Tarot Cards For Beginners: How To Read and Get Started

tarot cards for beginners

Howdy reader! Are you just starting to learn how to read tarot cards? Or might be looking for ways on how to sharpen your intuition using tarot? Then you are in the right place! 

This article will cover everything you need to know as a beginner interested in this mystic art. From learning what is tarot, to getting your first tarot deck. Up until you dive deeper into understanding the meanings and reasons behind every reading and card — we will walk you through it all. So if you are a new bloom to all of this, I welcome you to the world of tarot cards for beginners.

Tarot card reading is a unique blend of ancient symbolism, interpretations, and psychic energies. Doing a tarot reading can help you connect with your intuition and find the answers that lie within. Tarot card readings are well designed to give you insight into the future in different areas of your life. 

If you ask 5 people about tarot cards, 4 of them will probably say it is how you predict the future. That is almost right, but tarot reading does not tell you what will happen. It tells what might happen, and most importantly, how you should show up to it to have you ready.

Below you will find the essentials to get you started learning tarot cards for beginners. It may be nerve-wracking but slowly and surely you will get the hang of it. And now that you have warmed up, let us get you started!

Learning To Read Tarot Cards For Beginners

There is currently a phenomenal interest in tarot cards for beginners. Tarot decks are currently sought by teenagers, students, professionals, and people from all walks of life. Serious people seek to employ the cards as a means of placing the past into a more meaningful perspective. As well as understanding the present, and revealing the alternatives that exist in the future.

However, those less serious with Tarot cards are content to use them as a game and to indulge in readings at parties or in small private groups. Furthermore, from the collector’s standpoint, Tarot cards are both colorful and interesting. Moreover, one of the fascinating aspects of Tarot cards is their personal effect upon the individual who uses them.   

Tarot readings take into account not only the individual divinatory meaning of a card but also the proximity between two or more cards. And whether the card is upside down which weakens or delays, and even reverses the meaning of the right side up. Now the questions arise, what exactly is Tarot, what is the point of reading Tarot, and how to begin.

What Is Tarot?

Tarot is one of the most popular divination practices that help astrologists and occultists. This ancient art has grown in popularity over the years.  Due to its intrinsic aestheticism, people’s interest in tarot has been revitalized. Also, after seeing so many tarot readers over different social media platforms, many people started to learn more about tarot.

Despite its universality, this art of divination can still seem elusive and confusing. The precise origin of tarot cards and tarot reading remains a mystery. In 1781, the writing of Court de Gebelin in Le Monde Primitif advances the theory of the Tarot. It was somewhat said that Tarot cards came from an ancient Egyptian book, The Book of Thoth.

Thoth was one of the early Kings and the inventor of the hieroglyphic system as written in the book. Gebelin asserts that it is from the Gypsies and Egyptians that Tarot cards were scattered throughout Europe. It is generally accepted that playing cards emerged in Europe, in the latter half of the fourteenth century. Probably first in Italy as a complete 78-card deck — or some inventive genius combined the common 56 Minor Arcana cards with the 22 Major Arcana cards.

What Is The Point Of Tarot Reading?

point of tarot reading

From the outside, reading tarot cards for beginners can seem strange, peculiar, or overly complex. But in practice, it is a reasonably direct and effective way to divine one’s future pathways. The power of tarot cards for beginners isn’t lost to time, but its deeper meanings are just as relevant to our modern-day life.

For people seeking explanation into the mysteries, and wonders of their lives, a genuine tarot reading is still an invaluable tool. Unlike other psychic divination arts, a tarot card reading can focus on a specific question. But in order to get an accurate answer, you need to get a little more specific.

Tarot cards for beginners can also help you make decisions by giving you a quick glimpse into the future. For example, if you can’t decide whether or not to go out this weekend with friends, you might want to consult the deck. Or if the cards tell you there is a love connection on the horizon, you might want to respond to that dating app notification.

How To Do A Tarot Reading?

Understanding the general meaning behind each card of the tarot is the beginning of your journey. The journey of embracing tarot cards for beginners. The real power comes in using the tarot cards to tap into your own inner subconscious feeling. Or your intuition and wisdom so you can start taking positive steps into a brighter and beautiful future.

