5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence

Six Mistakes of Reading Tarot for Yourself… And How You Can Avoid Them


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

celtic-cross-online-tarot-readingYou 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.

Tarot Masterclass: Reading Tarot for Yourself with Clarity

Reading-tarot-for-yourself-masterclassIn this 90-minute Masterclass, I’ll show you how to read Tarot for yourself with confidence and clarity so that you can use this powerful tool for personal transformation.

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  • Ivy says:

    I understand that the first spread should be the one you stick to, but what if the spread did not make any sense?

    • Brigit says:

      Sit with it for a week or two and come back to it. It may make more sense as time evolves or as you let your mind contemplate it further. Also, if your reading is predictive, then it is unlikely you can confirm or deny its accuracy until time has passed, so again, wait it out then come back to it.

      • Ivy says:

        Thank you for the reply Brigit. I had been in the problem of having done too many readings on the same topic back to back when I was emotionally unstable: the result was very confusing and I did not take any note of it, so I cannot recall the spread anymore. I did take notes for the following readings I did on this same question, but there are still quite a few of them (oldest one is more than 1 month old now; the most recent one a few days old). So now that I am aware of the rule #3, I wonder which reading I should consider, and which ones I should ignore…

    • Jen says:


      Sometimes, if you are in a very emotional or confused frame of mind, a reading may not make sense, especially if you are reading for yourself. If someone else is doing the reading, ask for clarification, and refer back to it over the next week or so. If you are trying to read for yourself, and the cards come up with nonsense, I’d recommend this: first, record the reading as it stands – it may make sense later.

      Second, pick the cards up, and asking the exact same questions, shuffle and lay them out again. Does it make sense? This may be the answer you actually need. If it doesn’t make sense, then then next thing you should do is examine your question. Is it one that can/should be answered? Would it help if you reworded it, or asked something different?

      And finally (although this usually should be a first step before doing a reading at all), check you frame of mind – are you agitated, upset, frightened? Or are you calm and centered? In the first case, it’s always better to wait until you have settled down a bit before trying a reading. In the second, it’s ok to proceed with a reading, but it you have already followed the steps above, it’s a good idea to give yourself some time away from the question and the cards and come back to it in a few hours or a day or so. You may think you are calm and rational, when actually you are not as centered as you believe (trust me – it’s happened to me plenty of times!)

      Hope this helps!

      • Ivy says:

        Thank you very much Jen for your reply!
        Actually when I did my first reading, I was really emotional: stressed, anxious, sad. The reading didn’t make much sense to me and I did not take down notes for it. The first reading I actually wrote down about this question is a Celtic cross spread I laid about 2 days later. After that I made the mistake of doing multiple readings over the same topic, and I also wrote those ones down. And now I have trouble deciding which one to stick to. But you did make a good point, I should have noted down the cards and maybe shuffle them and lay them out again to see if they made more sense after…

  • sherrie says:

    Hi! I just wanted to add to this that not only trying to read for yourself is hard but also trying to read for a good friend! I always tell my friends that I am afraid of putting my feelings of how I think into the interpretations of the cards! So just to see if I can be bias I am adding a reading I did for my friend and what I thought. Any one agree or have anything they see I don’t? Appreciated as I need more confidence to go a step further. Thank you.
    I did a 5 card with a sixth card unturned. The question was about a guy she met a few times who lives on the opposite coast from her. They hit it off a couple of times they got together at a function. The last time they were together they had talked about her coming to stay with him to see how they would work out together as a couple. Then like before when he got back home she doesn’t hear from him unless she initiates the call. She wanted to know if she should still contact him as just friends or stop?
    So I did: Card 1: Event/situation: 4penticles, Card2: Her perception: 4Emperor, card3: His perception:6penticles, card4:Higher Realm (what they’re both not seeing)knight wands, card5: Lessons to be learned from this:8swords, and last card Advice:3wands.
    So I got: I think they are both holding on to what the have and not budging. I think she thought that he was the one to take her from her problems and be the one to save her, the strong man! I don’t think he is really happy with all his material goods and does want a relationship. The knight comes into the picture but he is charging in with the 6pent. has his back to him so the knight may be a new guy coming into her life. The lesson is 8swords which I think she should pull off her blinders and free herself for someone new. Then the last card If she does what I suggest then she will find more coming to her. But also I used that card to determine if she should call him and I got that she should wait!
    So? Does anyone want to comment on this? How did I do? I would rather not know many details and figure it out first and ask more questions as I go along! How about you? Thank you.

