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BTP124: 4 Ways to Personalise the Tarot Card Meanings and Make Them Pop

By May 1, 2018

When we start to learn to read Tarot, we often fall into the trap of thinking we need to memorise and rote learn the meanings. But, what happens is that our readings end up becoming generic, robotic, and plain boring.  

Instead, it’s essential that you learn how to personalise the Tarot card meanings to truly make your Tarot readings pop. When you learn how to intuitively connect with the Tarot, you'll uncover deeply insightful and accurate messages in your readings.  

For today’s podcast, we went into the archives to pull out an audience favourite. In episode 124, I’m going to show you 4 ways to personalise the Tarot card meanings. We’re going to get creative and have a little fun along the way!  

In this episode, you’ll learn:  

  • The difference between Personal Meanings and Traditional Meanings 
  • How to let go of the book and embrace your intuition 
  • How to draw from your own life to create meanings for the Major Arcana 
  • How to create your own book of meanings 



You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 124: 4 Ways to Personalise the Tarot Card Meanings and Make Them Pop. 

Welcome to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, where you'll learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide. 

Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence. Now, here is your host, Brigit Esselmont. 


BRIGIT: Hello, and welcome back to the Biddy Tarot Podcast. As always, I love talking with you all about Tarot. 

This week, I’m digging into the archives and bringing you one of my favourite episodes, which is all about personalising what the cards mean to you. And as you do that, you create these amazing card meanings that have such deep and personal relevance to you. 


You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 124: 4 Ways to Personalise the Tarot Card Meanings and Make Them Pop. 

Welcome to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, where you'll learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide. 

Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence. Now, here is your host, Brigit Esselmont. 


I can’t wait to share that with you in just a moment, but before we do, what I’d like to do is just honour and celebrate some of the five-star reviews that our listeners have been leaving. I appreciate them so much, and I really want to give a shout-out to the folks who have shared their reviews. 

Here we go! 

This one is from QueenOfCrystals in the U.K. She says: 

“Biddy, I read your lovely words and Tarot interpretations every day when I’m reading my cards, and I think you're amazing, so imagine my joy at finding your podcast! I’m currently working my way through all the episodes and loving it.” 

Awesome! Well, we’re up to 124 now, so you’ve got quite a lot of listening ahead of you, but thank you. I appreciate that very much! 

Here is also one from DaddyTaylor, who is in Canada. DaddyTaylor says: 

“Thank you, Brigit, for redefining Tarot and giving it the positive, life-transforming attention it deserves.” 

Golden words! I love it. Thank you so very much. 

And one last one… This is from VonMarvellous from the U.S. VonMarvellous says: 

“Biddy is so freaking cool! I love her! Listening to this podcast is super soothing and inspirational. It’s intelligent, down to earth, and always infuses me with new wisdom about Tarot and beyond. I especially love how there are downloads to go along with the podcast. Thank you, Biddy!” 

Well, my absolute pleasure! 

If you are loving this podcast, I invite you to jump into iTunes, leave a star rating and a review, and I would appreciate it so very, very much. 

Well, let’s get into today’s podcast episode. I’m just going to go straight into it, so let’s jump into 4 ways to personalise your Tarot card meanings and make them pop. Here we go! 


When we start to learn to read Tarot, we often fall into the trap of thinking we need to memorise and rote learn the Tarot, but what happens is that our readings end up becoming generic, robotic, and plain boring. 

Instead, it’s essential that you learn how to personalise the Tarot card meanings to truly make your Tarot readings pop. That is, you learn how to intuitively connect with the Tarot and you uncover deeply insightful and accurate messages in your Tarot readings. 

In today’s podcast, I’m going to show you 4 ways to personalise the Tarot card meanings. We’re going to get creative and have a little fun along the way! 

And remember, you can view the show notes and the transcript for this episode over at 

You can also share your comments and questions on the blog. 


Before we get into these 4 ways to personalize the Tarot card meanings, let’s talk about the difference between personalized Tarot card meanings and traditional meanings, because the question that often comes up for people when they’re learning to read Tarot is: Which is the right one? If I’m reading something in a book, but I’m seeing something completely different when I look at the card, have I got it wrong? Or am I on the right track? What’s going on here? 

With the Tarot card meanings, there are really a group of traditional meanings associated with those cards, and those traditional meanings are what most people would agree are the meanings for those cards, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that those are the only meanings for the cards. 