Starting your tarot reading, you first must have a tarot with you. Speaking of the tarot deck, I will talk more about it in the following sections of this article. But first, let us get you ready in how to read tarot cards for beginners — beginning with following a simple format:

  1. Ask the tarot card deck a question.

The first step to do a tarot reading is to ask. The question you ask the card should be clear and open-ended. Avoid asking questions that can run the risk of locking you into a passive role in your own future.

The idea of tarot cards for beginners is to use the reading to illuminate a path forward, so the tarot reader should ask questions that are broader. Below are some frameworks to consider if you are new to tarot:

  • “What do I need to know about…?”
  • “What should I focus on in my relationship with…?”
  • “Where is the hidden opportunity in…?”
  • “Why am I feeling anxious about…?”
  • “How can I understand…?” 
  • “How can I move past…?”
  1. Once you have your question in mind, shuffle the deck.

There are multiple ways to shuffle the tarot cards in a deck. The overhand shuffle involves holding the deck of tarot cards in one hand. And using the other to move the cards from one side of the deck to the other.

You can also “cut” the deck by dividing it into several piles and then combining the tarot cards into one again. Or you can try spreading the cards facedown on the table and sweeping them into a big, messy pile before tapping the tarot cards into place again. However, there is no right or wrong way to do it: Give all the techniques suggested a try, and see for yourself what feels right.

  1. Pull your cards.

Like the card shuffle, pulling of cards also has multiple ways to go. Cutting the tarot deck with your left hand and pulling the card on top is a simple, no-nonsense approach. You can also try holding the deck in your left hand and tilting it slightly. By doing so, part of the deck reveals a gap from which you can take the top card.

Most readers pull cards out like poker, and choose the tarot card that draws their eye or feels right in their hand — you can do that too! You are free to pull a single card for a simple reading or several cards for what is usually called a spread.

Instead of answering one question, tarot spreads can speak more broadly on a topic and to your life path or situation. The more tarot cards you use in a spread, the more in-depth the reading tends to be. But, a big spread of tarot cards for beginners can be overwhelming.

  1. Once you have chosen your cards, lay them facedown in your spread.

Then, the tarot cards that are facing should be right-side up. By turning the chosen tarot card right-side up, you can gaze at their words, symbols, and imagery. Paying the attention to what comes to mind as you go. And lastly, do not forget to consult the tarot card reading guidebook and trust your intuition!

Getting Your Own Tarot Deck

Now that you have the basic knowledge on where to start with tarot cards and tarot reading, then it is time to get a deck! 

Whether you are shopping online or in-person, observe your emotions as you grace the different tarot decks available. Does the one you are considering make you feel excited? Happy? Wary? Confused? Remember to trust your intuition. Your careful consideration will guide your interpretation of the cards. 

getting your own tarot deck

Explore the imagery: Are you enchanted by classical or modern-day representations? Note the symbols: Are they enticing? Intriguing? Keep in mind that there is no hierarchy of tarot decks, so be sure to choose whichever deck truly tantalizes and captures your soul.

You can buy tarot decks at metaphysical stores, bookstores, and online. But be aware that not all decks turn out equal. To know you are getting the real deal, as a beginner, most tarot reader recommends the Rider-Waite deck.

A disclaimer for beginners: Experts say to steer clear of cards that look creepy and ominous. Since these will do little to inspire you. Instead, take a look at your options and go with the one that feels right to you.

Different Types Of Tarot Deck For Beginners

There is no shortage of stunning, dynamic tarot decks. Since the mid-twentieth century, hundreds — if not thousands — of beautiful decks were mass published. The Tarot de Marseille deck is an elegant reproduction of a classic French deck. The Motherpeace deck perfectly captures the ethereal spirit of the 1970s. The Black Power deck spotlights famous Black luminaries.

Some tarot readers believe that your first tarot cards for beginners deck should be a gift to you. While everyone loves presents, there is nothing more valuable than gifting yourself with the magic of divination. So I say you should relish the opportunity to choose your first deck. 

With so many enchanting options available, the most important variable is your unique connection to the cards. Below is a list of the best tarot cards for beginners:

Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is a wonderful first deck because so many future decks are based on its iconic illustrations. Also, helpful tarot books, such as 78 Degrees of Wisdom use the deck as a reference. As a beginners, start with the Rider-Waite deck, and then expand your collection with decks that resonate with you. It’s available online but, of course, feel free to check out your local occult store and see what speaks to you in person. 

