Whether you’re a professional Tarot reader or a Tarot beginner, at one point or another you’re going to want to read the Tarot cards for yourself. I mean, why not? You know how to use the Tarot cards and you know the power that they hold in providing guidance and insight into many areas of your life. You might be facing a major personal issue or wanting to explore a part of yourself, so you turn to your Tarot cards to help you.
But do you know how to read for yourself in a way that is accurate and objective? Are the Tarot readings you do for yourself professional and ethical?
Reading Tarot for yourself can end up being very confusing and inaccurate, especially when you may be making some critical mistakes on how you read and interpret the Tarot cards.
Here are six common mistakes that are made when reading Tarot for yourself, and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: You do a Tarot Reading When You’re Highly Emotional
Your boyfriend just rang to break up with you and now you want to draw a few Tarot cards to see if you will get back together. You’ve just lost your job in a major restructure and you want to know when you’ll get a new one. You’ve just had a major argument with your best-friend and you want to know if you’ll ever be friends again.
In all of these situations, your emotions are running high and you’re probably very worked up about what has happened. Reading Tarot for yourself in these types of circumstances is much more likely to result in an inaccurate or misdirected reading, especially as you’re so emotionally invested.
What you want is to be able to remain objective, calm and focused during a personal Tarot reading, so if something has just happened and you are still feeling very emotional about it, either wait until the initial reaction passes or consult an objective third party such as a professional Tarot reader.
Mistake #2: You Keep Drawing Extra Tarot Cards as ‘Clarifiers’
Sometimes, it makes sense to draw an extra Tarot card in a reading to clarify a particular card. For example, you draw the Two of Swords, which is about making a decision between two options, so you draw another two cards to understand what those options are. That’s fine – it makes sense and it helps the cause.
But sometimes you draw a clarifying card, and then another, and another until you finally see something you like. What happens is that you end up with so many different Tarot cards and different messages that you become confused and unclear about what the cards are actually trying to tell you. Or, you end up dissatisfied with the cards drawn because they don’t tell you what you want to hear.
So, when reading Tarot for yourself, commit to drawing clarifying cards only when you really need to or when it makes sense. And even then, only draw one or two extra cards.
Mistake #3: You Do Multiple Tarot Readings on the Same Topic
One of the biggest mistakes I see other Tarot enthusiasts make is that they read over and over again on the same topic. “First I did a Celtic Cross to see if we’d get back together, and then I did a Past/Present/Future Tarot spread, and then I did another Celtic Cross just to make sure. Then the next day, I did a Horseshoe spread plus my daily love card…” and so on. No wonder people end up so confused about what the Tarot cards are trying to tell them!
Whenever any of my clients request a Tarot reading on the same topic within a short period of time, I strongly recommend that they do not go ahead with it. Instead, I suggest they come back in a month or wait until something changes.
It is the same with reading Tarot for yourself. Make a commitment now to read once and once only on your particular topic. Take note of the Tarot reading then put it away and come back to it later. Wait for at least a month before reading on the same topic, or at least until something significant changes.
Mistake #4: You Research Multiple Tarot Card Meanings for the One You Want
Unfortunately, there is not just one meaning for each Tarot card. If there were, you could get a computer to do your readings for you. Instead, there are multiple aspects to each of the Tarot cards, which is what makes them so rich and complex.
However, the trouble is that it also opens up the possibility of researching lots of different Tarot card meanings until you find the meaning that you want. When reading for yourself, you might ignore the most common meanings for a Tarot card, but you hone into just one sentence or one angle that gives the message you want.
Resist the temptation to go trawling for a Tarot card meaning that fits your hopes and desires. Instead, go with your gut. What does your gut tell you about what this Tarot card and Tarot reading mean? What is your initial reaction? Note it down and then move on. Don’t get stuck on trying to find the perfect, most convenient meaning.
Mistake #5: You Use a Complicated Tarot Spread
You want to know whether or not you should go to the wedding, so you turn to the Tarot spread that is the most popular – the Celtic Cross. But suddenly you’re finding out about what happened in the past, what other people think about the situation, what you’re hoping for, what your underlying fears are, etc. All you really wanted to know was whether or not you should go!
I don’t know why, but so often, the Celtic Cross is taught as one of the first Tarot spreads to use. Yet this spread is highly complex and often inappropriate for the question in mind.
Go back to basics! A one-card Tarot reading is amazingly powerful, particularly if you truly meditate on that card and go deep into its meaning and significance. And for many questions, you simply need only a few Tarot cards and you will have your answer. So avoid using long and complicated readings which only open up the path for more confusion and convoluted interpretation.
Mistake #6: You Interpret Your Tarot Reading the Way You Want
The hardest thing about reading Tarot for yourself is that you can end up with a ‘convenient’ but highly subjective interpretation of the Tarot cards. When you are already emotionally invested in a situation, you will have your own perspectives and beliefs that will shape your interpretation of the Tarot cards a certain way. In fact, it can be very hard to remain objective and professional about your own Tarot reading, particularly when you have such a vested interest.
There’s nothing wrong with interpreting your own Tarot cards, but you may want to also seek the opinion of an objective third party. To get a second opinion, post your Tarot reading on a forum like Aeclectic Tarot or Tarot Circle, ask a Tarot friend or colleague, or engage a professional Tarot reader to help interpret your Tarot reading.
Reading Tarot for yourself can be incredibly powerful and insightful, if you do it correctly. By avoiding these six mistakes, you will be well on your way to creating accurate Tarot readings for yourself.
What mistakes have you made when reading Tarot for yourself? And what do you do to avoid these mistakes? Leave your comments and ideas below in the comments section.
P.S. Want to Read Tarot for Yourself with Clarity?
One of the hardest things about reading Tarot for yourself is keeping an open and clear mind and staying objective. We find ourselves hearing only what we want to hear, not what we need to hear.
Yet if we deny ourselves the pleasure of reading for ourselves, we deny ourselves the opportunity for soulful introspection, personal development, self-understanding and an intensely personal relationship with the Tarot.
PSST... Do you want to create a personal and intuitive connection with each and every Tarot card and ultimately become a better Tarot reader? In January, 2015, I'll be opening the doors to my signature program, TF1: Master the Tarot Card Meanings, and you're invited!