Have you ever experienced the same Tarot card continually showing up in your readings again and again? Did you think what does it meeeeeaaaannnnn?
In the video below, I will tell you what it means (or at least what I think it means) and I’ll share my three step process for decoding these repeat cards. If you’d like to see the written version of this video, you can check it out right here.
I want to know….what card have you been getting repeatedly lately? Spill the beans in the comments below…
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
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
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 🙂
Like sex, Tarot can get stale and boring. Especially if you’re always doing the same old same old. It’s normal to feel kind of “meh” about doing readings or studying Tarot every now and then. If this is something you’re going through right now, here are some ways to spice things up…
Spice #1: Do It Outside!
Or in a cafe, at the library, in a stairwell or the back of a cab…you get the idea. A change in location helps you see your cards in a whole new way.
Whenever I want to breathe life into my Tarot practice, I pack up my deck and Tarot journal and head to the park or beach. Contemplating the Tarot to the sound of crashing waves and toddlers throwing tantrums really brings the magic!
Being surrounded by something other than my living room (where I usually read Tarot) stimulates my brain in a way that makes it more creative and active, enabling a different experience with the Tarot.
Spice #2: Do Something Different
Are you stuck in a rut? Do you always do the same thing with your Tarot cards?
I used to practice only by giving myself readings and this got old really fast as I quickly ran out of problems and issues to read about. When I discovered Tarot journalingeverything changed and it opened up a world of possibility!
So if you normally just do readings with your cards, try journaling about them, meditating with them, sketching them or throwing them up in the air like money and rolling around naked on a bed like your Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal. Remember that scene?
Spice #3: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Things get interesting when you do something that scares you. So don’t hesitate to push yourself a little when it comes to your Tarot practice. This is how you’ll get better, after all.
What makes you feel a little uncomfortable? Reading Tarot for a stranger? Or perhaps reading Tarot for yourself without your book of meanings? Or is it focusing on a card you really dislike?
Whatever it is, DO IT! And then feel the thrills roll in.
Spice #4: Find a Tarot Buddy or Tarot Group
Tarot is well suited to being a solo practice which is probably why hardcore introverts and those who despise fraternizing are drawn to it.
You can have soooo much fun when you share your passion for Tarot with a like minded friend or group. When I was first learning Tarot I was lucky enough to have a friend who was also just getting into it and we’d practice giving awkward readings to each other. It was great.
I’ve never been in a Tarot group before, although I did come dangerously close one time.
I did something totally out of character one day and joined a meetup group – our first Tarot potluck meetup was cancelled but I didn’t get the memo so I showed up at someone’s house, tabbouleh salad in hand. This lady peeked out through a crack in her door and said “it’s cancelled” and that was that.
Beth from Little Red Tarot had a totally different experience and you can read all about her lovely Tarot group here.
Spice #5: Get a New Tarot Deck or Book
Ahhh, the old standby. Buying more stuff!
Sometimes this is just the thing you need – a new deck to put some pizzazz in your readings or a new book to give you some fresh ideas and perspectives. But sometimes this just results in more unread books on your shelf and more Tarot decks collecting dust. So proceed with caution.
What I love about getting a new deck is seeing the cards through a different lens. This always expands my understanding of the Tarot and like an alcoholic pretending to be a wine connoisseur I get to appreciate the art of Tarot while feeding my addiction. It’s a win-win!
If you’re not sure what decks to get, here are some of my faves.
Spice #6: Start a Tarot Scrapbook
This is a cool idea that I had that I will probably never actually do but I think you totally should!
A Tarot scrapbook is like a Tarot journal, but with more images and bits of stuff glued on. Get a big scrapbook and dedicate a page for each card and in addition to writing the card’s meaning, you could include things like ticket stubs, dried flowers and leaves, doodles, etc that capture the essence of the card.
For example, The Knight of Wands page could have ticket stubs to an action movie and travel postcards, while the High Priestess page might feature an incense stick and shiny silver star stickers.
