to do a Tarot reading
up / drawing cards / chosing
a spread / reading the cards / reversals
As with most things on
this path, ask seven people how to do a reading and get seven different
The most important thing
to remember is that there is no wrong way to do a reading. As long
as your intent is pure, you will get what you need to know.
What is suggested here
is merely a guide. You will develop you own style fairly quickly.
This can be as elaborate
or simple as you'd like.
You probably noticed
that most Tarot readers will spread a cloth over whatever surface
they are doing readings on. This serves two purposes. On the practical
side, it keeps your cards clean. On a psychic side, the color you
chose to use can help with the vibrations of the card. I tend to
like black, as it doesn't interfere with energies. Others like blue,
yellow or purple for divination and psychic ability.
Here are some elements
of set up you might consider:
- Some readers start
by purifying their space, even smudging it.
- Clothes can be draped
over surfaces where readings are to be done
- Appropriate gemstones
can be spread about
- Appropriate incense
and candles lit
- Some meditate
- ·Some readers go through a whole ritual before reading,
including casting a circle and calling quarters
- Some light candles and incense and play soft music.
- Others do nothing but pull out the deck.
Do what feels right to
you, whatever connects you to the energy of the universe or puts
you in the "groove" to do readings. The one thing I suggest,
if it is possible is to do a quick smudge of the room to rid it
of any energy that might interfere with a reading. And it's always
a great idea to ground and center and take a few deep breaths before
You do want to make sure
you won't be interrupted when doing a reading so turn off the TV,
the phones (your client's cell phone) and shut the pets out. Make
sure the atmosphere is at a comfortable temperature. And make sure
you are dressed comfortably. You can't concentrate on a reading
if your top is constricting your breathing.
Once you have everything set up and are focused, it's time to begin.
Take out your cards. As you shuffle them, it is important to concentrate
on what it is you want to know. It is better to ask open-ended questions
as opposed to yes or no questions. The clearer the question, the
clearer the answer will be. Keep questions simple. Focus on the
experience rather than the outcome. Make sure your question is specific
and it is worded to represent exactly what you want to know. If
you don't have a specific issue to address, you can ask for general
guidance or what you might need to know for the next week or that
the spirits/deities tell you whatever it is you need to know right
now. Just be sure to concentrate.
When you feel ready
to do the spread, stop shuffling.
Whether or not you cut
the deck now and how you do it is up to you.Some people will then
deal out cards from the top of the deck. Others fan them out and
randomly draw cards. Others still will use a pendulum to choose
cards. The choice is yours.
A point of note: If a
card or cards fall out when you are shuffling, put them aside; they
usually jump out for a reason and should be included in your interpretation.
(If you are doing a reading
for others, you need to decide their level of involvement. Will
they do all of the above? Will they only shuffle or cut the deck?
Will they even touch the cards at all?)
Remember, you cannot
draw a wrong card.
If you are doing a spread,
you might want to look at it as doing two readings. The first reading
is the card in relation to the position it occupies in the spread.
The second reading is how the cards relate to each other. Each reading
tells a story about someone's life. It is your job to piece it together.
When doing a reading,
if something is unclear, don't be afraid to pull more cards from
the deck for clarification. Or, when you finish the first reading,
you can reshuffle the deck and move on to a clarification readings.
Some readers will keep the initial card that raised the question
as the focal point for the second reading.
Also don't feel limited
by a spread or a deck. There have been times when I would switch
decks mid-reading. I've done 40+ card readings. Go with your gut.
You'll know when a reading is over; you'll either feel it or you
will find the cards repeating themselves or all of the sudden the
new cards won't make any sense.
Again it is up to you
if you use a spread or not. Spreads are nothing more than a way
to organize your cards. It doesn't impact the reading. You could
get the same reading by randomly throwing out 10 cards as you would
doing the famous Celtic Cross.
The more readings you
do, the more comfortable you will be. You will begin to develop
you own way of laying out the cards, be it spread or random.
Whether you do an intuitive
or by-the-book reading, be sure to pay attention to any Major Arcana
and any multiples of number or face cards or of suits.
If you feel stuck, don't
be afraid to add more cards to the spread for clarity or to set
aside the card that is troubling you and do a second spread with
that one as your focal point.
Trust your instincts
and remember there is no wrong way to read the cards.
word on reversals:
Whether or not to use
reversals is a
decision you must make for yourself. There are six general schools
of thought on this issue.
1. There is no need to
use reversals since the entire spectrum of emotion and action is
already covered in the 78 cards.
2. Reverse cards mean
the exact opposite of the upright meaning
3. A reversed card signals
that the energy of the upright card is blocked or may be delayed
in some way
4. A reversed card has
the same meaning as an upright card but special attention should
be paid to it.
5. There is no reverse
definition but a reverse card signals to use the negative, extreme
aspect of each card's meaning (as I am sure you noticed throughout
the lesson, each card offers a spectrum of meanings).
6. Reverse cards can
indicate direction as if an action or event or emotion is coming
or going, past or present. This is especially true of cards that
signify movement such as the knights.
7. (unofficial) any combination
of the above. I find my reverses work differently in each situation.
a Rune or Tarot reading, dream interpretation or astrological report