How to Get the Most Out of Your Tarot Reading: Advice from a Pro Tarot Reader
Tarot cards have become so damn popular you can't throw a crystal without hitting a reader! (Ok, maybe don't throw crystals) But for real, there are a ton of readers out there and the number of people picking up tarot cards is only increasing! This is AWESOME, but I think that for many people, getting started reading these cards can be more than a little overwhelming.
In fact, from the time I started teaching tarot, I've had more than a few students admit that they had started reading tarot and then stopped abruptly because they felt like it was just too much to handle on their own. I hate seeing people get discouraged when trying to learn something they are passionate about. So, I thought I would share some of my philosophy on reading tarot.
First off, you need to know that in tarot, Symbolism - IS KEY! For real, symbolism is the language the tarot is written in. So the good news is you can stop trying to memorize every single card definition just as it is written in the book.
But let me explain why.
While many people can read Tarot intuitively or even as a tool for psychic stimulation, the truth is Tarot is a tool that relies on images, allegory and association. In fact, you have probably read a blog or two that says this card is associated with that; that card is associated with this. The reason for this is that from the very beginning, Tarot (even when it was a card game played in the Courts of Milan, Italy) used images that the user could easily relate to. In traditional tarot decks, the images depict people doing everyday things, which is no accident. These images are meant to be relatable so that when you draw a card, you look at images that are familiar to you in some way, even subconsciously.
Look at the 7 of Pentacles; it shows a little guy looking at eight pentacles growing on a bush.
When you look at the card, it may seem a little absurd at first glance. How in the world do Tarot readers get such insightful psychic impressions out of such a weird image?
Well, my dear Mystic, it's much easier than you think!
Let me break it down for you a little; keep in mind that tarot is deeply drenched in symbolism. For instance, you already know money doesn't grow on trees, so you know that you're looking at something allegorical. You also know what it's like watching a plant grow... it takes forever, so most of us don't do it. Also, if you look at his face, you can see he's kinda bored. He's been standing there watching the plant grow and is just sort of "over it." He's ready for the fruits of his labour to ripen already!!!
In this tiny example, you can already see that there is a lot for you to work with just by relating to what the picture is showing you. For example, what does a pentagram mean to you? To me, it's a symbol of protection and balance—but to someone else, maybe it means something completely different: maybe they associate it with sacred geometry.
Everything single thing you see in any of the 78 Tarot cards is symbolic in some way. The reason symbols are used is that they resonate with our lived experiences. The images in the cards are meant to remind us of things in our daily lives; through this connection, we can gain deeper insight into our situation.
But, you might also be thinking, yeah, that's fine, Alysa. But what about all the woo-woo in Tarot? How do I know what a bored little dude watching plants grow means when I ask if I'm going to get that job??!
Glad you asked, dear Mystic!
This is where the rubber meets the road on your tarot travels.
You need to understand that there is absolutely no wasted space on the card. Everything from the background to the posture, the activity and the gender of the character to the arcana and suit the card belongs to has significance. That's why when you read tarot, you should read it in layers. In other words, the more you look at the images, the more you will see.
That being said, once you get the hang of reading the cards to use the symbols in them to stimulate your intuitive and psychic awareness, it gets down to how to deliver those powerfully insightful messages you get. Whether you are reading for yourself or for others, there are some things I recommend that you always do.
And here are a couple of them
ALWAYS, ALWAYS... ALWAYS tell the truth. I know that is a daunting prospect. Especially since, as a Tarot reader, you are often faced with people who are in crisis.
I believe that a tarot reading should always be honest and that you should never ignore a message just because it makes you uncomfortable. The truth should be the goal of any good tarot reading. Never ignore a message in a tarot reading—even if it makes you uncomfortable! You may pull cards that shed light on dark or difficult situations in order to help guide clients toward healing and growth. So even if it feels like we're talking about something uncomfortable (like the fact that your client's partner has been cheating on them), chances are good that there's something valuable there, and you shouldn't ignore it!
The truth is what gives the reading its meaning and power, and it's also what makes the person you're reading for feel heard, understood and cared for.
The truth can sometimes be painful, but ultimately it's a gift. We're all imperfect creatures trying to navigate through life as best we can, and I think that when we ignore our darkness or say things are all sunshine and roses when they're not, it only sets us up for failure.
While it is integral to your practice, the intention is only part of the formula. For our intentions to be
valuable, we must anchor them with purpose. We have to be super precise with why we are doing what we are doing. When reading tarot, this is especially important. The main reason is that if you give advice, guidance or even psychic insight, the person you are reading for WILL be affected by what you say to them.
It can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. This is because the person receiving your advice will take it as gospel. They will trust you implicitly and act upon whatever information you give them. So it is crucial that when reading tarot cards, we take time and ensure that our intentions are clear.
While it is crucial to have an intention, it is equally important that you have a clear purpose in mind when doing so. Purpose and intention are not mutually exclusive; they actually work together hand-in-hand. The purpose of the reading is to provide advice and guidance. However, this does not mean you should tell someone what to do or how to live their life. Instead, it means that your advice should be given in a way that helps them figure out what they want (their intention) and then use the cards as a tool for achieving those goals.
How To Be A Better Reader
Practice Makes Pretty Damn Good
Sorry to be the guy that gives you the cliche - but here we are. There are no shortcuts to getting really good with Tarot. I remember when I started to figure that out; to say I was disillusioned is somewhat of an understatement.