    • Brigit says:

      You’re right – it is hard to read for someone you know for similar reasons to why it’s hard to read for yourself. But often this is the only way you can practice 🙂

      • Rea says:

        My suggestion is this. When needing some quick, mundane, yes/no clarification for yourself or a close friend, do like Brigit says and do a 3 card layout, or, do a 5 card yes/no with playing cards, or both. This way, you get a little of the Tarot guidance and simple straightforward yes/no from the playing cards.

        As for the reading about the girl and the guy on the opposite coast, I read the Kn-wands (what they’re not seeing) to be that the guy in question is quick and generous but can also be cruel. The lesson is (as I see it) hurt feelings can be a big part of this relationship if she were to continue with it. The final card would seem that she needs to re-direct her hopes, plan for her future, but in a re-directed way.

        Now, to be absolutely sure I’m seeing this interpretation correctly as far as yes/no, I would layout 5 playing cards. But, it must not be phrased with any “should I” or “should she” as spirit never tells us what we should do, but what is in our best interest. “Is it in her best interest to….”

        I didn’t mean for this to be so long. But I hope it helps.

  • Caz says:

    Hi Biddy,

    I’ve just found your website and think its really I formative and far better than many other tarot sites I have checked out.

    As for reading the Celtic spread regularly I hardly ever do that one as for some reason I feel like it just doesn’t feel right for me. Even many years ago when I had a professional Tarot reader do the Celtic cross it just didn’t feel right and it didn’t help me at all. Or maybe she just wasn’t a very good reader? The strange things is I can do the Celtic cross spread with good results for family and friends but not myself and I often wonder why? Is it because I am reading for myself that is the problem?

    However when I just ask the cards a specific question and just do a 3 card spread past, present, future and sometimes a fourth card to clarify on some occasions works very well when ai read fir myself. As well as sometimes just asking a question for what to do that day I just draw one card only and then I really contemplate on the meaning of the card I have drawn. I find that really works well for me.

    What I was wondering Biddy is should I persevere with the Celtic Cross spread for myself? Or just not worry a out it? Also do others have this problem? I also make it a point to not even draw just one card for myself more than once a fortnight. Do you think that’s a bit too strict? Or is it ok when an unexpected problem crops up to ask the cards a different question in just a few days?

    Thanks again for such a great site. I haven’t read everything yet. But what I have read so far I really like.


    • Brigit says:

      If you don’t really connect with the Celtic Cross, then you don’t have to keep using it! Work with the spreads that are energising and fun to work with!

      • Caz says:

        Hello Again Biddy,

        Thanks so much for your advice I will use other spreads instead. I also don’t resonate as well with the Rider-Waite deck & find some other decks easier to read.

        As I am thinking of reading Tarot professionally do u think it is ok with most clients not to use the Rider -Waite deck? It just seems at is the most well known especially by the general public. I can already read three other decks quite well and Ive also just brought 3 more to master yet. Do u think its a good idea to give the client a choice of various decks instead?

        Sorry to a couple more questions but as this is such a great site and you have so much information and professionalism on your site, I know that u are the right person to ask I know.

        Thanks again for all your help so far.

        Blessed Be


        • Brigit says:

          Of course – use whatever deck you connect with. Clients care more about getting an insightful reading than they do what deck you use 🙂 That said, it can sometimes be nice to give clients a choice of deck to see which one they personally connect with for the reading.

          • Caz says:

            Hi Brigit,

            Thank you so much for your advice. I think I will do exactly what you have said and give my friend or clients the choice of which Tarot deck resonates with them.

