Reading Tarot Cards for Self Discovery (For Beginners)

February 14, 2020

Reading Tarot Cards for Self Discovery (For Beginners)


Before getting into tarot cards, I figured there was some magical, predictive element to them. Little did I understand that these cards would be major stepping stones along my spiritual journey. Divination means you are connecting to the divine (whether it’s your higher self, spirit guides, The Universe, or angels.) Like yoga, astrology, and crystal ball gazing, tarot connects you to the higher realms of energy that ultimately serve best to guide you along your journey with awareness.

Okay... But How Do I Get “Messages” From the Divine?

Awareness, truly, is the root of all divination skills (and life, but that’s another blog.) The guidance you are looking for when you utilize divination is already inside of you, the cards just act as a tangible expression of the energies already in your life or around your question. However, it is to be noted that energy is not finite. You have the power to change the “outcome” presented by the cards by shifting your energy. The cards are tools for clarity, not predictions. I have found that the more open I am to what the cards are saying, the better messages I receive. 

That being said, any “psychic” “intuitive” or “empathic” person utilizes their awareness to develop their special skills. Awareness centered within holds so much power because deep within us all is the consciousness that created all. That’s some pretty extreme data to be just chillin’ inside of us. However, how do you access it? Well, ask and you shall receive. Awareness is like a flashlight, you can change where you put your light/energy/attention. Do you ever notice at times when you have a feeling or thought come out of the blue that is not part of your ego story? Or just notice that there are two main parts to your mentality, the Ego and your Intuition?  If not, I would start with mindfulness-based practices first like meditation, journaling or yoga so you can get familiar with that small voice inside of you. That is where your psychic power lies.

That small voice, your gut feeling, your intuition is where you must shift your awareness in order to receive messages from the divine. It’s the part of you that decides what resonates for you on your journey. Subtleties are key in reading tarot. If it was flashy, you probably wouldn’t pay it much mind because it seemed too obvious. So, being able to find a sacred space within yourself is crucial when it comes to allowing messages to flow to you with ease.

Getting Started

Tarot is an art. It adds together symbolism, numerology, astrology, and archetypes to create powerful energies that trigger awareness and innate understanding within us. While it is easy to get started, understand that there will constantly be more for you to look into. The symbols are extremely deep and have many ways to be put into context. Tarot encourages you to draw connections as you are guided. One person’s interpretation is likely to be different than another. That is the beauty of art.



via GIPHY

What You Will Need

First, you need a deck. There is a wide known myth that you should be gifted your tarot cards or else, but I personally think that is wack and to go for it if you want it. (I have no space for fear-based methods and that superstition was very fear-based in my opinion.) I bought the traditional Rider-Waite deck to start because it is the most standard deck that all others workaround, but as I graduated on I just used my heart to guide me to the decks that resonated with me most.

Also, a journal specifically for tarot is recommended. When getting started with divination practices, you will learn so much about energy and the different feelings you can have. Whether you receive messages through feelings, physical sensations, hearing, thinking, knowing, you will notice that the energy can be a bit scattered. To practice discernment and to help with understanding the symbolism and archetypes of tarot, I would take notes as I read the energy to help me make sense of what appeared to be scattered nonsense. Overtime, journaling and mindfulness practices significantly helped me when reading tarot.



Getting Started

Now that you are officially ready to start, consider having your first session with your tarot cards when you are willing to look through each card. You don’t need to journal at this time, but just analyze the Tarot Journey. If you are familiar with the Odyssey or the traditional Hero’s journey, this is very similar. In order, the deck tells a story. So, taking the time to familiarize yourself with the journey of not only the Major Arcana, but the suits of the minor arcana as well will help you derive context to where you fall within your own journey. When you select cards individually and intentionally, you can relate them to the larger picture.


As you start to get comfortable with the journey, it’s time to self discover. Personally, I started with drawing one card on daily energy. I would take myself to a calm part of my home that I declared my alter, and I took a moment to do some belly breaths to get centered in my energy and awareness. This is when I acknowledge my intention. With the cards in my hand, I begin shuffling. Either out loud or in my head, I use this time to thank the Universe, my higher self, spirit guides and angels for being with me. I express gratitude for anything I feel at that moment and speak like I am speaking to a friend. This not only raises your vibration, but deepens your connection to the divine.

After sharing the love I have with the world, I ask my question. It’s important to stay centered in your intention and with your topic, so I repeat the question until I either feel like stopping and drawing a card (intuitively, just feeling out when to stop) or a card will fly out as the chosen one.

Now, when reading the energy of the card, the first thing I notice is how it makes me feel. Discernment is still key here, though. Just because you want to be in your element doesn’t mean you won’t have intrusive thoughts from the ego trying to fill in the story line. Really, really, really pay attention to where you’re coming from when you read energy. Look at the expressions on the people’s face, notice the background colors, notice the animals, the numbers, the overall vibe. Write down what you are sensing. Context clues are key. For me, I normally have short phrases that come to mind or I will be drawn towards a specific part of the card. Trust your gut reactions to lead you to where you need to be.

In my journal, I always labeled the date, the question asked and the card pulled. I wrote down my findings and then, I would go to the guidebook that came with the deck and look it up online for more depth. (I think it is most important that you do not rely on the book or internet as you do your readings. The differences in interpretation are what make tarot readers unique.) I did not discredit my interpretation, but I did my best to make connections to the “original meaning” behind the card.

From there, practice really does make it perfect. The goal is not to memorize the cards, but to understand the symbols within them. For example, the Cups suit represents emotions, relationships, intuition, compassion, feeling. Not only is that a natural connection for humans to make (thanks to thousands of years of using the same archetypes and symbols to hold deeper meaning), it also is represented by the imagery of the cards. So as you familiarize yourself with the tarot cards and learn more about the symbols, you will naturally start to make connections.

Let’s say I pulled the 5 of cups for a daily energy reading. I can either break down the energy by noticing the black cloak, spilled cups, and figure with a turned back, which would make me feel sadness and like I’ve had enough emotionally and need to move on. OR I can know that 5 is a number of change, growth, expansion, freedom, transformative energy and cups are my intuition, emotions and feelings, so I would conclude that I am in a phase of transforming my emotional world for something better and more fulfilling. See how its two different ways of interrupting, with different depths, yet still in the same ballpark?



Tarot for Self Discovery

As you may have guessed, you can ask the tarot many more questions than just an energy reading. Some people use spreads, drawing the card and placing them in a specific order with a specific intention for each card. This is a more structured way to make connections that may or may not work for you. I personally have found that I enjoy starting with a question and then expanding on it as the reading goes on, just pulling cards as I feel I could use more context. The choice is yours. There is not a wrong way to make a spread, the idea is just to make connections.

Tarot is so helpful with self-discovery because it really doesn’t hold back. The decks are designed to tell a full story with all of the emotions and personalities on the spectrum. Daily tarot readings have helped me see more clearly the energy I’m attracting, and have helped me understand that there is more at play than what I am willing to see at times. It gives you a place to be honest with yourself and think outside your normal thoughts. Tarot has provided me with peace of mind, reassurance, warnings, and guidance more times than not. It helps you understand the necessity of every part of the journey, and also helps you connect to the feeling that you are part of something bigger.

When beginning tarot, expect miracles to start unfolding in your life. As you practice your awareness within, you will see synchronicities without. There is a divine connection between us all and tarot is an amazing way to navigate those energies and move more with a knowing that you are co-creating this reality with awareness.

Written by Paige Ferris, follow her Site and Instagram

 




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