Tips for Reading Tarot Intuitively

Psychic Tarot: Using Your Natural Psychic Abilities to Read the CardsWas asked a great question on learning to read:

“I have a pretty good memory and when I look at the cards I usually just remember the meaning that I read in a book. Can you give any advice on how to use my intuition a bit more rather than just a memorized meaning?”

I once had a “starter Tarot deck,” with meanings on the cards. I thought it would help me learn to read. Worst idea ever!  My readings were much worse than with a standard deck, even if I had to struggle through parts. It completely blocked my flow, as I compulsively checked the “right” meaning for every card. Tarot reader fail!

The magic of Tarot is not a function of perfectly memorizing card meanings, obviously. Other folks can give you a starting vocabulary, but you don’t really “own it” until you have developed your own and a relationship with the cards, to learn how they talk to you. (Each deck is an individual entity in it’s own right.)

But the question was how to do more intuitive readings. You start by getting grounded, calling down light, praying, or doing whatever connection “stuff” you do to connect to the Source. Consciously tune in and ASK for intuitive insight. That’s how you start. You get good, though, through practice.

Here are some simple ideas for sharpening intuitive Tarot skills.

  • Visualizations inside the cards. The exercises in Mary Greer’s [amazon_link id=”1564145883″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Tarot for Yourself[/amazon_link] are great for this, but you don’t have to have a step-by-step to be successful. Set aside some emotional space, pull a card, and envision yourself merging with the Tarot landscape. Look around, explore the space and interact with figures you find there. Observe and ask questions. Don’t worry about “imagining things” because your imagination is on the same channel intuitive information comes through. Just be open to getting insight this way, much the same you may get insight through a dream.
  • Envelope psychic practice. Try putting a Tarot card in an envelope at the beginning of the day, without peeking. At different times throughout the day, focus on the card inside the envelope, and write down whatever image, impression, word or ideas come to you. Don’t try to guess the card–just ask for related information. Don’t filter or evaluate the impressions. At the end of the day, you can check your card and see how the day’s experiences, your psychic impressions, and the card all speak together. If you save these and review them over time, you can develop a feel for how you personally tend to receive information.
  • Storytime, baby! Flip over three cards, and make up a story based on the images. Don’t look for meanings at all–look for a cohesive narrative flowing between multiple card. Invert one or switch them around and see how it changes the story. You want to become comfortable using the cards fluidly and allowing them to interact with each other, rather than attaching each card to an isolated, rigid definition. I would also not be surprised if you find your stories begin to resonate with other energy you run across.
  • Talking it out. One way to get the flow going is to start by simply describing the card, the scene, and the figures aloud. Without worrying about interpretation, just narrate, expanding upon whatever details catch your attention. Those little things you notice, about the environment, the figures, and the overall mood? There’s intuitive information you’ve got right there, Grasshopper! As you talk, you’ll often realize how what you’re seeing explains the card’s energy, or serves as a metaphor for the situation at hand.

This is an ongoing proposition, by the way. I’m currently reading [amazon_link id=”0738719757″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Psychic Tarot[/amazon_link] myself, because I’m always looking for ways to sharpen my skills! (I like it so far.) Working with Tarot is signing on for a Fool’s Journey, after all.

Investigating different perspectives and approaches gives you an arsenal of ideas to draw from. But it’s from working with cards directly, experimenting with approaches, that you learn what works best for you. Skilled readers need their own relationship with the cards. The trust and ease builds as you work together with your deck. Make friends.

Do you have tips on learning to read Tarot intuitively?

Is it okay to repeat Tarot questions?

Don’t keep asking. Let the answer come into focus.

We approach Tarot on issues that matter to us–sometimes, a lot. Maybe this is why some fear Tarot–there’s almost an air of inevitability once “the cards have spoken,” as if all has been magically preordained and there is nothing left save cowering at the eternal manifestation. And we get upset, because, well, even with Tarot talking, we’re just not necessarily hearing.

“What does it mean? Am I sure I’m understanding this message? What if it’s really not what I want? What if I’m getting it wrong? Can I change it? Does Tarot say the same thing today as yesterday? Why? Oh my God, oh my God. What now?!?”

We believe Tarot holds answers, which is why we ask the questions. But sometimes we don’t understand  the answers or don’t like them. So we may ask, again and again–all with the same intense, scattered emotional energy. Panic readings, I call them. And you know, they don’t help much.

