Tarot has long been met with superstition and was once seen as the preserve of hippies with a fondness for the occult and chintzy fortune teller stereotypes. Now, the art of reading the tarot is back in style.
Although tarot is becoming more mainstream, learning Tarot can still seem intangible and confusing. What is tarot, where does it come from and what do the cards mean? I still remember I felt so overwhelmed when I started my tarot journey.
But, don’t panic! Tarot fundamentals are easy to understand. I’ve broken down everything a beginner should know in this simple Tarot for beginner’s guide to learn Tarot fast so you can hopefully do your first reading next week.
To start, make sure to subscribe to my free 7-day Tarot mini-course below for daily teachings on the Tarot send straight to your inbox. Guaranteed, after reading this post and completing the Tarot mini-course, you are surely no beginner anymore.
So, if you didn’t know where to start with Tarot, you came to the right place!
A Brief History of Tarot
Though tarot cards are used extensively around the world today, research indicates that the cards date back to the 1400s where they were originally used for a card game rather than prediction.
The oldest tarot cards that survived the age of time are the Visconti-Sforza cards you see here, that were painted for the Dukes of the Duchy of Milan around 1440
The game spread quickly to all parts of Europe and people began referring to it as
Not until the 1800s the cards were used as a divination tool and comprehensive links were created between illustrated cards, astrology and ancient Egyptian lore. By that time occult writers started to write about “the tarot” and that’s how tarot became a part of occult philosophy.
Over the next centuries, mystics and philosophers continued to expand the role of tarot. The current methodology of tarot interpretation started in the 1970s and along with a growing interest in psychoanalysis, the use of Tarot cards grew exponentially.
The New Age movement furthered the spread of this form of fortune-telling, with thousands of new decks being produced annually.
Getting started with Tarot as a beginner
Although the common belief is that tarot cards are meant to tell the future or reveal someone’s fortune, this is actually far from true.
In contrast to this belief, I consider tarot as a valuable form of meditation and reflection on the present moment. It gives me valuable insights, helps me to understand what I need to do in a particular situation. and enables me to connect with my inner wisdom.
It gives me insight to past, current, and future events based on my current path at the time of the reading. The cards will determine the best course of action based on what is known and what the cards show.
1. Buy your first Tarot Deck
One of the main things that stop tarot enthusiasts from diving into Tarot reading is the old wives’ tale that says you shouldn’t buy your first tarot deck, but that it must be given to you.
Although this is a mistaken belief that almost all tarot readers have heard of, it is nothing more than silly superstition.
Most readers believe that this myth comes from a time when tarot decks were not difficult to find, in some places, it was a crime to use them. Because they were sold on the ‘black market’ of the time, you would need to know the right person to get your hands on a set.
Buying or attempting to purchase from the wrong person was dangerous. Thankfully, times have changed. So drop that notion right now and shop your heart out.
How to Choose Your Tarot Deck
Getting your first deck is a super exciting process! It can also be extremely overwhelming because of the sheer number of tarot decks available nowadays. There are thousands!
When you add in the fact that each option has its own energy and artwork, the process of picking just one can become anxiety-producing.
So, where should you begin? Here are 8 of the best ways to select a tarot deck that will take your readings to the next level.
- Go with your intuition!
- Explore the imagery of each tarot deck.
- Keep in mind your current tarot level.
- Do you want to go traditional or modern?
- How does the deck depict your favorite card?
- Find a size that fits.
- How are you going to use the tarot deck?
- Check for quality.
In my article about tarot decks, you can find a more in-depth explanation of these 8 ways.
Best Beginners Deck
If you’re completely new to tarot I recommend starting with the Rider Waite deck because most of the tarot card meaning descriptions are based on this deck.
The deck offers vibrant and classic interpretations of each major and minor arcana card which allows for both classical and unique interpretations for a deep understanding of the subconscious.
If you absolutely don’t resonate with the Rider Waite deck or are unsure which deck to work with? Together with thousands of experienced tarot readers we created a list with the top ten decks for beginners.
2. Familiarize Yourself with the Arcanas
After you’ve purchased a deck, the first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the cards. This probably will take some time, as the deck has 78 cards, divided into two groups.
The Major Arcana
The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards. These cards represent the life lessons and the big archetypal themes that are influencing your life and your soul’s journey to enlightenment.
If you place the Major Arcana cards in numeric order from The Fool (0) to The World (21), they form a symbolic story. This story is also known as the Fool’s journey, learning a lesson from each of the Major Arcana archetypes.
The Fool’s journey depicts and explains our individual journey of self-development leading from the earliest awareness (the Fool), to integration (the cards in between) and finally fulfillment (the World).
You can look at it as a general life path or use it to examine a certain area or period in your life.
The Minor Arcana
The Minor Arcana is divided into 4 suits (of 14 cards each): Wands, Pentacles, Cups, and Swords.
Starting with the Ace, the cards go up from the 2 towards the 10, then closing with four Court cards: Page, Knight, Queen, and lastly, the King (making it 14 cards).
Each of the suits has a ruling element, corresponding to specific areas in life.
- Suit of Cups – Element of Water – Emotions & Relationships
- Suit of Pentacles – Element of Earth – Property & Achievement
- Suit of Swords – Element of Air – Wisdom & Communication
- Suit of Wands – Element of Fire – Passion & Inspiration
It’s important to consider these elements and areas when working with the minor arcana cards, making it much easier to for an intuitive reading to happen (after a bit of practice of course)!