We also have our personal meanings associated with the Tarot cards, and I believe that this is really where things get more intuitive—when we’re connecting with the cards, and we’re seeing things that maybe no other Tarot reader would ever see in the Tarot card—because what we’re seeing is important to us, and it’s giving us an intuitive message about the card and about our situation that we’re asking for. 

I want you to know that there will be difference between what you personally see in the cards and what you might read in a book, but if there are differences, you are not wrong. 

I want to give you permission to explore and get creative with the Tarot cards, and really embrace this opportunity to use the Tarot cards as a way of accessing your sub-conscious mind and your intuition, because when you start to do that, that’s when things get really interesting with your Tarot readings. 

You break out of that mould of “Well, the Five of Cups means deep regret,” and then you might see the bridge and you go, “You know what, there’s a bridge—get over it!” 

And that has so much more meaning for you than what you just read in a book. 

But it is also a balance between the two, so I think it’s important that we understand what the traditional meanings are of the cards, but we also need to balance that out with our own personal and intuitive meanings of the cards. 

Now that we’ve got that clarified, let’s have a look at 4 different ways that you can personalise the Tarot card meanings and really make them pop in your Tarot readings. 


Step away from the book! 

When you do a Tarot reading, really resist the temptation to pick up your book; instead put it down, put it in another room, take it away, don’t have it anywhere near you. 

I think books are great in between readings, but what happens is, if we’re doing a Tarot reading and we’re solely relying on the book, we’re almost shutting down our intuition, and we’re not allowing ourselves to really explore what that card means for us, because we’re sort of defaulting, going, “Oh, what am I going to do? I’m going to look it up in the book and that will tell me the meaning.” 

When you remove the book, it really forces your intuition to kick into gear, and it really forces you to look at that Tarot card and say, “What’s jumping out at me personally? What is it that I can see?” 

A great way of doing that is just to start reading the picture in the card and tell the story of what you see in the card. 

For example, I have just pulled out the Ace of Wands, and I could revert to the meaning around Ace of Wands: inspiration, motivation, a new creative project, you name it. 

But I think that things get more interesting when we start to look at these pictures and we think, “What’s the personal message for me in this card? What is really attracting my attention?” 

Well, right now, I’m looking at this handing holding the stick, and I can’t help but notice this sort of radiance from the hand, and there’s so much energy in this hand and, in some ways, I’m envisioning the energy around the hand, and maybe it’s even something around healing hands, or that there’s power from within and I could use my hands for creating something, and maybe there’s energy within my hand. 

I might be starting to connect in this very different way now, with the Ace of Wands; whereas the Ace of Wands before was about inspiration, now I’m thinking of it as, maybe this is about hands-on healing – maybe this is about being hands-on and doing something with my hands, and that might actually be the solution to my problem. 

Now, does that mean that that is now the meaning for the Ace of Wands? 

Not necessarily. That might have been what I needed to see right now, right in this moment. The next time I do a reading with the Ace of Wands, I might see something completely different in this card. Maybe I start noticing that white castle and thinking, “Oh, that looks pretty nice. It looks like my dream home.” 

Maybe I’m starting to get inspired around what my dream house could look like, and my thinking might go in that direction. 

You can see that once you actually put the book down and you say, “Right, I’m going to just all those traditional meanings to the side,” you start to get much more of a personal connection with the Tarot cards. 

And, you know what, I find that so much more exciting, just between you and me.


Wow! Meditation and guided visualization is so incredibly powerful, particularly when it comes to the Tarot, because we know that the Tarot is so rich in symbolism. 

It really is this process of seeing a symbol or something in the card, and that then unlocks something in our subconscious and brings us much closer to our intuition. 

Just imagine if you were able to get yourself into a very relaxed state, and you were able to bring up the imagery of a Tarot card, and in your mind’s eye you were able to step into that imagery and start to explore and experience it, first hand. But in a way that you’ve actually said, “Hey, Conscious Mind, you go and sit in that corner over there because I want to connect with my Sub-Conscious Mind right now.” 

You are standing in this Tarot card, exploring and experiencing, whilst connected to your sub-conscious mind. 

Just imagine everything that might happen while you’re experiencing this and what a deep connection you begin to feel with that Tarot card. 

I know it because I’ve seen so many people who have used my guided meditation program, Soul Meditations, and I’ve read about their experiences with the cards. 

It goes so much further than simply – let’s say the Devil: The Devil means addiction, obsession, and possession and so on. 

