How to do a Tarot Card Reading for Yourself

In Self Improvement, Tarot Tipsby David Harvey2 Comments

How to do a Tarot Card Reading for Yourself

I’m thrilled to add another voice to the conversation and would like to say a big thank you to Melissa Bailey from for this guest post.

If you are interested in guest posting on the Tarot Avenue blog, please visit this link for the guidelines.

Over to Melissa……

While some tarot specialists advise against giving oneself a tarot reading, the general consensus is that with enough discipline, training, and preparation, one can absolutely read the cards for themselves.

A self-reading is a wonderful way to check in with the energies working for and against you, as well as assess certain situations and possible points of action.

Below is an all-you-need guide to get you on your way to personal tarot readings:

1. Designate A Spot

Contrary to popular belief, most tarot readers don’t just perform random readings wherever there’s some free space. At home or out in the world, a sacred spot is determined, properly cleansed (either with smoke of sage or palo santo, water, salt, or an essential oil blend), then laid out with the necessary accoutrements.

Creating a space for your tarot cards to be read and likewise be stored not only familiarizes them, but allows for a specific point of calm and focus, both of which are necessary for a successful reading.

You can additionally adorn your spot with precious stones, candles, and other accents that are unique to you.

2. Pinpoint Your Question

Tarot cards are something of a living entity once they become routinely used and personalized, and that entity eschews tenuous questions that are neither here nor there. In other words, if you want direct answers you have to ask direct questions.

Meditate ahead of time on what you wish to know and be as specific as possible with questions such as “How can I improve my relationship?”, “What can I do to earn more money?”, or “What is the best way to go about dealing with (certain individual’s name)?”

By clearly communicating to the cards what you wish to know, they can likewise provide precise insights. Remember, the broader and more all-encompassing your questions are, the vaguer the answers will likely be.

3. Use An Appropriate Spread

There are dozens of tarot spreads to choose from, starting with the simple 3-card spread and ascending to the intricate Celtic Cross. Stick with a spread that aligns with your question, and that you know by heart.

It won’t do you any good to opt for a complex spread if you’re still not familiar with each position; similarly, an overly simplified spread will offer little insight into a more complicated matter.

4. Shuffle, Study, and Reflect

Once you’ve laid out your tarot cards and begin interpreting them, give yourself time to allow the images and arrangements to speak for themselves. Don’t rush into any conclusions, especially if they are premeditated; personal tarot readings demand a level of intuition and inner honesty that doesn’t always manifest in the first readings.

Try to stand outside of yourself when studying each card, thinking from a “second self” perspective — that is, pretend you are on the other side of yourself, performing the reading.

The underlying messages may not make themselves apparent at first, so if you feel you are unable to give yourself a correct reading right away, record the spread and date in a journal, and return to the cards at a later time.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and you have all the time in the world.

Now for some common mistakes to avoid…

1. Reading During a Highly Emotional Time

In the immediate aftermath of a moment, whether it’s anger or fear or pain, we are seldom in the right state of mind to reflect with calm and clarity. As much as you may want to dive for the cards after a painful argument with a friend or break-up with an ex, try to resist.

Take at least a few days to let the metaphorical dust settle and collect your thoughts. Extreme and urgent emotions seldom make for enlightening readings, and the cards will likely reflect little more than your own inner chaos.

Take some time to breathe, pause, and rest from the upset. Meditate on what that event means to you and what you wish to learn from it. You may find that a particular incident that seemed harrowing in the moment is of no real detriment after all, or that that break-up was, in fact, what you wanted and are now grateful for.

2. Repeating The Same Spread, For The Same Question, Multiple Times

Let’s face it, when it comes to tarot reading we don’t always get the answers we’d prefer. It’s a common impulse for newly acquainted tarot readers to reshuffle, ask again, and interpret a new spread in the privacy of a personal reading.

However understandable, do try to resist giving yourself multiple readings on the same question, in hopes of a different answer. This will only further muddle the cards and their meanings with each new reading.

3. Drawing “Extra” Cards

In lieu of repeating a spread, you may also be tempted to pull “clarifier” cards in hopes of receiving additional information or, better yet, answers that are affirmative to your desired outcome.

For example, you want to know if you’ll get that dream job you applied for, but the cards reveal a less-than-promising prospect–so you draw a few more, looking for a silver lining. As with multiple spreads, try to abstain from doing this.

Instead, focus on the original spread at hand and try to interpret the cards’ messages with an open and unbiased mind.

4. Finding A Different Meaning Depending On Your Desired Outcome

A common complaint about tarot reading is that the ultimate interpretation of each card lies with the reader. There are countless guides and blogs and books to tell you what each card and layout means. The problem is they almost all contradict one another! A tarot card reading requires insight and the ability to perceive outside of one’s instilled emotions, biases, and anxieties.

If you find yourself examining a personal spread that elicits fear or disappointment, explore that instead of running to your computer to look up alternative meanings. (“Hey, maybe that Death card means THIS instead of THAT…”) You will only deepen your confusion and self doubt if you start second-guessing what you intuitively know to be true, even if that truth is unsettling.

About Melissa….

Melissa Bailey, a number cruncher by day and a freelance writer by night. Melissa loves exploring and writing about interesting spirituality, astrology, tarot, and psychic related topics.  In her free time, she can be found drinking hot tea, on a yoga mat, playing tennis or hiking with her two dogs and fiance. You can follow her on Twitter or visit her website.
twitter: MyPsychicChat


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