The Suit of Cups is related to the water element and deals with matters of the heart. The primary aspects that surround this suit are love, emotions, and relationships.
Cards of this suit can also bring attention to how you react to your environment. If mostly Cups cards appear in a reading, it is indicative of emotional dealings such as problems in a relationship.
Pentacles are ruled by the element of earth and deal with finances, career, and achievement. These cards are known as “money cards” since they are often associated with money-related decisions and financial windfalls.
When mostly Pentacles comes up in your reading, you are likely seeking answers to the material things in your life.
Ruled by the element of air, the Swords in a tarot reading stand for communication and action. Their strengths provide us with wisdom and clarity. The cards of this suit encourage you to use your head when making decisions.
They can also serve as a warning to pay closer attention to your surroundings – there could be a conflict or an argument on the horizon.
Like a magic rod, the Suit of Wands represents creativity, intuition, and new ideas. Associated with the element of fire, Wands aren’t passive cards. On the contrary, this suit represents determination and strength.
It’s about pushing the limits to reach your goals and dreams. Spirituality and consciousness are also allies of this suit. The cards address what is truly meaningful to you and tell you more about who you are your core values, and beliefs.
All the cards have different meanings. In addition, you have to learn how the cards interact with each other. According to Holisticshop learning to read the tarot cards is like learning a new language.
“You begin by studying individual cards, as you would learn individual words. You then become aware of how the cards in a spread interact, which can be compared with learning to put words together to form sentences. As you practice speaking a new language you become familiar with its nuances and notice how different
The most given advice to beginners is to do a daily card pull where you pull one card from the deck. Before pulling the card, it’s good to have a question in mind.
You have to avoid questions that can be answered with a yes or no. Instead, use questions that will put the responsibility back on you. What can I do? How can I take personal action?
Want to try it out? Follow these steps and pick your card:
- Think of your question
- Close your eyes and for a few moments really think about your question
- Open your eyes and click on the cards below (this will guide you directly to the card you’ve picked, providing you with the answers you need)
Which card did you get? How did it align with your worries or thoughts? Did it help you self-reflect to gain more control of your situation?
Look at the imagery and think about the meaning of the card. D
3. Sleep With a Card Under Your Pillow
According to the celebrity tarot reader, Angie Banicki sleeping with a card under your pillow will also help you to get to know the cards. “Pull a card and put it under your pillow at night. Let the energy of that card seep into your dreams,” she said to Insider. “Wake up in the morning; observe the card. Read about what its different meanings are.
Then notice during the day what happens that might have been a sign from the cards. It’s pretty cool when you start connecting the messages. Once you start connecting the messages, she said, you’ll soon realize that things are not happening by coincidence.”
4. Learn Some Basic Spreads
A tarot spread is a layout of cards, that will give you a structure in which you can explore your questions. Each position in the spread reflects an aspect of your question to consider. You don’t have to use them for every reading. It is, however, a nice way to get started while you learn about the cards.
One of the most popular spreads is the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread, which consists of 10 cards. Although it’s a beautiful spread, it’s not a great place to start for the
Instead, you can better use a 3-card spread that represents the past, present, and future or the mind, body, and spirit of the person being read. Even a 3-card spread can give you the insights needed.
Besides, it’s a great and simple way to see how the cards create stories when they’re placed together. In this tarot spread article, you find 11 of the most commonly used tarot spreads for beginners to use when learning how to read the tarot.
5. Good Energy
The space in which you conduct your tarot readings is incredibly important. It is what creates trust and allows us to open up. Therefore you should think about the energy of the space before starting your reading.
But do not only think of the physical space that needs to be in sort before starting a reading. Your mental, emotional, and, spiritual spaces matter too! Make sure you create a sacred space within each one of these elements.
6. Find a Tarot Buddy
Every person has their own way of looking at things. That’s why every reader will interpret the tarot cards differently. Therefore it can be very helpful to find a study buddy and practice reading the cards together.
You can learn from each other, share your different perspectives, and support each other’s growth.
7. Read Tarot Books
Growing and developing your tarot skills often means reading anything and everything you can get your hands on. This, however, can be a bit overwhelming. E
Where to start with so many options available, how do you know what to choose and what resonated with you? To help you, I made a list of my favorite tarot books that helped me to deepen my relationship with the cards and the tarot system.
8. Have Fun!
Last but certainly not least: remember to have fun while learning. When you start with reading the tarot cards, it can be overwhelming. It can seem like there is just so much to learn and figure out.
But don’t freak out and just try to let it be fun and easy. For example, if you go out with friends, just pull three cards that will tell you something about how things will go that evening. Let the cards decide your nights and see if the advice turned out well!
Ready to Start learning Tarot?
Learning how to read
Especially when you start to speak the tarot language fluently – including the nuances and different
So, let’s get started, buy a deck that resonates with you, and
The best way to get started with tarot as a beginner is to subscribe to my free 7-day Tarot mini-course here:
You can expect a daily email for one week with all teachings you need to understand the Tarot in 7 days.
If you still have any questions after all this, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. I generally try to reply to them pretty fast so you don’t get stuck! Ow and especially… don’t forget to enjoy the Tarot journey!