Today, I'd like to Welcome a Guest Poster to Tarot Guidance.
Christine Hirlehey covers many topics on her site, Numerology Sign
, including Tarot, Spirituality, Astrology and more. You may also find her articles at other publications. I found this article on Dating
Please give a warm welcome to Christine Hirlehey.
When starting out with Tarot there is a lot to learn. Every card has complex meanings that change depending on how they are dealt, and there are many ways to deal the Tarot cards. While new readers focus on learning and retaining this information, they can sometimes lose sight of some of the other important things to know about Tarot.
So here are a few things that every new Tarot reader should know.
1. Caring for your cards
As well as knowing your cards and how to use them,
it is important that you know how to care for your cards, and we aren’t talking about keeping them dust free (though that is important too). Tarot decks help us access our own intuition, the intuition of others, and the energy that clings to all things in the universe. As such, Tarot cards absorb a lot of energy. This energy can be extremely useful, intensifying our connection with our cards and making them easier to read, but excess energy can also interfere with a reading, with energy from one client clouding the reading of another.
It is useful to regularly cleanse our cards of energy, resetting them. Many readers like to do this between all readings, while others wait until the cards start to feel a bit off. Signs that cards need cleansing can be that you aren’t sure when to stop shuffling, or simply that your readings feel clouded.
There are many ways to cleanse your cards
, but one of the simplest is a reset shuffle. Put your cards into their original order, and then take some time to look at each card individually, connecting with the meaning of the card for you. Once you have done this, you can shuffle the cards again. This process dusts off the energy that the cards have picked up, and reintroduces your energy as you move them in your hands.
A sun or moon bath is also an easy way to cleanse your cards. Simply place your deck in a location where they will be bathed in sun or moon light for a few hours.
To make sure your cards don’t pick up errant energy between uses store them carefully where others will not touch them. While it is not taboo to have others touch your cards, and some readers invite their clients to touch the cards as part of their reading, you don’t want someone interacting with you cards without your knowledge. Store them somewhere secure, and preferably also with a crystal that protects against absorbing energy, such as a clear quartz.
2. Preparing yourself
Tarot reading is about accessing your intuition, so caring for your mind is as important as caring for your cards.
There are many ways to define intuition. I tend to think of it as subconscious insights. We all have a conscious mind, which is responsible for our daily monologue. But this part of the mind is unable to process all the information that our senses (including our psychic senses that pick up on the energy of the universe) collect, and so filters the data and then processes it using experience, social norms, and the self-preservation instinct. This means that the conscious mind can sometimes have a very unclear view of the world. However, the subconscious mind is capable of processing all the information gathered by our senses and therefore has a much sharper perspective. The subconscious sends us its
insights in times of need, often manifesting as a gut feeling or lightbulb moment. Tarot is about accessing the insights of the subconscious on demand.
In order to facilitate this access, it is extremely useful to quiet the conscious mind, creating greater capacity to connect with the subconscious. Meditation is an excellent way to achieve this. There are many ways to meditate
, but the underlying principle is to push conscious thought to one side, quieting the mind both during the meditation and in general. Developing a meditation practice is a long-term commitment that is worth investing in if you want to get the most out of Tarot. It is also a good idea to prime yourself directly before a reading with a 5-10-minute meditation.
3. Designing your space
Where you do your readings is also an important factor, for both you and your client. For your client, they will want a safe space where they know they can speak about anything without fear of being overheard or interrupted. Tarot readings often require people to talk about highly personal aspects of their lives, and they need to feel comfortable and confident to open up.
For you as the reader, you will want a space with a clean energy, which is not associated with other things that might draw your focus and colour your reading. For example, if your desk is a place of stress for you because of work, you won’t want to do your readings there. If it is the kitchen table that is stressful for you because of family commitments, avoid it. Never do a love reading in the bedroom!
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the luxury of a dedicated tarot space that is free from all other associations, but there are things that we can do to neutralize the energy of a location. After selecting a place with as little negative energy as possible, you can purify it through smudging. This is simply the act of moving through the space with an incense stick, letting the smoke from the incense clear the energy. Sage is always a good choice for this, and you can cleanse yourself in the same way, passing the incense around your body. You can also place crystals in the space both to remove certain energies and pull in energies that might be useful for a reading. Clear Quartz is great for cleansing, and Black Tourmaline blocks negative energy. If you are doing something like a love reading, it can be a good idea to place a Rose Quartz in the room, drawing emotional and romantic energy.
4. Knowing how to ask questions
While it is not always necessary to have a specific question for a Tarot reading, if you are asking the cards a question, it is a good idea to know how to ask! Tarot is based on the philosophy that we are in control of our lives. Yes, of course, none of us are in control of everything that happens to us, but we are in control of how we respond to those things, and in the end, it is usually our response, rather than the thing itself, that has the greater lasting impact. Tarot is designed to help us properly understand what is happening, giving us the clarity to make the right decision, and empower us to steer our lives in the direction that we desire. As such the questions that we ask when we approach Tarot should
reflect this philosophy.
If someone comes to a reading asking ‘will my boyfriend propose?’, this is not a particularly useful question. It assumes that the outcome is out of the person’s hands and is a fair accompli, which the client is powerless to change. A better question is ‘what can I do to ensure that I have lasting romantic love in my life?’. This question is empowering for the client as it focusses on positive actions that they themselves can take in order to gain what they want. It also focuses the question on the person’s real desire. What the person probably wants is a happy long-term relationship, rather than a relationship (which may turn out not to be happy) with this particular person. Thus, the new question focuses on the underlying desire, rather than a reconceived idea of how to obtain it.
5. Deciding your ethics
Another problem with the above question is that it asks about a third party, who is not in the room and has not consent to being the subject of a Tarot reading. For many Tarot readers, this is taboo, and they will not agree to do this type of reading. There are many kinds of readings that Tarot readers deem unethical. Where exactly the line is drawn depends on the reader.
Before you start reading for other people, know where your lines are, and be firm about not crossing them. If a client wants to explore something that you are not comfortable with, it is better to say no at the outset, even if this upsets them, rather than get into a reading and find yourself in possession of knowledge that you would rather not have.
While I am an experienced Tarot reader, I still find that I learn more about reading Tarot every day with every new reading. I personally feel like there is no limit to how much I can grow within the art form. But just like with learning anything new, you want to build on a solid foundation. I hope that these tips help you build yours.
Guest post by Christine Hirlehey @ Numerology Sign
Images from Free Clip Art Library