Do you want to create some magic in your Tarot readings? Where you go beyond just regurgitating the book meanings of each card and instead you dive deep into the intuitive messages and uncover the story within the reading?
Well, in this Biddy Tarot Podcast episode, I'm going to show you how.
Here's what I'll cover:
- The 7 steps to an accurate and insightful Tarot reading
- What you need to do before you even pick up the Tarot cards
- How to get to the heart of the question
- How to uncover the story in the reading
- The one step many Tarot readers completely forget
And be sure to download the free PDF, 7 Steps Read Tarot for Yourself with Clarity.
Let's get into it…
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Brigit: You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 8: 7 Steps to an Accurate and Insightful Tarot Reading
Welcome to the Biddy Tarot podcast, where you will 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 is your host Brigit Esselmont.
Brigit: Hello and welcome!
Do you want to create some magic in your Tarot readings – where you go beyond just regurgitating the book meanings of each Tarot card, and instead you dive deep into the intuitive message of the cards, and uncover the story within the reading?
Well today, I'm going to show you how.
I'm going to walk you through the 7 steps to an accurate and insightful Tarot reading so that you'll be tapping into your divine guidance in no time.
Now, I’ve made you a special PDF download just for this podcast episode; so if you’d like to go and download that you can get it at www.biddyTarot.com/8 – and that is just the number 8. And you’ll also find the show notes over there as well.
The Steps to Success
So let’s get into it – The 7 Steps for an Accurate and Insightful Tarot Reading!
At a very high level, let me walk you through those seven steps, and then I am going to walk you through each one so that you can feel really confident as you’re doing your Tarot readings.
So, Step 1: Create the space.
Step 2: Get to the heart of the question.
Step 3: Choose the layout.
Step 4: Shuffle the cards
Step 5: Read the cards and tell the story
Step 6: Answer the question
Step 7: Reflect and ask for feedback
So, let’s get into it and, again, if you want to have the 7 steps in front of you as I walk you through this, pop on over to biddyTarot.com/8 and you will find them there, along with the show notes.
Create the Space
Alright, so let’s talk about creating the space.
Now, when I say “create the space,” I mean you want to really set up the environment for a really inspiring and insightful Tarot reading. I see this happening over four levels.
One is the physical space –you want to make sure that you’ve got a clear and tidy area to do your Tarot readings…well at least I like to have that because, you know, ‘tidy desk, tidy mind.’
But you might also want to think about:
- Do you want some crystals on the table with you?
- Do you want some plants?
- Do you want some candles?
You might just want nothing. It really depends on what resonates with you. You don’t have to have all that fancy paraphernalia in order to do a really good Tarot reading. I just want you to know that.
Okay, so that’s the physical space.
The other type of space you want to think about is your mental space.
And when I say “mental space,” this is about setting yourself up with clarity for a Tarot reading.
If you’re working with someone, that might be about clarifying some of the expectations around the Tarot reading before you get started; perhaps you might even talk about how you see the way that Tarot works, how the actual Tarot reading might work, and so on.
It might even be about setting up some boundaries, just the basics of: This is going to be a 30 minute reading, and I will let you know once we hit around 30 minutes…Things like that.
The next kind of space I want you to think about is the emotional space.
So there is nothing worse than coming into a Tarot reading with all your emotional baggage all sort of stacked on you. So when I say “emotional space,” make an effort to just empty all of that emotional stuff – as much as you can – leave it at the door – and then consult the Tarot cards.
I know that we often consult Tarot when we are feeling quite emotional and need some of that clarity and insight, but I believe that if we are too emotionally invested in something, particularly when we are doing a Tarot reading for ourselves, it can mean that we don’t get the clarity that we’re looking for. So just be mindful of:
- Am I taking on too much emotional baggage as I’m starting this reading?
- What can I do just to let go of some of that emotion before I start looking at the cards?
And finally, I want you to think about the spiritual space – and this is probably one of the most important aspects of starting a Tarot reading – and that is to really center yourself, ground yourself, and also connect yourself in with the Universal energy that’s around you – Spirit, Source, God – whatever you want to call it.
