Posts tagged learn tarot
Tarot: A Guide For Those Just Starting

I take for granted most days how familiar tarot as a tool has become. Like a riding a bike, or driving a car or using any of my limbs…it’s just something I do and hardly give thought to. I realize this takes time and effort to arrive at such a state and so today, I’m going to try my best to peel back my knowing and step into the landscape of a novice. What do you need to know to get started? Where would one begin? How can someone possibly memorize 78 cards, never mind reversals and then reading more than one at a time - in tandem no less?

It’s no small feat. And if you’ve been able to achieve even some of that, you’re doing very well. Tarot is a dedicated study. It is a life long process of unraveling and revealing and adapting and reconsidering. There is always more to know when it comes to this craft and so yeah, I get how starting out can be extremely overwhelming. But it’s not impossible and also, it’s a lot of fun.

So here we are. Below is a list of carefully curated resources and posts that I’ve developed through the years that I would recommend to anyone just starting out. I’ve placed them in order intentionally, so it is probably best to start at the beginning and work your way through.

At the very end, I’ll list a few additional tips as well as other websites that I think are very helpful in honing this craft. I hope you’ll enjoy it and walk away from this post a little less intimated by the process as well as excited to begin.

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Freebie - Empowering Prompts Through The Major Arcana

This post contains a free resource. Download now!

We often turn to the cards to tell us what we need to know, but through a different lens, the cards can serve as a reflection - a mirror - or a tool for us to deep dipper and ask questions rather than seek answers.

This can be especially helpful if you draw a card that you’re having difficulty deciphering. Consider that you have blind spots. Consider that you come at the cards with bias and unknowing. We only see what we are ready to see and when the cards aren’t “clear” it could be because we aren’t in a place to receive what’s being offered. Then what? Whether I’m reading for myself or others, in these moments I often pause and rephrase the advice I wish I could reach as a question not yet uncovered. This is especially true if a card seems particularly out of place in the reading. Maybe that oddly placed Emperor showing up in a reading about love isn’t saying your relationship is rigid but rather, is asking you in what ways do you build walls or conversely, not create boundaries clearly enough?

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Flexing Your Cards - An Exercise in Adaptation

P.S. This post has been updated to include a more complete worksheet. All links to the older worksheet have updated below to include the new material.

This post includes a downloadable resource: Flexing Your Cards - Exercise Sheet.

No, this isn't a post about how to get the most of your workout routine with the aid of tarot - though I'm sure it wouldn't be above their ability to assist with this either! When I talk about flexing, what I'm describing is a method of reading that allows you to bend and mold the card's standard meaning to fit the specific question being asked. Whether it be love, career, personal development, passion projects or anything else, a single tarot card can and should be able to provide suitable guidance, if you can adjust your lens ever so slightly. 

Of course, there are some cards that seem to speak fluent love or finances, but even if not; even if the card seems to be themed in an entirely different direction, doesn't mean it can't give you the answer you're looking for. You just need to know how to look at the card.

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Weighing Pros & Cons with Tarot

The other day, I was playing around with my method for reading probability, when I found myself asking not if something would or wouldn't happen, but what the pros and cons would be, should it occur. In that moment, I began contemplating methods to simply construct a spread that would tackle this sort of inquiry, and that was when this method for weighing pros and cons was born. It is inspired both by my "yes/no/maybe so" system and decision making method for reading the cards.

The idea behind weighing the pros and cons is that with most of what we experience and pursue in life, there are ups and downs. Sometimes those ups and downs are of equal impact, and many times the situation skews one way or another. If you're trying to determine the ups and downs or pros and cons or something, whether that be embarking on a new path, leaving a current relationship or having a difficult conversation - keep reading; this method is for you.

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Decision Making With Tarot

Tarot is such a versatile tool. My use of the cards is hardly limited to divination and even within the confines of divination as an approach, there are still so many practical applications. Today, I'm going to break down the different ways you can use tarot to help make decisions.