This seems like a time consuming project, so I’m out. But I think it would be a fun alternative to a Tarot Journal, especially if your craftsy.
Spice #7: Take a Break!
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. If you’re spending too much time with your Tarot cards it can become like a dysfunctional relationship where you both get sick of each other!
When I first got into Tarot I was doing multiple readings on myself every day. It got too much. My readings began to feel confusing and pointless. I started resenting my Tarot deck and feeling mildly irritated every time I picked it up.
If you’re feeling blah about Tarot, take a week or even a month away from your cards. When you come back to them your interest and enthusiasm will be renewed and invigorated!
Bonus: Spice #8
Explore my website! I’ve designed my site with one goal in mind – to help you spice up your relationship with Tarot.
Learning Tarot can be a bit of a shitshow. So many books and decks to choose from, so much to learn and so little time. It’s no wonder most students of the Tarot get overwhelmed and give up.
When I look back at when I was first learning Tarot, I made SO MANY MISTAKES. In the end it didn’t really matter – I learned Tarot eventually, but if I’d known these 3 things, I think I would have had an easier time of it.
MISTAKE #1: Starting with the Major Arcana
Most Tarot books start off by discussing the Major Arcana and most Tarot students try to learn the Majors first, before moving onto the minors.
This is what I did (initially) and I wish I hadn’t.
The Majors represent the soul’s journey. They’re deep, esoteric and can sometimes be confusing and tricky to understand. Each Tarot card has many layers to it but this is especially true for the Major Arcana cards.
The Minor Arcana are much easier to relate to. They depict scenes of day to day life and you can usually figure out what the Minors are about just by looking at them.
Starting with the Majors is like trying to read Tolstoy when your nine. You’re bound to get discouraged and end up thinking “this is hard. I’m an idiot. Maybe I can’t learn Tarot after all.”
To be honest, I still have NO IDEA what the Justice card even means! And I’ve been reading for a good 10 years.
Most people are able to understand the Minors without much Tarot experience and I recommend studying them first. This will boost your confidence and get you all juiced up to tackle the Majors once you’re ready.
MISTAKE #2: Trying to learn Tarot fast
We all want to figure shit out quickly. The idea of spending YEARS learning something is just not sexy. But learning Tarot takes time.
So if you truly desire to know and understand the Tarot, don’t be in a big rush. Instead, buckle up for a long and thrilling ride!
See the act of learning Tarot as an adventurous journey as opposed to an impressive task that needs to be completed. This will help you savor the experience of learning Tarot, because it truly is something to be savored!
Tarot is not some external thing that can be mastered like cupcake baking, pole dancing or carpentry. Learning Tarot requires you to journey into your self – it is more of an internal process than an external one.
For example, it’s not enough to just memorize the cards so that the next time you look at The Emperor you think Emperor = authority and stubborness.
What does The Emperor mean to you? How are you like him? Who does he remind you of? What do you love/hate about him? How does this card show up in your life? Answering these questions will help you truly understand this card but it will also help you understand your self better.
MISTAKE #3: Trying to memorize the card meanings
Memorization isn’t learning. It’s the opposite of learning, similar to brainwashing. If memorization is the cornerstone of your Tarot study then you will end up being a cold, robotic reader!
The most important way to learn about something is to experience it and Tarot cards beg to be experienced!
The High Priestess murmurs come closer and let me tell you my secrets, NOT put a label on me and remember it.
Meditate on the images and symbols, journal about the cards, and most importantly DO THIS EXERCISE to dive deep and really explore your cards.
Once you explore and experience the cards you will truly understand them, which is way more valuable than superficial memorization. Here are my 7 tips for learning the card meanings (without boring memorization!)
Over to you!
What mistakes did you make when you were first learning Tarot? Tell me in the comments below!
Not going to a yoga retreat in Costa Rica with my friend Laura (because I thought I was being responsible by saving my money. Stupid!)
Spilling fish oil on a shirt and then washing it in the regular wash. DON’T EVER DO THIS!!!! It makes ALL your clothes reek of dead fish for months.