You can do this by meditating for even just a couple of minutes before you start a reading; taking in a few deep breaths; calling upon your Guides or your Angels.
Again, don’t feel that you have to do it in a certain way. If Guides and Angels is something that you think, ‘Ugh, that’s not me,’ then that’s fine. You don’t have to do that; just a few simple breaths will help bring you into that spiritual space.
Alternatively you might be really into, say, ritual; you might say a prayer or an affirmation before you start a reading.
So, lots of different options, but when you are creating the space, be mindful of the physical space, the mental space, emotional space, and spiritual space.
Get to the Heart of the Question
Okay, so let’s walk into Step 2 which is getting to the heart of the question.
Typically when you do consult the Tarot cards you go in with a question in mind, because ultimately you are seeking an answer to something that’s been on your mind for some time.
Now, when you’re working with a client, they will often come into that session with an idea of what their question might be.
So it might be something really general, like, “Tell me about my life. What’s going to happen over the next six months or so?”
It might be really specific: “When will I meet the man of my dreams?” or, “What do I need to know about my career transition that’s happening right now?”
One way of working with this is just to simply take whatever question is coming to mind – no matter how it is worded – and start working with that question…which is okay, but I do encourage you to try and get beneath the layers of the original question.
So, let’s say it is: When will I meet the man of my dreams?
Well, we could probably read on that, and we could probably get some indication of when, or what might happen over the next few months or few years; but I find that it’s more helpful to understand when you’re asking, “When will I meet the man of my dreams?” what are you really asking?
How do we get to the heart of that question?
Perhaps it’s not so much about “when”, but “what could I do in order to find that right relationship?”
What is the relationship that is most healthy for me?
How will I know when that relationship is coming to me?
What can I do to prepare myself for that kind of relationship?
And so on.
I think you’ll find that the more you try to unpack a question, and break it down into smaller parts to really get what’s really behind that question, you’ll find that you have more accurate and insightful Tarot readings in that way.
Now, of course, I think it’s good to unpack a question, but I think you need to be very careful when you get into things like rephrasing questions – particularly on behalf of a client.
If you are going into that space of rephrasing a question, or even shifting the focus of a question, it’s very important that you confirm that with the person that you are reading for. Make sure that that new question or rephrased question will help to get the answers that they are looking for. Because you might go: Okay, well they wanted to know, “When will I meet the man of my dreams?”
And then you are thinking, ‘Okay, let’s turn it into more: What actions can you take?’
And then they are saying, “No, no. I want to know when. I want to know what month it is and so on.”
If you start reading on the actions that you could take, then you might actually end up with a disappointed client. It is better to have a conversation up front, to set those expectations around what you can and can’t do with the Tarot cards, than to do the whole reading and have them disappointed.
So make sure you confirm the question when you are starting to unpack it.
Choose Your Layout
Okay, so, let’s get into Step 3, and that is to choose the layout – choose the Tarot spread that you want to use.
Now this question comes up a lot amongst Tarot readers: What’s the best Tarot spread to use?
And, unfortunately, there is no right answer.
What’s really important though, in my opinion, is that you choose the layout or the Tarot spread, that most fits the question.
I know sometimes we can look online or look in a book and go, “Oh wow, that looks like an awesome Tarot spread, I will do a Tarot reading with that spread,” and we go ahead and do it that way. So it is kind of like the spread comes before the question.
But I also like to work in the place where we really look at the question and think: What spread is going to best answer that question?
Now you can use a sort of Done-For-You Tarot Spread –like Past-Present-Future, or you might use Opportunities-Challenges-Outcome, you might use a Horseshoe Spread or a Celtic Cross Spread – or something else that you found along the way.
Again, those different spreads will have a place in different Tarot readings. Sometimes a Celtic Cross is great when you want insight into a bigger topic, and you want to understand what the energies are in the current situation; but a Celtic Cross might not be so great for things like: Should I go to the party on the weekend?
Or smaller topics where you don’t need to know all of the ins and outs of the situation.
