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How to Conduct a Tarot Reading - Some tips for Beginners

How to Conduct a Tarot Reading - Some tips for Beginners

Posted by Brett Almond

Each Tarot card reader will have a different answer to the question of how to conduct a Tarot reading.

Below I have given some ideas that might give you a starting point. It is acceptable to take none, some or all of this advice on board. If you are a complete beginner to Tarot reading you could follow this advice and then as you progress you can integrate your own style or pieces of advice from other people or Tarot books.

Tarot readers read in many different ways. Often much of what we learn comes while actually Tarot reading so don't worry if you don't feel confident to start with. Over time as you understand each card more and more then your readings will become richer. But I have found beginners to Tarot can give very good readings just by using their intuition.

Some Tarot card reading tips for beginners:

  • When starting out reading for others you may find it best to read for friends you feel comfortable with as you won't feel you have to prove anything and you can have fun while doing it.
  • I would say have the Tarot cards the "right way up" for the Tarot card reader. This will mean you will feel comfortable being able to see all the Tarot cards. (Other readers do use the reverse meanings of the cards. This is acceptable also but when starting out might be good to keep it simple).
  • You need to pick the kind of Tarot spread you will be using. Will you be using a specific spread you have found in a book or will you be tailoring the spread to the individual?
  • Shuffle the cards yourself, pass them to the person you are reading for to shuffle for a minute, and encourage them to talk about the issue of the spread. Don’t chat about the shopping or what was on TV last night. Focus your intention on the job in hand.
  • Take the cards back and consider saying a little prayer in your head as you hold the cards. Something along the lines of asking for the Tarot reading to be positive, for the person to get what they need, for you to be able to interpret the cards as you should.
  • Get the person you are reading for to split them into three piles and then to put them back together. If they are hesitating just say, "Don’t even think about it, just put them back in any order."
  • Ignore the structure of the Tarot card reading spread you are doing first of all. Don’t even look at what each card means until at least five minutes into the reading. First off, go where you are taken. Feel which Tarot card feels most important. Which card will simply not be ignored? That is the place to start.
  • Concentrate on your feelings. What does the spread feel like? Does it feel sad, full of beans, fiery, is it a mixture of lots of things.
  • What comes into your head for no apparent reason? Is it a song, an idea, did you just start thinking about swamps in the jungle (for example) when it wasn’t even on your mind before? These are things that may contain messages for the person you are reading for. Voice them! Tell them, "In my head I have the song ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough.’" It may add more colour to your Tarot card reading and maybe spark off some input from them.
  • If you get stuck don’t worry. It may be a reflection of you but it may also be a part of the person you are reading for. They may be stuck at some point in their life. You need to work with this 'stuckness'. The way to overcome it is to just keep talking. If you find you just can’t feel what the card is like go with what you ‘know’ about the card. So start by explaining to that person what a card is about, just like you might read in a book. And from there it should give you a springboard to get back into the feeling of the spread.
  • If you stop yourself saying something because you don’t want to offend you may bring the whole spread to a standstill. It is your duty to say what is there, but in a positive manner. You don’t need to say, "I can see you are a really sad person!" Approach it positively. "There seems to be some sadness in this area of the spread. Does that ring true?" Tarot card reading for me is about understanding. It is about finding more out about a certain situation or person so that they can understand more and be better informed so they can make decisions and live their life in a more understanding way.
  • Don’t just tell them the good stuff. What good is that? Also tell them things that will help them to grow. If you ignore parts of the spread you are just not getting to the point. But be positive in your presentation.
  • Keep going. Don’t just come to a pause and think that is it. With the Tarot you can always go deeper. Think of it as layers. When you finish one layer it is always possible to progress to another.
  • Don’t be frightened to repeat yourself. You may feel something is really important so say it again. Keep coming back to that place if it feels appropriate. By saying something again it emphasises to the person that it really is an important point.
  • Above all, don’t think too much!! Tarot is a feeling art. Read books but don’t try to memorise meanings.
  • Encourage feedback for the person you are reading for. This helps bring their feelings in to the spread. Ask them, "What do you think of that?" or, "Do you agree with what I just said?" or, "What cards are you being drawn to?" This can be especially useful to give you a bit of space and give me your information to work with. It can be quite intense reading non-stop.
  • If appropriate put another card down to give more information. Only do this if you have reached a point in the reading where you have read the Tarot cards fully that you are adding to. Just take the top card off the deck, and place it in the appropriate position.
  • If you get frightened and you simply look at the spread and think, "I can’t read this", and if you are worried what the other person is going to think then don’t worry. Voice this. Say, "I feel stuck" or, "I am having trouble seeing anything" and you will find that dissipates the fear. It is like opening a door.
  • But also when you feel that you have given the person a full set of information, when you genuinely have completed what is meant to be said for this session, then bring the Tarot card reading to a close.
  • At the end of a reading go back over the main points. Attempt to provide a summary, or even give them a key phrase to take away with them. Like, "I really feel this spread is about ‘Standing up for yourself’"
  • At the end of Tarot reading, after you have put the Tarot cards away, spend five minutes asking what was in the spread for you? Think about the key points. What parts of this relate to your life? When you read for someone else there will always be a link of some sort. When you find it take it on board as a teaching. You do not need to give any consideration for what you are learning necessarily while you are reading because you are focussing just on the querant. But afterwards it is important to find the link.

And don’t forget to enjoy it! You are working with your intuition, your higher self, and your feelings. Feel happy you are using these much deeper parts of yourself. As you use them more and more you will get better and better at Tarot card reading. And also it will develop your insights about life in general, and you will find yourself seeing deeper into many other things around you. Good luck!

By Brett Almond Director and Founder of

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