November 2019

How to Give a Tarot Reading in 10 Minutes

One of the most challenging aspects of giving a Tarot reading to someone is doing it in a specific time frame – especially if that time frame is short, like ten minutes.

I was recently hired to read Tarot at a Halloween party, which is something I don’t do that often as most of my readings are done online. Since there were around 15 people wanting readings, I had to make these readings short and sweet and keep to my ten minute time limit.

If you’re interested in becoming a professional Tarot reader, being able to do “quickie readings” is a required skill, but it’s also something that many readers (including myself) struggle with.

So I’m here to break it down for you! I’m going to tell you:

  • My ONE favorite tip for keeping readings short and sweet
  • THREE things that can derail a “quickie” reading and turn it into a long one (and what to do about it)

My #1 Tip for keeping Tarot readings short & sweet

Have a general 3 card Tarot spread that you use with everyone. If you’re doing a Tarot party, using the same spread over and over again will help you get into a groove and you won’t waste any time trying to choose the right spread.

Here’s the one I use…

The let go card represents what might be standing in your client’s way, what’s blocking her or what she needs to release.

What you need to know is simply what your client needs to focus on right now – sometimes this card indicates a mindset or way of operating in the world that will be helpful for that person. For example, The Empress could be saying “take a relaxed, laid back approach to life right now and focus on nurturing yourself and your dreams.”

The upcoming opportunity card can represent an action your client needs to take or what will help her most right now.

You can be flexible and slightly alter the positions to suit whoever you’re reading for. I find that most people getting a quickie Tarot reading just want a general reading or they want a general reading about a specific topic (love life, career, health, money, etc).

If their questions are more specific, you can adjust the spread as needed, but I find this spread works wonderfully for all sorts of questions.

Tip: Practice using this spread beforehand and keeping it to just ten minutes! Just do some pretend readings for imaginary clients – it will boost your confidence and help you flex your Tarot reading muscles.


3 Things that can derail a “quickie” Tarot reading:

Whenever you’re trying to keep a reading short and sweet, it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter obstacles at every turn – little things that will threaten to turn your quick reading into a long, drawn out affair. In order to avoid them, you need to be prepared!

1. The chitty-chatty client

Every now and then you’ll get a client who’ll want to unload their life story prior to the reading or ask a million questions, or both! As the Tarot reader, it’s your job to act as a referee in these situations and not let this person run roughshod over your time and energy.

I once had a client who, after asking her “is there anything you’d like me to focus on during your reading?” took a deep breath and then launched into a convoluted story about her ex, kids and money woes which revealed very little except that she was overwhelmed, stressed out and confused.

In this situation, I had 3 choices:

Option A) I could have let her ramble indefinitely, wasting tons of time (not a good option!)

Option B) I could interrupt her and say “it sounds like you’re going through a difficult and confusing time and would like some clarity and guidance,” and then focus the reading on the question “what does she need to focus on right now to bring peace and clarity?”

This is what I call a compassionate response – it takes the client’s feelings into account and let’s her avoid doing the heavy lifting of coming up with her own question for the cards.

The compassionate response takes a bit of skill on the readers part because you have to quickly assess how that client is feeling and form a question around that.

This way of dealing with an overly chatty client is kind of like saying “okay, I get the picture, now leave the rest to me.”

Option C) I could interrupt her and say “what is ONE question you have for the cards today?”

This is what I call a clarity question – it forces the client to quiet her mental chatter and drill down on what is truly important to her right now.

*Tip: if you’re short on time, this is actually a great question to open the reading with.

Either response B or C would be helpful here, depending on the client. Some clients might just use the clarity question to keep chatting, in which case you can move into compassionate response mode.

So I guess what I’m really saying here is don’t let your client ramble on and on before a ten minute Tarot reading. I usually allow ONE MINUTE MAX for preamble chit chat before I draw the cards.


