7 steps to read Tarot for yourself with clarity

BTP69: From the Archive: What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Reading Tarot

By April 11, 2017

What I wish I knew when I started reading Tarot

Today’s archive podcast episode is the very first episode of Biddy Tarot, and it’s What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Reading Tarot. It’s also the most popular download we’ve had, with over ten thousand downloads since it was published just over a year ago.

The reason that I chose it for today is because what I share in this episode is so relevant and important, and in fact, it might just be that thing that helps you go from, “Oh, I’m not sure about Tarot,” to “Yes! I can’t wait to do more Tarot.” It’s all about busting some of those myths about Tarot and really giving you the confidence that reading Tarot can be a wonderful, enjoyable experience, and that really, anybody can read Tarot.

In this episode, I share my personal journey with Tarot and what I wish I’d known when I first started to read Tarot, to encourage you on your own journey with Tarot.

In this episode, here’s what I’ll cover:

  • How one spur-of-the-moment Tarot reading ignited my life-long passion for the cards
  • How I learned how to master the Tarot… and the one thing that almost derailed me
  • Why I left a six-figure corporate career to become a Tarot reader (and why I will never look back!)
  • How Tarot is so much more than staring into a crystal ball and telling the future
  • What you absolutely need to know when starting your Tarot journey

Now, let’s get into it!

Additional Resources

Podcast Transcript

You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 69: What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Reading Tarot.

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. And now, here’s your host, Brigit Esselmont.


Hello, and welcome to the Biddy Tarot Podcast. As always, I am so thrilled to be talking with you about Tarot. Now, today we are starting our deep dive into the Biddy Tarot Archives to bring you the absolute best in my popular podcast on Tarot. Every six weeks or so, we’ll be travelling through time and revisiting the Biddy Tarot Archives to make sure that you don’t miss a thing.

Today’s archive episode is the very first episode of Biddy Tarot, and it’s What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Reading Tarot. It’s also the most popular download we’ve had, with over ten thousand downloads since it was published just over a year ago.

The reason that I chose it for today is because what I share in this episode is so relevant and important, and in fact, it might just be that thing that helps you go from, “Oh, I’m not sure about Tarot,” to “Yes! I can’t wait to do more Tarot.” It’s all about busting some of those myths about Tarot and really giving you the confidence that reading Tarot can be a wonderful, enjoyable experience, and that really, anybody can read Tarot.

With that said, let’s get into the episode, What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Reading Tarot. Here we go!

What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Reading Tarot

Hello, and welcome to the Biddy Tarot Podcast. I am so thrilled that you’ve made it here, and I can’t wait to be part of your journey with the Tarot. Now, I created the Biddy Tarot Podcast because I wanted to reach out to people right across the globe and really inspire them to connect deeply with their intuition with the Tarot cards as their guide. I’ve seen firsthand how powerful the Tarot cards can be, and I really want to share that with you, the listener, and I really want to support you in your journey with the Tarot.

Now, I reached out to the Tarot community because I wanted to make this the best podcast it could be in the Tarot space, and what I found was, well, number one, you were absolutely dying for a Tarot podcast that was really high quality and something that you could listen to each week. The feedback that I also got was that you’re looking for a mix of shows with myself and also shows with other people who are reading Tarot, but even not just the Tarot, like Tarot experts, people who might have some skills and talents in other areas that we know we can integrate into our Tarot practice. The Biddy Tarot Podcast is going to be a mix of shows with just me and also guest interviews as well.

Now, the other thing that’s really important is I want you to be able to walk away from these podcasts with some clear ideas or techniques or strategies that you can implement in your own Tarot practice. You’ll find that many of the episodes in the Biddy Tarot Podcast are tutorial-style podcasts because, again, I really want you to have that action that you can do straight off your podcasts that’s going to help you read Tarot with confidence.

And finally, my goal is to produce this every week, so you’re going to get one Tarot podcast filled with goodness every week. Now, of course, at the start, I’m going to put out a couple of extra ones, but ongoing it will be once a week. Make sure that you subscribe to the Biddy Tarot Podcast in iTunes. The really cool thing is if you do this on your phone, if you’ve got an iPhone with iTunes installed, you’ll be getting that podcast every time it comes out, and it’ll get downloaded directly to your phone. Whether you’re out for a walk or you’re just relaxing, you can tune in and get all of the Tarot goodness that you need.

