Most people have heard of the Tarot cards, but not many fully understand what these tools are or how to use them. Let’s begin with some basic facts:
- Tarot cards are not a game. They are a divination tool.
- Tarot cards cannot simply be picked up and used. They must be attuned before they are used.
- Each witch must find their own deck and sync themselves with it so that they can get the full meaning of the cards flawlessly each reading.
- Tarot cards do not set the future. They read the future as it currently stands.
- Tarot cards channel energy, not spirits, to show the future, past, present, or to answer questions.
- If not used properly, Tarot cards can become tainted, and not read accurately.
So you want to learn to read the Tarot, but don’t know where to begin?
This is a good place to start. To fully understand the meaning of the cards you must meditate on each card in your deck, but before you go to pick out a deck that suits you it may be a good idea to understand the basic meanings of each card. In later sections I will go over the meanings of each card, but first thing’s first.
Picking a Deck:
As with most magic tool, picking a deck of Tarot cards is less about choosing a deck and more about finding a deck that’s chosen you. How do you know if a deck has chosen you? You will know a deck has chosen you when you feel drawn to it.
If you always seem to end up looking at the same set, time and time again, then you know you’ve found your deck. When you pick up the deck for the first time it should feel like it belongs in your hands.
Why take so much time picking the deck? Why not just pick one with the best pictures? You may be asking yourself this if you are having a hard time finding just the right set.
Each set of cards has its own nuances of meaning that other decks do not. It’s true that the basic meanings are universal across all Tarot, but the meanings go further than that. One deck may read completely differently from the next once it is attuned. That said, be patient and wait for the right deck to find you.
Attuning a Deck:
So you have found the deck that’s right for you and you want to start using it? Don’t start laying the cards out for a reading just yet. Tarot cards are a ritual tool and like any ritual tool they need to be attuned to you. Never use someone else’s deck to do a reading! This can sully the energy of the cards and make them read incorrectly or worse. Always use your own deck.
You may want to start with a dedication ritual to bind the cards to you as you would with a new wand or athame. With that said, Tarot cards require one additional step. You must meditate on each of the cards in the deck individually. I recommend you take at least a day on each card. You want to focus on card and draw out the hidden meanings in them.
Start by clearing your mind. Begin your meditation in a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Hold the card and focus, but do not try to fight thoughts or ideas that enter your mind while holding the card. They could help you unravel the meaning of the card.
After the initial meditation is complete and you feel you have a good understanding of the card you may want to carry it around with you for the rest of the day, but take care not to damage the card. Repeat this process for every card in your deck.
Your First Reading:
By the time you have meditated on each card in your deck the cards should take on a whole new feeling in your hands. They should begin to feel familiar and comfortable in your hands.
Before you perform your first reading take a moment to shuffle your deck thoroughly. You will begin each reading by shuffling, but this first time should take the longest.
You want to weave your energy permanently into the cards as you shuffle. Concentration is the key to making sure no unwanted energy is transferred to the cards. Take your time and shuffle until the cards feel primed and ready.
Begin your reading in a calm, quiet place. Some witches carry a ritual cloth to perform the reading on. This can help to keep the energies focused on the task at hand. Pick the layout that will best serve your purpose and begin.
It is worthy of note that some traditions swear that you should never do a reading on yourself, and sometimes doing your own reading can be the hardest so I recommend you read someone else first.
Another rule used by a wide number of witches is that you should never let anyone else touch your cards. I have never found any harm in this so long as you have given your permission.
Having your subject shuffle the cards and think about the reason for the reading, their situation, can certainly be a great way to start, but if you do not want anyone touching your deck but you then it will be up to you to channel the subject’s energy into the cards.
This is what the cards use to read a person or situation. Shuffle or have your subject shuffle until the cards feel right. The cards should sync with the energy of the situation and feel similar to how the subject feels when they think of it. Please note that you should not try to keep your cards facing one way as upside down cards have different meanings.
Lay down the cards in your preferred layout. You may wish to lay them all out at once, one at a time, or to lay them out upside down and flip them over one at a time.
Find a method that works best for you. When you first lay out the cards, if more than half of them are upside down you may want to flip ALL the cards over. It is a rule used by many witches that if more than half of the cards are upside down it means the deck may have been handed to you upside down. Correct accordingly.