Monday, October 1, 2012

Five Mistakes Most Tarot Beginners Make... and How to Avoid Them

Brigit Esselmont
Guest post by Brigit Esselmont of

You tear open the new deck of Tarot cards you've just bought and you grab your favourite Tarot books. Perfect! You’re ready to start learning how to read Tarot!

But as you flip through the pages and work with your Tarot cards, you soon become overwhelmed, confused and doubtful about whether you’ll ever master all 78 Tarot card meanings let alone do a Tarot reading.

If this is you, then you’re probably making at least one of the five mistakes most Tarot beginners make. Find out how these simple mistakes may be unravelling your Tarot studies and what you can do to avoid them. 

Not Trusting Your Intuition 

No doubt it was your intuition that brought you to the Tarot cards in the first place. Perhaps it all started with a Tarot reading you got, or when you walked into the local New Age shop and were attracted to a deck of Tarot cards, or when your best friend gifted you your first set of cards.

Whatever has drawn you to the Tarot has been a product of your intuition guiding you gently along.

But why is it that so many Tarot beginners ditch their intuition in favour of rote learning the Tarot card meanings?

I often get emails from Tarot beginners saying, “My gut feeling was telling me one thing, but that’s completely different to what I read the card is supposed to mean. What meaning do I use?”

The answer is so simple. Trust your intuition.

The books are there to guide you and to offer suggestions as you learn, but it is your intuition that needs to come forth in a Tarot reading.

Give your intuition voice. Allow it to be the guiding light when reading the Tarot cards. Go with your gut more than what the book is telling you.

Rote Learning In-Depth Tarot Card Meanings

Speaking of rote learning... Many Tarot beginners believe that they must have an intricate and in-depth understanding of every individual card in the Tarot deck.

If your goal is to read the Tarot with confidence, then focus on learning about the larger patterns that influence each card. For example, learn about each of the Tarot Suits, numerology, symbolism, elemental associations, the Court Cards and the Majors. By learning about the systems and the patterns that relate to all cards you will find it much easier to develop your own interpretations of each Tarot card using what you already know.

I also recommend focusing on developing keywords and phrases for each card rather than learning their full, in-depth meaning straight away (this will come later). Create a series of Tarot keyword charts so that you can easily refer to the high-level meanings for each card and build your confidence much faster.

Using Complicated Tarot Spreads

Why is it that so many beginner Tarot books include the Celtic Cross Tarot spread? The Celtic Cross is a complex 10-card spread that is wonderful if you are an experienced Tarot reader, but frightening and overwhelming if you’re just starting out.

I typically recommend Tarot beginners start with a 1-, 2- or 3-card Tarot spread. Don’t even worry about having specific positions. Just draw 1, 2 or 3 cards and interpret the story that you see in those cards. You would be amazed at just how in-depth a 1-, 2- or 3-card can be. Here’s proof – a 2-card Tarot reading about a recent celebrity divorce.

Waiting Until You're Good Enough to Start Reading

“Oh, I could never do a reading for a stranger! Definitely not yet. I don’t even know what Tarot spread to use.”

For some reason, Tarot beginners seem to be paralysed by fear of reading for strangers. Many want to wait and wait until the magic day when they are finally a Tarot “expert”. But will that day ever come? Will you ever know EVERYTHING you need to know? I know I can certainly learn a lot more, and that’s with 15 years' experience reading Tarot professionally.

My advice? Start reading for other people as soon as possible. Start with yourself, then read for friends and family. Then, jump online and offer free Tarot readings on websites such as and Biddy Tarot where you can provide free Tarot readings via email in exchange for feedback. No-one is going to know that you are sneaking a peek in your little white book every now and then. Plus there is a never-ending demand for Tarot readers who are willing to give free readings. Trust me!

Getting ‘Lost’ in the Vast Amount of Information

When I started to learn to read Tarot, I collected a ridiculous amount of information, through Tarot books, online forums and websites. I had so much information that I was completely overwhelmed and had no idea how to make sense of it all.

Instead of buying up big with every single Tarot book that has ever been published, choose just 1 or 2 books and work with those. You can find my recommendations at

Set yourself Tarot study goals – what are you going to learn and in what timeframe? Then, make sure that everything you learn is aligned to your study goals. You can always file any additional information for later reference.

Tarot Foundations
Love These Tarot Tips?

You’ll find even more in my newest Tarot eBook, “TarotFoundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence”. Follow my 31 day program and you’ll be reading the Tarot like a professional in no time. Build a personal connection with the cards and take your Tarot readings to the next level. Find out more at

About Brigit

Brigit is a professional Tarot reader with over 15 years' experience. She is an author, blogger and mentor. Her website, BiddyTarot, is incredibly popular amongst Tarot enthusiasts with Tarot card meanings, Tarot guides and eBooks, and regular blog posts to help you learn Tarot.

She is also mum to 2 beautiful girls and lives with her family in Melbourne, Australia.

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Interview with Brigit Esselmont (Author, Blogger, Tarot Reader...)

How to Read Tarot with Confidence Without Studying for Years by Brigit

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