There are many books and websites that claim to teach tarot. So many that it’s a little overwhelming. Where to start? How to buy a tarot deck. Should you even buy one at all? What is the best book? How do you memorize all those meanings? What are reversals anyway? The questions are endless. You need to be able to cut right through to the basics. So here’s how to learn to read tarot cards – from the beginning.
Should I Purchase a Pack of Tarot Cards?
Yes, if you really want to learn how to read tarot cards, you’ll need a deck of cards. We recommend only one deck to begin with, and that’s the Rider-Waite Tarot. If it doesn’t appeal to you, have a look at some variations, such as the Radiant Rider-Waite or the Universal Rider-Waite. Don’t pay attention to people who tell you that your first deck should be purchased for you and given as a gift. There’s no reason why you can’t buy your own.
I’ve Bought a Tarot Deck, Now What?
Your tarot deck is packaged in a particular order. It starts at 0 with The Fool, progresses though the Major Arcana and then through each suit, usually ending with the last card, the King of Pentacles. Carefully unwrap your cards and place them face down. Turn over each one and take a good look. You don’t have to do anything else apart from gaze at them. Do this several times over the course of the next few days. You are impatient to start reading, but it is important to familiarize yourself with the images and the structure (order) of the deck.
Can I Start Reading the Tarot Straight Away?
You can if you want to, but I highly recommend you spend a little time becoming familiar with your tarot cards first. Anyone can do a reading by shuffling the cards, asking a question, drawing a card and referring to the little white book (LWB) which accompanies every deck. However, you will never become a good reader unless you are prepared to study.
How Do I Make Sense of All These Tarot Cards?
Take it slowly. Students of the tarot never, ever learn it all. Those of us who love tarot know that it is a life-long journey, and you are just taking the first steps. At this point it would be good if you learn about the basics, such as the Major Arcana, the Minor Arcana, and the Court Cards .
A good book can go a long way to illuminating the mysteries of the tarot which face every new reader. There are some excellent ones available. We recommend:
- Liz Dean’s The Ultimate Guide to Tarot
- Anthony Louis’ Tarot Plain and Simple This one uses the Robin Wood Tarot for illustration, but it is close enough to the Rider-Waite to make no difference.
- Joan Buning’s Learning the Tarot is available in book form, or you can get free access to the material via Learn Tarot.
Should I Keep a Tarot Journal?
Yes, it’s a really good idea to keep a tarot journal. You can use it as a learning tool, a place to record your readings, somewhere to record your insights and self-discoveries. Tarot is not just about learning to read the cards; it’s also a way to learn about yourself. I have a complete PDF file which contains journal prompts for every card. You can download it here: Tarot Study Journal Template.
My Friend Told Me Tarot Cards Are Evil. Is She Right?
No, tarot cards are images pasted onto card. They are not evil. Using tarot does not open the door to scary entities. Tarot is an organized structure that reflects human existence. Tarot cards are no more messengers of evil than the pack of playing cards in your dresser drawer. In fact tarot is descended from those very cards, created as a game for European nobles back in the 15th century.
How Can I Learn Tarot Faster?
It depends how much time you have available, how often you want to study. However, I found the fastest way is to use tarot in as many different ways as possible.
You can use tarot to help you with decisions, draw a card for daily guidance, to explain a dilemma, for inspiration, in meditation, to enhance vision boards and even for magical work and healing.
Will I Be Able to Tell Fortunes With Tarot Cards?
If you learn the cards properly, yes, you will. However, most people find that knowing the future is not very helpful. Instead they discover a lot of satisfaction in using the cards to gain wisdom, to learn about themselves and to explore human psychology.
Can I Earn Money Using Tarot Cards?
Yes, again, if you study hard, develop your own reading style and get good feedback about your readings, there’s no reason why you cannot become a tarot professional. You should have a well-thought out Code of Ethics and make sure you comply with local legal requirements. Some countries and states do not allow fortune telling, but you might be able to use tarot for counseling. That would also require you to have some kind of counseling qualification.
Should I Get a Professional Reading?
It would be a good idea, before you learn to read tarot cards yourself, to get a reading by a professional. Pop over to Psychic Elements to find a reader to suit you.
Good luck on your tarot journey!