The Unexplainable Explained – My Take on Reading Tarot
Everyone seems to be talking about Tarot cards these days. Perhaps, due to the fact that more and more of us are seeking to harness our intuitive abilities and strengthen our sense of purpose in life, or maybe because everything seems so uncertain in life anyway, so what’s to lose? My passion started early – maybe too early – I can’t exactly recall the very first time I held my deck. It was, however, the starting point of a life-changing journey that would allow greater clarity to flow into my life. In this piece, I’d like to share my personal experience and a few words of advice for anyone interested in starting out on their journey.
The art of reading Tarot is a rich and diverse subject and there are different approaches to starting and getting a feel for your deck, which is what can make it seem daunting. The good news is that you get to choose whichever approach suits you best. As with most things in life, there are no set rules. Some people cleanse and consecrate the deck; others choose to play around with different layouts (spreads) until they feel a sense of connection and familiarity with the cards. Then, there are those like myself, who see their tarot cards as an extension of themselves – like a pair of glasses or a precious piece of jewellery I like to carry mine with me day and night! Even while I’m doing a food shop at the local market, I’ll have them with me in my bag. Not because they can tell me which brand of pasta to buy but because they’re an essential part of who I am. The deck is like a close friend – you chat and confide; whisper your dreams and desires, and talk to it about your hopes and greatest fears. It’s my reference point that helps me regain focus during tough times and a calming compass to navigate the crashing waves that sometimes rush over my mind.
I always tell people to ‘make friends’ with their Tarot cards. Even now, I spend a great deal of time observing them – studying the combination of colours, symbols, and characters, while I try to interpret their meaning – and more importantly – their message. A deck should be felt not just owned. If you can’t make friends with your cards, it’s virtually impossible to create a deep connection. When I first started, I’d play around with the cards without trying to figure out their message. I’d just allow the images to appear, so I could work on them and connect on a more profound level. In a way, my deck is quite similar to me – we both have bad tempers! My cards hate vague, open-ended questions – they prefer something a little more specific, and they don’t always give me an answer. Sometimes, we even quarrel because their message leads me to places I wouldn’t normally have the courage to go. They serve as a messenger that opens up a passage and allows a flow of free communication between the world of magic and
my physical being.
At the risk of sounding insane, my deck has allowed me to predict events that have taken place years later. Many times, I have performed readings for strangers and witnessed their expressions of shock and amazement when I reveal the answers to their questions. People often ask me how I can know things about life-changing events of complete strangers. I always answer in the same way: “I’m simply passing on the information”. So folks, if you want to learn to read Tarot in a meaningful way , i.e. those who practice reading Tarot because it is their way of being, then I advise you to allow the deck to chose you!
Start by visiting a shop which stocks a variety of decks. Touch them and try to tune into the one that offers you the most positive energy. When you feel the right sensation, you’ve found the perfect deck. Some people are lucky enough to be gifted a deck from someone close to them. When this occurs, it means that cosmic energy has blown the deck in their, which is something rather special. Even now, I still use the deck my father gave me over 30 years ago. After you’ve purchased the perfect deck of tarot cards, it’s time for this most important part: cleansing your new deck. Cleansing your cards initially, and regularly, is essential for neutralising the energy they’ve accumulated during use. You can find a tonne of rituals online, take time to find one that appeals to you.
I find a little meditation, incense, salt and crystals work well for my cleansing rituals. Place your deck on a clean, newly purchased piece of cloth; give careful thought over colour choice for your cloth and consider that every colour has a specific meaning. I’d avoid anything red as this colour can charge the cards with explosive energy. Blue and white are fine, accompanied by some type of crystal. Every person who reads Tarot should try to include crystals, incense and candles to be fully equipped to perform a cleansing ritual. I use one black candle and one white to harmonise positive and negative energy during my readings. As for the crystal, just use your personal favourite. If you don’t have one, amethyst, moonstone and rose quartz are all great in my opinion.
After you have cleared the energy and finished cleansing your deck in a quiet, peaceful surrounding, calm your thoughts. Turn over the first card and focus your mind on it. While you study the colours, symbols and characters, try to concentrate on the most important issue – their message to you. Some cards need more time to reveal their meaning, others will be quicker, so try to stay focused and be patient. I recommend asking direct questions and avoid open-ended ones, which can be easily misinterpreted. Try to keep in mind that you are the channel through which the cards express their will, not the other way round. The person receiving the reading won’t always agree with the message but should be respectful of the reader. I once had a girl come to me asking me questions about facts that she’d invented, my cards were savage in their response. You’ll likely meet and perform readings for non-believers as well as those who do believe along your journey, just trust in your deck to guide you through it all.