how to read tarot cards
This is a quick guide on how to do a tarot reading for beginners.

In this article, I’m going to teach you how to do a tarot reading. Doing your first reading can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Items you’ll need

Before beginning, you’ll need a deck of tarot cards. I recommend the Rider-Waite tarot for beginners. A quiet, peaceful environment to do the reading is important, too. 



Create a calming atmosphere. I recommend playing white noise in the background, lighting a candle, wearing comfortable clothing, or whatever else helps you to relax.

Before you begin, it’s important to center yourself.  Close your eyes, empty your mind, and concentrate on just being, instead of thinking. Let your thoughts drift and don’t focus on anything for too long.

Consider the question

What are you planning on asking? I have found that yes or no questions aren’t helpful. Tarot is a little more meandering in the way it answers questions.  For example, it will tell you how the situation will play out instead of if it will.

Think process, not outcome when you form a question. What are the factors impacting this issue? What are some actions I can take to influence the situation?

Decide on a spread

Most people try the Celtic Cross as the first tarot spread they do. However, I think a simpler option is helpful. I prefer three or even one card reads.  It’s a short and sweet way to get some answers without getting bogged down by a lot of information. Occasionally, I do larger and more elaborate spreads, but I favor the smaller ones for everyday use. 

Shuffling the Cards

I don’t shuffle the cards like I’m a poker player, with fancy tricks. Instead, I slide them back and forth between my hands, moving the cards in a way that feels natural. I usually keep my eyes closed and I concentrate on the situation I’m asking about.

It is very important to be focused on the task at hand.  Extraneous thoughts have a way of ending up in your reading. This has happened to me several times and I’ve gotten an answer to a question I didn’t intend to ask. Sure, the info was useful, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. 


Once you’ve laid out the cards, consider them individually and in a group. What story do they tell? 

Regardless of the meaning of the cards, think about how they make you feel. What’s your intuition? Do you have a gut feeling? A hunch? Ultimately, that will be the most important factor in interpreting your reading.

Quick Tips

Notice cards that keep on coming up over and over again. Literally, the universe is trying to tell you something. Pay attention.

Don’t keep asking the same question over and over again. Especially if you don’t like the first answer you got. It’s okay to check in from time to time with the tarot about an ongoing situation. However, if you keep on trying to push the needle and get a different answer, chances are that tarot reading won’t be accurate.

Multiple decks? Some people believe you should have one deck of cards for yourself.  And another you use for friends and family, or in a commercial sense. I don’t. However, you can make the decision for yourself. I’ve found that the more often I use a deck, the more of my energy and purpose I infuse into the cards, the accuracy increases. 

What’s your process for reading tarot cards? Tell me in the comments below.


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