Some Thoughts for Beginning Readers

Art & Magic of the Tarot Workbook
This post is excerpted from my Tarot Boot Camp Workbook: Continuing Study Material for the Art and Magic of the Tarot (available only to my students):

The Dance of the Tarot

My favorite metaphor for a good reading is a dance. It is a dance between you and the person you’re reading for (the questioner or querent). Do not see yourself as the mighty psychic handing out divine wisdom that you intuit from the cards. Your goal is not to impress the querent with your abilities. Rather, you are a skilled artist and intuitive and you are interpreting what you see. A critical part of the reading is getting feedback from the querent. They will see things that you won’t. And what they see will help you in your future readings. So enjoy the dance, give and receive and learn.

Readings are not about “fortune telling.” They often have nothing to say about the future (although at times they do). But they are a mirror of the depths of our psyches, and what they tell us is often quite remarkable and insightful—often things we don’t realize.

The little things help—rituals, prayers, centering and grounding yourself, using decorations or accoutrements (a candle or incense), whatever sets off your reading as a special, sacred space. These elements don’t have to be religious, but the more you create an aura of specialness around the reading, the better it will be. Why? Who knows. But experience has shown me it’s true. Try it.

When you’re reading for someone else, filter what you say through a sincere desire to be helpful and uplifting.

Don’t keep asking the same questions of the cards over and over again or you’ll discover the law of diminishing returns.

Practice, practice, practice. Read for yourself and for others.

When you’re stuck on a card, just describe it literally. And don’t be afraid to ask your querent what he or she sees.

Always remember that YOUR system—the one YOU developed and the one that works for YOU—is the best system, and though books can help you improve and expand that system, never take anyone else’s opinion about the cards and their meanings as dogma.

1 Comment

  1. Annmarie

    I have a friend who, when I see her (which isn’t often engouh) does readings for me. I think what makes the session work is largely the shared history we have. I’m not sure I would be comfortable having a reading done by someone with whom I have no shared history at all. I’m not entirely sure what I think happens when I have a reading. The closest I can think of is that by forcing a specific pattern on the pattern recognition portion of the brain, I am allowing the rest of the brain to focus on other things the Tarot reading allows my brain to get out of its own way. But, because that’s a particularly disarmed situation (at least for me), I have to be comfortable to allow it to happen.


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