            At the moment I am currently studying and getting used to reading the Eternal Night Vampire Deck, a Goddess Oracle deck which is very easy to read I find, and the Sensual Wicca deck. Which is meant for readings about people’s love lives, their relationships and sexuality. It wouldn’t appeal to all readers or clients though as some of the pictures are very sexual and could be too much for some. However I really like it a lot especially as its different than any other deck Ive ever seen yet!

            Thanks again Brigit.

            Blessed Be


        • Dee says:

          Funny, i don’t like the Celtic Cross either, and i find Rider Waite deck too yellow…Ive had the deck forever, but its a yuk to me now…

  • Caz says:

    Sorry about my typos……I meant to begin with “informative” not I formative, lol, and there are a couple of other minor typos because I’m just getting used to using a touch keyboard on my new iPad as I’m used to using a keyboard.

    Thanks again.


  • Jennifer says:

    I did a past, present, future spread. I am new to the tarot. All three cards were major arcana cards. From the left: Judgement reversed, the Star, then Death reversed. I just want to get this reading right. I know it is more significant with the majors in play. Please help.

  • Jessica Marsh says:

    Hi, all!! Brigit, I really like your article, and it has some really valuable information in it, but I do have a few things to say on my own. I probably haven’t been reading the tarot as long as you guys have, and I understand that I don’t know much about it, but I don’t agree with the rule that you should never read them while emotional. I read my tarot cards all the time, even when emotional, and at times when I am stressed out I can sometimes get some really good readings. Not only that, but sometimes it can help me calm down- especially when I am worried about the outcome of a situation.
    The way that I feel about things is that the relationship with the cards is very much a personal relationship- and no two relationships are ever identical. I prefer to take most “rules” as “guidelines,” especially on something so potentially personal.
    I sincerely hope I haven’t offended anyone in saying this, and that it might help out some beginner, like me, who comes to this site.

  • Aroojmehru says:

    Hi, can u plz explain the psychological significance of tarots in simple words as I’m unable to understand how does it work?

  • isabella says:

    I need advice. I read for myself with a three card (past/present/future) spread. The card I got for the present is encouraging but does not match how I view the present situation, does that mean that the situation is better than the way I see it?

    My question was about a love interest. I feel like lately I am more interested and invested than he is and I asked what I need to do so that we are closer and we spend more time together.

    Past: Six of coins: I interpreted this as one person having more power than the other one, in other words one of them has more needs. This is how I have been feeling.

    Present:Ten of coins: It is about wealth, and well-established relationship. This is not how I feel.

    Future: judgement: This makes sense, somehow the balance will be established so either I will start giving less or he will start giving more.

    How can I make sense of the spread while the present does not match my perception? Though I intended for a past/present/future spread, can I interpret it as a different spread if that made more sense, e.g. the middle card is the most important card and the other two supportsit: The judgement will balance the imbalance in six of coins and as a result, a well-established relationship will happen?

    Thank you very much in advance for any advice and taking the time to read.

  • Brittany says:

    Hi Brigit, I did a two card reading about this person. I keep getting the devil and nine of cups card/ wish card. I tried to interpret this as me getting what I want from this person, but it wouldn’t be healthy. What are your thought?

  • Samantha says:

    Thank you! This was very informative, and incredibly helpful. Some things I had already figured out for myself, but it was nice to read about it. 🙂

  • Melanie says:

    I’ve done the outright denial mistake of thinking that the WHOLE reading can’t possibly be right that I mustn’t have been concentrating or some other excuse, cleared it away and have done a new reading 😉
    I was reading your post thinking ouch, ouch ,ouch… thank you for calling it! I think part of the journey for me is to learn to be honest with myself 😉

  • Amrita says:

    Hi Brigit,
    I recently did a reading for myself using the 5-card spread to decide if I should go to a funeral or not. The person who passed was my mother’s aunt who I was close to. Unfortunately work and school aren’t making it easy for me to go, so I did this spread to help me make a decision. For the first card, I have 2 of swords, the second card I have Faith, third card is 7 of wands, fourth card is 3 of cups and the fifth card is the Fool. I’m having a lot of trouble really understanding how these cards relate to each other and what the general message is from this reading. I would appreciate any guidance, I’m a beginner and I mainly read for myself because I don’t feel confident enough in my knowledge to read for others. Thanks for your help!


