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5 Tarot Tips for Beginners

Recently, my friend told me her 12-year-old daughter was getting into tarot reading and she wondered if I had any tips.

She also asked our mutual friend and psychic reader (as well as a brilliant hynotherapist and reiki master), Shauna Naylor.

It was interesting to hear advice that slightly differed from mine, and it served as a reminder that everyone learns the cards in very different ways. Shauna had a more intuitive approach, whilst I started out by painstakingly revising every card.

I don’t regret my approach, but as time has gone one, I have learnt to trust my intuition a lot more. So with these two approaches in mind, here are my five tips for beginners…

1. Choose the right deck

The first deck I connected with was the Osho Zen Tarot. I could easily work out the themes and how they told a story, without looking up their meanings.

But then it got to the point where I wanted to understand a classic deck so that I could better understand the universal language all decks speak. So, I turned to the trusted Rider-Waite.

I loved this deck, though the meanings didn’t come easy. But learning them had the desired effect – when I see a new deck now, I think, “What does it look like in the Rider-Waite?”

My advice is, let your intuition guide you when selecting a deck. It’s better to divine with something you connect with, but it is also well-worth having a classic deck such as the Rider-Waite to compare it to. The more decks you play with, the more similarities and differences in themes you’ll find.

2. Get a good guide book

While the Osho was the first deck I connected with, the Marseille was the first deck I owned. They were difficult to decipher, and it didn’t help that their names were all in French!

However, they came with a great guide book. I don’t believe this book is easy to hunt down, but a few years later, I came across an even better book - The Tarot Bible by Sarah Bartlett - and I cannot recommend it enough.

Not only does it break down every single card, it gives a brief history of tarot, explains the major cards and minor suits, and contains lots of great spreads.

Most tarot decks come with comprehensive guide books, but the leaflet that came with my Rider-Waite was minimal and cryptic. A trusty book on tarot is therefore essential, if you want to know your cards better.

3. Keep a journal

I recently started journaling about a different tarot card every day, just to see if any new insights come up. It’s been very rewarding, as there are always new ways of looking at them.

I’ve been focusing on what the images mean to me, not what books tell me they should mean. I have noticed so many more details I hadn’t before, such as how the colours create moods, how many stars are on a crown, and what scenery is in the background.

I encourage those new to tarot to do the same. What feelings does each card give you? What do the themes mean to you?

Similarly, it is important to keep a journal of all your readings. Remember to include the date, the question asked, and the type of spread. It can be interesting to look back. Sometimes readings don’t make sense in the moment, but make much more sense in hindsight.

4. Take a tarot course

By the time I decided to take a tarot course, I thought I was past the beginner stage, but I thought an online course would refresh my memory, and fill any gaps in my knowledge.

And I am glad I took the Tarot Reading for Beginners course with The Centre of Excellence, because it was just the right level of commitment and a bargain with a £29 offer code.

It was broken down into manageable sections, and the exercises at the end of each, consisted of up to 10 questions, that only required short answers.

I learnt interesting techniques for readings I hadn’t considered, and meanings for cards I hadn’t thought of. It’s also quite satisfying to come away with a certificate for all your hard work.

5. Practice makes perfect

It sounds like a cliché but the only way to learn anything, is to practice, practice and practice.

Practice on yourself, practice on your friends, and practice on people you don’t know - if you really want to test yourself. As long as you look at your cards every day, you’re getting to know them and gaining confidence in giving readings.

In the early days, it can feel like you’re making stuff up or as though you know your friends, and therefore making their situation fit the cards.

But one day, you’ll touch on something you couldn’t possibly have known, and you will get so excited because your intuition is leading the reading, not just your knowledge.

Keep learning tarot, but if you would also like a reading from me, get in touch.

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