How to get started with tarot: five tips for beginners
I’ll never say it enough: the benefits of tarot as a spiritual practice are countless.
You gain introspection and self-knowledge as you use the cards to explore who you are. You get to uncover hidden opportunities (and blockages), and with that knowledge, you become able to create the life that you want.
And at the same time, you gain a mindful self-care practice that is all about you, and a useful and fun skill you can use for yourself, for your friends, and even professionally!
The latter is what I did. I learned tarot in 2015, and now, I have built a career where it plays a big part! And most importantly, I am so proud and grateful to have been able to use tarot to improve my life and that of friends and clients.
Today, teaching people how to use tarot is one of the things I do on The Empress Within (which, as you may have guessed, is named after my favorite tarot card). I have, in fact, written a book about it!
And the question I get asked most often is, “I bought a deck of cards, but how do I get started with tarot? It is so confusing.”
So in this post, I thought I would share with you a few beginner’s tips to get started with your tarot practice:
- Get your deck.
There are countless decks out there, from the traditional Marseille and Rider-Waite, to the multitude of tarot decks that are based on either one. So you are guaranteed to find one that speaks to you and resonates with your spiritual beliefs, your values, and your tastes (I got started with this deck, which I still use all the time!). While my recommendation would to stick to something that’s as close as possible to the traditional decks, it’s ultimately up to you, and I encourage you to let your intuition guide you towards the spiritual tool that will work for you best! I have written an e-booklet on how to pick your first tarot deck, which you can download for free by clicking here.PS: make sure to buy a real tarot deck, and not an oracle deck (many of which are misleadingly labelled as “tarot”).
- Play around with your deck.
The next step is to familiarize yourself with the cards and begin infusing them with your energy. Set aside any feelings of confusion or intimidation, and connect with your cards. One thing I like to do is mixing them, then putting them back in order, while looking at each one of them and noticing the colors, numbers, figures, genders, designs, etc.
- Stick with the Major Arcana, at least at the beginning.
You may know that I practically never use the Minor Arcana in my readings, and I don’t teach it in my workshops and courses. That’s because I never really connected with it, and I was taught to use only the Major Arcana, as most French readers tend to do. I also believe that the Minor Arcana cards have meanings that are too specific, and more oriented towards fortune telling than what I believe is the true purpose of tarot. I will never tell someone to not learn the Minor Arcana if they feel compelled to. But as a beginner, it might be less overwhelming to you to learn to use 22 cards than 78. Again, trust your intuition – if it compels you to learn the Minor Arcana, please do! I strongly recommend you check out Cindy Griffith, an amazing psychic and tarot professional who I already had a reading with! She teaches various courses, including one on the Minor Arcana.
- Spend time with each card.
This is an important step of the tarot courses and workshops I teach. It allows you to intuitively draw the universal knowledge that each card holds, and connect with it. Notice what pops into your mind, (pay attention to it, even if it sounds ludicrous) and write it down into a journal or a note app. Then compare your observations with the meaning of the card in the booklet that comes with it (or the individual card meanings you can find in my book or here.)
- Keep using tarot regularly.
The best way to gain fluency is anything is by practicing regularly! The more you use tarot, the more you will develop your intuitive abilities and, in a word, become better at it. So make it a regular practice. Keep your deck at your bedside and draw a card in the morning, then, in the evening, journal on how the theme of this card applied to your day. You can also combine this with weekly, or monthly, or even yearly readings. Whatever you feel inspired to do, as long as you are using tarot regularly, do it!
I hope these beginner’s tips are useful to you, and that you feel inspired and encouraged to get started with tarot.
Again, it may be shameless self-promotion, but if you want to read a great, straight-to-the-point, no-nonsense guide about tarot, get yourself a copy of my book, You Hold The Cards!