2. BIG questions that can't be addressed in 10 min

I find that most questions or issues can at least be explored in a ten minute Tarot reading, even if you don't get super in-depth or come up with a solution/answer.

However, there are some questions that demand a longer period of time and there's just no way you'll be able to satisfy your client with a quick ten minute reading.

These include questions that are actually multiple questions in disguise or what I call questions within questions.

Here's an example: "should I accept the new job offer or stay in my current job? And if I should stay in my old job, should I ask for a raise or do anything else differently?"

For a complex, multi-layered question, you can simply take ONE aspect of their question and focus on that. In the above example, I would take the first part of the question "should I accept the new job offer or stay in my current job?" and just focus on that and let my client know we don't have time to cover all her questions.

Questions that carry a big emotional weight to them are also good to avoid when you're giving a ten minute Tarot reading.

For example, questions like "why did my marriage fall apart?", "will my aunt beat cancer?" or "should I cut my sister out of my life?" aren't the kinds of topics you want to be diving into in a mini reading.

If your client asks an emotionally heavy question, you can sometimes transform it into a "light" question. For example, why did my marriage fall apart? can be turned into what was I meant to learn from my last relationship? Or even what can I do to move forward successfully?


3. Your own tendency to ramble on and on...

This is the one I struggle with the most! Sometimes when I'm reading Tarot there's a part of me that's watching myself (like in an out of body experience kind of way) and thinking oh for fucks sake Kate, get to the point! because it's hard for me to say something just once - I like to repeat myself and say the same thing but a bit differently.

Less is more. Be concise. This is especially important if you've only got 10 min to give a reading.

Another thing that's sometimes tricky is wrapping up the reading. It's especially difficult if you feel like there's still more you want to say or if you sense your client feels unsatisfied. But wrap up you must!

There's a couple good ways to wrap up a reading. I always like to quickly recap the key points of the reading, then I say "thank you for having me read your cards for you" as I gather up the cards and re-shuffle. If there's extra time (which there usually isn't in a 10 min reading) I might ask if they have any questions about their cards.

Get comfy wrapping things up. Practice doing pretend readings on imaginary clients and run through your wrap up procedure until it feels like second nature.


Make these 10 minutes really count!

Having only ten minutes to read someone's cards really forces you to focus on what's really important. When you're giving a "quickie" Tarot reading, ask yourself how can I make the most out of these ten minutes?

Don't waste time rambling about the past or blabbering endlessly about the future - save that crap for the 20 min readings! I find that focusing on the NOW and what your client can DO to make life more magical is what makes for a good ten minute reading.

A Recommendation...

If you're interested in doing Tarot reading at parties and events, a must-read book is Have Tarot Will Party by Jenna Matlin (this is my affiliate link). She explains everything you need to know about party readings and really lays it out in a practical way.

Even though I've done party readings before, I never felt 100% at ease doing them. In fact, I've always felt a vague sense of terror while reading in a party atmosphere. But after reading Jenna's book I felt confident and excited about doing party readings. Shortly after reading her book I got hired to read at a party and for the first time I actually felt calm, relaxed and organized while doing readings. Yay!


I want to know...

What are the things that YOU struggle with when giving quick, 10-min Tarot readings? Let me know in the comments...


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How to Read a Tarot Card (Using Dream Interpretation Techniques)

Last week I had the weirdest dream. I was trying to buy some booze at a liquor store and the cashier, who happened to be Jake Gyllenhaal, asked to see my ID.

But when I reached into my wallet for my driver’s license, it was gone! I panicked. I felt dizzy with anxiety over the fact that I had lost my identity.

I tried explaining to Jake Gyllenhall that I probably just misplaced my ID and it wasn’t a big deal but he called his supervisor over and she said that it WAS a big deal and they wouldn’t sell me the alcohol.

I felt powerless and sick to my stomach.

