The first thing we all want to be able to do when we first get our hands on a Tarot deck is to understand the messages and extract the important lessons we need to learn in our lives from the cards. There are multiple ways of getting to that point, and they all take work. Developing your intuition to understand the meanings of the Tarot cards is a powerful method, and it’s easy to start learning how if you’ve never done it before.
1. Tools Needed:
Your Tarot or Oracle cards, pen and paper. Preferably this will be dated in your Tarot Journal.
2. Clear the Deck of Past Energy
Before we begin, when you are ready, clear your deck. You want to start fresh and ensure that there are no lingering energies from past contact interfering.
Intent is very important when manipulating the cards. When I clear my deck, I like to shuffle the cards casino style upright, with the images facing me. When I am ready to do a reading, I shuffle them facing down, so that all I see is the back of the card.
This way, I have, by routine, learned to not focus and input my energies into the cards when I am trying to clear them. My focus is much more concentrated and direct when the cards are being shuffled face-down.
Shuffle for as long as you like, and when you are ready, either set the cards down in front of you, or hold them in your hands.
3. Learning to Relax
Meditation is a powerful tool, and you should start with a short one to clear your mind.
If you’ve never meditated before, try it out now.
Sit comfortably, breath in slowly through your nose, and breath out through your mouth. Make sure your exhales are at least twice as long as your inhales. You want to feel the tension in your body leave with each exhale.
Thoughts will come into your mind, and that’s OK. When this happens, hold the thought at the front of your mind, acknowledge it, and set it aside. Tell each thought, “We’ll talk about it later.”. Then, go back to feeling your breath as it enters and leaves your body.
4. Shuffle and Cut the Deck
Now that you have a clear mind, and a clear deck, close your eyes again focus on this question: “What do I need to know right now?”.
When you feel ready, shuffle the deck three times, cut the deck, and draw one card.
5. Reading Intuitively
Now it’s time to Journal.
How did you feel when you turned the card over? Pay attention to where in your body you feel a reaction, and note down what you experienced.
When I flip over
- The Wheel of Fortune, I immediately feel confused and overwhelmed.
- The Three of Rods makes me feel really lonely, really low, in my gut. Sometimes, I even feel a wave of cold.
- The Knight of Pentacles makes me feel like I need to catch up, and he’ll leave me behind if I don’t get a move on!
Say the name of the card out loud. This is another way of connecting to the cards, and hearing the card’s name spoken could trigger other reactions.
What colors or lines or shapes stand out to you? Are these important to you? Trace over them with your finger and imagine that component raise from the card. How do you feel? Where does your mind go when you do this?
If there is a character in the card, what do you think they would say to you if they could?
6. Closing the Reading
You’ll know when it’s time to stop…that’s your intuition speaking!
Hold the deck in your hands one more time, and look down at the words you wrote and notes you took during your reading. Connect the page with the deck in your mind and thank the cards for the insights it has given you.
You can stop right there, but I would take it a step further. I would look up the definition of the card that I pulled in a book I own or online, and compare my notes with what others understand the card meaning.
Noting the similarities will bolster your confidence and give you a sort of confirmation of your feelings.
Noting the differences will underline the card’s unique meaning to you, and you will now have a way to explore the card and understand why.