A consistent Tarot practice has been one of the most helpful ways for me to learn (and really understand) Tarot.
I found so much value in experiencing the messages behind the cards first-hand, over time. This real-life experience gave so much more context to the cards. It helped me understand how it feels to be in a certain card's energy, and the wants, needs, ways out and perspective one could feel. That added fullness to my understanding of each card.
The foundation of a regular practice also helped to develop a relationship with the cards over time. I want to share some tips that helped me begin (and stick with!) a consistent Tarot practice.
Make a recurring date with your deck!
Decide how often you will work with you deck and when. What frequency works best for you? Set it in your calendar. Whether it's a single card pull each morning, or maybe a 3 card pull once a week, whichever you decide, there is value in consistency. I am really coming to understand that the cyclical nature of time
Keep a journal.
When you sit down to work with your cards, first jot down how you are feeling that day. What is on your mind? You may wish to include any dreams you had the night before, or anything you feel that's worth mentioning. And of course, write down your question.
Some effective questions to ask the cards that have helped me with my daily practice:
What energy does today bring?
What is most important for me to know going into the day?
How can I best work with the energy of the day?
A note about shuffling and picking cards
There are infinite ways to do this! Have fun experimenting to find your favorite method. My one suggestion is: in order to keep things clear in the beginning, decide how you will pull a card before you start to shuffle. Tarot is so empowering. How nice is it to have a practice where you get to decide the ground rules?
Here are some of my favorite methods of selecting Tarot cards for readings:
1. Once you've shuffled your cards thoroughly, re-stack them into one pile. Flip over the top card and this will be the first card in your reading. Keep flipping over more cards as needed.
2. Spread your cards out into a crescent moon shape (I was taught to use my left hand to do this, which is our receptive side), and pick one. Maybe that feels great, (the card might be staring right at you!), or it could feel intimidating with so many choices.
3. Cut your deck into 3 piles and place them in front of you. Re-stack them into a single pile in the order that feels right to you. This can be a fun and simple way to incorporate your querent's energy. If you are reading for someone, you can let them re-stack the deck into one pile. You'll use the card(s) on top for the reading.
4. You could decide to only read 'jumpers' - the cards that fly out as you shuffle. I love reading jumpers! They feel so magical to me. But I know many other readers who tuck them back into the deck and continue shuffling, which totally makes sense, too! It just depends on what resonates with you.
I recommend trying these different methods, and any others, to see which method you gravitate towards. Once you have your preferred method down, try to stick with that for a few weeks. It will really help you get the feel for it and decide if this works for you. After trying one method for a few weeks or months, decide on another and try that for a few weeks or months. The first year or so can be a fun trial of seeing which way you prefer to shuffle! I still use different techniques, depending on how I feel. But an important key when you're new to Tarot is to have your card pull method in mind before you start! It really helps to have a clear process and avoid extra uncertainty.
Once you've pulled your card or cards, spend some time with your spread. Take some time to look at the imagery and then reflect in your journal.
Which card did you choose? How did you feel when you turned it over and saw the art on it?
If you are still learning the meanings of the cards, this is a valuable time to let the imagery of the cards sink in. Sit with the card(s) you pulled for a few minutes. Imagine how would you feel if you were in that scene and explore that idea in your journal. How does it relate to your questions and anything else you journaled about before you did your card pull?
I've found it so interesting to take photos of my spreads. It's something I've been doing since the very beginning of my practice. I love looking back at old readings, remembering what was going on in my life at the time and reflecting on what the spread meant. One of my favorite past Tarot spread photos was taken when I was trying to move to NYC but still not sure if it would work out. In the spread I had pulled The Fool and the 8 of Wands! What a vote of confidence : ) That definitely was the energy going on at the time.
It's important to take breaks.
Especially in the beginning of working with the Tarot, I found it really easy to overdo it. I would turn to the cards so often that I was confusing myself. Setting some ground rules and structuring time together turned out to be immensely helpful (and so very Emperor).
If you are really stressing about a situation in the evening and want to get some Tarot insight, but you have a card pull scheduled for each morning, try to save your question for your scheduled time. Instead of worrying or wondering about the situation at hand, try to use this time to study the Tarot and learn more about the cards. It would be so helpful to read your favorite Tarot book or blog, journaling, or spend time with your deck. Get to know the cards even better by taking them out and placing them face-up. Study the images on them and write any notes, insights or feelings in your journal.
Remember to have fun with it!
Reward yourself for sticking with your schedule. Look back through your journal often to see how much progress you've made!
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