Now, let’s get into today’s session. To begin with, I wanted to get us to know each other a little bit better. Some of you I probably do know already, but others might be new to the Biddy Tarot space, so I’m going to share with you my journey with Tarot from when I first started reading with Tarot all the way to now, as the owner of one of the most popular Tarot websites online, which is Plus, I’m going to share with you what I wish I knew when I first started reading Tarot because I bet it can help you too as you create your personal relationship with the Tarot cards. So, let’s get into it.

When I was a teenager, I was really interested in all things spiritual.

You might even be surprised that I spent a good two years being a devout Christian and reading the Bible pretty much every single day. I was just so curious to understand more about Christianity as a religion, but at the same time, I was also exploring things like Buddhism, Paganism, Wicca, and, of course, the Tarot cards came into that as well.

When I was around 17, I went and had my first Tarot reading.

I was in Sydney at the time, and my best friend and I were about to head over to Germany for a high school exchange. We wanted to find out what might happen. I remember, in this Tarot reading, the lady had told me, “Oh, you’re going to meet your first boyfriend there. It’s going to be amazing.” I remember that The Emperor card had come up.

Lo and behold, I go over to Germany, and I do meet my first boyfriend over there, and I just thought, “Wow, there must be something in these Tarot cards! I’ve got to learn how to use them.” What I did was I started to teach myself how to read Tarot. I surrounded myself with all of the best Tarot books and at that time. The online communities were starting to build up as well. I would jump online and really immerse myself with as much information as possible about the Tarot cards.

At the same time, I created as a way to share what I was learning.

I was collecting copious amounts of notes on what each of the Tarot cards meant, and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be neat if I could share this with other people who were interested in reading Tarot?” And really, that’s how was born.

But as the years started to go by, and as I was perhaps more and more meticulous about having to note every single thing about the Tarot cards, I started to feel a little bit frustrated and stuck with my Tarot reading. I realised that I was getting into this phase of trying to memorise the Tarot cards, and maybe you can relate with this, if you’ve been learning Tarot, and you start to think, “Well, maybe the first thing I’ve got to do is just try and memorise all 78 Tarot cards.”

But the trouble is that when you get into this memorization phase, you’re actually missing the really key part of reading Tarot, which is trusting your intuition.

The more that we try and get our Tarot cards meaning right, and try and commit them to memory, we actually lose touch with intuitively reading the Tarot cards. When I had this realisation, it was a point where I had been just doing Tarot readings but continually consulting the book. Now, what did the book tell me about these Tarot cards? Again, the problem was I wasn’t trusting my intuition.

I finally decided to put the book down, and I learnt how to read intuitively.

I tell you what, my readings just transformed big time from then. I had more clients; I had way more positive feedback. People were stunned at how insightful and accurate the Tarot readings were from that point onwards. And most importantly, I was having more fun when I was reading the cards more intuitively.

With more clients and me feeling really good about my Tarot readings, that’s how Biddy Tarot started to really take off and grow. I was offering Tarot readings to people all around the world and also sharing what I was learning about the Tarot card meanings.

Now, let’s jump forward to 2012, and 2012 was a pivotal year for me.

It was the point at which I started to see Biddy Tarot really take off to the point at which I realised it had the possibility of being a thriving business. In 2012, I finally decided to leave my day job, my corporate job.

I was working in a bank in human resources, and it was absolutely not meeting my needs on a more personal, spiritual level. I decided to leave, and I committed full-time into Biddy Tarot, and I have not looked back at all.

Biddy Tarot now is attracting close to three million visitors a year, which is amazing. I cannot get my head around that, actually. But what’s beautiful is that I can then inspire three million people to read the Tarot cards and integrate Tarot into their life.

I also offer Tarot courses and guides to help people learn how to read Tarot with confidence, and I coach people around how to build a thriving and successful Tarot business because that’s something that I have done over these last several years. I really want to help other people who want to take a similar path to create success for themselves.

Also at Biddy Tarot, we offer Tarot readings. Now, I don’t do so many Tarot readings myself anymore these days, but I do have a wonderful team who offer Tarot readings at

You know, I think even more exciting is that I’ve reached almost a thousand students now who have learnt Tarot with me through my two programs, Master the Tarot Card Meanings, and Read Tarot with Confidence. Those are two online training programs that really help people get into Tarot and start using it in very proactive and empowering ways.

