Your Complete Guide To Reading Tarot Cards

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The Best Beginner's Guide For How To Read Tarot Cards

Here's what you need to know.

By Kylie Stigar-Burke

The world of tarot has slowly but surely made a dramatic comeback into the 21st century. The modernizing of this ancient craft has come right at a time where those of us who are scared shitless after the recent election needs something desperately to give us answers.

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And like always, the tarot is there for us.

Isn’t tarot for devil worship?

Glad you asked! The tarot is what you make of it.

At its very basic form, it is a deck of 78 cards that were originally used to play card games. At its most complex, it is a system of divination where you can incorporate numerology, horoscopes, and more. Because the tarot is, well, just paper, it has no affiliation with demons or the devil.

Think of it this way: the tarot is a way of answering questions you or your seeker are asking. If you don’t feel comfortable reading for certain questions, don’t. 

How can I get started?

Very simply, actually. My first recommendation is to hit up Amazon and just type in tarot decks. Guys, there are millions. I picked the Druidcraft Tarot. It’s got big cards and overall super colorful. Pick whatever makes your heart sing. (I have a secondary deck with cats on it. I love it.) 

While you’re there, search for some badass journals. I’d buy a few. What you’ll do is shuffle the cards and pick a single card every day. Shuffle until you feel like they are shuffled enough. Pick one right on top, pick the bottom card, lay them out and pick one that calls to you. There is no wrong way to pick a card. 

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Then, in your journal, write about it. Describe what it looks like or how it makes you feel. Write down what you think the card means. 

Once you’ve finished following your own intuition, you can finally check out some card interpretations.  If you’re looking for something free, you can use a reputable site like BiddyTarot. Otherwise, you can buy a book for pretty cheap. I’d suggest Melissa Cynova’s Kitchen Table Tarot. I have raided the shelves of my hometown library and taken detailed notes of my favorites.

Don’t people think you’re weird?

I mean, probably? But if I’m being honest, more people ask for a reading than tell me I’m weird. And if I’m being even more honest, I’ve never heard (at least) anyone call me weird for my tarot cards. Once people have their first reading, there is no turning back. 

Look — tarot is probably the first thing you’ve ever done that is 100% all about you. You have this deck that can help you overcome your anxiety, show you what your decisions could look like, or helps guide you on what to have for dinner.

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If you’re anything like many tarot readers, this is the first time you’ve ever tapped into your intuition and felt a surge of your own power as an individual. This is not something you pick up if you don’t want to find yourself, or at least start getting close to that revelation. Stop letting other people’s impressions seep in and ruin something so inherently beneficial for you! 

Now you’ve got me on my soapbox. I’ll say it for people in the back: if you want to learn the art of tarot, go for it!

So I have these cards. Now what?

Start learning and designing spreads! My go to is a simple three card spread. Past Present Future. Body Mind Spirit. Something Negative, Something Positive, Advice. You can use this spread for really anything.\

I do a three card spread almost every single day and write my results in my journal. Look at what the cards are trying to tell you. If you keep seeing a certain card, what does that trend signal to you? What do you need more of in your life? What needs to change? 

I know some people who use the cards solely for creativity. One of my friends, a writer, pulls a few cards and crafts her short stories around them. Another friend creates interpretations of cards through painting. The tarot is a multi-talented babe.

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I fell in love with tarot once a reader told me my life story after looking at her cards. She guided me and I hope that you will find your own guidance using your cards.

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This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.