Picking up a hitchhiker.
But I suppose if I wanted to be a minimalist, I would say there is actually only ONE thing I regret in life – ignoring my intuition.
Because in all those situations, my intuition was guiding me down the right path but I chose to ignore.
So back to the hitchhiker.
I was vacationing on a small island off the B.C. coast with my significant other and we had just finished a beautiful day hike along a remote beach trail. We were heading back to our cabin along an old, deserted logging road when we spotted a dude hitchhiking…in the middle of nowhere. Weird right?
He looked like an old hippy and at first glance seemed harmless.
A soft voice in the back of my heart said “fuck it, just keep driving” but my mind said “he’s probably a local hippy and hitchhikes all the time. If you don’t pick him up who will? This is the middle of nowhere! Be kind and helpful for once in your life…”
I asked my significant other how he felt about picking him up. He said “it’s your call”. Which is his way of saying if this shit goes south, it’s on you.
I’d never picked up a hitchhiker before. It was something I always considered dangerous but this was different. I was on a small island where everyone knew each other, I had my burly boyfriend with me and this guy just looked like a harmless local. How could this possibly go wrong?
So I pulled over and picked him up. Over the course of our 20 minute drive,I learned four things about him:
His #1 goal was to return to Alberta and get back on his meds.
His DNA was part wolf and he was on the island to commune with the wolf packs. Here’s a snippet:“I can run with the wolves because I’m part wolf and they recognize me as one of them. But don’t you try it, okay? Promise me you won’t try it. They would rip you to shreds. I can do it because I’ve got wolf DNA.”
He was certain we were being followed by “dark government agents” in a black SUV and that they were trying to run me off the road. Yet there were no other vehicles around (!)
He was bleeding from a large dog bite on his arm.
Needless to say, I spent the entire drive tightly gripping the steering wheel and praying he wouldn’t murder us.
(*please note: I do realize that statistically, very few mentally ill people are actually dangerous. And I don’t intend to portray people with mental health issues as “scary” people that should be avoided. This is simply my experience and how it felt to me at the time).
It ended well – we dropped him off at the ferry terminal and he thanked us profusely for the ride and left. But that is the LAST TIME I ever pick up a hitchhiker!
So what did I learn from this? Two things.
My intuition was a soft voice – not a loud one.
I experienced my intuition as a slight feeling of just wanting to keep driving. My intuition didn’t shout NO! DON’T DO IT! Instead it murmured just keep driving.
I think we often expect our intuition to be loud and clear. But intuition communicates through inklings and hunches, not bellowing orders.
My intuition’s worst enemy is my desire to be polite.
Honestly, I have lost count of the times I’ve ignored my intuition for the sake of “being polite”. From my run in with a masturbator at the local pool (a story for another time!) to picking up this mentally unstable hitchhiker, I often favor courting danger over possibly hurting someone’s feelings.
This desire for politeness is a terrible affliction, especially when it overpowers our survival instincts.
Intuitive information is often irrational.
When my friend Laura invited me to go to Costa Rica with her, my intuition said “yes! do it!” but my rational mind said “are you crazy? You need to save your money for a house.”
That time I ran into a pervert at the pool, my intuition told me “this guy is creepy. Leave the steam room now.” But my rational mind said “he hasn’t done anything weird, so relax.” 20 seconds later things got weird.
Your intuition sees past appearances and “facts” to the raw truth of a situation. And while it can sometimes seem like ignoring your intuition is the easiest option in the short term, it never is.
Intuitive Tarot 101
The next time your doing a Tarot reading, be aware that any intuitive information you get may be impolite and irrational!
If you choose to only communicate stuff that makes perfect sense and won’t make your client uncomfortable, you’re tossing a wet blanket on your intuitive flame.
For many years I shied away from communicating what my intuition was telling me during a Tarot reading IF that information might be upsetting or intrusive. This was a mistake!