There’s a few weird elements in this dream. #1 I’m not much of a drinker, #2 I’m too old to get asked for ID and #3 I’m not even into Jake Gyllenhaal, so why is he popping up in my dreams as a miserly cashier?

Since the dream make absolutely no fucking sense to me, I decided to put my dream interpretation techniques to work!

I usually do these four steps when interpreting a dream:

  1. Theme – what was the overall theme of the dream?
  2. Feeling – what emotions did I experience?
  3. Symbols – what were the main symbols in the dream?
  4. Action – what was I mostly doing in the dream?

The theme of the dream was losing my identity. The main feeling I had was panic and anxiety. The action I was taking was trying to convince the people in the dream to give me what I wanted. And the main symbols in the dream were the lost driver’s license, liquor and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The symbols are intriguing – while my driver’s license helps me prove who I am, liquor can help me forget who I am. I still have no idea how Jake Gyllenhaal fits into any of this.

Then I tried to take what I’d learned about this dream and apply it to my real life…

Was I struggling to find my identity? In what areas of my life was I feeling panicky and anxious? Did I feel I had to convince others to give me what I wanted?

This led to hours of fascinating self reflection and journaling! Thank god I don’t have kids or a real job, so I can just sit around all day pondering this shit.

Just as these dream interpretation techniques can help you plumb the sordid depths of your psyche, they can also help you decode a Tarot card.

Okay, now let’s apply these same four questions to a Tarot reading situation!

Let’s say you’re doing a daily one card draw. You ask “what do I need to know right now?” and draw the Knight of Wands from the Everyday Witch Tarot.

Everyday Witch Tarot
  • What’s the overall theme of this card?
  • What feeling do you get when you look at it?
  • What action (if any) is taking place?
  • What are the main symbols?

If you want to practice, I’ll let you answer the above questions on your own. To see my answers, keep reading!

So I’m going to start with the symbols, because that’s the easiest bit. I see the fire breathing dragon, the mountain and the magic wand as the main symbols. You may have picked different ones and that’s totally fine.

I think the mountain and dragon symbolize a challenge or a goal. The magic wand symbolizes your own power and ability to direct your will and energy.

I feel excited and energized when I look at this card, but also antsy, like when you drink too much coffee and then have to sit for twenty minutes in the waiting room of your waxing salon, reading People magazine while you nervously anticipate getting your pubes ripped out.

The action that seems to be unfolding is that this knight is going on a quest to vanquish the dragon.

The overall theme of this card is tackling a big goal or challenge.

So now for the tricky part! How do all these elements apply to your life? What is the advice or suggestions offered by this card?

When I consider this card and what’s going on in my life right now, there are a few possible messages:

  • Now is the time to tackle that BIG roadblock or fear
  • Having a specific goal to work towards right now will be helpful for you
  • What do you consider to be your biggest challenges right now?

Some things to keep in mind…

The symbols you notice and the feelings you have when you gaze at this card will depend on what’s going on in your psyche right now. This is why no two people will read this card in the exact same way.

Also, if you look at this card in a few weeks, you might see different stuff and therefore come up with a whole different message. For example, I sometimes see adventure and excitement when I look at this card, but today all I got was goals, goals, goals!

What I love about interpreting a Tarot card like a dream is that it lets you go beyond the book meaning of a card. You can go deeper into a card this way and the messages feel more personal and custom made to fit your life.

Okay, so I didn’t tell you about the second and more scandalous part of my Jake Gyllenhaal dream…

After refusing to sell me alcohol, Jake Gyllenhaal approached me in the park behind the liquor store. I was sulking at a picnic table. He leaned down and filthily whispered “come back to my place and we can do all the drugs and have all the sex.”

Can you believe it?!

Sadly, I was horrified and disgusted by his lurid offer and said “no way!”


I guess even Unconscious Me is an uptight prissy pants.

In the comments below, tell me your most recent weird dream…because I’m creepy/nosy like that ๐Ÿ˜‰

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