So you want to be a tarot reader, but you’re not quite sure how to actually start out with a tarot reading for yourself as a beginner?
You’ve come to the right place! As I myself have been going through the same struggle when just starting out on my tarot journey, I am sure I can provide you with some helpful tips to kick off your future tarot readings with a strong sense of confidence.
Sit back, relax and let’s find out my 13 beginner tips on doing a tarot reading for yourself.
Learn The Meanings Of The Cards
I know, I know. When just starting out with tarot, just looking at the 78 cards made me personally break out a sweat of which my local gym (that I barely even visit) would have been seriously jealous of.
Though, as overwhelming as learning the meanings of all 78 tarot cards may seem at first, it is truly a basic part of tarot you need to acquire before moving on with performing an actual reading. As a beginner in tarot, it is absolutely crucial to learn all of the different meanings of the cards.
As most tarot decks come with a helpful guidebook on the meanings of each card, it is best advised to study the deck’s guidebook before starting out with a reading.
Please note I’m not yet referring to learning interpretations of the cards here, as that’s a whole other (and even more complicated) part of tarot which you’ll automatically become more familiar with when you actually start to understand the meanings of the cards.
Find A Deck You Like And Resonate With
Now that you’ve found out that most tarot decks come with a helpful guidebook, it is quite important to use a deck you actually like and resonate with.
There are a ton of different decks out there, and each offer a wide range of individual styles and qualities. Just as every person is different and unique, so are the decks that are most suitable for them.
When choosing a deck, it is essential to make sure you feel a strong connection towards it. You really need to let your intuition guide the way and not let your logical senses interfere with this important choice.
Maybe you’ve heard about a myth going around saying you shouldn’t buy your own tarot deck. To that I would confidently say that this is absolute nonsense.
If I wouldn’t have purchased my own first tarot deck, I probably wouldn’t have been practicing tarot up until this day!
If you want to start out reading tarot, do yourself a huge favor and please don’t wait for someone else to come around and gift you with a tarot deck. Besides, who else but you would be able to know which tarot deck truly resonates with you?
Keep A Positive Attitude
When it comes to tarot, it is best advised to save your tarot readings for a time when you feel at your absolute best.
Don’t be tempted to perform a tarot reading for yourself when you just got brutally dumped 20 minutes ago and still have the mascara panda eyes and chocolate covered mouth to prove it.
To get the best out of your reading, you need to be in a positive and open state of mind, so that you won’t subconsciously influence the outcome of your reading in an (unnecessary) negative way.
When you feel like today is not your best day, just take your time and get back to reading the tarot cards when you feel ready.
Another great way to get in a more open and positive state of mind is to meditate before doing a tarot reading for yourself.
Meditation might seem intimidating to some people, but trust me when I say you don’t have to go put on an orange robe and shave your head in order to get the best desired results.
Just taking some time by yourself in a quiet space, sit or lay in a comfortable position while closing your eyes and focus on relaxed breathing for a couple of minutes should do the trick.
When you’re not quite sure how to actually do this, you can watch the YouTube video below for a great short meditation example I personally use to calm down all my senses before doing a tarot reading.
Use A Simple Spread
A tarot spread is the way a tarot card reader physically lays out the cards in a certain position best suited for a specific type of reading.
There are many different spreads you can use when doing a tarot reading. The Celtic Cross Spread, the Relationship Spread and the Astrological Spread are all examples of spreads that are widely used within the tarot community.
As a beginner who still needs to build up their tarot confidence though, it is best advised to start out with a really easy type of spread. Actually it would be even better to just start out with reading one tarot card at a time. That way you will get more familiar with the meanings and possible interpretations of each card as you solely focus on the one you have chosen for that specific reading.
Later on, when you feel confident enough handling the ‘one spread’ readings, you can move on to for example three spread readings or even more complicated ones like the type of spreads mentioned above.
Start Out With A Single Themed Reading
Just as it is best advised to start out with a ‘one spread’ reading as a tarot newbie, I would also advice to keep your first couple of readings based on a specific theme or question. It can be difficult enough already understanding all different meanings of the cards, let alone their interpretations.
You can for example start out with a specific love or career reading and really try to figure out the card’s meaning towards the subject or theme you are discussing. This will make your reading a lot easier and better to handle.
