Setting The Stage For An Effective Reading

Recently a friend of mine started getting into tarot. While I do try to hold myself back from unloading an overwhelming amount of advice/how-tos and what not to-dos, it also got me to thinking. How many aspiring readers begin their own practice a bit lost? Am I doing this “right”? How can I connect better? It can be a lot considering that any resource you reference will have countless methods to be effective with our cards and tap into our intuition. The truth is, no one way is right and the most important thing is for you to find methods that resonate deeply for you. With tarot, like many things, it is all about intention!

Now, that’s some good advice but also rather vague so while I appreciate that we all must find our own unique path, I think it’s also helpful to get a view into what others are doing. I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know so I thought I’d take some time to peel back the veil a bit and share my own methods of practice. Feel free to take, adapt or omit any of the below suggestions as you best see fit!

Cleansing
Alright, you just got your first tarot deck and you want to infuse it with as much magical mojo as possible. Or maybe you’re a seasoned reader and you feel it’s just due time that you deck got a bit of a bath. Here are some methods that I use and keep in mind, this is in no way a comprehensive list!

a) Sun or moon bath: I let the deck sit by a window where the sun or moon will hit it and let it soak up the rays overnight up to 24 hours. I do this especially on a full moon!
b) Meditate with them: I Hold the cards in my hands and state my intentions for the deck. What do I want from it? How do I want to work with it? What can we achieve together? State all this while visualizing your intentions manifesting.
c) Incense bath: I will run each card through incense smoke; just one swipe through. Pro Tip: Make sure the incense is 100% natural.
d) Energize it with fire: I will pass each card over a lit candle. I tend to use white candles for this purpose as white symbolizes purity. 

Opening Ceremony
Before each reading, it’s important to set intentions and get in a good place energetically and mentally. These are some things I do at the beginning of every reading, even if I’m just doing a one card pull for myself.

a) Light a candle and my incense if I choose to use it.
a) Perform a short visualization to open myself up.
b) Set intentions for what I would like to connect with. It’s always good to make some statement that you’re only looking for guidance from the highest source so you don’t even run the risk of inviting something lower. I usually call on my higher self, the divine source and my spiritual team (guides, angels what have you) to take part.
c) Protection is important too so you don’t get drained. Tarot reading, especially reading for others, can be really draining. Picturing white light surrounding you and imagining yourself encased in actual armour are some good ways to protect.

Tools
There are loads of tools you can use that can help focus your readings and the energy around you during them. There are no right or wrong tools, it’s all about connection. So if you’re out taking a walk and you find a stick on the ground that’s calling your name, pick it up and bring it home; why not!? Here are some of the tools I keep close by:

a) Crystals
b) Herbs
c) Candles
d) Incense
e) Altar cloth

Closing Ceremony
When the session is done, the following is a list of things I like to to to end the session and ground myself.

a) Extinguish all candles/incense that were being used.
b) Shuffle the cards to neutralize them.
b) Do a quick closing meditation to thank the sources that I called on to assist me.
c) Set the intention that I are ending the session so that I’m not walking around wide open!
e) Close myself down with a short visualization and state verbally that "I am now closed".

And there you have it! A little bit about the methods that help me to feel connected and “tune in” during my readings.

While this may seem like a long list, keep in mind that the opening ceremony is really only about 5 minutes and the closing one even less. It’s also important to remember, the magic is not in the stuff, it’s in the focus and intention that you apply to the stuff. I just find that for me personally, if I have a particular ritual to follow, it helps me click into that “zone” a lot quicker. It’s almost like brain training…but for mystics.

Julia Eve