How to Read Tarot Cards - A Guide for Beginners

How to Read Tarot Cards

Interested in learning to read tarot cards? Learning how to read tarot can help you investigate the past, understand the present moment, and dig into the future.

Tarot isn't something just anyone can pick up. You have to learn to read tarot cards, get in touch with your own intuition, and really hone your natural inclination toward it. The good news is that there are many ways to get started.

Learn to Read Tarot Cards Online

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One of the simplest ways to learn how to read tarot cards is by taking an online course. Online courses will walk you through the steps necessary to learn to read tarot effectively. Learn from an established tarot reader and teacher.

One course we love is the Reading Tarot Cards Revealed course. You will learn all about the history, symbols, how to perform a tarot reading, how to listen to your own intuition, and much more. It really is a great course that covers all you will need to know.

There's also the Ultimate Online Tarot Reading Course, a complete multimedia training program. You get to listen to the teacher, observe real readings, and offer your own readings. This course is one of our favorites, and we recommend checking it out. It is well-worth the money and much cheaper than many trainings!

Get a Tarot Card Deck

So, if you want to learn how to read tarot, you'll need a deck of tarot cards. There are many ways to go about this, but perhaps the best is to listen to your intuition. You'll likely be drawn to one deck over another, especially if you're listening deeply to your intuition.

When choosing a tarot deck, make it a part of your practice of learning. Listen to your intuition with deep intention. See where you're drawn. Here are a few tarot decks we like, so check them out and see which one is speaking to you.

What is Tarot Reading?

Tarot reading is the practice of gaining insight, divination, and wisdom from a spread or layout of tarot cards. Tarot cards don't themselves tell the future, expose the past, or reveal information about the present moment. Instead, the cards are simply a reflection of the reader's deeper awareness and available for intuition to interpret.

What Do Tarot Cards Mean?

Tarot cards are dived into suits just like your average playing cards. Each card and suit represents different aspects of life, experience, temperament, and energy. Some cards may even represent physical characteristics of an individual, such as skin color, hair color, etc. Many cards have clearer meanings, while others need to be viewed with some intuition and deeper awareness.

Sometimes, cards will be drawn into a layout upside-down. There are different interpretations of this meaning among different tarot readers and different situations, but the meaning is generally a bit different. It may mean that something is blocking the person, that the person is not working with the energy, or the exact opposite of the card's normal meaning.

In most courses, you will learn about the arcana cards. You will gain an understanding of the major arcana and minor arcana and which each mean. With so many cards, it is helpful to have a guide in getting to know the arcana, both major and minor.

How to Interpret Tarot Cards

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There are many tarot cards that have suggested meanings. You can find a list of tarot card meanings in many places online. These are meant as guidelines, and not set-in-stone meanings. To be taken as suggestions, studying these guides is a great way to begin learning what the tarot cards mean.

However, you also need to learn to listen to your intuition and really interpret the spread. If you just read the stock meaning, you're not really putting any of your own skills into the reading.

One thing that can be great for beginners to tarot reading is just noticing what emotions arise when you see a card. Listen to your deepest self, or Higher Self. This is not thinking; it is listening. Listen to what your deeper intuition says about the cards.

Here are a few guides we like to learn how to interpret tarot cards:

Try a Simple Spread

One of the best ways to learn is to simply start with yourself. Shuffle your new deck, mix the cards up well, and start with a three card spread. You can do a past-present-future, mind-body-spirit, or situation-action-outcome spread to start, as these are relatively simple.

Begin by coming up with a question or thought about something specific you're experiencing. It may be best if you go with something really present for you, as this will help you get in touch with the present-time emotions and intuition. However, you may not want to start with something too charged, as emotions can cloud intuition when we're new to reading.

Flip the first card, and tune into your experience of the card flipped. Remember, this is not what you think about the card, but what you more deeply feel about it. You can return to a reference guide to see the meaning, but also listen to what your Higher Self is telling you about this card.

As you continue with the other two cards, continue to make an effort to tune in deeply. Think of it as a type of meditation. Let the thoughts go, and really be present with your experience of the flipped cards. As you practice with this simple spread, you can begin investigation other tarot card spreads.

Tarot and You

One important thing to remember when you're new to tarot reading is that you are a part of the reading. Many beginners to tarot cards think the deck does all of the reading for you. However, you need to be present and use your intuition to help the process.

As you continue to read tarot, you'll get to know when you are clear and when you are not. Listen to your own personal truth. Reading tarot is not about sitting back and just letting the cards do their work. You need to bring your Higher Self to the table!