Before we get into techniques, I want to share with you a few instances where I've been able to navigate different life situations to arrive at a desired outcome. One of my first experiences with tarot as a decision making tool, was when I was house hunting. The market was (still is, really) a seller's game and options seemed not only limited, but not ideal. In a series of readings that spanned a couple of hours, we explored many different possibilities, all looking dismal, until we arrived at the one - the one we ultimately went for and couldn't be happier with. I write more about this experience on another blog post, if you want to read more!
While this was a major decision, I've also used tarot to help me make decisions where selling my home was concerned, making changes to my spiritual business and helping me navigate certain dealings with our builder. Yes, tarot has basically helped me navigate every part of buying and selling a home!

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The High Priestess & Justice: Two Side of the Same Coin

Preface: If you've found this article (or others) helpful, or have enjoyed the resources that I create, please consider joining me on Patreon. Even at $1 a month you are helping me sustain my work here while also unlocking access to content that has never been and will never be published in this space. Thanks!

Full disclosure - I am of the camp that believes Justice has found it's proper place as the 11th Arcana, though I know there are many who prefer it as the 8th and I am sure there are plenty of valid reasons why that makes sense. However, I'm here to discuss one of the reasons why the latter resonates more with me, and that is because in the 11th spot, based on numerology, it vibrates in line with The High Priestess.

While on the surface, Justice and The High Priestess appear to have little in common, I actually consider these cards to be two sides of the same coin and the secret to reading the tarot. A bit of a bold claim I suppose, but stay with me and we'll get to that...before we do though, let's explore the visual similarities and differences.

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Learning To Read Tarot

I recently watched a video by the ever fascinating Kelly Ann Maddox around the ways in which people approach their learning of tarot. There has been some contention in the community, which I've opted not to comment on, regarding certification and whether or not it's necessary or whatever. I'm not here to tell you how to learn tarot. But if you're asking me, no, I don't think certification is necessary. No, I don't plan on ever being certified to read cards. But, I also don't care what other people do with their money and am happy for those who chose this route and those who chose to supply it as an option. It's not necessary, but it may be the right thing for some and there is nothing wrong with that.

And this all made me think back to my own journey with the cards. How did I come into it? What were my struggles? And how did I ultimately come to understand them in the way I do today? The truth is, I don't remember how tarot specifically landed on my radar, but I grew up in a home that was very open to these sorts of things and so when I requested a deck, around the age of 10, it was met with a swift visit to the book store to peruse what was available.

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Using Tarot to Communicate with Spirit

Tarot has many uses, and one day I intend to write a blog post detailing the ones I go to most commonly, but today, I want to tackle just one - communicating with spirit.

Before we get into techniques, I first want to distinguish this method of using tarot from regular spirit-chat when it comes to divination or reflective readings. When I'm doing a reading, especially for others, I often refer to the messages received as having "come from spirit". So, when I send email reports out, I'll have lines that read "spirit says..." or "spirit wants you to know...". This is not me specifically communicating with a deceased loved one, for example, but simply put, I use the word "spirit" to describe a large body of otherworldlyness - i.e. your spirit guide team, your higher self, the divine source etc.

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Tarot Exercise - Spot The Commonalities

Yesterday I posted a photo on Instagram as a sort of "reading in the flow" exercise. I asked other readers what similarities the cards had and what they felt it meant when reading the three cards holistically. The point of the exercise was to step back from standard text book definitions and let the imagery tell the tale. I also refer to this type of reading as taking a bird's eye view and it's a process that can really allow our intuition to swoop in and take over.

I was really thrilled with the feedback and loved that some users had pointed out aspects of the cards that I hadn't even picked up on first glance myself. It really illustrates the unique perspective we all bring and the many layers that the cards can create. I won't tell you what I saw or what others saw just yet though. Before I get to that, have a look at the image below for yourself and tell me what you see. Here are some prompts to get things flowing:

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Predicting Probability with Tarot (Yes, No, Maybe So)

For many tarot practitioners, we understand the value in a well constructed question. In fact, if a question isn't clear enough, I'll reach out to my client to rework it so it's more succinct. The philosophy states, the better the question, the better the answer, and so many a great readings start with a well thought out and fully formed question.

