (or more!) of these seriously shitty mistakes….
Mistake #1 – Reading too frequently on the same topic
So you’ve been having a fling with a hot 23 year old named Ben. After a night of passion and confessing your love for his chiseled Crossfit bod, he suddenly ghosts you!
Wondering why you haven’t heard from him, you do a reading and ask “why hasn’t Ben texted me?”
But you don’t like the cards that come up, so you make yourself a hot chocolate and look at naked pictures of Orlando Bloom on the internet. But an hour later you bust out your cards again and you ask “why hasn’t Ben texted me?”
I used to do this kind of crap ALL THE TIME. And it would usually happen when I was all in a tizzy over some problem.
Why should you avoid doing this? I think it cheapens the readings and leads to confusing and shallow experiences with your cards. If you don’t love the cards you got, re-doing the reading can go two ways. Either you’ll get similar cards again, which will further frustrate you or you will get totally different cards which will make you doubt the validity of the whole Tarot reading experience.
But I know you – when you’re thirsty for info, you’ll stop at nothing to get it! So here are two sneaky workarounds for this type of situation:
Workaround #1: If you feel unsatisfied with a reading, it’s okay to keep probing. In fact, probe away! But ask different questions. So instead of continually asking “why hasn’t Ben texted me?” every single day, try going deeper with “what do I need to know about this relationship?” or “what action do I need to take?”
Workaround #2: Instead of reading on the issue itself, do a reading for yourself that will help you feel the way you want to feel. Ask yourself “how do I want to feel in this situation?” Once you’ve figured that out (and yes, it can take a while), then get your cards out and ask “what do I need to do to feel _______?”
I explain this technique in more depth in my article on how to read for yourself when you’re feeling emotional, so you might want to check it out!
Mistake #2 – Treating your Tarot deck like Google
We all Google random, stupid questions from time to time, like where can I buy Chakra tuning forks? Why is my BF repulsed by my high sex drive? Can you wax nipple hair? or How can I fill this dark chasm of loneliness inside my soul?
This is all fine and good but when you start asking your Tarot deck stuff like this, it never ends well. Except for the last question though – that one’s actually pretty deep.
Think of your Tarot deck as a mystical oracle of divine wisdom….or a really good friend. Either way, the more you respect your deck and treat it right, the more helpful and satisfying your readings will be.
But if you pull a card for every inane question that pops into your head, well, it’s just going to piss your deck off!
Remember this: the energy you put into your readings is reflected back to you. If you come at your deck with a frivolous and impatient energy, you’re cards will feed it back to you in the form of a confusing and unsatisfying reading.
Don’t think of your Tarot deck as a tool for getting answers – think of it as a tool for self exploration.
Sometimes readers want their deck to do all the heavy lifting, but it never works like that. Once you ask a question and draw a card, don’t expect instant crystal clarity! You may need to do some contemplating, some soul searching and some creative thinking to figure out what message your cards have for you.
Mistake #3 – Not setting an intention for the reading (or having a murky question)
I’ve lost count of all the times I’ve sat down to do a reading for myself with an overly vague question. It usually happens when I have a desire for clarity and comfort but I’m not entirely sure what the issue is and I’m too lazy to figure it out before drawing cards.
This is a big mistake because it usually leads to a murky and confusing reading. You’re Tarot cards crave direction and the clearer you are about why you’re doing this reading, the better your reading will be.
Before doing a Tarot reading, ask yourself this: what do I want to get out of this reading?
Do you want fresh ideas? Clarity? A new perspective? Comfort? Peace? Secret smutty info?
This will set the tone and help you create an intention for the reading. This makes all the difference!!!
Mistake #4 – Not sitting with a card long enough
These days everyone’s in a big fucking hurry all the time. I actually know a guy who listens to self-help podcasts on fast forward so the voices sound like chipmunks and he can get all the self-help he needs in half the time. I know, right? He needs help.
And so do you….if you are the type of Tarot reader who spends only a few seconds contemplating a card before zipping on to the next one, that is!
One of the biggest sins committed by Tarot readers everywhere (including me) is that we assume we already know what a tarot card means without truly diving into it.
We’re in such a big rush to draw our conclusions and hurry on to the next thing that we don’t take the time to just sit with a card and let it reveal it’s secrets to us. This is a big mistake!
The other day I asked my Tarot deck “what do I need to focus on right now?” and I got The High Priestess. I immediately thought oh, right. I need to focus on developing my intuition and paying attention to my dreams.