For example, when I realized one of my clients was planning on breaking up with her dud boyfriend, I avoided saying anything specific about it because she hadn’t asked about her relationship (she’d asked for a “general reading”) and I didn’t want to pry. So of course the reading lacked spice and intrigue 🙁
But I’ve learned from my mistakes. Now I’m more likely to pass on the info my intuition is serving up like I did in this reading, even if it blows back in my face.
Tell me about YOU…
When was the last time you ignored your intuition and regretted it? Tell me in the comments below!
Is there anything more fun and exciting than getting a new Tarot deck?
Well, okay, I can think of a few things, but exploring a new deck is one of my favorite things to do! And I thought I’d share my process of breaking in a new Tarot or oracle card deck with you.
#1 Make a date with your new deck
I like to set aside an hour or so in the evening or on a lazy Sunday to just go through the deck and look at all the cards. I make it a bit of a ritual by pouring myself a cup of tea or hot cocoa and nesting up in a comfy spot where I won’t be disturbed.
This is usually always my first introduction to a new deck.
I rarely just jump into doing readings right away. Why? Because to me it feels too much like hopping into bed with someone you’ve just met – totally great for some but I need time to warm up.
#2 Cleanse your Tarot cards
Honestly, I’m pretty lax about energetically cleansing my cards. If it’s a brand new deck I often forget, but if it’s a used deck, I always remember. Cleansing your cards can be a nice ritual that helps you bond with your deck and make it yours.
Here are some different ways you can cleanse your cards:
Light up a big bundle of sage and waft the smoke all over the cards (my favorite!)
Put your deck in a bag of quartz crystals or simply sit a crystal on top of your deck when you aren’t using it. Those who work with crystals can “program” their crystal to clear the decks energy.
Spread your cards on a windowsill or table where the moonlight will shine on them and leave them there overnight. Bonus if it’s a full moon!
Hold the deck in your hands and close your eyes and feel your energy radiating out through your palms and into the cards, cleansing them of any unwanted energies and infusing them with your essence.
#3 Interview your new deck
Instead of asking your deck questions about your life, ask it questions about itself like…
What kind of a Tarot deck are you? What card sums up your personality?
What issues/areas of life do you specialize in?
How can you best help me?
What quality is most important in a Tarot reader?
How do you see our relationship?
The cards that come up in response to these questions will give you a nice idea of your decks personality and attitude. This one of my absolute favorite things to do with a new deck!!!
How long does it take to “get to know” a Tarot deck”?
I’ve noticed that I take to some decks right away and others take a bit of time to bond with. I recently got the Everyday Witch Tarot and I instantly clicked with it and was able to start doing readings with it right out of the box.
However, most decks take some warming up.
I got the Prisma Visions Tarot as a gift and that deck is deep! It’s not a slam-bam-thank-you-maam deck like the Everyday Witch, that’s for sure. It refuses to just give up the goods at first glance. I’ve been taking my time to slowly get to know this deck for the past few months, as it demands to be read in a slow, thoughtful, soul-excavating manner.
So how long it takes you to “break in” a Tarot or oracle deck will depend on the deck and of course your level of reading experience. When I was new to card reading, it took me much longer to bond with my decks and start doing readings with them. So if you’re a beginner, be patient!
What are YOUR new deck rituals?
What kinds of things do you love to do when you first get a new deck? Please share them in the comments below 🙂 I’d love to hear it!
A Tarot deck has 78 cards and each card depicts something different and has a different meaning.
Some cards are very, very similar and I think of these cards as “sister cards”. Let me give you a few examples.
The Sun is a very happy card that’s just oozing positivity. Also oozing happy, good vibes? The Ten of Cups…
Of course, these cards mean slightly different things, but they both have a similar message.
The Hermit is all about alone time and going within, similar to the Four of Swords.
These two don’t have the exact same meaning, but there are some striking similarities.
Now let’s take a look at an unlikely pair of sisters: The Fool and Death
While these two may seem to be totally different, their core message is one of renewal, fresh beginnings and starting over.
When sister cards appear in a reading
When two similar cards with a similar message appear in your reading, it’s like your cards have gone from murmuring calmly to shouting maniacally at you!
