How-to guide to Tarot reading

How to read Tarot cards do psychic readings for yourself and your friends.

Supplies you will need to learn to read Tarot Cards:

  • A wooden box
  • A candle
  • A notepad and pen
  • A wooden table surface


  • A standard seventy-eight card deck of Tarot Cards

Getting started

Purchase a standard Tarot deck to learn with. There are countless Tarot decks to choose from however please ensure that the deck you pick is a standard Tarot deck with a full set of seventy-eight Tarot cards. There are other types of cards that can confuse new beginners called Oracle decks that look very much like Tarot but rely on different systems to work. Tarot decks must have seventy-eight cards so always check before buying.

A popular deck for beginners is The Rider-Waite Tarot deck which was originally published in the year 1910 and is still very popular however any standard deck is suitable. It is also perfectly ok to make your own deck if you are artistic.

There is also an unfortunate yet popular rumour that people often hear which claims that it is allegedly bad luck to buy your own Tarot deck, rest assured that this is entirely untrue. In buying your own Tarot deck you are actually enhancing your connection with the Tarot cards that you selected, bought and therefore connected with.

Before starting any reading it is important to prepare. This is a unique skill you will develop for yourself over time but for now try lighting your candle and begin with a short meditation or prayer. Listening to calming music can also work by putting you into the right mental space to do a Tarot reading.

When ready find a clean, ideally wooden table-top to do your Tarot readings on. While any type of table is suitable, to keep up with tradition use a wooden table for example an old antique style table from any second hand shop is ideal.

Remove all clutter from the table as a mess can hold energy and cause unwelcome distraction when reading. Finally Lay your silk scarf on the table like a tablecloth and place your Tarot cards on top face down.

Plan your reading

All readings must have a question to focus on. You can ask anything you feel would benefit you but it is good practice to meditate for a moment on what is most important for you to learn at this time on your life path.

You may have a question about your love life, perhaps you are considering a new job or career change, maybe you wish to start a new business. Whatever comes to mind spend a moment considering your question for the cards.

Once you have decided on what to consult the Tarot cards with write your question down on your notepad along with the date and a few sentences as to why you are asking this Later this notepad will become your book of shadows for readings and it will bring great comfort when you need future advice based on past readings.

Next take your cards in your hands and shuffle them whilst focusing on your question. This is the most important stage of a Tarot reading as it forms the ritual where you connect your question energy with the Tarot. Most people will shuffle for about a minute or two and stop when they feel the moment is right.

Now cut the cards into three piles and select a pile that you would like to use for your reading.

Laying out the Tarot spread

For your reading we will use the traditional Horse Shoe Tarot Spread which is ideal for beginners. This spread uses five cards and each position has it's own meaning and we will start with the first position which is the card of the past. Lay the card down and turn it around. Look at the card for a moment and let the painting on the card tell you a story of your past where the root of your problem began. You can look up the card meaning online if you wish but it is best to be guided by the drawing.

Now lay the next card which is the card to represent the present time. Turn over the card and focus on the image. It is telling you something about your present situation. You may or may not know what it is referring to however it is telling you what is really going on at the present time in relation to your question.

The next card represents the root of the problem which has caused the situation. This often comes as a surprise as you might not have realised what really went on behind the scenes. It can even be in conflict with what you thought was the root cause. The lesson here is to see how you can learn to recognise future situations like this developing so you can avoid them happening again. Continue to study the painting or drawing on the card and try to see how it pictures the root causes of your scenario.

The next card position represents advice from the cards and how you can solve the issue. This can be easy or difficult but spend some time trying to understand what the cards are saying. For example, if you asked about a relationship and you got the Death Card then it means you simply must let go of that relationship and move on. If however you were to upturn the Two of Cups then it means you need to compromise in order to recover and save this relationship. Study this card in detail by meditating on the picture as it holds the key to solving your issue.

The last card of the spread is the future outcome if you take the advice of the previous card. This card will reveal what limits and options you have in order to fix the issue. It is an extremely important card as it represents the long term outcome. Using our relationship example, if this is The Lovers card then it would indicate a marriage will come about in the future so it will be a successful relationship, but if it were to be The Tower card then it means this relationship will eventually come to an end regardless of what you do so you may need to reconsider your options entirely.

Finishing your reading

On your notebook write a paragraph about what you believe the Tarot is telling you. This is where your skill as a Tarot reader will develop over time and there is no right or wrong way to do this. Take your time and look at the cards overall, imaging them like dots in an overall picture, join the dots in your mind and the answer will come.

It is also a good idea to make a note of the cards you picked and what you think they mean to you. As you progress review back over the cards you described based on the picture on the cards and this will form your understanding of the card meanings.

For example, the Death Card means the end of a chapter in your question, so at the back of your notepad write that so you can refer to it next time and over time you will have a complete list of cards and their meanings. Some people rely on Tarot books but there is no need. Your meanings and understanding are unique to you and by developing these meanings you are discovering the Tarot all by yourself which is better than any book can do.

Your meanings will also improve over time as you read back over your readings. If you didn't get the meaning right then review the outcome card that you had picked and update your record of it’s meaning based on the experiences that took place in your life that it represented. Next time you will have a tried and tested meaning for that card. This is how your psychic skills develop over time and in the future you will be well on your way to becoming a highly gifted and experienced psychic Tarot reader.

Storing your Tarot Cards

Always store Tarot cards in your silk scarf inside of a wooden box. This is extremely important as your cards pick outside energy however in silk and wood they are protected. If you cannot find anything silk to store your cards in then any nice and ideally embroidered scarf will do.

Always keep your cards somewhere special and never on the floor. You could for example make a sacred space in your home with some crystals, sage, photos of passed away loved ones and other special things to keep them with. This shows respect for your cards and they will love you in return with great readings every time.

Always read the Tarot Cards for people that come and ask you to read for them where possible. Tarot reading is a gift and so helping others with it is expected and will help you improve. Your confidence will grow in time and remember every reading you do will help develop your skill.

You should also charge a fee for your work. Some new readers are not comfortable with charging however it is important to do so as it shows respect for your skill and everybody deserves to be paid for their time.

Payment isn't always in the form of money so you could also accept a gift in return such as a massage or a Reiki healing session. Make sure to thank the person for paying you your fee and also thank your cards for making your skill possible.

Do what you will but harm none. Always use your skill as a Tarot reader to help others. Never use your new skill to scare, frighten or control others.

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