I feel really proud of where Biddy Tarot has come, and it’s also been just a reflection of my own personal journey with Tarot. Now I’m in this wonderful position where I’ve been able to blend what I love doing, which is Tarot, but also to make it my primary income, my lifestyle, my work. It has been a wonderful journey to this point, and I certainly hope that carries on.

Now, I know that this all probably sounds like a bit of a dream come true, and it is, but I tell you what: It wasn’t always this way.

When I first started reading Tarot, I did. I felt quite confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Maybe you’ve felt this way as you’re learning to read Tarot. This is why I really wanted to share with you what did I wish I know when I first started reading Tarot because hindsight is a beautiful thing. I wish that I could take myself now, and scoot back fifteen years and meet myself at the beginning of the journey and say, “Hey Brigit! There are a few things that you need to know.” It would have made my journey a lot easier.

To help your journey with Tarot be easier, I wanted to share with you six things that I would have told myself, and maybe they’re going to help you, too, as you start to learn Tarot as well.

6 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Started Reading

1. There is no one right way of reading the Tarot cards.

The first thing that I would love to tell my Tarot beginner self is there is no one right way of reading the cards. You know, the first rule of Tarot is that there are no rules – a little bit like Fight Club, right? You get people telling you things like, “Oh, you can’t buy your own Tarot cards,” or “You must shuffle this way,” “You can’t possibly read Tarot unless you know X Y Z system,” and so on.

The truth is, there’s no one right way of reading Tarot cards. It’s all about what intuitively feels right for you, and what’s going to help you. For me, I see the Tarot as something that helps you tune into your intuition. However, you use those cards if that’s helping you tap into your intuition, then perfect. You’re doing it just fine. I think where we can lose track is when we get panicked about, “Oh my goodness! Am I doing things right? Am I doing it the right way?” I think when we get into that state of panic, we lose our connection with the Tarot, and the true power of Tarot goes missing, unfortunately.

2. It’s OK if you see something different in the cards.

I have many people reach out to me and say to me, “You know, Brigit, I saw the Six of Pentacles, and I read in a book that it means something about giving and receiving.” But the thing that really flashed out for them was maybe something that reminded them of their school days when they were younger. They saw something completely different in the cards that didn’t match up whatsoever to what was in the book, and they say, “Brigit, like am I wrong? Should I just listen to what the book says?”

No. The thing is, again, connecting to the cards is about connecting to your intuition. Oftentimes, your intuition is speaking to you in ways that is so much more powerful than what you see in books. I really think books certainly have a place, but they’re kind of a reference guide, a starting point, a place in which you can start to formulate some ideas of what these Tarot cards might mean or symbolise, but ultimately you want to be creating that personal and intuitive connection with the cards, which can often take you much further than, you know, what the books are telling you. Ultimately, I really want you to trust what you see in the cards, even if it is different to what you’re reading in the books.

3. Tarot isn’t just about fortune telling.

This is the thing that I would love to tell myself when I first started readings cards. Now, whenever I tell someone that I’m a Tarot reader, or that I have an interest in Tarot, they’re like “Oh, so that’s that thing where you can see the future. Can you see my future?” And I’m like, “Well, actually, that’s not really how I use the Tarot.”

So yes, there are certainly legitimate Tarot readers, who use the cards for prediction and looking at what might happen in the future, but there are also Tarot readers that use the cards for many other things. For example, I think Tarot is a beautiful tool for life coaching or personal coaching. Rather than saying, “This is what will happen,” the Tarot cards can be a really good guide for saying, “You know, if this is your desired outcome, what do you need to do right now in order to achieve that outcome?” It’s actually a very different goal or purpose to using the Tarot cards.

Tarot can also be used for things like counselling or even psychotherapy. Ultimately, you see images on the cards, and you can work with those images to tap into your subconscious, or again, your intuition, and that can actually be a very revealing process for the person, for the client. It’s not necessarily about the Tarot reader saying, “This card means this,” but more about the client exploring their subconscious mind through the imagery contained within the Tarot cards. I just want you to know that Tarot isn’t just about fortune telling. It can be if you want it to be, but please know that there is so much more to Tarot than simply telling the future.

4. You don’t have to master every esoteric system that is associated with the Tarot.

Now, I really wish I knew this when I first started reading Tarot because I remember thinking, “If I want to be an expert Tarot reader, I not only have to know what all of the Tarot cards mean and how to do a Tarot reading, I’ve got to know about this thing called Kabbalah. I’ve got to know about the Golden Dawn. I’ve got to know about really in-depth numerology and symbolism. I’ve got to understand all about Greek Mythology,” and all of these things.