It’s like your cards are underscoring their message to you and saying “hey, pay attention! I want you to really get this!”
Can you spot the sister cards in the reading below?
The Six of Swords, The Chariot and the Eight of Cups are all sister cards in that they all bear the message of “moving on”. The Tower and the Eight of Cups are also sister cards – they are both about losing or walking away from what you’ve worked hard to build up. In fact all four of these cards have the theme of “out with the old, in with the new”.
In other words, the appearance of a sister card strengthens the message and shows you what you need to focus on.
Studying the sister cards gives you a better understanding of Tarot
When you compare and contrast sister cards, you get a new perspective and deeper understanding of the Tarot card meanings.
Let’s take a peek at The Hermit and Four of Swords and I’ll show you what I mean…
The Hermit is about sequestering yourself to avoid distractions so that greater self knowledge and peace can be attained – like going to a silent meditation retreat, taking a long walk by yourself or becoming a nun.
The Four of Swords is kind of similar, but less intense. It’s more like calling in sick to work so you can spend the day reading, watching movies and taking naps because you just need a break from the everyday shitshow of life.
Both are peaceful cards, but the Four of Swords is more about rest and recharging your batteries, while The Hermit is more about going deeper into the self.
How many “sisters” can you spot?
There are countless sister card pairings throughout the Tarot. One card can have many sisters. I think Death is a sister to The Fool, The Tower, Ten of Swords and more.
Take a quick gander through your Tarot deck: how many sister cards can you spot? Which pairings really jump out at you?
What do you think is the most important stepin learning how to read Tarot cards? Do you think it’s…
a) Learning the Tarot card meanings?
b) Getting the right deck and book?
c) Opening to your intuition?
In my own humble opinion, it’s NONE of these things. I strongly feel that the most important step in learning how to read Tarot cards is this…
Spending time just looking at your deck and familiarizing yourself with your cards.
The funny thing is, this important step often gets overlooked because Tarot newbies are in such a rush to start learning the meanings and doing readings.
But I’ll say it again – the most important thing you can do when you first get your Tarot deck is to just sit there and go through the deck, taking your time to observe each card.
Why is this so important?
Spending time getting to know your cards lets you get a big picture view of your Tarot deck. It also helps you connect with your deck and feel like your Tarot cards are a familiar thing.
Getting your first Tarot deck can be a confusing and overwhelming experience, but spending time just observing the cards helps you get more comfortable with them.
Most people want to dive into learning the Tarot meanings first. I get it. I was like this too. But that’s like going on a first date with someone you’ve just met and expecting them to spill all their secrets right off the bat.
Trust needs to be built before secrets can be revealed, whether it’s a relationship with a person or a Tarot deck.
Choose your most and least favorite Tarot cards:
1. As you go through your Tarot deck, notice what cards strongly appeal to you and set those aside. You’ll also want to set aside the cards you really dislike.
2. Go through your “Likes” pile and choose the card you like the most and do the same thing with your “Dislikes” pile, picking the one you dislike the most.
3. Compare and contrast your favorite Tarot card to your least favorite. How are they different? How are they similar?
1. Separate your Tarot cards into 5 groups – Majors, Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.
2. Spend time looking at each group and comparing and contrasting each group. You will notice that each group has a particular feel and perhaps even it’s own color scheme. What symbols re-appear in the Suit of Wands? What symbols re-appear in the Swords, etc?
Leave the Major Arcana out for this one and group the Minors according to their number. Look at each grouping and notice the similarities and differences in the imagery. Do particular numbers seem kind of crappy? Do some seem really happy?
Look at all the Court Cards:
1. Group all the Kings together, all the Queens, etc, until you have four groups of four.
2. What kind of a vibe do you get when you look at the Kings? How about when you gaze on the Queens? Knights? Pages?
3. Do any particular Court Cards stand out to you? Which ones and why?
Court cards can be tricky! When you’re ready to go deeper, here’s some helpful exercises:
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 yourselfhow 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.
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!