  • Charlie says:

    Hello Brigit , I like to do single card throws from with a question like “what will be the outcome of my day” and then follow up on the answers from your site biddy tarot meanings . This technique seems to work for me , but would like your insight on this . Thank you , sincerely , Charlie

    • Brigit says:

      Sounds like a very constructive way to work with the Tarot. I used this daily technique, too, for my own learning and it served me very well!

      • Charlie says:

        Hi Brigit and thank you , I have found the single throw to be very direct and informative to any insight pertaining to any questions that I might have . Just needed your professional opinion . Please answer me this , do you think that tarot is becoming more popular within the cultures in our world or is it just me that feels this energy ?

        • Brigit says:

          Charlie, I’m with you. I think that Tarot is beginning to become more popular across different cultures. I’m seeing a lot more uptake in India, for example, and even China.

          • Charlie says:

            Brigit , a question for you if I may , on single card throws , are they for “the moment” or what kind of time frame do you think they would they validate ?

          • Brigit says:

            It can be for anything, really. You can ask some very pivotal “What’s the meaning of life?” type questions with just one card, or you can use them to find out what’s going on for the morning. It’s all about what you originally intend for the card.

            In terms of timeframe, it will again depend on the question and the situation.

          • Ashlyn says:

            Im more wondering if I’m perhaps making a beginners mistake in seeing what I was to see or think should be in the cards. I’m not overly emotional right now but the issue has caused me much distress. The understanding of the cards I got seems maybe a little too straightforward. Is there a way to assess whether I’m coloring my interpretation of the cards? Thanks for your advice 🙂

          • Brigit says:

            Ashlyn, it might help to get a second opinion… 1. on the cards you drew in your reading (from experienced Tarot readers) and 2. on the situation as a whole (from friends and loved ones who know you well). While I don’t personally provide interpretations of readings, I highly recommend

          • Ashlyn says:

            I tried 🙂 thanks for your advice. I wasn’t asking for an interpretation just is it possible maybe that I read correctly I guess. Also is it OK to pick cards for people without a request for a reading? Or should I just ask personal questions. I said I was new to this hehe 🙂

          • Brigit says:

            It’s best to have someone’s permission before reading their Tarot cards, otherwise it’s a bit like reading someone else’s mail 🙂

  • Nittshkeul says:

    Thanks for the post. It speaks to me a lot. Very helpful!!!

  • Christy says:


    What a fantastic and clear way of breaking down what not to do and how to avoid mishaps. I completely agree and I do believe that anyone who teaches themselves the Tarot definitely fall into some of the these categories if not all at some point in their journey. I also noticed doing readings for myself I tend to draw similar cards often so going with a 3rd party Tarot Reader is smarter. I found that your energy connects with certain cards within your deck and they can turn up repetitiously. I love your approach to Tarot and feel very much at home with your perspective it makes sense to me. Thank you for sharing your knowledge in helping make others great Tarot Readers! Blessings

  • alanris says:

    Very clear, VERY useful. Thank you very much for the great advice! (laughed a lot while reading, too :p).

  • Trishbadish says:

    I got negative readings on this guy I like when I first pursued the idea so I let the guy go for a while then the cards told me a new relationship would start with him. I got a professional reading done and the fool, the tower card, and the queen of pentacles were pulled and she told me it meant it’s be a chaotic relationship with a lot of drama and he would wind up leaving me at the end. A week or so later I asked someone else to do a reading on it as she suggested a deep relationship that I should have fun with and not take too seriously as well over time on my own I’ve been getting better and better
    Readings suggesting a serious relationship that’s passionate with deep
    Feelings and a deep connection and maybe even marriage. What should I believe and why the mixed messages? Did things just change because time has passed?

    • Brigit says:

      My advice would be to take what is most helpful to you from both of those readings. If you feel that the first reader may be correct, then prepare yourself to create a more relaxed relationship – which is also consistent with the advice of the second reader!