I tell you what, when I start thinking that way, I am starting to get myself very overwhelmed and also thinking, “My goodness, I will never learn exactly how to read these Tarot cards.”

Here’s what I want you to know: You do not need to master every esoteric system. If you know a bit about astrology or Kabbalah, then fantastic. Integrate that with what you know about Tarot, but please don’t think that you can’t possibly do a Tarot reading until you know about all of these systems. You don’t. In fact, I often can teach students how to read a Tarot card within just five minutes, and that’s with no prior knowledge of Tarot before learning how to do that. So yes, you can get into these more complex systems a bit later down the track, but it’s not imperative. You can still be a great Tarot reader without having to know all these different systems.

5. You don’t have to be psychic to read Tarot.

Again, I wish someone had told me this when I first started. I spent a good part of my teenage years trying to improve my psychic abilities, and I remember doing things like staring into a flame and trying to see the future, or tap into my third eye and so on. I remember learning a lot about ESP (extrasensory perception), and I think I had some cards, and I had used the cards to try and predict what would be underneath the cards.

It was good. It helped me access my intuition, but there were times when I would get it wrong, and I would think, “Oh my goodness, I’m never going to get this, I’m not psychic enough. I’m not going to be able to read the Tarot cards, ever.” Again, it’s one of those things that can stand in the way of you being able to use the Tarot, and it doesn’t have to be that way.

When I think about my abilities and talents with Tarot, it’s not so much that I’m psychic. I don’t necessarily see crystal clear pictures of what’s going to happen in the future. Yes, I might get some inklings, and I might get feelings, and sometimes I almost get a knowledge of things without necessarily knowing where it came from, but I attribute that more with connecting to my intuition, which is something that I think everybody can do.

Psychic ability, for me, feels like there are a select few that can be very, very psychic, but I just don’t want you to feel discouraged if you’re not having those crystal-clear premonitions about the future. It doesn’t mean that you’re an awful Tarot reader. It just means that you have a different set of skills and talents that you can bring to the table.

Ultimately, remember that we are all intuitive beings, OK? That just means that it’s sitting inside of you, and you need to find ways to open up to that intuition and connect with that intuition. It can be as simple as affirming to yourself that you do open up to your intuition. You don’t necessarily have to be staring into candle flames and trying to guess what’s on the other side of a card in order to be intuitive.

6. Just breathe and have fun.

A very, very important thing, even if it’s very, very simple is just breathe and have fun. We can get all serious and complex about Tarot, and get into all those esoteric systems and pride ourselves on how much we know about the cards, but ultimately, reading Tarot should be something that is joyful, engaging, and most importantly fun, OK?

When you pick up those cards, I really want you to just be feeling like, “Yeah! Let’s just see what happens when I lay out the cards and what comes to me.” I think when we’re in that more relaxed state, we’re opening ourselves up to our intuition, and we’re not letting all of those fears or negative self-talk or what-have-you get in the way of simply being able to connect in with the Tarot cards.

It’s really important to just breathe. That speaks a lot to preparing yourself before you consult your Tarot cards, you know, clearing your mind, taking a few deep breaths, and then laying out the Tarot cards, and just enjoying yourself and having fun.

Those are the six things that I wish I could go back and tell my Tarot beginner self, so let’s just do a quick recap.

  1. There is no right way of reading the cards.
  2. It’s OK if you see something different in the cards.
  3. Tarot isn’t just about fortune telling.
  4. You don’t have to master every esoteric system.
  5. You don’t have to be psychic to read Tarot.
  6. Just breathe and have fun.

There you go. I hope this helps you, whether you’re at the beginning of your Tarot journey, or if you’re well along the way and quite experienced, because sometimes just knowing these things can help, again, bring that feeling of relaxation and fun to your Tarot practice. Relax and just enjoy the ride with the Tarot.

Now, if you love this Biddy Tarot Podcast episode, then make sure you leave a five-star review on iTunes, and subscribe so that you’ll get the latest podcasts. I am so looking forward to being part of your Tarot journey, and thank you so, so, very much for listening today. Until next time, I am sending you lots of love!

The 7 Steps to Read Tarot for Yourself With Clarity

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