Now, just as a side note, in a future podcast we’ll actually be covering the Celtic Cross in a lot more detail – so make sure you watch out for that one.
And we’ll also be covering Three Card Tarot Spreads, which are great for keeping things really simple – so look out for that podcast in the future as well.
But for now, just know that if you do use a Done-For-You Tarot Spread, make sure that that spread is the best fit for the question that you’re asking.
There is an alternative to using a Done-For-You Tarot Spread, and that is to create your own Tarot spread.
I could probably take up a whole podcast episode on how you can create your own Tarot spreads; but for now I want you to know this: When you were unpacking the question in Step 2, and breaking it down into smaller, mini-questions, you were actually creating your own Tarot spread!
So, let’s go back to our example: When will I find, you know, my dream man?
You can break that down into:
- What can I do now to prepare for this right relationship?
- What might a healthy relationship look like for me?
- How will I know that it’s on its way?
Those kinds of question actually start to form your own Tarot spread. I find that these Do-It-Yourself Tarot spreads, or customized Tarot spreads, are often a really effective way of connecting in with the question, and answering it in a very specific way.
If you are working with clients, it shows your client that you understand them, that you are creating this Tarot reading just for them. I think that can make for a really special experience.
So I do encourage you to have a little play with creating your own Tarot spreads, rather than just relying on what might be readily available to you – and also watch out for a future podcast, because I am sure I will be covering this topic in the future.
Alright so we have created the space, which was Step 1; Step 2, we’ve unpacked the question, and we’ve got to the heart of the question; and Step 3, we’ve chosen the layout.
Shuffle The Cards
So the next step that we need to take is: Shuffle the cards.
Now you might be thinking: Why have you included this as a step? C’mon, surely, you know, it’s quite simple!
But many people struggle with: Well, how do I best shuffle the cards?
There are many different ways.
My favourite way is just that regular hand-over-hand shuffle. It’s very hard for me to show you that on a podcast, but it’s just the regular way that you might shuffle any kind of deck of cards.
Another way is Casino Style –where you have the two decks, or two piles of cards, and then you splinter them into each other, and they sort of fan into each other, and then you have a shuffle after that. Now I only recommend that if you know what you’re doing, because otherwise you can end up wrecking your cards. And I always freak out a little bit when I have clients doing the casino shuffle with my cards and I think, ‘Oh my goodness, please, please, I hope you know what you’re doing, otherwise I will end up with some really bent cards!’
Another way of shuffling the cards is what I call the Messy Pile. You can simply spread all the cards over a table, and swoosh them all around, and then bring them back up into the one pile again. Not my favourite technique, but I just wanted to put out there as a possibility.
Now if you want to have reversed Tarot cards in your deck, then what I suggest for shuffling is:
- Shuffle like hand-over-hand – the typical way of shuffling
- Then split the deck into three piles
- Choose one of those piles and turn it 180 degrees – so you are almost turning it top down to bottom, and bottom up to top (Not turning it over so you can see the cards. You are just turning it the other way so that you are getting some reverse cards)
- Then put those three piles back together again
- Shuffle again
- And then you are good to go!
Now in terms of actually selecting the cards, there are many different ways that you can do it.
You can have the one pile, and take the top card off the pile – now, again, people ask me: Which is the right way? Should I be flipping it from the top of the card? Should I be flipping it from the side?
It really doesn’t matter, as long as you set the intention that that’s what you are going to do, and that you trust that the way that you are doing it is just right for that situation.
So that is one way of taking it from the top of the deck.
Now another way is to fan the deck on the table, and then draw cards one-by-one, out of that fan. I really enjoy that method when I’m doing shorter, quicker readings. When I’m doing more complex readings – say 10 cards or more – then I will typically take it from the top of the deck.
Again, it’s really up to you and what resonates and feels right for you.
Read the Cards and Tell The Story
The cards are now on the table, and we are ready to go with the actual Tarot reading.
Can you believe it takes four steps to get to that place before we are actually getting in there and reading the Tarot cards?
So for Step 5 I’m going to do a sample reading so I can walk you through how we actually go about reading the cards and telling the story.