  • Kathryn says:

    I have always read the past present future with an overlaying card, daily.

  • Marianne says:

    Hi Brigit,

    This is one of the practical blogs that you’ve posted. I rarely read for myself because of my subjectivity. However, when I do read for myself again, I will remember these six guidelines so I won’t be carried away on intensified emotions, clarifying cards, complicated layouts, multiple readings, and multiple meanings.

  • Suz says:

    Hi Brigit,
    Thank you for this great tarot resource. I just wanted to share my newbie tip: if using a ‘homemade’ spread, really take time to tighten up your phraseology, there is a world of difference between ‘show me three things about my relationship’ and ‘show me three things my partner likes about this relationship’. (I’m sure you can think of a better example). My first readings were incredibly vague and confusing until I realised I wasn’t setting the right context.

  • 4 and 7 says:

    Im afraid to ask her. She will tell me what I need, force feed me what I cant take. She doesn’t want to be told what to tell. She needs to know me. I need to show her. She remembers when I forget. I forget but she tells. She says it’s only the chance I’ve taken and choice I’ve chosen. Ask her where without asking, she’s only interested in teaching. Ask her how but only once. Shell hold you in contempt for anything less

  • Jasmine says:

    Best thing is to keep a record if you do a longer reading such as the Celtic Cross and see if you get more clarity or insight into the cards at a later date. It can prove to be quite interesting. Maybe a certain card or figure will stand out and you’ll see it in a whole new light. It can be as aweing as you like. Anyway “we don’t control the cards, they foretell the future.”

  • DJ says:

    What if you got the worst possible tarot spread? I have never done a reading for myself that I wasn’t ready too, and didn’t, accept. I think I placed a lot of anxiety into the reading this time and literally got my worst fears (5 of swords, 6 of swords, the sun, the tower, death, the magician). I don’t do anything complex and stick to 3 or 4 cards that I generally read linearly when doing my own spread. The death and the magician were clarifiers for the tower.

    I don’t like doing second readings on things because I strongly feel like there’s a positive/loving/brutally honest force guiding the cards for my readings done for myself, and somehow that feels disrespectful (to re-read the same thing), but I don’t want to sit with this.

    Ugh… lesson to everyone but mainly me; if you’re dealing with a lot of anxiety and/or some mild PTSD, this is why you do not do your own readings. It’s opening a pandora’s box that cannot be closed again, and ultimately doesn’t answer the question you asked (because you can’t be certain it wasn’t the anxiety or emotion that drew the cards).

    Anyone getting a sense of what these cards might of been about? Cause right now I’m thinking either I’m going to die, someone close to me is going to die, or some other earth shattering event…

    • Brigit says:

      DJ, it feels that it may be best for you to seek out professional counselling, rather than reading your own Tarot cards right now. Let me know if you need assistance in doing this.

      Also, if it’s any reassurance, the Tower can be a very positive card about breaking down the barriers for new growth to appear (consistent with the Death card). You might enjoy this post:

      For now, take care of yourself and if you are experiencing high anxiety, please seek professional help and support.

  • Nicole says:


    I was wondering if I would be able to ask multiple questions regarding the same topic but with all of the questions being completely different? If the answer is yes, would you just keep pulling cards until all questions have been answered or would I need to do separate reading for each question?

  • Lauren says:

    Hi there, I normally follow these tips BUT when someone asked me to try a chakra spread for them, I did (consisting of 14 cards, I only feel qualified to cope with between 3 and 5 at this time) but all was well. Then they suggested I try one for myself and I did thinking it’d be fine as I don’t have any pressing questions or emotional investment in the result. However, I pulled the 7,8 and 9 of swords. 8 and 5 of cups and 5 of pentacles. At the ‘heart chakra’ I pulled death and the devil side by side. To clarify the devil I pulled the 3 of swords, to clarify that I got the tower! Justice clarified death. Others in the spread were the hanged man, hermit, strength, the empress and the world. Im an anxious person, but a rational one. This has however got the better of me and Im more than a little on edge! I can see what the message of some of these cards could be but its the sheer amount of warnings that has left me feeling out of my depth. I read the next day thinking it was just a one off peculiar incident and got the hanged man, death and the 8 of cups again. I know myself very well and I honestly cannot see what they could be referring to subject-wise. Other than an accident or something terrible.