I learned I couldn't just open a pack of cards and start reading them. Instead, I discovered that I had to put the time in and learn them before I could even begin to expect them to be accurate or make sense.
I think part of what scares people off of Tarot is that without a lot of practice and learning about how the cards work together and how they relate to each other, you can't really use them. I don't think it's fair to say that reading Tarot is complicated, but it is definitely a skill that takes time to develop. You can't just open a pack of cards and expect them to work for you. You may get some very useful advice, but the really powerful and impacting stuff doesn't really happen until you have spent time learning how the cards work together and relate to each other.
I often tell my students that It's like trying to learn another language: it takes time and effort, but if you stick with it, you'll get better at it every day. Tarot is a tool that, once you learn to use it, becomes like a lifelong friend that you can use to help yourself and others. It's important that you develop a relationship with your cards so that they feel like an extension of yourself. The more familiar you are with them and their meanings, the easier it will be for them to speak to you on a deeper level.
Meditation Helps... but it ain't necessary.
It's true—meditation is one of the best ways to increase your intuitive senses.
But it's not the only way. In fact, there are tons of different ways you can increase your intuitive abilities.
For example, you can do an "active imagination" exercise where you close your eyes and imagine yourself doing things or interacting with people. You can also ask questions while meditating and then look for answers in your dreams. Or you could try something called "intuitive writing," where you write a journal entry based on whatever comes to mind first when writing down certain words or phrases.
There are many ways to increase your intuitive abilities, but the most important thing is to start! And if meditation isn't your thing, there are plenty of other exercises out there that will help you develop these skills.
Other techniques include:
Taking time for yourself every day (even just 5 minutes)
Listening to uplifting music or podcasts
Going for a walk in nature
In a world where we're constantly bombarded with stimuli, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that we are intuitive beings. We often think of intuition as a vague sense of knowing, but it's an incredibly robust and powerful tool—we just have to condition it!
Like any other sense or ability, the more you condition your intuition to listen to what it's telling you, the easier it is to hear your inner voice. And once you start listening to yourself, you'll be amazed.
Taking Care Of Your Cards
Yes, you have to clear your cards and your energy!
If you want to read the cards easily, you must ensure that your energy is clear. Contrary to what some people may tell you, it's not just about focusing on ridding yourself or your cards of negative energy; it's also about making sure that there isn't any residual energy lingering in the cards. If you don't do this, it's like reading with a dirty mirror...you may see something, but it won't be clear.
As a Tarot reader, it's essential that you take the time to create a positive space and environment for yourself. If you're tired, stressed, or otherwise overwhelmed, it can be challenging to focus on the cards and what they say.
This means that all of the energy from your previous reading has been released from your body, the environment and your cards. This way, when you give your next reading, and someone asks you how they are doing or what they should do next, you can give them an accurate reading based on their current state. You may be surprised to find that you feel more relaxed and grounded after you clear your space, self and cards. Once the energy from your previous session has been released, you can focus on the person in front of you without any distractions.
A super quick way to clear after reading is to focus on your breath, then say, "I release all the energy from my previous reading." This can be a quick way to release any energy that may still be lingering around you or your space. Additionally, you can say, "I intend to give my best service and provide the highest quality reading possible," or "I intend for this reading to be accurate and helpful in guiding my client towards their own truths." You can also use a variety of cleansing crystals, smoke cleansing or even sprays or incense to rejuvenate your space. If you have time, taking a moment to ground yourself after reading can be helpful. You can say, "I am grounded in my heart space." This will help you stay present and clear. If you are feeling particularly shaky after a reading, try using an affirmation like, "I am calm and centred as I move forward with my day."
Take Your Skills Higher
If you are interested in learning to read Tarot like a professional, sign up for my 10-week online tarot course.
It is 10 weeks of online learning that covers everything you need to know about interpreting the cards and understanding the language of the Tarot. You'll be able to use these skills to advance your professional goals as a spiritual entrepreneur as well as deepen your connection with your divine self!
You'll learn how to do a reading for yourself, as well as how to read for others. You'll get personalized feedback on how well you are doing and how much more practice you need before becoming a true master. And you will have access to me (or one of my qualified colleagues) via email or phone if you have questions along the way. Check out the course Here
Also, my book Essential Tarot Mastery is an excellent resource for both beginners and long-time tarot practitioners.
In my career, I am what you might call a professional mystic. I teach and work with spiritual seekers from all over the world. My love and passion for the mystic arts are what drives me to keep creating, sharing and educating others. I love to bring my diverse knowledge of metaphysical knowledge and depth of experience to my clients and students through providing intuitive and spiritual services. I'm Known for my ability to blend fun with professionalism, and I'm proud to offer nearly three decades of esoteric experience, which includes the co-creation of the Sirian Starseed Tarot, several books, classes, manuals & the Seekers Oracle.
In my professional practice, I am a master tarot reader & teacher, second-generation traditional western astrologer, numerologist, certified professional past-life regressionist, Reiki Grand Master Teacher, Certified Life coach, author, artist, and founder of North Star Mystic Academy, which opened in 2019.
live and work in Ontario, Canada.
Classes & Courses https://www.northstarmystic.com/all-classes
Private Readings: https://www.northstarmystic.com/booking
Books By Alysa: https://www.northstarmystic.com/books-by-alysa