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How To Use Tarot Cards

April 22, 2019

I’ve been feeling a bit lost in the blogging world as of late. I’ve been a bit confused about what niche I should be aiming for, feeling like I don’t fit the “dating blogger” mould, wondering what else I could diversify into, and considering throwing in the towel and focusing on fiction writing instead. Well, anyone who is a fan of my blog can be reassured that that’s not going to happen quite yet. But I have decided to diversify a little and lead on from some of the witchcraft posts I did last year, and start a series of mini-guides to various mystical things. And to begin, I’m starting with a beginners’ guide to how to use tarot cards.

how to use tarot cards

Chances are you’ve probably heard of tarot cards. Perhaps you’re not 100% sure what they are, but know they’re some kind of fortune telling thing. If you’re a seasoned tarot reader with your own little fortune-telling side-hustle, there’s probably not a lot I can teach you. But those of you where the name rings a bell but aren’t quite sure what the deal is and want to learn more, please read on.

What Are Tarot Cards?

Tarot cards are a form of divination that are thought to have originated from a card game created in Italy in the fifteenth century. They don’t predict the future as such, they’re more of a way of reflecting your own energy back at you to offer insight. So for those of you worried about drawing a card that predicts doom and gloom- nothing is set in stone, it’s more about gaining understanding and perspective.

A deck of tarot cards consists of 78 cards and 2 parts- the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana contains 22 cards with names such as “The Devil” and “The Wheel of Fortune”, which relate to more significant life changes and events. The Minor Arcana are similar to a standard pack of playing cards in that they have 4 suits that count from 1 to 10- and also contain a Page, Knight, Queen and King. The 4 suits are the Cups (represent anything emotional, and relationships with others), Wands (or Rods, in my deck- they represent inspiration and creativity), Swords (represent decision-making and intellect), and Pentacles (represent money and possessions).

What Do You Use Tarot Cards For?

The most common way to use tarot cards is to perform a reading. You can do a general reading to gain an insight into your mind and future, or ask the cards a specific question, for example “What does the future hold for my love life?” At most, tarot cards can provide insight into a situation and give advice, or perhaps offer that to someone else. At least, they’re a fun thing to do with your friends.

You can also use specific cards as part of a spell, meditiate with them, or leave them in your space to provide a particular energy. For example, if you’re looking to attract love, you could use the two of cups or The Lovers, or if you’re looking to manifest something or shift your energy, you could use The Magician.

Where Do You Buy Tarot Cards?

Some say you have to be gifted your first deck of tarot cards. This is a myth, however it is important to feel a connection with your cards, so pick a deck that you feel drawn to/ like the look of. The Rider-Waite deck is the most common, however I use the Morgan-Greer one as I liked the design.

You can buy tarot cards from mystical stores- I bought mine from The Astrology Shop in Covent Garden. However you can also buy them online from places like Amazon.

How To Use Tarot Cards To Do A Tarot Reading

  1. Cleanse the cards. Tarot cards pick up energy so it’s important to cleanse them before starting a new reading. You can burn sage or palo santo and cleanse the cards in the smoke, but I prefer to leave selenite (a self-cleansing crystal) on top of the deck. Vlogger Harmony Nice recommends “knocking” the cards before shuffling to remove any unwanted energy.
  2. Ask a question. If you have a specific question in mind, ask it now.
  3. Shuffle. As you shuffle the cards, keep your question in mind. If you’re doing a reading for someone else, keep that person in mind. When you’re done, open out the deck- choose the card you feel most drawn to then split the deck into two piles, placing the second pile (let by your chosen card) on top.
  4. Lay out the cards. Lay out your cards in your chosen spread (more on that below). If you feel like you need to clarify something, pull an extra card. Also take a look at the card at the bottom of the pack- this can give an overall insight.
  5. Interpret. Interpret the meanings of the cards using a book, or an online guide such as this one by Labyrinthos. The meaning can vary depending on whether the card is upright or upside down. You can take notes on your reading and come back to it later.

Tarot Card Spreads

There are plenty of tarot card spreads you can use, but here are some of the most common.

One-Card Spread

A simple way to get an answer to a question. You can also pull a card first thing in the morning to provide guidance for the day ahead.

how to use tarot cards

Three-Card Spread

Another simple way to work with the cards. This provides a bit more insight into the question being asked.

beginners guide to tarot

The Celtic Cross

The Celtic Cross is a ten-card spread that provides a more thorough analysis of a situation. It looks at external and internal influences plus potential outcomes.

how to use tarot cards

Disclaimer: I’ve seen a few variations of this so I just used the one that made the most sense to me.

Further Reading

Craft by Gabriela Herstick contains a good guide for beginners, and also provides a guide to what each card means. It’s also a good overall guide to witchcraft, if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

Harmony Nice also has a good video on tarot cards.

The Only Tarot Book You’ll Ever Need by Skye Alexander is also meant to be good.

Have you ever used tarot cards? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

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to use tarot cards

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