    • Lauren says:

      I never ever get warning cards, I haven’t pulled most of these cards in my lifetime never mind all at once! I don’t usually subscribe to ‘bad cards’ but this is a little hard to ignore. All my readings say similar things usually and this is very out of the blue. Does anyone know what on earth this combination could mean? Im confused doubly by the fact the chakras can be physical body parts or feelings/mental processes. Im hoping that this all just pertains to spiritual issues and not the body itself! Any ideas? (and lesson learned on my part!)

  • Melissa says:

    So I had an interesting experience reading for myself. Last year, work was so miserable that I generally did monthly reading to see if I should start looking for another job or just quit. I consistently got signals to stay. I decided that meant that things would get better so when I was let go in November, I felt betrayed. I felt that the readings were completely misleading. Upon reflection, I realized that the message to stay were right on. When I was let go, I got a very rich severance package which I am now taking advantage of to move in a totally different direction. If I had left on my own or taken another job, I would be working right now instead of enjoying the paid time off to work on me. So sometimes, the message from the reading is correct, but we read more into it than we should.

    • Brigit says:

      Thank-you so much for sharing your story. You’re right – the cards tell us one thing, and we want to believe another so we don’t listen! If only we did listen and we’d have some stellar advice!!

  • Ana says:

    I’m doing some tarot readings for myself, and I have a problem. When you’re asking about someone, let’s say a person you have a crush on, and you’re still recovering from your ex, and when you’re asking you think about your ex, do the cards may say something for you to stop?
    For example, I sometimes get confused, because this happens, and the Devil or the Tower or so appears (not in the outcome result), and I’ve always have the feeling it’s time to cut off everything I have with him in order to make room for the other person. Is it possible?

    • Brigit says:

      Ana, the most important thing is that you’re getting helpful information from working with the cards. You’re right – the Devil or Tower may be a sign that it’s time to cut your ties with your ex and move on. These cards both have very significant energy in them and it’s time to make some big changes.

      • Ana says:

        Thank you! These cards do not show them selfs on the outcome, no either on describing my crush. And they usually don’t make sense with the other cards. And I dont know, my intuition is always telling me that they are about me and my ex and not about me and my crush.
        Thank you so much, once again.

  • winnnddd says:

    Seven : you use Tarot just for Money, not charity or helping some one.. Tarot reader are GIFT.. not Promotion Bussiness… IMO

  • Kiana says:

    Hi Brigit, I’m 13 and new to tarot cards and I was wondering if you had any suggestions how to learn the meanings of all the tarot cards and remembering the meanings of the tarot cards


  • Elisa says:

    Hello everyone!
    Just wanted to say I found this article extremely helpful. I’ve been doing tarot readings for about four years now, and even from the beginning have never had a problem giving an excellent and accurate reading for anyone who asked. I can not say I’ve had the same skill reading for myself.

    I’ve done several readings for myself,but never feel like I get the same benefits as people I’ve read for. I feel that many of the mistakes mentioned here are the reasons, mainly being biased on something I’m emotionally invested in, or trying to card to find the interpretation that I like the best.
    I will continue to try to read for myself as I feel practice is very important when it comes to providing yourself with an accurate reading.
    Something I may try, is to draw and interpret for myself, then allow another reader to go over it and see if they agree or disagree.

  • Mary says:

    Hello Bridget, I was following you a while ago but had taken a Tarot break. Your blog came up while I was doing research on a writing project. I feel like I’ve just bumped into an old friend. As I have just re-charged my deck, your timing is spot on. Blessings to you and yours, Mary

  • Deneane says:

    How significant is the positional meaning of a card? I’ve noticed that it is not referenced very often. Isn’t a card’s relationship to another cards position (the card before and after) an important consideration in the interpretation of any multiple card spread? Se

    • Brigit says:

      Yes, it’s very important. There are many things to be looking for during a Tarot reading, and the positions and inter-relationships are some of them.