But what about those times when you just want a straight forward, yes or no response!? Damn it tarot, I just want to know if I'm gonna get that job or not!

Okay, here's the thing. There is something inherently problematic about a closed ended question where Tarot is concerned, and that's that it doesn't allow any room for grey. I am a firm believer in free will, but I also understand energy and trajectory, so while I think it's possible that Tarot can show us the "likelys", the future isn't set in stone, and so there must always be room for the "maybe". Even if the answer is "yes", it's always a "yes" with a caveat. So, how can you determine probability using tarot? Well, keep reading and I'll show you!

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My Top 7 Tarot Tips For Beginners

I come into contact with, what seems like, more and more people who are wanting to learn and practice tarot. For a newbie, it can seem daunting. 78 cards (and 156 meanings if you factor reversals) is a lot for anyone to try to memorize, and even when you do manage to memorize each card, you have another huge challenge on your hands. One that asks you to effectively take the cards you’ve memorized and now apply them to a specific person or situation and uncover how multiple cards in a spread may relate. It’s an art and a skill, and I know first hand just how long it can take, how frustrating it can be but also, how rewarded you will feel the moment it does start to click; and it WILL start to click, if you stick with it. 

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Tarot Spread: The Energetic Landscape

The other day a friend asked if I could perform a reading for her. "Sure", I replied, "what did you want me to look at?" But, the answer wasn't incredibly straightforward. It was something along the lines of, "I've just been feeling really off lately. I don't know if it's because of this or that, but I'm not just feeling right."

This type of inquiry I would lump into the vague and uncertain pile and it usually takes some work on my part to reformulate the question enough that it actually becomes readable. This time though, I resisted that urge.

I didn't know exactly how I would lay the cards down, but I knew I wanted to answer the inquiry just as it was asked. After all, there must be a way to look at what's happening in and around someone, especially when it feels that whatever it is, is weighing them down.

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Tarot: Best (Personal) Practices

I believe at it's core, tarot is an entirely individual and personalized practice. For this reason, even the "rules" I've come to establish in my own relationship with tarot serve to exist within the presumption that tarot and its use is defined mostly by the practitioner at hand.

So when I talk about "rules", I hope I can do so in a way that keeps from being considered preachy. This is just my perspective after all and so my hope is that if anything here resonates, you can adopt it, but of course if not, feel free to adapt it instead or chuck it to the wayside.

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In-Depth With The 8 of Cups
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell

There is something unsettling about the 8 of Cups. Maybe it's because it's been stalking me for a solid year. Or maybe it's because whenever it shows up, it's a stark reminder that I'm still the fellow with his back to one life, though not fully entrenched in another; a kind of sort of between two worlds type of feel. Before I speculate on the true nature or intention behind the 8 of Cups, I first need to come to terms with why it makes me feel ill at ease.

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Predicting Timing With Tarot

This topic seems to be an area of challenge for many, and rightfully so. Picking up on surrounding energy is one thing, but being able to say when something may happen is difficult, because as most of us acknowledge, free will exists. Just because something looks to be moving a certain way, doesn't mean it will stay the course. There are so many variables that can impact trajectory, so I think when we're talking about timing, we have to first acknowledge that timing, like anything with tarot, does not live in the realm of absolutes.

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Freebie: 25 Spreads Through The Major Arcana

Preface: If you've found this article (or others) helpful, or have enjoyed the resources that I create, please consider joining me on Patreon. Even at $1 a month you are helping me sustain my work here while also unlocking access to content that has never been and will never be published in this space. Thanks!

This post includes a free guidebook featuring 25 unique tarot spreads. Get it here!

Back in January, the first to be exact, I started a series called Spreads Through The Major Arcana. Approximately each week I released a tarot (or Oracle if you fancy) spread in the essence of each card from the Major Arcana starting first with The Fool. I got as far as The Hermit, the 10th installment, when I decided I wanted to package up the whole thing rather than release in segments. Initially I had the thought that I would sell it for $5.00, but I quickly scraped the idea because really, I just want people to have it.

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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!

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