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How to Interpret and Read Tarot Cards for Yourself

After watching many YouTube tarot card review videos, I settled on the traditional Rider Waite Tarot deck.

I wasn’t crazy about the design, to be honest.

But it got excellent reviews, so I gave it a shot.

I tore open the packaging when the deck arrived and went through it one card at a time.

But I quickly found that I had no clue what I was looking at.

The cards were full of symbols that I didn’t know the meaning of. I totally didn’t get it.

But that was over a year ago and now my Rider-Waite deck is my favorite go-to deck.

If you’re interested in tarot cards, you may wonder how to read them for yourself too.

It can seem like a daunting task, but with a little practice, you’ll be able to interpret the cards easily!

In this blog post, I’ll discuss the basics of reading tarot cards for yourself.

We’ll go over some card meanings, and how to use that information to give you a clear picture of what’s happening in your life.

tarot cards

photo: Canva

What are tarot cards and what do they represent

Tarot cards are a deck of 78 cards with different images and symbols that are used for divination, personal reflection, and diving into the pool of all levels of the psyche.

It’s divided into the Major and Minor Arcana.

The Major Arcana archetypes comprise 22 keys that represent big life events.

The Minor Arcana comprises 56 cards, representing everyday issues and experiences, such as love, work, travel, or money.

Tarot readings can provide insight into your past, present, and possible future.

Readings can also explore the conflicting forces at work in a person’s life. For example, a tarot reading can reveal that a person is undecided between staying in their current job or taking a new opportunity.

No matter what the question is, a tarot reading can provide clarity and guidance.

You might like this: Are Tarot Cards Helpful for Personal Healing?

tarot cards

photo: Canva

How to interpret the cards

Many people believe they can use Tarot cards as a tool for divination or predicting the future. However, interpreting Tarot cards is actually quite complex, and there are many ways to do it.

I don’t use the cards to predict my future.

We all have free will. This means that we have the power to choose our own actions and thoughts, which can influence the course of our lives.

Because of this, I believe that the main purpose of a Tarot reading is not to predict the future but to provide guidance and clarity about a current situation or challenge.

There are two principal ways to interpret tarot cards: reading the traditional way or reading them intuitively.

The traditional way of reading tarot cards involves looking up the meaning of each card in a book, and then piecing together the information to form a story.

The intuitive way of reading tarot cards relies on your own intuition to interpret the meanings of the cards.

Both methods can be effective, but it’s important to find the method that works best for you.

The meanings of each card

Each card in a Tarot deck has a specific meaning. However, interpreting the cards can vary depending on the question being asked, the reader’s intuition, and the card’s position in the reading.

For example, The Tower card can represent sudden change or upheaval. But if you’re asking about your love life, The Tower could represent a relationship that’s going through a difficult time.

The Fool card represents new beginnings and signifies a time of change and growth. However, if you’re asking about your career, The Fool could represent a new job or opportunity.

To get started with reading tarot cards, it’s helpful to memorize the meanings of each card.

I know it seems like a chore, but doing so will help you quickly identify the key points of a reading, and will make it easier to give an accurate interpretation.

One of the best ways to learn the meanings of the tarot cards is to practice giving readings for yourself.

Every time you do a reading, note the card positions and what they mean in relation to your question.

Once you have a good understanding of the meanings of the cards, you can interpret them intuitively.

You might like this: 6 Effortless Tarot Tips to Help You Trust Your Intuition

tarot cards on table
photo: Canva

Some tips for memorization of Tarot card meanings

Memorizing the meanings of Tarot cards is an important skill that can help you give accurate readings for yourself and others.

1. Write out the keywords for each of the Major Arcana keys.

The best place to start is the Major Arcana keys because they represent major life events and influences, and each one has its own keyword. 

Knowing the keywords for each of the Major Arcana keys can help you interpret a reading or to choose the right card for a specific situation.

2. Create flashcards with the keywords on one side and the card image on the other.

The best way to learn the Tarot is to practice with a deck of cards.

But what if you don’t have a physical deck handy?