  • Jes says:

    Hi! Brand new to Tarot.
    I just did a personal reading. As I was shuffling the cards I was focusing on a question regarding a co-worker. I had a hard time feeling neutral. I felt uneasy, anxious. This isn’t a new situation, but putting energy into it, made me feel worried. When the spread was pulled, each card seemed to reflect my WORST fears regarding the situation. Was that due to the truth of the situation or my lack of neutrality? I understand that if you can’t be neutral, you can’t read it clearly- but can your emotions influence the card actually PLACED on the table? Can I shuffle cards into an anxious spread?

    • Brigit says:

      Your energy certainly does come into a reading. Now, that can either work for you or against you. If you are feeling very anxious before a reading, you’re likely to pick up a lot of anxious messages in the cards. If you’re feeling calm, then you’re likely to get a more balanced perspective. So before a reading, make sure you ground yourself first through meditation or other spiritual practices, and be open to receive all messages.

  • Dodger says:

    For me, I like to do a 7-card spread, one for each day of the week.

    Problem is, some days will be the total opposite of how the day went, such as a day of anger, scatter-brained, when I had a relaxing day of happiness. I do the spread before the week happens, but I don’t remember the day-by-day reading and like to read them after the day ends, just to make sure I wasn’t influenced by them.

    Yet, I’ll still get those polar-opposite tarot cards, telling me it’s going to be a not-so-great day, but it ended up being a very nice day or vice versa.

    But, I’m also a newbie at this. d:

  • RageAn says:

    Having the same problem too in making a reading for myself. I can say that all my other readings are accurate, but when it comes to myself its not. I do feel that I am reading what I want to read not what I need. I am still in the process in practicing how to do a reading for myself without giving influence to the reading.

    • Amanda says:

      There will always be a little bias involved because with yourself as a client you have a lot of inside information. I usually try to see the good and the bad in the cards and then try to figure out what advice they are trying to give me. Is this Page bringing me a message or am I the Page being a novice in something. Two of Swords do I have a decision to make or am I guarding myself somehow and maybe avoiding a decision.

      I think we have to look at the good and the bad in ourselves too to better understand how we are navigating this world.

  • dany says:

    Could I just ask 2 very simple questions. How many death cards are in a tarot pack? Is the death card always the same, ie figure on a white horse?
    Thank you

  • Amanda says:

    I certainly understand staying objective I recently had a spread tell me the opposite of what I was expecting and planning to do. My question in that is do we follow our initial instincts on the matter or do we take the tarots advice? I don’t know the outcome yet but I took the tarot’s advice because it showed my current course being a bleak one if I didn’t. Perhaps it knows something I don’t yet.

    Also sometimes a card doesn’t signal anything to me so I look up the meaning to find whatever makes the closest sense. I hope that’s not the same thing. I feel like reading for yourself can sometimes be easier because you already have a good idea where you’re going so you know if the cards are meshing up.

    • Brigit says:

      I always see the Tarot as information that guides my intuition. Ultimately, I make the final decision, but the Tarot will act as my guide. So if I feel one course of action is better than what the Tarot shows, I will take it. (That said, the Tarot often ends up being right and I just didn’t see it at the time!)

  • Ashlyn says:

    I just recently decided to learn about tarot and what all it entails. I know absolutely nothing but after a bit of research I tried a app (doubt it’s the same as working with the physical cards) and for kicks and giggles drew a celtic cross on a matter that’s rather important to me lately. The interpretation (the app doesn’t read for you just links basic information from Wikipedia mostly) I got and the basic I dunno what to call it understanding or feel I got from the cards seemed strikingly straightforward and maybe not what I wanted to get exactly but seems accurate? I guess my question is, is this a beginners mistake in reading what one expects to or wants to see in the cards rather than the truth they are trying to reveal. Is superficial knowledge enough to get any sort of reading or is it arrogant to think I even partially understand the message?