Black Power Tarot Deck

One very fair critique of the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, and many like it, is how white all of the cards are. Considering how important people of color are in occult’s history, this is understandably annoying. For those looking for a more modern and inclusive deck, the Black Power Tarot contains icons such as James Brown and Etta James (on the Lovers card!).

Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck

Occult history lovers will want the infamous Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck, which has a reputation as being a deck that will tell it like it is. The art deco cards were artistically painted by Lady Frieda Harris at Crowley’s instruction. They contain kabbalistic and astrological signs and meanings. The Thoth deck is a great choice if you’re also studying astrology.

Slutist Tarot Deck

Witches and sex positivity have gone in hand for as long as people have been casting spells. As a result, to be a witch or a student of the occult, one should be sex-positive, anti-racist, and support sex workers. Don’t trust anyone who says otherwise. So, naturally, the occult community went nuts when The Slutist Tarot came out.

Marseille Tarot Deck

For occult history buffs or anyone who enjoys gorgeous French art, try the Marseille Tarot Professional Edition. As it is one of the most influential and beautiful decks out there. The Marseille Tarot is especially useful as a gift, as it’s a great deck to graduate to after you learn the Rider-Waite. Don’t be surprised if you see a pro pull this one out at a professional reading.

How To Use Tarot Cards For The First Time?

If the cards are brand new, or they are new to you, meaning the cards are a gift to you or someone else has used them before, you must clear the deck! You want to remove other people’s energy and infuse it with your own. First, use sage smoke to clear the cards. Then touch every single card in the deck. Look at the image on the card and meditate on it for a minute—repeat with every card.

What Are The Different Tarot Card Spreads?

The “three-card spread” is one of the most simple and effective tarot spreads. You can adjust the categories to accommodate any situation. The cards and their corresponding positions will effortlessly expose bonds and dynamics. 

celtic cross tarot spread

But before reading the direct explanation of each card, take a moment to create your own story based on observation. Professional tarot card readers often opt for the “Celtic cross spread,” which uses 10 cards, that resembles the shape of a Celtic cross. The 10-card spread allows you to look at not only the past, present, and future, but the challenges, outside influences, and even outcomes. 

For beginners and even seasoned tarot readers, a one-card-a-day pull will suffice at first to get you used to the practice. This method involves picking a time of day and simply asking the cards, “What do I need to know today?” or “How should I focus my energy today?” This method is efficient, easy to keep up with, and also a great way to learn the cards. 

What Is The Difference Between Major and Minor Arcana?

Let’s talk about the structure of the deck and the meanings of its cards. Any magical practice — tarot, astrology, or spell work — is based on the Hermetic axiom “as above, so below.” Accordingly, the universe exists within a tarot deck, with each tarot card representing a person, place, or event.

The Major Arcana cards represent monumental, groundbreaking influences. They punctuate our journeys and each stands alone as a powerful message. It represents life-changing motions that define the beginnings or ends of cycles. These dynamic cards appear during major transitions, signaling distinctive moments of transformation.

On the other hand, the Minor Arcana cards reflect everyday matters. These tarot cards showcase ordinary people engaging in mundane activities. Activities such as dancing, drinking, sleeping, or quarreling. They suggest actions triggering human behaviors that may be temporary or have only minor influence.

Tarot is Fascinating, Entertaining, and Fun!

Tarot provides a rich vocabulary, but it is ultimately akin to a powerful coin toss. You can energetically charge any item or action through the strength of your own spirit. You naturally possess the skills to produce honest and accurate divinations. 

Every tarot deck comes with a guidebook to help you with interpretation. However, this practice is not about learning the correct meaning of the tarot card or a single way to interpret the message. At the core of tarot are passion, logic, curiosity, and most importantly, intuition.

The bottom line is that tarot reading can help you connect with your intuition and find the answers that lie within. Tarot cards can aid you in your decision-making and actions towards a positive life path. But, do not forget that the Tarot is not a practice but an art. It is just a means to help you while getting entertained with the different types of card decks.

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