Tarot readers often study for years, and there is a common belief that one must be “born” to a family of witches, psychics or mediums in order to read tarot. Innate talent and/or study is essential to being a dedicated reader, but if you want to read cards for yourself, fear not. Anyone, yes, anyone, can read tarot — and do so immediately. Do you trust me? Good. Take my hand, step into my chamber, and let’s light a candle. I’ll show you in six steps how to read your own tarot. All that’s needed is an open and inquiring mind — and I know you have that in spades.
Guess what? Every single one of us tells stories — all the time. You needn’t be a published author. We tell ourselves internal stories all day long. If I asked you to describe your day, you could do it. If I asked you to tell me about your childhood, you could do it. If I showed you an editorial spread in a high-fashion magazine and asked you to tell a story of the photos, you could. If I placed a tarot card in front of you and asked you to tell me the story of what you see, you could do it… but only if you released the fear of getting it wrong.
Fear of getting tarot meanings wrong is the number one biggest impediment of all potential readers. Nothing throws up a wall like fear. Are tarot meanings steeped in hundreds of years of esoteric theory and a rich structured meaning? Yes. Do you have to know this rich history and memorize all these meanings to draw insight from the cards? Nope, not at all.
Tarot’s power lies in its fine, bonelike structure and how it reflects the human psyche. Standard meanings exist, but you don't have to worry about them at first. Tarot's power also lies in the abstract nature of its symbols. In abstraction, all meanings hold importance. If something strikes a chord in you, then it has meaning for you. This is your golden ticket — this is your message.
Start with a single card. Shuffle and draw randomly. Take a breath. Allow the images to wash over you. Which part of the card catches your attention? Is it a crown? A handsome man on a horse? Is it a golden chalice or a soft furry lion?
Once an item or action in the card has caught your attention, figure out what it means to you. Is a rainbow capturing your attention? Decide how you feel about rainbows. Is it a figure lost in work? What does your work mean to you? Are two people looking at each other lovingly? What does romantic love mean to you at the moment?
Once you’ve deciphered a meaning, reflect it back to yourself in the form of a story. If the rainbow caught your eye, your story or “message” might be, “I need to look for the beauty in my day.” If you are struggling at work you love — the figure working hard — your message might be, “I need to keep doing the work I love. It will lead to great things.” If romantic lovers appear, your message might be, “Spread the love to invoke love.”
Take a leap of faith, listen to your inner voice, and you’ll be shocked at how quickly you will feel confident with the cards. Who knows where they will take you? Tarot has been used for divination and advice for hundreds of years, and it's more popular than ever. It just might change your life — it sure changed mine. Good luck!
Sasha Graham read tarot professionally for over a decade in NYC and is the author of Tarot Diva, 365 Tarot Spreadsand the forthcoming 365 Tarot Spells. Visit her at www.sashagraham.com for tips on leading a magical life.
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