  • michelle says:

    I really got a good laugh on the six mistakes of reading for yourself. I do most of the things listed. However, I don’t do complicated readings as I’m still learning (started in 2012) and don’t feel confident. I’m just happy to see that other people do the same things. Makes me feel better that I’m on the right track with your helpful information …..Many thanks, michelle

  • Debbie says:

    Thank you so very much! I am loving your podcast!

  • NeedHelp says:

    Need help with a love reading.

    1. My future true love. – King Cups
    2. Will the attraction be instant or a gradual awakening? – Four Cups Reversed
    3. What will this person be like? – Sun
    4. Challenges I’ll face. – King Swords
    5. What will help us along? – Four Swords Reversed
    6. When/where/how will I meet this person? – Justice Reversed

    Need help interpreting #6 (Justice Reversed). My spread seems perfect and balanced especially for the topic at hand. I’m afraid to interpret it overly negative or overly positive for myself, especially considering I just got a spread a few weeks ago that was spot on. I also have lots of stuff going on so there may be non-relationship stuff at work here. There’s a million interpretations of Justice Rx. I need the right one for guidance. Thanks!!! 🙂

  • Sha'Coya Zimmerman says:

    What does a three card spread indicate? Past present and future? I was told that 9 of swords in any deck is bad w the same meaning.

  • Jack says:

    Hi Ms. Brigit, I really enjoy your article, it actually help me a lot and give me an insight about my reading pattern. I have a question regarding my reading. 2 days ago, I asked a specific topic, which I need the outcome answer so I used the Celtic Cross Spread, and it seems that the cards are positive especially in the near future and outcome. But when I used another spread, I just picked 5 cards with the same question, the reading was become negative. So I wonder if which is more accurate. I hope you can help me. Thank you and blessings

    • Brigit says:

      Best to ask the Tarot only once on a particular topic and wait until something significant has changed. Otherwise, asking the same question over and over can lead to a lack of clarity.

  • I thought it was interesting that it isn’t a good idea to read your own cards when you are emotional. The cards are supposed to give you guidance for life, not tell you what to do about tragic circumstances. Misdirected readings are more of a hindrance than a blessing. Be aware that the cards are not supposed to be clear and that you will have to make of them what you will.

  • Kay says:

    Hi. I love your site, thank you so much!

    I am pretty new to the cards and just did a three card spread with the intention of finding out about the future of a particular situation. It told the story of the past of this same situation to the finest detail and I was wondering if that can happen, to your knowledge? Thank you in advance. I really appreciate anything you can offer!


  • Jennifer says:

    I made a reading for myself about how my love interest and I would end up. From looking at the cards, My gut feeling was that it was never going to be anything more than a friendship because there are many obstacles… I then consulted a tarot reader who told me that we would end up together and move past the obstacles… Eventually another reader told me the exact same thing, that we will end up in a long relationship… Now I’m confused. What I’m thinking is maybe they aren’t reading reversed cards? I know a lot of tarot readers don’t like reading reversed cards to avoid negativity? The outcome on the reading I did for myself was Justice reversed. To me this means that things won’t go the way I want them to. I am honestly just so confused. What do you think?

  • Summer says:

    Hi Brigit, great article! So, if you have any fears or hopes while you read your own tarot cards.. does that manifest itself into the reading?

  • Tuta Tis says:

    Hello, Brigit! I found your article very informative and useful, thank you for it!
    I only read cards for myself (I guess I don’t have the confidence to offer a reading to others), and I find their advice very helpful. However, I have found that I cannot really see what the future has for me. The cards only clarify my feelings about the situation, sort of help me put my emotional state into images and in this way to understand it better. Even when I do a spread about my relationships with others, that cards only reflect what I think the person thinks about me, not what his/her actual attitude is. For example, I might ask “can I trust this person?” and I get Ace of Cups. I interpret it as a “yes”, but then, how do I know if this shows my positive assumption or if it is how things are with the person? Is there a way to deal with this issue?

  • Celine says:

    I did this recently with a relationship post and worked myself into depression when the tower showed up in the layout. I freaked out and did it twice more…the final time I got both the tower and eight of cups. By the time I got to bed I was sure I was going to be jobless and single by the end of the week. Lesson learned…wish I had read this first.

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