How to Give a Tarot Reading in 7 Steps

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by Cucan Pemo

There are many, many ways to read Tarot cards, but it helps to have a consistent method that you use each time -- this way, you can think less about how you're going to read and focus completely on your subject, the cards and their meaning.

A basic reading can be boiled down to seven steps: Rituals, Shuffling, Selecting, Turning, Reading, Discussion and Refining.

Rituals: Rituals are an important part of reading the Tarot, but whatever those rituals may be will be uniquely yours. Some people take special care of their deck, wrapping in a beautiful cloth or keeping the cards in a special box. Other sleep with their cards under their pillow, to increase their connectivity with their deck, and many people feel that they must never read their own cards using their deck. Whatever rituals you employ, including the methods you use to lay out and read the cards, keep them consistent. Before reading, make a silent opening statement -- a prayer or affirmation, or a greeting to your inner guide.

Shuffling: Always shuffle face-down, so no one sees the cards, and avoid bending the cards -- this is no time for fancy tricks. Beyond that, there are a number of methods of shuffling. You can hold about half the deck in each hand, and insert one half down through the other half. Another method, designed for maximum hand contact with little damage to the cards, is the one recommended by Norma Cowie in her book "Tarot for Successful Living": Hold the deck face down in your dominant hand. Push some cards from the top with your thumb into the other hand. Then, push again, but this time to the bottom of the new pile.