Don’t Take The Outcomes Too Seriously
When you’re just starting out with doing tarot readings for yourself, you will definitely find yourself making rookie mistakes. As much as you follow up every type of beginners advice out there, mistakes will be made and that is really okay!
What is not okay though, is to take every outcome of a reading so seriously that you actually let it rule your life.
Tarot should not be used as a way to make important life decisions for you, it should be merely used as a tool to gain more insight in your current life situation and provide you with ideas and inspiration for handling things even better in the future.
As much as tarot can actually help you move forward in a really positive way, in the end, it should be seen as a mere form of entertainment and surely shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If the outcome of your reading doesn’t resonate with you, then please don’t believe it!
Use A Tarot Journal
A tarot journal can be a really great tool when it comes to memorizing the meaning and interpretations of the cards, as well as remembering and tracking the outcomes of your readings.
A tarot journal will give you the ability to keep track of your progress within your readings and can help you step back in time to know which questions you asked the cards last time. This will help you to come up with ideas for what would be a great follow up question or theme for your next reading.
Also, a tarot journal is a great confidence builder while practicing tarot as it can be used a way of ‘proof’ to trust more on your intuition. Every time you get a certain insight while reading the cards, write down that insight and come back to your journal later on to find out your gut feeling was right all along. Doing this should significantly improve your future readings.
As with every hobby, sport or interest, practice makes perfect. The same goes for tarot. Even though tarot may seem overwhelming at first, you will see you’ll get more comfortable with it over time fairly quickly. Don’t be too hard on yourself and just keep going.
Maybe you have a (spiritual) friend who is interested in tarot as well. Learning tarot together can be a great and fun way to practice reading the cards while also taking your friendship to a higher level.
Cleanse Your Cards
Cleansing your tarot cards is something you do in order to ‘clean’ your cards of any emotions or negative energies which might have come up during a reading.
You can cleanse your cards using sage, or by using my personal favorite cleansing and healing tool: crystals.
There are many types of stunning crystals out there and each of them has their own (emotional) healing abilities. This is what makes them great to store with your tarot cards after a heavy reading.
By using crystals as a way to cleanse your cards, you will make sure that next time you want to do a tarot reading for yourself, you won’t have to worry about any emotions or negative energies still lingering over the cards, but be sure to start off your new reading all fresh and positively charged.
Ask Open Questions
As tempting it may seem to just straight up ask your tarot cards whether that cute guy or girl you met this morning will become your future spouse, it is actually not best advised to ask simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions.
In order to get the absolute best results out of your tarot readings you should be thinking about open ended (and positively formulated) questions.
When asking an open question, you will actually be rewarded with a much more broad type of answer and insights as the cards will be able to show you things from various point of views. This will be way more helpful to you as you can actively respond to this insights and take targeted action to reach your ultimate goals.
You will find much more depth in open ended questions than you will when just asking for a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Please remember that tarot is not some sort of ‘magical crystal ball’ but really a helpful tool for self-development and spiritual guidance.
Love And Be Kind To Yourself
As corny as it may sound, loving and being kind to yourself throughout the process of learning a new skill such as tarot is something you should never lose out of sight. You are the most important person in your life, and you should always remember that.
As frustrating as it sometimes might seem to find out how everything works when it comes to learning how to do tarot readings as a beginner, it is absolutely crucial to keep loving yourself all the way through and don’t give yourself a hard time because you’re having trouble learning all of the meaning and interpretations of the cards.
When you feel a negative or judging thought creeping into your mind, try to not push these thoughts away but really accept the situation as it is while staying kind to yourself. You will find yourself feeling much calmer in no time. True acceptance cannot be judged or looked down on, true acceptance just is.
You will get there eventually, so keep loving yourself during the process and before you know it, you will surely find yourself where you want to be (and it will be the best feeling ever!).
Last but not least, practice gratitude. As it is essential to keep a positive mindset while doing a tarot reading, practicing gratitude can actually be a great tool to accomplish this.
Try to take a moment each day to write down at least 3 things you are thankful for in your life, as small as they may seem.
Tarot is a true spiritual practice, so being grateful for the universe and everything that’s good in your life will eventually get you further on your spiritual journey and will also positively inspire everyone that crosses your path.