Tarot cards have served as both divination and entertainment tools for hundreds of years – almost half a millennia, if we count the tradition back to Medieval Europe.
When you receive a pack of the 78 Tarot Cards, all ordained and decorated with what can feel like esoteric and even scary imagery, it can feel intimidating. But it really is easy!
Tarot can be a wonderful tool in exploring the symbolism or your own subconscious.Rosie Tarot
One of the most challenging aspects of Tarot is remembering what each card represents, and then what these mean in context.
As with anything where you want to gain expertise – as you might want to with the Tarot, it takes practice, but it is well worth it.
In this article, we will be exploring how to use Tarot cards as a beginner.
Into to Tarot Cards
Each card has a particular meaning.
Not all of these cards have one meaning per card. Tarot cards can indicate different things for each card. For example, the 10 of Cups can be about new beginnings, a new family and love, the 8 of Wands about caution, and the 6 of Swords about the wasted passing of time or a perilous journey.
In addition, each card has a meaning with respect to their court (wands, swords, cups, pentacles) – and all are numbered in a specific order.
There are lots of great free guides to Tarot card meanings available online, which you can use to start revising with, side-by-side with your Tarot cards.
How Should You Decide Which Tarot Deck to Use?
Deciding what tarot deck to use is the first step. There are so many different decks out there, but we are trying to keep the focus on the basics.
First, don’t worry about which design of Tarot card deck that you get – as long as you have all 78 cards, which equivalent meanings to the standard Rider-Waite or Marseilles decks – then you should be absolutely fine.
If you want to know more about Tarot, please check out our other article “15 Minimum Tarot Card Meanings You Must Understand Before You Read Tarot Cards!”
There are many different types of tarot decks available – and there’s no one right way to use them.
If you are new to tarot, there is the one deck that is used by traditional magicians, which are known as the “traditional Tarot” decks. There are other decks available that are most commonly used for role-play games, but they are not included in this guide because the focus here is the basics, not the deeper aspects of the tangents to Tarot.
Tarot Cards come in 4 suits: the wands, the swords, the pentacles and the cups.
Importance of Preparation and Ritual
The Tarot can bring up various things that can be useful to you in your daily life.
Let’s take a look at a little tradition of the Tarot.
- For many traditionalists in Tarot, the original etymology – i.e. the name – for Tarot came from the Romani word ‘Tarok,’ which meant ‘card game’ – however many Tarot culture historians have linked Tarot with ‘Torah’; suggesting a strong Hebrew link with the cards.
- Many Tarot cards, before the invention of the printing press, were lithographic prints or, most usually, were hand-made.
- Tarot’s modern re-interpretation of meanings, leading to the standardisation we know in Tarot today were largely influenced by the Golden Dawn and the famous Rider-Waite deck from England.
Most cards will come in plain or divine card types, are decorated with highly stylized imagery. In each of the above points, the Tarot is always about interaction and working with people.
How Beginners Can Practice Their Tarot Readings
- Gain a Sense of Power Over the Tarot Cards – use them every day.
- Practicing in a quiet space with a supportive and trusting friend is the best place to start.
- You will feel empowered when you can be sure you are not reading for a faker or someone who is only there to be cynical – have sympathetic recipients or friends to start.
Begin by writing a small note to yourself about the meanings you want to convey for each card. This can be a great mindfulness exercise too. These should not have any stress or too much drama, so that your book of cards will provide a pleasant and peaceful environment.
For extra practice, you could do a small two or three person reading to take the mystery out of the Tarot and have some fun.
If you are not sure of your intuition, you could invite someone you trust to watch you perform a reading. Feel free to keep the reading a secret between yourselves, or simply open yourself up to any constructive criticism, which will help you to improve. This way, you are only doing it for yourself or with a close trusted friend, so the stakes are low, the results are highly personal and the opportunity to improve is vast.
Tips for Interpreting the Card Reading
Here are some tips for you to remember when doing your first reading for someone.
- At first, you want to be careful not to overwhelm your reader.
- The tarot reader is looking to do a reading and create an atmosphere.
- So be conscious of the atmospherics of the conversation and create a reading that your reader will feel is well worth their time.
- This is especially important if you are working with someone who isn’t familiar with Tarot.
- If you are doing the reading for someone for the first time, you want them to be calm and open-minded.
- You don’t want to overwhelm them with information, and you want them to be engaged.
- Take time to ask questions and don’t rush.
You are opening up to someone about their life and you want them to be relaxed.