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 t
Although tarot is becoming more mainstream, it can still seem intangible and confusing. What is tarot, where does it come from and what do the cards mean? Don’t panic! Tarot fundamentals are easy to understand. We’ve broken down everything a beginner should know. So, if you’re curious about where you should start, this ultimate tarot beginners guide should help you out.
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 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.
Get Tarot Ready as 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, tarot is a valuable form of meditation on the present moment that returns valuable insight and advice.
It will enable the person receiving the reading to connect to his or her inner wisdom and help to understand what he or she needs to know about a particular situation. It will give insight to past, current and future events based on the person’s 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. Choose Your Tarot Deck
One of the main ways to get a good start with tarot reading is to choose a good deck. There is an old tale that you shouldn’t buy your first tarot deck, but that it must be given to you. Unsurprisingly, according to tarot experts, this is very much a myth. Actually, it’s “just a silly superstition and bullocks,” says intuitive reader and author Theresa Reed: “It’s the surest way to get a deck you don’t like. Or to be kept waiting.” So drop that notion right now and shop your heart out.
How to Choose Your Tarot Deck
But, you should still go into the process mindfully. You want to find a deck that resonates with you and your tastes because you’re going to work with the deck and will go back to it over and over again.
The good thing is that there are thousands of tarot decks with so many different backgrounds, you can find a deck that’s perfect for your personal needs and desires. Examine the decks as carefully as you can. What is your first reaction to the images? Do you like
Best Beginners Deck
Besides the aesthetic and physical feel, you should also consider your own experience level and learning method. Most beginners opt for the Rider-Waite deck or the Thoth deck. These two decks have rich symbolism – which allows for both classical and unique interpretations for a deep understanding of the subconscious and there is a huge amount of information available as beginner books and websites refer to these decks most often. One of my personal favorites is the Tarot the Marseille deck
2. Familiarize Yourself
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 contains 78 cards, which are divided into two sections, the Major Arcana, and the Minor Arcana. 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? 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 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.
5. Good Energy
The space in which you conduct your tarot readings is incredibly important. It is what creates trust and allows 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
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 Your Tarot Journey?
Learning how to read
So, let’s get started, buy a deck that resonates with you and