If you’re just starting to learn how to read Tarot cards, it might seem like there is SO MUCH to absorb! Let alone the pressure to get every reading “right!”
You can drive yourself nuts trying to learn all the spreads, study multiple guidebooks, and learn “the right” meaning of each of the 78 cards in your Tarot deck!
To make matters worse, your guidebooks probably have different (and sometimes contradictory) card interpretations, there are a whole bunch of reading techniques, you’re getting bogged down in complex esoteric systems and language that’s more than a little “out there,” and can someone just show you how to make sense of the Tower card and the Ace of Wands, already?!
I get it. Because I used to feel like that too.
But learning Tarot doesn’t have to be hard, complicated or stressful.
If you’re just starting to learn Tarot, I’ve got your back. Here are my top tips on how to read Tarot cards for beginners.
By the way, I created this free PDF resource to help you create accurate and insightful Tarot readings every time you consult the Tarot cards – 7 steps!
How to Read Tarot Cards for Beginners
1. Choose a Tarot deck
I know it would be easy just to say to you, “Just go and get the Rider-Waite deck, and be done with it.” Half of me kind of feels that way, but I also want to honour and acknowledge that we all have different styles. Different Tarot decks are going to resonate with us in different ways, and it’s really important to connect with that and find the deck that is right for you.
Just know that there is no perfect answer here, and ultimately, you do need to find that deck that feels good for you.
That said, look for a good learning deck. If this is your first Tarot deck, you want to make sure it’s a deck that you can learn with and that’s going to make your learning process easy and enjoyable as well. Think about things like the pictures, the imagery in the card, that you can understand it quite quickly, as well as once you start to go deeper with learning about the Tarot, then you can go much, much further with your studies.
Choose a deck that you do resonate with visually, energetically, and make sure that you have that opportunity to go through the cards and check in how you're resonating with the deck.
If you want to go a little deeper, I just recorded an entire podcast episode on how to choose your first Tarot deck. You can check that out at biddytarot.com/68 and download the free PDF checklist to help you choose your first Tarot deck.
2. Familiarise yourself with the cards
Literally just go through your cards one by one, and spend some time with each card.
Flip over the first card and just gaze at the images in this card.
- What do you notice?
- What comes through to you?
- What do you see first?
It might be a symbol. You might hear something. You might feel something in your body. You might start to see almost a story coming out through that particular card.
Now, you don’t have to do anything with that information. This is just about connecting in with each of your cards.
Spend three or four minutes with each card. Just really drink it in, take in the imagery, the energy of the card, and just become familiar with those cards. Then pick up the second card and do it all again, until you’ve started to work your way all the way through your deck.
3. Do a daily Tarot card reading
The best way to learn Tarot and to create a personal connection with the cards is to simply draw a card each day.
Ask the Tarot each day, “What energy do I need to focus on today?” and proactively manifest that energy throughout your day.
Or, ask the Tarot, “What might I experience today?” At the end of the day, match up what happened throughout the day and what you know of the Tarot card you drew.
Over time, your ‘bank’ of personal experiences with the Tarot will grow and grow.
4. Do a 3-card reading
Nearly every Tarot beginner book includes the Celtic Cross Tarot spread. It’s a beautiful spread, but at 10 cards, it’s not a great place to start for the Tarot beginner.
Instead, use simple 3 card Tarot spreads. You’ll be pleasantly surprised about how much insight you can gain from even just a 3-card reading.
To start, create a sacred space – whatever that means for you. Maybe you get out your crystals, turn on some soothing music, and burn some incense.
When you read the cards, pay attention to the images. What story are they telling you? Keep in mind — that story might be different that the textbook meaning. Really feel into that story to get the best intuitive hits.
Make sure you record your reading in your Tarot journal and commit to one action to manifest your goals.
You could be reading Tarot more confidently in just a few weeks if you do this!
How to Truly Master the Tarot Card Meanings
When I first started learning to read Tarot more than twenty years ago, I kept trying to memorise the meanings of individual cards.
Maybe you’re trying to do that now, too.
I did everything I could think of to get the meanings to stick in my head. I tried writing out meanings. I tried flash cards. I tried ‘quizzing’ myself when I looked at a card, and then looking at my meanings book to see if I got it right.
No matter what I tried, I just couldn’t remember all the card meanings.
I felt discouraged. I felt like a failure. I felt like a fraud.
Until one day, I heard a little voice in my head say, “Hey Brigit, let’s try something different.”
Over the years, I started to create my own way of relating to and understanding the cards. I experimented with trusting my ‘still, small voice’ within as a guide. But most of all, I let go of trying to memorise the cards, and focused on finding techniques that freed me to interpret them, using my unique inner wisdom.
Download this free PDF resource to discover the 7 steps to creating accurate and insightful Tarot readings every time you consult the Tarot cards!