Tarot is so hot right now. You can find Tarot in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan magazine, on the catwalk with Dior, and you can order yourself a Tarot deck online late at night in your pjs and have it arrive as soon as the next morning.
When I got my first Tarot deck, this was far from the case. You used to have to venture into out of the way occult shops, filled with dusty shelves and mysterious objects, and hope that you would be able to find what you are seeking. (To be honest, I miss those days, just a little).
The popularity of Tarot is both beautiful and terrible. I love that Tarot is so accessible now. There are so many ways to learn about the cards, and to make them a healing and illuminating part of your life.
The downside is that as with any popular trend or product or in demand industry, there is a lot of noise, flashy promises, and widely varying levels of proficiency with the service providers. To be blunt, there are a lot of wonderful, genuine, capable, and responsible Tarot readers out there, and even more who aren’t.
So, if you’re thinking of trying a Tarot reading for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, here are some tips to help you to decide if Tarot is right for you, and how to get the most out of the experience.
- Do your research first.
There are many kinds of Tarot readers. Some read intuitively, some are psychic, some are channelers, some are mediums, we are an eclectic group. Make sure that you are on the same wavelength with a particular reader before you take the plunge. Do an internet search, check out the reader’s website and social media, read reviews and ask friends for recommendations. If they have a Code of Ethics on their website, this is a good sign, be sure to read it.
Try to get a sense of what the reader is offering, what they won’t do, and get clear on what you want out of the reading. Are you looking for straight up predictions? Gentle guidance? Healing? Romantic or career advice? Messages from passed loved ones? Before you book reading, see if you resonate with whatever the reader is putting out into the virtual world and if they can deliver the service you desire.
In my case, I am upfront with my clients about my style, and how I work. I don’t claim to be an all-knowing psychic, and I don’t think our futures are completely set in stone. My approach is collaborative, it is a conversation between you, me and the cards. I am looking for messages that will inspire you, help you to navigate difficult times, find solutions and identify action steps that will lead you to your goals and make your life better. The cards show possibilities and options, but I let my clients know that they still have to do the work (and I’m there to support them in that).
- Get an idea of what Tarot can (and can’t) do for you.
In my experience, the cards show you what your future may be like as a result of your decisions, actions and attitudes, not because we are bound by fate. I don’t think the cards just show you things that are going to happen, whether you like it or not, tough luck. If you want to change the direction you are going, the Tarot can help you to identify the areas of your life that you need to focus on, and beneficial next steps. They give you a new perspective, confirm what you may already know deep down, and make you aware of options and opportunities that you didn’t know you have.
If the cards want to show you something that is just going to happen, something that you don’t have control over, they will also show you how to best navigate that.
So, if you are looking for something more fatalistic, or tight time predictions, or to get an idea of what someone else is thinking or doing, Tarot might not be for you.
- Do some prep work before your reading.
During your reading, that time is just for you. It is a beautiful way to check in with yourself, and to send some love and care to yourself. Honor that, and yourself, by taking time for quiet reflection about what you really want to know from the cards, and what will be the most helpful. Make some notes and bring them with you. Get a good night’s sleep beforehand. Schedule your reading on a day when you don’t feel rushed, and leave time afterwards to consider and assimilate everything that you discovered during your reading. It isn’t necessary or beneficial to over prepare, but a little reflection beforehand allows you to go into your reading with a more peaceful mind, and greater clarity on what you hope to address or achieve.
- Make the most of your time with the reader.
Have a rough idea of what you would like to ask the cards before you arrive for your reading. It can be meaningful to simply ask the cards what you most need to know right now in general, but if you can come up with a more specific question, you will get a more specific answer. Also, don’t be afraid to engage with the cards and the reader during your session. If a particular card or symbol catches your eye, mention it. If you want further clarification from the reader, by all means, ask. A collaborative approach to a reading leads to much deeper discoveries. Be open to the experience, try to approach it with curiosity and optimism, leave expectations and old stories at home.
- Go in with an empowering approach to the reading.
As far as what to ask the cards, I find that Yes/No questions are the least illuminating. Also, rather than asking, “Will I” questions (eg. “Will I find love?”, or “Will I get a good job?”) that imply that you have no power or say in the matter, turn it around to something like, “How can I…”, or “What do I need to know about…”. It is powerful to phrase your question so that the answer gives you guidance, clarity, and empowering next steps. If you aren’t sure what you want to ask or how to ask it, a good Tarot reader will help you form just the right question(s).
- Take notes, photos of your cards, or make an audio recording.
To help you remember what was said and what insights were reached during the reading, feel free to take notes. You could also record your session (check with your reader on that one first). Take a photo of the Tarot spread. Although the power and meaning of the experience stays with you long after the reading, it is amazing how fast the details can evaporate from your mind!
- Do the work afterwards.
The cards offer us new perspectives, insights, and point to the next steps that will help us reach our goals. That being said, we still have to do the WORK. The cards show us options and possibilities, but it is up to us to make things happen. Ask your reader for homework (I love giving homework!) so that you can stay on track in the days and weeks after your reading.
- If you feel hesitant to do a reading in person or live online, try an email or recorded reading first.
There are benefits that are unique to readings done by email or audio recording. Practically speaking, email readings are very easy to fit into your schedule. You don’t have to make an appointment to meet online, or be at a certain place at a certain time, or find a free hour in your busy workday. Also, some people (introverts like me) like to have the time to quietly formulate their question on their own, without any external pressures, and many people might not feel comfortable enough to discuss a private matter with a reader in person until they have gotten to know them but would be fine doing it by email. Also, with an email reading you receive a document that you can refer to in the future, as often as you like or need.
So, there you have it. Go out and get that Tarot reading, feeling informed, empowered and optimistic!
I love the cards. I have seen the amazing and positive impact a reading can have, the joy and inspiration it can bring. I think a Tarot reading should be an honest and uplifting experience. It is a beautiful thing, exploring the cards together, connecting in a spirit of hope, sincerity and compassion. The cards don’t pull any punches, but even when they are tough with us, they always give us options, inspiration, and support. And by the way, it would be my pleasure and honor to read the cards for you, when the time is right.
Tarot card images are from the upcoming Unifying Consciousness Tarot!
See more images here on Instagram.
Sign up to get news about the deck and when you can get your copy.