The Practice of Tarot Card Reading

The reading of Tarot Cards is a beautiful practice that has been around for almost a thousand years. Have you ever been curious about these cards or iffy on whether you should buy a deck? There are many people who are interested in the practice that are unsure of where to start or if they should start. A tarot reading can become a significant part of your rituals and daily life that allow you to seek guidance and receive clarity in your current situation.


How long have Tarot cards been used?

Before tarot become a widespread practice for spiritual guidance for perspective and answers, it used to be a card game. It was founded in Italy in the 15th-Century and became popular in many countries across Europe. It is said to be the first deck of cards that contained trumps(cards that ranked higher than others). Today, when reading Tarot, some cards are more powerful than others.

The fool tarot deck

 The Major Arcana are cards in the Tarot deck that would be considered the trump cards. They are the most powerful in the deck. “When you see a Major Arcana card in a Tarot reading, you are being called to reflect on the life lessons and themes that are currently being experienced at this time. A Major Arcana card will often set the scene for the entire Tarot reading, with the other cards relating to that core Major Arcana meaning.”- Brigit Esselmont



When did Tarot cards become a spiritual practice? Not until the 18-Century. Antoine Court de Gébelin had created a book about Tarot cards and how they are connected to ancient Egyptian lore. Antoine made significant points about how symbolism was vital in the Tarot deck. The cards were thought to be linked with supernatural and witchcraft practices. French occultist, Jean-Baptiste Alliette, gave the cards the notion that they were to be used as tools for prediction and insight. 


Where to begin

There are many misconceptions when it comes to who buys your tarot cards. It is commonly said that they must be purchased for you, as it is considered ‘bad’ if you do so yourself. I  remember having a conversation with the lovely lady at my local crystal store about whether it is bad to buy your own deck. We had both agreed that it is similar to some believing black cats are good luck, and some considering them bad luck. It’s best to use your intuition when picking out your tarot cards, see which deck you are most drawn to. There are many different styles of tarot decks, they are all unique. There are different illustrators and authors to a deck, many hold a small pamphlet with details on the cards.


One of the most commonly known decks is the Rider-Waite. This particular deck was created by two people, an author and an illustrator. It was published in 1910 by Arthur Edward Waite (Author) and Pamela Colman Smith (Illustrator).

The moon tarot deck

The Rider deck has an introduction, which, breaks down information on the author and illustrator. A scholar of occultism, Arthur Edwards Waite born in 1857, collaborated with you illustrator Pamela Colman Smith. Together they accumulated a deck that was full of vibrant imagery that represents the meaning of the cards. The Tarot deck was created in 1909 and then published in 1910. The rider deck became the most popular and known set of Tarot cards, helping people find guidance in their lives. 



How do I get good at reading tarot?

Practice makes perfect! You do not have to be a professional Tarot reader or medium to use the cards. They can be used for personal readings if you need perspective in a situation you are stuck in or want an overall reading of your current circumstances. Reading tarot cards and getting the hang of it each time allows you to develop your tarot reading skills and become familiar with the deck’s cards. There are many cards in the deck, it may require a bit of studying, but they will naturally come to you once you accustom yourself to them. Tarot reading is personal. The way you read your cards applies to you, and the cards you draw out can allow you to comprehend aspects of your life and give you guidance and perspective. 


Set up a peaceful surrounding area for yourself when you go to read your tarot cards. It is best to relax and ground yourself. Burning incense and doing a bit of meditation allows you to clear your mind and prepare yourself for reading your cards. If you have a favourite crystal or two, keep them close to keep the energy good during your reading session.


There are many different Tarot reading layouts. You can go for a simple past, present and future layout using three cards in that order. You can also use other formats that correlate with certain aspects of one’s life, such as career, love, etc. The 8 Card Formation, which I have learned from, Harmony Nice has helped me understand and become familiar with reading my own cards. This card formation gives a more detailed view from your typical past, present and future reading.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Go into your reading with your intention and your questions. They will not give you a detailed answer, but they will present you with a card that will correlate with you and allow you to think about how it is relevant to your life. They are a source of guidance. 

Many further resources provide information and education on Tarot reading. I specifically watch spiritual Youtubers who provide an array of videos that are packed with information on each subject, particularly Tarot. Harmony Nice and Bobbie Long provide insightful videos that explain in detail and can help clarify your questions and understanding with the practice. Subscribing and following spiritual platforms can make it easier to find spiritual information. It will allow you to educate yourself further on the particular topic you want to learn whilst listening to various different perspectives.

Alison Law
Alison Law

Alison is a college student and writer passionate about the environment, fashion, animals and coffee.

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