So coming back to our question, which was: When will I find my dream man?
I’m just going to do a very simple Past-Present-Future Spread – so three cards.
And I’ve laid out the cards and what I have here is:
- The Queen of Wands reversed in the Past
- The Wheel of Fortune reversed in the Present, and
- The Queen of Swords reversed in the Future
The first thing that you want to do when you’re reading the cards and telling a story is: Scan the reading.
Without diving into individual card meanings and so on, all I want you to do is have a look at the overall picture that you’re seeing across all cards.
Now you might start to pick up a little bit on the energy of the cards: Does this feel like a positive reading, or a negative reading?
You might start to look for patterns and themes across the cards. So, for example, are you seeing more Major Arcana cards or Minor Arcana cards?
Are there more Swords than there are Cups? What does that mean?
Are there more Aces, Twos, and Threes, which signify the start of a cycle; or are there more bigger numbers like Eight, Nines, and Tens, which signify more of a completion of a cycle?
Now as I’m looking at these three cards, two things stand out very much.
One is that all three cards are reversed. On one level we could interpret that as obstacles coming up when it comes to finding love, but I also see reverse cards as an indication of needing to reflect inwardly. In relation to this question, when will I find my dream man, having three reversed cards tells me, “You know what, you need to do some inner work before you’ll find that man.”
And the other pattern that I’m seeing here are the two Queens.
Now, you know, if this was a female client asking, and we had two reversed Queens, that would again tell me there’s a lot of inner work that she needs to do first, before she’ll find her King, for example.
So let’s get into, reading each of the cards. You might notice my mind just naturally goes into creating connections, but I want to bring it back down to simplifying these steps. The easiest way to do it now is to start reading each card, and then we shall start creating some connections.
So, Queen of Wands reversed – remember this was in the Past position – what we can do is, we can think: Well what does the Queen of Wands reversed really stand for?
Well sometimes that’s about being a little bit more introverted than it is about being extroverted. So upright the Queen of Wands – very extroverted; but in this case she’s quite introverted.
And in the Past you might have been quite introverted when it comes to finding love.
In the Present we have the Wheel of Fortune reversed. Now this can mean a turn of events sometimes not in your favour. Or, alternatively it might also be this turn of events that leads you to feel some internal changes happening. That is very consistent with what we are seeing across this whole reading.
Then finally we have the Queen of Swords reversed in the Future position.
Sometimes this can be about not thinking so much with the head, but starting to think more with the heart; and balancing out that sort of head thinking and the heart thinking.
So we are starting to build a picture with these individual cards, and many beginner readers will probably just leave it at that and say, “Okay, reading done,” but what I want you to do now is to encourage you to look for connections.
Now as I’m looking at these cards overall, the strong message that I’m getting is this: That there’s been sort of a period of introspection with that Queen of Wands reversed. The Wheel in the middle is kind of like this wheel of change – this wheel of internal change, starting to shift and adapt one’s personality a little bit; because we’re dealing with two Court cards on either side, and two Queens which is an indication of the client’s own personality. So it might just be a shift and a change in one’s personality in order to attract the right mate.
So how am I creating these connections?
Well, again, I’m looking at those key themes, but I’m also looking at the imagery. I’m looking at the flow between the imagery in the cards. With the wheel in the middle, I am imagining this cycle turning, and the Queens are on either side, rotating. In a way, their personalities are changing as time progresses.
So, again, I think I could probably do a whole podcast episode on how to tell the story in the cards, and I will, but for now I just want you to…
- Look for connections within the cards
- Look at how the imagery and how it relates between each card
- Think – how do the themes flow and evolve from one card to the other when you’re reading all card?
Answer the Question
Once you’ve made those connections, then you can start to tell the story in the card, and relate it back to the question; because Step Number 6 is: Answer the question.
I think often times, as Tarot readers, we can get so carried away with symbolism in the cards – you know, the deeper meanings, the messages, and so on, that sometimes we can actually forget to answer the question that was asked! So I have actually placed it in here as a stand-alone step to remind you to always come back to the original question, and answer that question specifically.