Tarot works predictably. The readers’ emotional state IS part of the energy connection. Fear produces static and distortion, scrambling signal. If you keep pulling cards repeatedly on the same question–let’s be honest, most of us have–you’ll start getting nonsense. Or at least, this is how it works for me.

I consider repeating Tarot questions akin to asking a sage for wisdom on the same issue nine times in a row. The first five or six times, you’ll likely get patiently delivered versions of the same message. But eventually, the sage will say something ridiculous to snap you out of your daze. Good! And honestly, I think it disrespectful to overindulge in repetitive grilling. Aren’t you more inclined to share your wisdom with those who try to listen and understand it?

I favor not repeating a question unless conditions have changed or marked time has passed. When I’m not finding the answers I’m seeking, I make note, set the question itself aside, and visualize opening up my chakras with light. I ask for understanding to come to me at the right time, in the right way, and release the question. This creates an empty space for the answer to appear. When I’m willing to let it in this way, I’ve found it does come. Not always on my schedule, but it would be hard to argue, not on the right schedule.

What do you think about repeating Tarot questions? Do you have a rule?

What Direction to Flip Tarot Cards?

Orient yourself!

Sometimes people wonder how they should flip the cards, relevant if reading reversals. Personally, I always flip them horizontally instead of vertically, toward or away, to maintain the orientation.

But like most techniques in Tarot, other options will work so long as you are clear on your intent to work that way. That lets the cards know how to give you information and keeps uncertainty from adding a layer of confusion to the reading. It’s been my experience that feeling confused and uncertain adds that energy to a reading, leaving you with confused and uncertain answers. I like a clean, confident vibe in working the cards.

What do you think?

Selecting Your First Tarot Deck

Make a pretty home for your first deck!

People aiming to learn Tarot wonder how to pick their first deck. Does it have to be traditional, Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) or a clone deck? Does someone have to give it to you? Hmmm?

There is an advantage, using a traditional deck, in the sheer number of resources available. The imagery in RWS and it’s kissing cousins are especially rich, multi-layered and rooted in many esoteric traditions, so there is a lot to work with, in mastering a broad vocabulary of potential divinataory insights.

On the other hand, RWS may just leave you flat or another deck may simply sing to you. Are you supposed to ignore your inner voice in learning to better exercise your inner voice?

One of my favorite answer for these kinds of questions is, “It’s up to you!” Every step of befriending Tarot is another inch along your own Fool’s Journey, and it’s personal. No one else can tell you which deck to begin with because no one else is YOU.

As far as waiting to be given a deck–well, I can tell you for a fact your first deck doesn’t have to be a gift to “work.” Otherwise, me and whole bunch of other readers would have been out of luck!

That having been said, I usually suggest people get RWS  or clone, and buy it themselves instead of waiting on divine providence, as soon as they take a notion. Ha!

What do you think is important to remember in selecting your first deck?

Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot
by Us Games Systems

Is it okay to get a used Tarot deck?

Used Tarot Decks?Josi asked a terrific question in the comments: Are used Tarot decks okay? This is one of those topics people have differing opinions on, sometimes strong ones!

I only have one used Tarot deck–Morgan Greer–and that was from someone I knew (and was comfortable with already). So the vibe from the previous owner was not a problem. It’s worked great for me, just like any other deck. No problems at all.

That having been said, unless a deck is rare, out-of-print, or otherwise difficult to purchase new, I avoid used decks. It’s not that I don’t think they are “safe” or work properly. So long as a used deck doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable to the touch, or give off weird vibes, I would not be concerned. And even buying online, I’d just do a gut-check to see what kind of feelings I got when thinking of purchasing the deck to decide. If I felt good when thinking about it, it’s a go. If I felt queasy or anxious, it’s a no.

And for any deck, but especially used decks, I’d want to do cleansing and dedication rituals when it came into my life. Getting a new deck is an event! I like to mark it as such. We work closely together, you know.

It’s just my personal preference to get new decks. I’d prefer not to be the second wife in this case. Just me and the deck, bonding, you know? No potential baggage from past relationships.

But I think used decks could be a great choice–especially if the recycling appeals to your sensibilities as a way to care for the Earth and honor the deck. The choice of a used deck could be similar to adopting a rescue pet–another way to serve, you know? You would be giving the deck another chance to fulfill it’s higher purpose. In that light, it’s a great choice. It’s all in the hands of the reader.

What are your feelings on getting used Tarot decks?

Selecting Gemstones by Energy

I’ve noticed several people mention they like “pretty rocks” but have no idea how to go about picking them. Here’s my very simple technique for getting a good gemstone for you without knowing thing one about ’em!