Write Your Own Tarot Guide

I have already talked about easy ways to learn how to read tarot cards in a previous post. I discussed imagery and how it is key in understanding the meanings of the cards on a personal level. It was only today however that it first dawned on me that you technically don’t have to learn the meanings of the cards at all! in fact you could technically read tarot cards without ever having looked up a card.

I learned to read tarot cards by learning all of the meanings of the Rider Waite deck and then looking at the imagery and adding to the meaning in my own little way. I’d make notes about what each card meant to me personally, but it was still based on the meanings which I had learned about from reading articles and books on the subject. It is only now that I realise it might not have been necessary to research it so much. I don’t regret doing it, and I will continue to read more and more about the tarot, I love it! however it might not really be important to learn the meanings from someone else, even if they’re a lot more experienced than you are.

The reason for coming to this conclusion was that my new tarot deck arrived today. All of my previous decks had followed the same imagery and symbolism of the Rider Waite deck, and this new one does to a certain extent but there are some huge differences too. I’m talking about the Light Visions tarot deck. It is a stunning deck with lots of little details, they’re beautiful!

I am still in the learning process of understanding and getting to know each card in this new and exciting deck. It was while I was studying them that I came across the ‘six of swords’ and thought, hang on a minute! this card is giving off a different vibe from the ‘six of swords’ in my other decks. In the Rider Waite deck, the’six of swords’ shows a man rowing a boat with a woman and child on board, there’s six swords in the boat and it looks like it’s being weighed down slightly by the weight of the swords. The boat is travelling from rough waters to calmer waters which indicates the end of troubled times. The weight of the swords could mean that negativity from the troubled past will travel with them to the calmer waters and that even though the bad times are over, they may still suffer mentally from what has happened. In the Light Visions tarot, the ‘six of swords’ depicts some butterflies flying from one side of a bridge to the other. The bridge is made out of swords and the trees bend in the direction of the other side of the bridge. I realised that I’d have to assign a new meaning to this card. In a way it has a more positive meaning. It is similar to the traditional meaning but I think it implies that the butterflies are going to smoothly cross the bridge of swords (the obstacle) and emerge on the other side in tact and without anything negative attached to them.

My Light Visions Tarot deck

For many other tarot readers and enthusiasts, it might not be an unusual thing to assign new meanings to cards that don’t fit in with the traditional view. There are so many tarot decks that look nothing like the Rider Waite deck. There are endless meanings to each and every card and a lot of tarot readers know this.

As I mentioned in my other post about learning the tarot, looking at the imagery on each card and figuring out what it means to you and how you feel about it is the best way to go. I often see in the description of some tarot decks that it is not recommended for a novice tarot reader. Whenever you see this, it basically means the deck is nothing like the Rider Waite deck. One of the main reasons the Rider Waite deck is classed as a deck for beginners is because most online guides are based on that deck.

I have come to the conclusion that someone who has never even seen a tarot card could buy any deck they fancied and still become a good tarot reader using this simple method; writing your own tarot guide book! When you first get your tarot deck, look at every card and write down what you see and feel about each card. Once you have an emotion attached to a card, it becomes more memorable. If you think back to your earliest memories when you were a child, all of them will have an emotion attached to it, that’s why you remember it. No one says ‘On the 21st May I have a memory of walking from my bedroom to the living room’ and that’s because most people have walked from their bedroom to the living room plenty of times, it has no emotion behind it, it is a trivial thing. Humans remember things better when it means something to them. By attaching your own thoughts and feelings to the cards, you’ll start remembering what they mean to you very quickly.

What you’ve got to remember is that your higher self or universal energy doesn’t care what some guy believes the meaning of a card is, unless he’s the guy reading the tarot at that point in time. When you’re conducting a reading, your higher self knows what you think of each card, so when you ask a question, it knows which card will best represent the answer you’re looking for. You could even give a negative card like ‘The Tower’ a positive meaning and you’re higher self would understand that and use it in the way you intend.

A few weeks ago, I was doing a reading for someone and she asked me if her mother was behind a lot of the recent events in her life, she told me that if it is her mum, the ‘high priestess’ would come out because in her mind the ‘high priestess’ represents her mother. I asked her to pick the card as I knew that her higher self needed to be in charge of this reading and sure enough, the first card to come out was the ‘High Priestess’ This goes to show you that you can attach anything you want to a tarot card. They can represent people in your life, memories you have, emotions you have experienced and even films you’ve watched. I know a few tarot readers who associate certain cards with certain scenes in films they’ve seen as it helps them to form a bond with the card.

I urge every tarot reader who buys a new deck or newbie who gets their first deck to write their own little guide book. I’m aware that most tarot readers write down notes about certain cards and attach their own individual meanings, but my message here is that if you choose to only write your own guide book instead of looking up the meanings of each card, you won’t go far wrong.

Is Tarot Reading Safe?

