In the early 1900s, a young French woman named Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont became fascinated with tarot cards. She was convinced that she could “read” and interpret these tiny images into something meaningful about her life. Soon after, she created a system for interpreting tarot cards that is still used today.
But how do you go about reading tarot cards? In this article we’ll walk through some of the basics, including learning when to use tarot cards in your card readings and what types of questions to ask yourself before you start reading. Let’s dive in!
What Is a Tarot Deck?
A tarot deck is an ancient tool meant to help you access information from a spiritual source. The cards are divided up into four suits each representing a different element: wands (fire), swords (water), pentacles (earth) and cups (air). These suits are called arcana, which means secrets or mysteries. Each card has its own meaning based on the suit it belongs to, and the arcana can be combined to create new meanings.
The first decks were made out of wood and had only 24 cards in them. But as time progressed, tarot decks grew more complex, and now there are hundreds of decks available. Modern decks are usually printed on paper, but many old decks were painted onto parchment paper.
You might have noticed that tarot card decks don’t always follow the same rules. For example, some decks will tell you to lay the cards in order from left to right instead of right to left like most people do. This is because the cards are supposed to represent the past, present and future, so they’re arranged according to their importance. If you want to learn more about how tarot decks work, check out our guide here.
When Do You Use Tarot Cards?
Tarot cards are often used for divination — that is, to see if something bad or good is going to happen in the future. They aren’t just for fortune telling, though; they can also give insight into why things are happening now.
If someone asks you if you think a certain thing will happen in the future, you should try to look at all the cards in the deck. Then, pick one card at random to show the person. Ask yourself: does any of the cards in that position seem like it may predict the outcome you’re looking for? If yes, then share your prediction with the person who asked you.
Of course, divining isn’t the only way to use tarot cards. You can also use them to solve problems, find answers to long-lasting conflicts and gain clarity about difficult decisions. And remember, tarot cards aren’t just for fortune telling — they can be a great way to explore your personal philosophy and spirituality.
Types of Questions When Using Tarot Cards
There are lots of different types of questions you can ask yourself while using tarot cards. Here are some examples of common ones:
What cards am I holding?
This is a simple question that can give you a lot of insight into your current situation. What kind of energy does each card represent? How does that relate to my life?
What would the answer be?
Many tarot card readers will say that you should ask this question before you draw a card. It can be a useful method for getting the big picture of your situation. Sometimes, simply asking the question itself can help clarify what you need to focus on next.
What would I change?
Sometimes, you’ll have an idea of what you want to accomplish in your life, but you won’t know which steps to take. Tarot cards can help you decide what actions to take by giving you ideas about possible outcomes.
What else should I consider?
Sometimes, you’ll have specific goals in mind, but you won’t know how to get there. Tarot cards can help you figure out what other options you need to look at.
Drawing Cards With Tarot Cards
Before you start reading tarot cards, make sure you understand the rules of the game. Most tarot decks have instructions for how to read them, so check those out before you begin. Some decks even come with a booklet containing guidelines for reading.
Here’s how to draw cards with a tarot deck:
1. Pick a card at random.
2. Look at the card and ask yourself the question you came up with earlier.
3. Put the card back in the deck, shuffle everything, and cut the cards again.
4. Lay out the cards face down in a pattern you choose.
5. Draw another card at random without looking at it.
6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until you’ve drawn all the cards (or until you reach a stopping point).
7. Once you’ve finished drawing, turn over the top card and ask yourself the question you started with. Take note of what the card says!
8. Turn over the bottom card and repeat Step 7.
9. Continue this process until you’ve turned over every single card and asked the question you started with.
10. Now, compare your answers to the ones given on the card.
11. Make adjustments where necessary. Go through Steps 1–10 again.
12. Keep repeating Steps 11 and 12 until you feel confident with your interpretation.
Reading Tarot Cards
After you’ve gone through all the steps above, you’re ready to start reading. Here’s how to do that:
1. Choose a number between zero and 10. This represents the suit of the card you’re currently working with.
2. Pick a card at random.
3. Think about the question you came up with earlier.
4. Place the card facedown on the table.
5. Look at the card and ask yourself the question you started with. Write down your answer.
6. Place the card facedown on the table again.
7. Repeat Steps 4–6 until you’ve answered your question.
8. Find the answer you wrote on the card. The card that corresponds to the number you chose in Step 1 will contain the answer.
9. Go through Steps 2–8 again.
10. Compare your answers to the ones written on the card. Adjust accordingly.
11. Go through Steps 2–10 until you feel confident with your interpretation.
12. Now that you’ve figured out the answer to your question, move on to the next card in the deck. Keep going until you’ve gotten all the answers you need.