The Tarot is a deck of 78 different cards, each carrying their own imagery, symbolism and spiritual vibration. While the cards themselves are simply ink on paper, they are a tool that can assist you in unlocking your inner spiritual wisdom. With the power of mind over matter, if you
focus your energy on the cards you can use them to reveal truths through your connection with the spiritual realm.
There are many different ways to conduct a Tarot reading, and the approach depends largely on the individual reader. If you decide to start reading Tarot, your approach will change over time as your affinity for the cards develops.
But if you are just beginning, here is an approach to get you started.
Choose your Deck and Space
When you visit your local bookstore or occult shop you will find a range of different decks that vary in design, theme and tradition. The best thing to do is to go with the deck that feels right and you feel connected with. Spend time with the cards, examine their imagery, hold them in
your hands and feel their energy, and be patient and pick the deck that speaks to you.
As well as a deck, you will need a space to do your reading. Again, this can be anywhere, and it is best to go for what feels right for you. The key is to find a place that is comfortable and that is inducive to you connecting with your spiritual inner voice. If the outdoors speaks to you, pick
somewhere in nature. If candles, incense and crystals help focus your energy, incorporate these into your space. The space you use will have its own energy, so avoid areas with emotional baggage. For example, don’t do your readings at the same table where you work if your work causes you a lot of stress.
Prepare Your Mind
Before you can engage with the spiritual world and really hear your inner intuition, you need to clear you mind of the noise and worries of the day. Embarking on a brief mediation practice before undertaking a reading is a great idea. There are many different ways to meditate, and many guides out there to help you, but the key is to clear your mind of active thought.
As a basic approach find a place that you like where you can sit comfortably and undisturbed. Breath normally and focus your attention on your breath as a way to distract your mind from other thoughts. You can then actively try and clear your mind of conscious thought. This is very
challenging, and your mind will inevitably bombard you with ideas – don’t be discouraged this is normal. Simply recognise what is going on, push the thoughts to one side, and continue to focus on your breathing.
If you are just starting out, practice for just five minutes. The more your practice the longer you will be able to go for, and the easier it will be to reach the state your want every time you sit down.
Prepare Your Deck
Your Tarot deck will have absorbed the energy of whatever and whoever they were used by last, so you need to clear the deck of this energy and imbibe it with your own. Shuffling is the easiest approach to achieving this.
Before you shuffle, separate the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana into two separate decks. There are 22 Major Arcana and these represent life’s karmic and spiritual lessons. There are then 56 Minor Arcana that represent the trials and tribulations that we experience on a daily basis. The instructions that you receive with your deck should tell you which cards are which, but in general the Major Arcana are probably the ones you are most familiar with such as the Lovers and the Magician, while the Minor Arcana include the suited and number cards.
Once you have done this, shuffle the two decks separately. As you move the cards in your hands, visualise breathing your own internal energy down your hands and into the deck, perhaps visualising it as some sort of light.
Once you have sent your energy into the deck, you need to prepare the deck to answer your questions by asking. Hold the decks in your hands and mentally ask your questions. Say your question out loud, repeat it several times, whatever helps you focus your mind on the question. Again, visualise the question as an energy flowing from your brain down your arms and through your fingers into the cards. Once you have done this, shuffle the two decks separately again, continuing to hold your question in your mind.
Try and keep your questions focussed on a specific topic or area of your life, as if your question is too complex the answer will be difficult to read. If you do not have a specific question you can of course simply ask the cards ‘what do I need to know right now?’ But if you do this, be aware that the answers you receive will be less clear.
Dealing the Cards
The simplest approach when dealing your reading is a three card spread. Choose one card from the top of the Major Arcana deck and place it on the table. This is your Archetypal Card and signifies the person you are reading, and defines the relationship between the subsequent cards.
Now cut your deck of Minor Arcana into three decks and place them in a line beneath your Archetypal Card. You can then flip over the top card of each deck.
The first card represents the physical realm and what is going on in the material, earthly plane for you.
The second card represents the mental realm and what is happening in your mind.
The third card represents the spiritual realm and can often be a direct message from your Spirit Guides.
There are two different ways to read Tarot cards. The first is to memorise all the meanings that have been laid out by those who have come before, probably in a book that accompanies your cards. The second is to you use your intuition and psychic abilities. Most readers use a combination of the two, using the established meaning the cards to guide their intuition.
You will probably find it very difficult to decipher the meaning of the cards as you start out, but as you work with them more, become more familiar with them and work with your deck, your affinity with your deck will grow and your intuition will come more freely.
By Sarah Roberts
Image numbers source
This article is copyrighted material and not permitted to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute without asking for prior permission from The Open Mind or the writer.