When you’re getting started in the world of tarot it can be an overwhelming time. There’s so much to learn and it can be hard to keep your head above water.
I’ve been asked a lot by people who are new to the cards if I have any advice or tips I can give them. While I think you’re always your own best guru or expert, I do have some ‘rules’ (for lack of a better word) that I think are helpful to those taking their first steps.
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1. Empowerment above all else: I’m pretty particular about this one. For me, the entire purpose of tarot is to empower your sitter to go out there and absolutely kick ass in their own life. When someone leaves me after a reading, I want them to be full of how amazing they actually are, how boundless their potential is and to understand that when it comes to their life, they are 100 per cent in charge of what happens. Over the years I have seen and heard readers who encourage their clients to continually come back to them. They make them dependent on the cards and this is so not healthy. What do I want? I want you to come for a reading and be so pumped up afterwards that you stop self-sabotaging and you go after those amazing dreams. I’m all about that. I don’t want you to hand over your power. I am just the messenger that tells you what you (usually!) already know and offers you a bit of clarity, you’re the one that makes these incredible things happen in your life.
2. Ignore what you’ve seen in popular media: The stereotype of the old witch in the back of a dark, dingy shop is so outdated. And the interpretations of the cards used in popular media give me a pain in the face. The death card does not mean you’re going to die. Yes, you can purchase decks that have a ‘Happy Squirrel’ card if you want to. And there’s only one death card in every deck (not four or five). Honestly, it’s just best to ignore whatever you’ve seen in films or on TV. Most of the time it’s just not accurate and all it seems to do is make people afraid or uncomfortable.
3. Your comfort should come first: Boundaries are essential as a tarot reader. What this means is that you put your own comfort first on all levels. You don’t have to read for every single person that crosses your path and demands a reading. You are free to say no. Reading expends a lot of time and energy, so you’re allowed to say no. A lot of new readers are excited and eager to practice, and that’s great. But sometimes, people can take advantage of this. So it’s okay to protect your energy and say no if you need to. It’s also okay to refuse to read for someone who makes you uncomfortable in any way, shape or form. And, speaking of comfort, this goes for your physical comfort too. You will give better readings if you’re comfortable. So it’s okay to ask for what you need in order to be comfortable e.g. you can ask for a table and chair, you can ask people to give you 15 minutes before a reading to get into the right headspace etc. Know what you need to be comfortable and then set up firm boundaries around these things and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.
4. Intuition trumps set interpretations: I’m not slating the set interpretations of the cards, but I do firmly adhere to the rule that intuition will always trump whatever set interpretation a card has. For example, if you’re doing a reading and you see the High Priestess and you’re getting that niggle that maybe the standard meaning isn’t applicable here and your intuition is suggesting something that, to your logical tarot mind seems a bit crazy, I would make it a rule to always run with that crazy intuition-inspired interpretation. Yes, it can be scary to throw something a bit risky or crazy out there, but honestly? In my experience, most of the time the intuitive interpretation fits way better than the standardised one. Experiment with this technique and if you’re not an intuitive reader at the end of your trial, I’ll buy a hat and eat it.
5. Trust yourself: You know what’s right for you. You know what learning resources will help you the most. You know your deck best. You are your own guru. What this means is that it’s okay to trust yourself. The relationship that we have with the tarot is almost primordial. It speaks to the part of us that is continually in conversation with the divine whether we’re aware of it or not. Therefore, you already know what to do and what’s best for you and your path. There’s a lot of noise out there about tarot courses and certification lately, but trust what your gut tells you about these things. If someone is telling you that the only way you’ll learn is to shill out for a class, but your gut is saying otherwise, then trust your gut. Your intuition will become your best friend the more you read tarot so it’s best to start developing that gut instinct as soon as you can. There’s no book that say you absolutely have to learn tarot the same way as everybody else. Trust your instincts. The path will unfold exactly as it is meant to for you.