In part one of our Intro to Tarot series, your Spirit Goddess, Gala Darling, explained how to choose your perfect tarot deck. Now that you’ve found yours, cleansed it, and infused your own energy into it, it’s time to begin your tarot-reading education. Don’t be intimidated! The key to reading tarot truly is within you. Once you’ve accessed it, a whole world awaits. Through the tarot, you can connect with the energies around you, step into your true path, and own your present and future like never before. When you think about it, that’s a pretty awesome gift to give yourself: free tarot readings for life! —The Horoscope.com Editors
So, you’ve selected your dream deck, cleansed it (a full moon is always a great time to cleanse cards, btw!) and made it feel like yours. Now it’s time to dive into the exciting world of learning to read your cards!
This might seem intimidating at first. There are a lot of cards to memorize, after all. But you don’t have to commit them all to memory at once, and there are so many tools on the market to help you. For example, you might like to try Theresa Reed’s Tarot Coloring Book, which will give you wonderful insights as well as a fun project for the cooler coming months. Or pick up a recent favourite of mine, Michelle Tea’s Modern Tarot book, which has great, contemporary interpretations of the cards. Although, I have to be honest: When I was first starting out, I had biddytarot.com on speed-dial! I was constantly looking up cards in Biddy’s database. Her site is an amazing resource, especially when you’re on the go.
You should know that there is no shame in not being a card genius straight off the bat. (Why is it that we expect ourselves to be instantly wonderful at any given skill? Enjoying the journey of learning can be so much fun in and of itself!) It’s totally cool for you to look up the cards as you go. And even once you’re adept with a deck, it’s still a joy to research alternate meanings to the cards and deepen your knowledge!
To read cards, first, shuffle them. You don’t have to be David Blaine (or Criss Angel)—even a messy shuffle will do. This helps to put your energetic signature on the cards. Then, if you want to separate them into three stacks and then put them back together, you can… but it’s totally up to you. As in most forms of magic, what is most important is that you do what feels best.
The easiest card pull is a single card pull. Yep, it does what it says on the tin: You pull one card and get a little shot of insight. To really maximize the vibes, ask the deck a question as you’re shuffling. Open-ended questions are best, for example, “Is there anything I need to know about this potential lover?”
The second—and perhaps most popular—pull is a past, present, and future spread. Pull three cards, the first signifying the past, the second the present, and the third the future. This is a fantastic spread for zooming out and getting a bird’s eye view on what’s really going on for you—and what you can expect in the future.
Below, I’ve borrowed a new moon spread from the wonderful site Little Red Tarot: Pull seven cards. The first card is about where you stand: you and the energy around you. The second card is something to leave behind. The third card is something to receive. The fourth card is something to learn. The fifth card is something to give. The sixth card is your hopes and dreams. And the seventh is your secret special skill!
I also love this simple—but powerful!—spread for finding your mojo from Little Red Tarot: Split your cards into two piles: major and minor arcana. Then shuffle separately. Pull your first card from the major stack, and cards two and three from the minor stack. Card one represents your mojo. Card two shows you what’s getting in the way…. And card three tells you your solution! As Beth, the creator of Little Red Tarot, says, “DO THIS NOW!”
Good luck with these spreads!
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For more of Gala Darling’s magically uplifting advice, try these Spirit articles:
5 Relationship Rituals for a Deeper Spiritual Connection With Your Partner
With These Daily Rituals, You’ll Be Invincible
Use Your Sign to Change Your Mood in a Second
How to Overcome Fear, Based on Your Zodiac Sign