No problem! You can create your own virtual deck of Tarot cards using flashcards.

Simply print out the keyword for each card on one side of the flashcard, and then glue or tape the corresponding card image to the other side.

Once you’ve made your flashcards, you can test yourself by randomly selecting a card and then trying to recall the meaning of the keyword.

3. Repeat the keywords for each card until you have them memorized.

To memorize the keywords for each tarot card, it’s helpful to break the deck down into smaller chunks.

For example, you could focus on memorizing the keywords for the 22 Major Arcana keys first, then move on to the 56 Minor Arcana pips.

Alternatively, you could focus on memorizing the keywords for one suit of Minor Arcana cards at a time (there are four suits in total: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles). 

woman writing in a journal

photo: Canva

4. Create a Tarot study binder

Your tarot binder will serve as a great resource in helping you to learn the Tarot.

You can also use your tarot binder to keep track of your progress.

By keeping track of which cards you have already learned, and which ones you still need to work on, you can ensure that you’re making steady progress in your tarot studies.

Ultimately, a tarot binder is a valuable resource for both beginners and experienced practitioners alike.

Consider taking notes on readings that you do for yourself. You can refer to them later and see how your understanding of the Tarot has changed.

Using tarot readings to gain insight into your life

I often use tarot cards to gain clarity for my purpose in my work as a life coach.

Recently, I did a reading to help me clarify what I’m here to do.

The tarot reading showed me I need to focus on my writing, and that I need to trust my intuition for deciding about my work.

It also showed me I need to release some of the old patterns and beliefs that are no longer serving me.

The reading was very helpful in giving me direction for my business goals.

You can use tarot readings to gain insight into any area of your life.

Whether you want to find out more about your love life, your career, or your health, the tarot can provide you with guidance and clarity.

You might like this: How to Connect to Your Higher Self in 20 Minutes

woman doing a tarot card reading
photo: Canva

Tips for giving yourself a tarot reading

If you’re looking for guidance in your life, there’s no better tool than the tarot.

Here are a couple of tips for giving yourself a tarot reading:

1. Start by focusing on a specific question that you would like guidance on.

-Ask open-ended questions instead of yes or no questions. Open-ended questions will give you more information to work with.

-Try not to think about the answer that you want to hear. Instead, be open to whatever message the cards have for you.

-Be patient and don’t rush your reading. The more time you take, the more accurate your reading will be.

2. Shuffle your deck of cards and select the number of cards that you feel comfortable working with.

-If you’re a beginner, start with three or four cards. As you become more experienced, you can add more cards to your readings.

-It’s also important to note that you don’t have to use all the cards in your deck. You can choose to focus on a specific suit or element if you wish.

Common questions about tarot readings

Q: Do I need to be psychic to give myself a reading?

A: No, you don’t need to be psychic to read tarot cards. Anyone can learn how to interpret the tarot.

Q: What if I don’t like what the cards tell me?

A: It’s important to remember that the tarot is a tool for guidance. The cards can help you see things you may not have been able to see on your own.

Q: Can I use tarot readings to predict the future?

A: The tarot can give you guidance about the future, but it’s important to remember that your future is still unwritten. You always have the power to change your destiny.

Q: How often should I give myself a reading?

A: I like to do daily readings, while others may prefer to do them weekly or monthly. Totally up to you!

Q: What if I don’t have a deck of tarot cards?

A: You can download and print royalty-free images of tarot cards from the internet. Tape each image onto a cue card and you’re all set!

woman smiling and feeling free
photo: Canva

Final Thoughts on How to Interpret and Read Tarot Cards for Yourself

Tarot readings can be a fun and insightful way to gain some clarity in your life.

Familiarize yourself with the keywords of each card, and try using different spreads to get unique insights.

Be patient–it may take time for you to develop your own intuition about the cards. With practice, you’ll be able to give accurate readings for yourself.

Thanks for reading!

If you’re curious about your past lives, join me for my upcoming workshop in August.

I’ll be showing attendees how to read the cards so they can learn more about their past life patterns and gifts. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to gain some insight.

Please connect with me to learn more.

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