But then I sat with The High Priestess for a little longer and just gazed at her and when I did this I noticed that behind her were stacks of books and in front of her was a crystal ball that she was meditating with. The card seemed to be saying turn your back on books (aka other peoples ideas) and focus on your own experience (aka intuition). I also noticed that the cat on the card was pawing playfully at a bag of runes – this detail seemed to be conveying that I should be playful about exploring my psychic side and not take it too seriously.
When you sit with a card for a little while, specific nuggets of advice and wisdom reveal themselves!
Mistake #5 – Not turning inward
Or…immediately looking a card up in your Tarot book or online.
Most of us are so used to turning to some outside authority for answers – a book, the internet or another person – that turning inward can feel almost unnatural and unsettling.
In fact, I’m willing to bet both my left AND right ovaries that the entire success of the entertainment industry is dependent upon our rampant avoidance of our inner selves, serving as the perfect distraction. Why traverse the universe within when you could kill a couple hours watching Bachelor in Paradise?
God, I could ramble on and on….
But back to Tarot! Within every Tarot card is an opportunity to turn inward. Think of a Tarot card as a portal or doorway into your inner universe – an invitation from your soul to plumb its starry depths!
For example, let’s say you’re pissed at your live-in boyfriend because he leaves his B.O. laden t-shirts and socks draped over your red velvet chaise lounger. So you ask your Tarot cards “how can I get my boyfriend to pick up after himself?”
Then you pull the Seven of Swords, which at first makes no fucking sense. The Seven of Swords is about deceit, being sneaky and abandoning the group.
So you consider these things and you look at the imagery – a man tiptoeing away from a tent village, clutching a bunch of swords – and you dive inward!
Where in your life are you tip toeing? What do you feel you need to be sneaky about? What do you long to get away from? What does this card remind you of?
And now the answers are obvious. You’ve been tip-toeing around your BF’s messiness because you want to avoid seeming like a bitch. You’re being sneaky because you want to influence him to pick up his mess without having to confront him directly. And of course you want to escape from this caretaker role, always cleaning up after him. It all makes sense! These are the things you must overcome if you want things to change.
But what if you’d just looked this Tarot card up in a book? You may have gotten a few ideas but the experience wouldn’t have been as personal or meaningful.
Mistake #6 – Forgetting to “make a plan” after the reading
Pop question: what do you do once you’ve finished a reading? Take notes? Record your reading somewhere? Forget about it?
If you’re like me, you probably just forget about it. I feel terrible saying this, but most of the time when I finish doing a reading for myself I think wow, that was really illuminating! and then immediately forget all about it.
But if you’re NOT like me, this is what you’d do: you’d take the advice and insights you gleaned from the reading and you’d make a plan to put that advice into action.
A few months ago I did a reading for myself where I asked how can I feel more inspired and creative in my work? I pulled a bunch of cards and each one had a brilliant suggestion for me.
The Three of Swords said confront your heartache! The Ace of Cups said do Reiki on yourself each day to get the energy moving! The Hierophant said sign up for that class you’ve been thinking about taking!
At this point I could have whipped out a pen and paper and started writing down action steps, such as 1. sign up for that class and 2. schedule in a Reiki session for myself each morning, etc.
Did I do this? NO! But if I had, who knows where it would have taken me and what transformations may have occurred as a result.
Mistake #7 – Not signing up for my 4 week Tarot course!
And this my friends, is the biggest mistake of all!
My upcoming four week course The Daily Tarot Girl’s guide to Intuitive Tarot Reading begins on Sept 18th – have you signed up yet?
This course is designed for beginner to intermediate Tarot students who want to read Tarot with more intuition, confidence and skill!
It’s a fresh, fun Tarot course that’s packed with videos, worksheets, challenges and more! There’s a private Facebook group where you get to meet fellow students, ask me questions and interact. I will also do a live Q&A session each week.
After you take my course, you will be able to…
- Tap into your intuition the moment you turn over a Tarot card
- Interpret a card with your own unique flair
- Read a Tarot card in ANY context
- Feel connected to your Tarot cards and to your own inner wisdom as you do a reading
- Clearly see the message in a Tarot reading (well, most of the time!)
- Have a personal bond with your Tarot deck so that doing readings is like having a convo with a good friend
UPDATE: Registration is now closed for this course, but will re-open again in Fall 2020 🙂
I want your opinion!
Can you relate to these Tarot mistakes? Or do you have a special Tarot mistake of your own that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!!!