But when people have gone into the Devil, and really experienced, perhaps being one of the people chained to the Devil, and what did that feel like? 

OK, that’s interesting – and then they go and become the Devil who’s got this control over these two people and go, “Well, what does that feel like?” 

And then that becomes this whole experience within itself that just opens up so much more about that card. And maybe you start to experience “What does it feel like to be controlled, and what does it feel like to be the controller; and what new insights does that give you in your life?” 

You can see how powerful it is when we do meditation with the cards, or we go through a guided visualization to truly embody and embrace the energy of the Tarot cards. 

And you can do that with my program, Soul Meditations, which you’ll find at 

And in Soul Meditations I lead you through each and every one of the Major Arcana cards to really connect you with their energy, and help you unlock some of those deeper lessons within those incredibly powerful cards. 

Of course, you can do it on your own. You can bring up the imagery in your own mind and step into them, but I know from my personal experience it always helps to have someone else leading you through that experience so that you can really switch off your conscious mind and let your sub-conscious come into play. 


Now technique #3 is a little bit more fun, but also equally powerful, and that is to write your life story with the Major Arcana cards. 

Here’s what you can do: Think about either your whole life, or maybe just a part of your life, or a theme in your life. 

It might be, “OK, I’m going to focus on my 20s,” or “I’m going to focus on my career path.” 

You might just start to write down some different turning points in that part of your life. 

Let’s say it’s career. Maybe you start with your first job and what you experienced there. Maybe you had a time when you had some really big successes, but you also had some challenges along the way. Maybe you made some decisions around your career to change the focus of your career. Maybe career became less or more important to you. 

Just note those down on a piece of paper, and maybe you will end up with eight or nine different turning points in that part of your life. 

Then what I want you to do is think about the Major Arcana cards. Now you might want to get these out of your Tarot deck and lay them right out in front of you, and consciously choosing them, start to match up those Major Arcana cards to the various points in your life. 

For example, start with your very first job, which might the Fool Tarot card. You place that next to first job. Maybe you had a time when you got some really negative feedback or were made redundant, in which case maybe you select the Tower card. Perhaps you had an overbearing, micro-managing boss, and maybe the Devil card comes up for that one. 

Start to pull out those Major Arcana cards and place them along your life journey. 

Now, here’s the really fun part… 

What I want you to do is, go through what is effectively a two-way process. What we want to know is: 

  • What does the Tarot card that you chose tell you about that time in your life? 
  • And what does your life tell you about that card? 

So, for example, if you’ve got the Fool at your very first job, what does the card tell you about that time in your life? 

Well, the Fool tells me that, yes, I was standing on the edge of a cliff, and I was stepping out into this big unknown that’s called Corporate Life, and I had no idea where I was going to land. I thought it would be my job forever—who knew? 

I just took that big step out, and I embraced it. And hey, you know what? I started to fly, and things started to work out for me. 

That’s one way of looking at it: What does that card tell you about that that time in your life? 

And maybe you start to get some new insights about that time in your life and how pivotal it was for you. 

Then I want you to reverse it. 

Think about that time in your life, that new job, and what new information does that give you about the card that you selected? 

Maybe you start reflecting about that first job and you think, “Oh my goodness, I felt like I was floundering. I had no idea. I thought I knew everything because I’d just come out of University, and I was in this really well paying graduate job, something that all my friends thought was really amazing, but I had no idea. I had no clue what I was doing.” 

And maybe you start to relate to “Well, maybe that’s what the Fool is like, that sometimes you feel like you’ve got to fake it ‘til you make it. And even though you don’t completely know something, you’ve just got to go with it and just go on the ride.” 

Maybe this gives you all this new information about the card that you drew. 

What we’re doing here is we’re creating this really nice connection between the Tarot cards and your life. The reason that we want to do that is because it is creating more of a personal experience that you can personally relate to. It gives it so much more power and energy so that when you see that Fool card come up in a Tarot reading—whether it’s for yourself or maybe somebody else—you can already connect with that feeling that you’ve created in your body and your mind around that card. 

Instead of having to think, “Oh, Fool, that means new beginnings, innocence, carefree nature,” you can go back to that experience in your life of, say, when you had that new job, and you go, “Yeah, I know what that felt like.” 

And then maybe that Fool card is coming up around a new relationship – in this case you can start to relate those feelings of: Yeah, you’re doing this new relationship, but you’ve got no idea, do you? You don’t know where this thing’s going to go. And that’s scary, but it’s exciting at the same time. I know it because I’ve been there before. 

