This is similar to when you did your “Getting To Know Your Deck” Ritual. Do your tarot reading in a peaceful space with lots of high-vibe energy. Get some music, light some candles—do whatever you’d do if your best friend or significant other was coming over.
You should also perform some kind of cleansing ritual before you start your reading. My favorite is a “white light meditation” because it’s quick, simple and doesn’t require anything other than my mind. I close my eyes and imagine a white light shining down from above and filling the space I’m in. I spend a couple minutes imagining the light getting brighter and stronger. When I feel like the space is sufficiently cleansed, I’ll start my tarot reading. Again, ANY cleansing spell will work here. Pick the one you’re most comfortable with.
Hold the cards between your palms and close your eyes. Roll your shoulders back and imagine your chest and heart opening up to the space above and in front of you. Invite your familiar (or intuition, God, your deities, the universe, or your higher power) to guide your hands and speak to you through your tarot cards.
If you don’t know who (or what) you’re talking to that day, sit quietly for a few minutes longer. Keep your shoulders back and your heart open. See if any “power” seems to be trying to talk to you today.
You can also ask your tarot deck, “Who am I speaking to today?” and pull one card. I did this once and got the King of Pentacles. My intuition told me that the King of Pentacles represented one of my familiars. I spent some time talking to him that day and continue to talk to him even now. (I’ve found he’s the best at giving relationship advice.) Give it a try if you’re curious or need more clarity on who or what you’re communicating with. It’s really fun!
You can also simply allow the cards themselves to speak. Often a tarot deck will have wisdom of its own to share with you!
Give yourself and your cards permission to be wrong or be confused. This is especially important when you’re just getting started with tarot cards. Approach every tarot reading with a playfulness and a joyful kind of curiosity. I’ve done readings that have confused the heck out of me, and I’ve had to just let it go. It’s no one’s fault—not mine, not my intuition, and not my cards. It’s just what happens sometimes.
Another issue I’ve had with tarot readings is getting a “bad” card. It will definitely happen to you at one point or another, and again, it’s cool. Don’t worry about it. We’ll touch on what to do about these towards the end of this course.
If you have any other worries or concerns before you begin your tarot reading, release all of them. Remind yourself that you’re in a safe space and your tarot deck is your friend. It’s a relationship. You won’t always understand it, and you won’t always like what it has to say, but your deck wants to help and support you even if it means delivering some difficult information.
Most tarot readers use an overhand shuffle, but I’ve also seen some people use a rifle shuffle. (If you’re totally new to shuffling cards, there are some helpful videos on YouTube.) Personally, I do a combination of both methods. I start with the overhand and move into the rifle until I feel like the cards are “ready”. Let your intuition tell you how long to shuffle.
State your question or intention clearly as you hold the cards. You can also choose to call on the “power” your speaking to. I often say something like this: “Intuition, I’m asking for guidance on finances. How can I improve my finances?”
Notice how I did three things there:
I started by calling on a specific “power”. In this case, it’s my intuition.
I used the phrase “asking for guidance”. I use this phrase almost every time I pull a tarot spread. This wording is great because it keeps the question open-ended and leaves room for my intuition to interpret the cards in different ways.
I followed up with a more specific question to hone in on the issue I need guidance on. This question is still open-ended but gives me something more to work with when I’m interpreting the cards.
I prefer to ask my question out loud, but you can also do it in your head. Often times, I’ll murmur my question or intentions over and over while I shuffle and draw cards. It helps me stay focused.