So, the question here was: When will I find my dream man?
Well, specifically, the answer within these cards would be: You’ll find your dream man once you’ve done the inner work, because right now, if you were to attract your partner right now, I don’t think you’d be in the right space in order to create a healthy and fulfilling relationship. What I see in these cards is that, first you need to do that inner work. And it may require retreating a little bit. Not going on so many dates for now, and thinking about what changes you can make to your own personality in a way that makes you feel really great about yourself. And also that starts to connect your head with your heart, so that you’re not always leading by your heart, or not always leading by your head, but there’s a nice balance in between. Once you have those factors right, then you’ll be much better set up to find your ideal partner.
So you can see how that might work. We’ve taken the story out of the cards, and we’ve gone back and we’ve answered the question.
Reflect and Ask For Feedback
Now, Step 7 is: Reflect and ask for feedback.
So if you’re working with someone, then you might wrap up the reading and say, “How does that resonate with you? What fits and what doesn’t fit?”
Because there may be parts of the reading that they say, “You know what, that just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
And that’s okay – when someone says, “That doesn’t make sense,” then it isn’t necessarily that the reading is wrong; it just is that it doesn’t make sense right now.
I always suggest people come back to their readings after a few weeks or a few months, because things change and evolve and become clearer over time.
If you’re reading for yourself, then I really suggest writing down your key insights from your readings; and then coming back to them over the next few weeks to see:
- Well how did things really transpire?
- What has that taught me about the Tarot cards?
- What new things can I learn here – both about the Tarot cards and the actual situation that you read on?
Because, again, new things come up in those readings that may not have been visible to you at the time of the reading.
So really make sure that you spend time on reflecting and asking for feedback, whether that’s from the person that you’ve read for, or even from yourself.
So there you have it – those are my 7 steps to an accurate and insightful Tarot reading. So:
- Create the space
- Get to the heart of the question
- Choose the layout
- Shuffle the cards
- Read the cards and tell the story
- Answer the question
- Reflect and ask for feedback
Now I really recommend that you get that PDF download that I’ve created just for you with all seven steps on there. And if you like, print it out and stick it up where you do your Tarot readings, so that you never lose sight of those seven steps.
I bet that once you start using those seven steps quite consciously and mindfully, your Tarot readings will be amazing. It’s kind of like riding a bike – you might start to consciously work through those seven steps when you do your next Tarot reading, but after several times of using the seven steps, they’ll become so natural and in-flow that you won’t need to refer to that anymore. It will just be a part of how you read.
So there you have it. I hope that that has been really helpful for you and your Tarot readings. I want you to know that if you’re ready to take your Tarot readings to the next level, and you want to tap into the Divine Guidance that’s available to you, then I invite you to check out my signature program which is Read Tarot with Confidence.
My online Tarot course, Read the Tarot with Confidence, is specifically designed for aspiring Tarot readers who want to reach their fullest potential as a Tarot reader, and be the Tarot reader that everybody raves about.
So using simple yet powerful techniques, I will show you how to read Tarot in a way that creates change and transformation in your life and others’. And I’ll guide you as you set your intention for what type of Tarot reader you really want to become – and I’ll be right by your side as you turn your intention into reality.
I’ll walk you through, step-by-step, how to do a Tarot reading, including asking the right questions, choosing the perfect spread, weaving the story into the cards, and connecting deeply with your clients (or yourself) through Tarot.
And I’ll teach you not only how to read Tarot for yourself with clarity, but how to read for others in a way that is has a lasting impact and inspires deep transformation.
And, of course, I’m going to let you in on my “insider secrets” from my 15+ years’ experience as a professional Tarot reader.
If that sounds of interest to you and you want to find out more, go to biddyTarot.com/rtwc
After you enroll in the program, you'll get instant access so that you can start learning straight away.
So I hope I’ll see you in the program, and I look so forward to speaking with you again in our next Biddy Tarot podcast.
Thank you so much for your time and energy today – I am absolutely honoured to be a part of your Tarot journey, and I look forward to next time.
Thank you and good-bye.