There are many ways to read a Tarot Card and not every way is going to suit every person. These are some of my suggestions on ways that you can explore reading the Tarot. Take what inspires you and leave the rest.
1. Memorize Tarot Card Meanings
It may not be the most magical way to read the cards but it is useful.
You can memorize the Tarot card meanings from a book or just memorizing your own meanings for the cards or specific deck. Some decks speak a completely different vibrational language than other decks.
I usually read Rider Waite Smith system decks and knowing the core meanings of the cards allows me to transfer this knowledge to any deck that I pick up. This isn’t the only way that I read the Tarot but it is one of the elements that incorporate into my readings.
You DO NOT need to learn the meaning of all 78 cards and reversals to be a fantastic Tarot Reader. Some people no matter how hard they try aren’t wired to learn or retain knowledge this way so it can be futile to even try.
Memorizing via Flash Cards
If you would like to take on the challenge of learning the meanings of the Tarot you can try using flash cards.
Version 1 – Keyword Match
Write down keywords on your flashcards and then name a card that links to the word when they come up.
Even better if you can get a friend to write some keywords for you.
Version 2 – Title Match
Write the names of all the Tarot cards down on your flashcards and then try to name some key words or meanings when you flip them over
2. Use your intuition and emotional connection
This uses your ability to connect and feel a Tarot cards energy and vibe to read for yourself and or Clients.
Ways that you can intuitively connect with your cards:
- How would you feel if you were in the position of the figure in the card shown? (If there isn’t a figure or animal what are you feeling when you hold the card?)
- What is the overall vibration of the card? Is it light and happy or deep and sensual?
- If the cards were talking to you what would they be trying to let you see or feel?
- Does the scene in the card bring up anything for you?
This method also means that one day The Hanged Man may mean looking at things from a different perspective and then the next day it feels like letting go of control. Both meanings are correct.
This is another element I use to read the Tarot. I know the core meanings of the Tarot cards but I am guided by my intuition and empathic abilities as well. The Tarot is very multifaceted, my intuitive abilities lead me to what is trying to be heard from the cards.
3. First Impressions
This method asks you to hone in on the first thing you see when you turn your cards.
A way to do this is to allow your mind to go as quiet as possible. Select your card however you normally do so and the first thing you notice is what go with.
It could be the color, a symbol, a word, a person, feeling, anything.
What you first notice can help you unlock the message of the Tarot card.
4. Jump in!
This is where you take the time to place yourself inside the card as a spectator or take the place of someone in the cards and use that as a point in which to jump off.
In this you can look around 360 to what is going on in the ‘World’ in which you have entered. You can hear conversations, music, animals. Feel the air and the ground. It’s a wonderful way to connect with the Tarot and you can have some very interesting insights.
I always keep my Journal handy when I am doing this. I always come back with something new and it’s a great way to get to know a new deck and tackle cards that you really struggle connecting with.
I have a full video on interviewing the Figures in the Tarot Cards which takes this exercise to a new level. You can find that video here.
5. Tarot Card Symbols & Meanings
This method used the symbols found depicted in the Tarot to unlock the meanings and layers of the cards.
When you look at a Tarot Card what symbols really stand out for you? What do they mean for you?
If you choose to research a symbol what speaks to you when you are finding out more about them?
Symbols are rich and alive and they can not only help you understand the different layers of a Tarot card they can be a wonderful way to relate the energies of the cards to your life experiences. We all have different views, feelings, experiences with symbols.
You can do this using Tarot decks with Pip Cards but it can be a little more tricky. Not sure what I mean by Pip Cards? Check out my video on Pips vs Illustrated Tarot decks.
I have an example video on the Symbols of the Star and what the elements that are found in The Star Card commonly can mean.
6. Tarot Card Positions & Progressions
This method takes the position of a Tarot Card in its Suit or Arcana progression for the Major Arcana cards and uses that to give you a way to read the Tarot Card.
When I do this exercise I use these different groups for the cards.
- The Major Arcana are one group
- The Court Cards are another
- The Aces to Tens in each suit are another group.
When it comes to Court Cards The Pages are the beginning of the progression of the Court and The King is the completion of the Court. This does not mean that the Queens are less than the Kings at all, it is just the placement of the cards in the deck.
For this placement is key. The lower numbers mean that you or the situation is more at the beginning and the higher numbers mean the stakes have been raised and completion is near.
Tarot Card Position Example
I am going to use the Five of Wands.
The Five of Wands is a 5, it is the middle card in the progression of the Wands.
So we can take from this that the situation or energy of the card and reading is a midpoint or midway through.
Then we can look at the card before and after as a way to see where you were before and where you are going.
Or what energy got you here from the card before and what energy is going to move you forward in the card ahead.
With the Five of Wands we have the Four of Wands behind us. What that says to me is that resting and celebrating got me here, I’m in a place of transition, energy and change and The Six of Wands is where I am going and what can move me ahead. This speaks to me of taking a step forward and to stop putting all of the energy I have internally and start to direct it out into the world.
These have been some suggestions and tips on different ways you can read the Tarot.
If you are looking for a whole book on this subject I highly recommend Mary K Greer’s – 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card.
What are some of the ways you learnt the Cards? What has worked and what hasn’t worked?