Imagine how powerful your Tarot readings will be. 

That’s a really awesome, fun exercise to do, and that is writing your life story with the Majors. 

Now of course, you could flip through your deck and just draw a card—what have I got here? 

The Three of Wands. 

And you might look at that card and think, “When was there a time in my life that I really felt that Three of Wands’ energy?” 

That’s a very similar and powerful exercise that you can do. 


So, with that in mind, let’s move onto the fourth, and our last, technique for personalizing the Tarot card meanings, and that is to create your very own Tarot card meanings book. 

So, yes, you can buy lots and lots of books about the Tarot card meanings – or, of course, you could buy The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings and you won’t need any more books after that, but you will get so much value if you start to create your own Tarot card meanings book. 

And what I mean by this is, as you work with the Tarot cards more and more, and you create this personal connection with the Tarot cards, make sure that you’re keeping note of the new insights that you’re generating. Even write down the stories associated with these Tarot cards. 

Let’s say, coming back to that Fool example, you might write a short essay around how it felt like for you to be stepping into this new job, and what that means for the Fool Tarot card, and what the energy is around that. 

You might later do a Tarot reading for somebody and the Fool card comes up, and you see how that relates to them. Maybe it’s a completely different story. 

But write it down in your Tarot card meanings book because, again, you are creating this beautiful bank of experiences associated with the cards. And it goes way, way, way beyond what you’ll ever read in a Tarot book, because you are personally relating with these cards. 

In fact, I had an interview with Tony Louis, and that was back in Episode 6 – you can hear it at 

And Tony talks about his book, Tarot Plain and Simple, and how he created this book was from years of doing Tarot readings for other people and keeping track of “OK, when I see the Six of Swords, I’m hearing about this experience.” 

And often times, it was different to what he was reading in all of the other books about the Tarot card meanings, but he saw it come up so many times he was like, “Yes! I get it! I get that meaning,” so he started to collate it in his own Tarot card meanings book. 

I did the same when I was creating The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings, I was pulling together what I knew of the cards from traditional meanings but also what I had experienced of the cards in my Tarot readings for other people and for myself. And, you know, that’s what made it really actionable and real and practical. 

I get comments to this day of how useful those Tarot card meanings really are, because they’re connected with real life. They’re not just concepts that don’t necessarily have meaning or groundedness. 

I really do recommend that you start to create your own Tarot card meanings book. 

Now, you could easily do that in a notebook and put in different sections for the different cards. Or you could use my Tarot Card Meanings Workbook, which is available at 

It’s a PDF e-book, but you can easily type in your meanings into the PDF, and that way you’ve got it on your computer, and ready to go whenever you need it. Or you could always print it out and write in your meanings. 


So, there you have it, those are the four ways to personalize the Tarot card meanings and make them pop. 

So, to recap I want you to: 

  • Put the book down when you’re doing Tarot readings 
  • Meditate with the Tarot cards 
  • Write your life story with the Major Arcana cards 
  • Create your own Tarot card meanings book 

If you do those four things, you are going to have the most amazing personal and intuitive connection with the Tarot cards, and your Tarot readings are just going to sing. Amazing! 

I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast – I’ve really enjoyed sharing these different techniques with you. 

And if you enjoyed today then I’d love for you to sign up for my 5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence tutorial series. You’ll receive five easy to read emails, in your Inbox, with some really actionable activities that you can do straight away that are going to help you personally connect with the Tarot cards. 

I really want to get away from all of this memorising and rote learning. I’ve been there. I’ve done it. It was boring. 

I had so much more fun when I was connecting more personally with the Tarot cards and I really want you to experience that as well. 

So, make sure you sign up for my 5 Simple Steps  tutorial series over at 

And once you sign up you’ll receive the first tutorial in your Inbox. 

Awesome – thank you so much for being here. I’m enjoying connecting with you and sharing all of this Tarot goodness with you. I can’t wait to connect with you again very soon. 

Thank you and good-bye. 




ABOUT Brigit

Brigit Esselmont is the author of the #1 Amazon best-selling books the Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings and the Biddy Tarot Planner, and the brand new book and Tarot deck, Everyday Tarot. A professional Tarot reader for more than 20 years, Brigit founded Biddy Tarot in 1999, where each year more than 4.5 million people (like you!) are inspired to live more mindful and enlightened lives, using the Tarot as a guide.

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