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?


  1. You start by getting grounded

    That is the best thing, right there. And make sure you are clear minded, especially if you are reading for someone else. I’ve found if you are not and have lots of personal issues going on, the reading will reflect more of that than for the querent.

  2. For me, if something pops into my head the moment I look at the card, that’s it. That’s what it’s supposed to mean at that moment, for that particular issue. Even if what’s in my head isn’t necessarily a “usual” interpretation for that card (i.e. the 4 of Pentacles once told me: stay close to home/dixiblog/domains/, don’t travel), I know that if I hear it loudly in my head, that’s it.

    And I guess that’s a very circuitous way of saying: Always go with your gut. LOL

    • Yeah, I also see getting a non-traditional interpretation is a pretty good indication you’ve got some intuitive mojo going on.

  3. If something pops up in my head, I go with it. Usually, the more spontaneous, the better. Also, sometimes I ask the person to look at a card and tell me if they feel a pull. If people are coming to me for a big question, I will often ask them to pay attention to their dreams before a reading. A lot of times the cards and the dreams “talk to each other”, so to speak. I learned this from doing it myself. It is the most effective way for my own guidance, anyway.

Shine Thy Light!