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Technique #1: Opening Your Tarot Deck

This technique works well for pulling cards one at a time, but it can also be used for multi-card spreads.

To do this technique, shuffle the cards as you normally would. Then hold the cards between your palms for a moment as you meditate on your question. Finally, open the cards with your fingers, like you’re opening the pages of a book. Whatever card you see is the answer to your question. For multi-card spreads, repeat this process until you’ve selected all the cards you need.

Technique #2: Combining Tarot Decks

If you have several tarot decks, try combining two contrasting decks together. It works best when you pair two decks that have opposing energies. For example, if you have a traditional deck with a gothic vibe and a modern deck with a lighter sort of energy, do a reading with both these decks mixed together. Notice how this gives your tarot spreads a more varied look and layered meanings.

You can also experiment with mixing oracle decks into your tarot deck to see how it affects your readings. Themed oracle cards are great for this. There are several love oracle decks out right now that would work perfectly with tarot reading on relationships. Angel oracle decks would pair well in a tarot spread on intuition or spiritual guidance.  Notice any new connections between the cards that stem from combining decks, and journal about it.

Often times, cards from different decks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. That’s totally fine for this kind of reading. Trust that you’ll only pull the cards you need to pull, even if they’re more difficult to shuffle!

A third option is to add your own homemade cards to your tarot deck. You can do this by tracing your tarot cards onto cardstock and cutting them out. Spend some time coming up with words, phrases or images that are especially meaningful to you. Things like your favorite quotes, auspicious numbers, your goals, or qualities you’d like to take on or release are perfect for this exercise. Ten or twenty homemade cards will give you a well-rounded tarot spread.

Technique #3: Hourly Tarot Spreads

It’s pretty common to pull a weekly spread of seven cards—one card for every day of the week.

A variation on that idea is to pull cards for each hour of the day. You can try picking eight cards—one for every hour in your workday—or twenty-four cards to get a reading for every hour in your day ahead.

Technique #4: Increase Your Tarot Accuracy with Focused Thought

One of the most important parts of tarot is to stay focused on your questions as you’re drawing cards for your tarot spread. If your mind tends to wander, that’s ok. It won’t affect your reading’s accuracy if you get distracted while you’re shuffling the cards. Just make sure you’re focused completely on your intention or question as you’re drawing the card.

Whatever you’re thinking about when you pick a card is what the card will reflect. For example: if you’re trying to do reading on your career goals, but your mind keeps bouncing back to that wonderful date you had with someone the night before, you’re likely going to get a card that will give guidance on your budding new romance rather than that promotion you’re going for.

To ensure your thoughts are directed towards the question, repeat your question aloud or in your head as you select each card in the spread.

Technique #5: How To Do Tarot when You’re Upset or Agitated

Many times, you’ll find yourself wanting to do a tarot reading when you’re worried or upset about a situation. That’s totally fine! Tarot cards can be incredibly comforting when you’re dealing with conflict. The only issue with this is that your mood could potentially affect the cards you pull. Essentially, if you’re feeling down, you’re likely to draw a card that reflects your current state such as the three of swords or the five of cups.

There are a few different techniques to try to avoid having reading solely based off of your current mood.

Option #1: Pretend your reading is for someone else. Clear your mind before you draw your cards, thinking only of the questions you’re looking to get answered. Look over the cards with the same detachment you would if you were reading for a friend or stranger.

Option #2: Ask a friend to draw the cards for you. If that friend can also read tarot cards, invite them to interpret the spread. If he or she isn’t familiar with the meanings, look over the cards yourself with as much detachment as possible.

Option #3: Pull tarot cards, but don’t take the time to analyze them right away. Jot down the cards (and their position in the spread) in your journal. Wait an hour or two until your mood has improved, and then do your interpretation from a more balanced, relaxed mindset.

Option #4: When you’re feeling down, don’t ask any “outcome” questions. Instead, pose your question so the answer will always be positive and constructive. For example: Ask, “How can I best handle this situation?” rather than, “How will this situation play out?”.