Anything that is a little bit mysterious or magical is often considered evil. For a long time things related to witchcraft, sorcery and divination carried the death penalty in both Europe and America. Practitioners of witchcraft are still killed to this day in various other countries from around the world. It is no wonder that there are plenty of people out there who are terrified of tarot cards and tarot card readers. They associate it with witchcraft and the devil. They believe a tarot card reader is being influenced by demons, and they fear that being involved in that world will plunge them into an afterlife filled with fire and brimstone.

There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 18:10-13

You are probably expecting me to defend the tarot against these Christian fanatics, but the fact is I can’t. They have their beliefs and I have mine. I can only tell you about my own experiences.

When conducting a tarot reading, I have never once felt like I was in touch with something evil. In fact when doing a reading, I feel that a more positive energy is with me, my higher self perhaps. I have never experienced odd happenings around the house after doing readings, I’ve never contacted a ghost or demon via the tarot. Tarot cards have nothing to do with satanism or devil worshiping, in fact, most things that religious people believe is related to Satan has nothing to do with him. Everything from crystal healing to making herbal remedies has been associated with Satan, yet these things sound so harmless and are if anything, only there to help people.

If you’re Christian then I’d advise you not to buy a pack of tarot cards or get a reading done. I’m not saying this because I believe there’s a slight chance of demonic entities being summoned from the use of the cards, I’m saying it because there a numerous references to fortune telling and divination in the bible and it is always condemned. It is considered unholy and sinful. If you are someone who abides by the word of the bible, then tarot cards are certainly not for you.

A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 20:27

So, what about non-Christians? even non-religious people tend to believe in evil forces and demons. I don’t know if this due to Hollywood churning out demon possession films year after year or whether it’s because it’s an exciting concept. If you don’t believe in God, then why would you believe in demons? that’s something I have never understood. Spiritual people and those with an open mind may believe in ghosts or evil spirits, maybe even inter-dimensional beings and entities that could be mistaken for demons, but reading tarot cards isn’t going to bring you any closer to evil forces, in the same way that playing a game of ‘Clock Patience’ won’t cause you any harm.

Not all faiths believe that fortune telling and cartomancy is evil, but most of the major religions advise against it. I have actually had a few Muslim clients before. I did find this a little strange since even wearing a necklace with your astrological sign is considered wrong in Islam. I have read most of the Bible but haven’t read as much of the Quran so I can’t be sure on the exact rules in Islam when it comes to tarot card reading, however from the limited knowledge that I do have, it seems that divination and astrology is forbidden.

Tarot cards started out as playing cards, they most likely originated in northern Italy during the late 14th century. The game of Tarocchi eventually spread to other European countries, including southern France, where it was renamed tarot. The cards were not even regarded as mystical until the late 18th century. Much like the Ouija board, the tarot started off as an innocent game. Our views and opinions changed over time thanks to popular media, films and TV. The idea that these things are evil can in a way be looked at as a form of mass hysteria. If The Victorians were dabbling with tarot cards and performing seances with no negative consequences then why would that suddenly change? the fact is, it didn’t change; people’s opinions changed.

To summarise, tarot card reading is not dangerous or evil, I don’t know of anyone who has been possessed by a demon or ended up selling their soul to Satan after playing around with tarot cards. If for your own personal reasons and beliefs, you wish to stay away from the tarot, then that’s fair enough. For anyone else though, the tarot is a useful tool, it’s like a personal therapist, a stress reliever and it’s also pretty fun!

Can you do a Tarot Reading for Yourself?

The quick answer to whether you can read the tarot for yourself is yes! I do it every day, however there are a lot of tarot readers who find it difficult to do a reading for themselves. I can understand why this is the case and I can also understand why it can be difficult to do a reading for friends and family too.

It doesn’t really matter what technique you use to read the cards, whether it’s looking at the imagery, knowledge of the individual cards and the astrology involved, pure intuition or just saying how you feel about the card. Most tarot readers use a combination of these methods, but the main thing is you can’t be biased. Using your intuition can sometimes come across as you being biased, but that’s very different. The issue of doing a reading for yourself is that you are likely to be biased when interpreting the cards.

Depending on the situation and your general take on every day events, you might end up turning a positive reading for yourself into a negative one and vice versa. For example, I’ve been slowly recovering from an inner ear disorder called Labyrinthitis which causes dizziness, vertigo and tinnitus. Recently I had a bad attack and I decided to consult the tarot to find out if it was coming back. I drew the ‘four of swords’ which was probably the worst card to get for a question like that. I started freaking out, thinking that my whole life is going to be ruined because the illness is coming back. After a while I took it to mean that it was referring to the recovery period. It most likely meant that I shouldn’t push myself too much as it could cause a relapse. If I was reading for someone else, it would have been the second interpretation that I would have chosen, but since it was a reading about me, and I can be overly negative about myself and my life sometimes, I took it the wrong way.

The same thing can happen when you’re doing a reading for a friend or family member. You often want the outcome to be positive for someone you’re close to and you don’t want to disappoint them. I’ve often questioned if I twisted an interpretation to sound more positive than it is just to please someone. At the same time I also think that in every reading you can find positives and so it isn’t so bad to put a positive spin on a reading as long as you’re not ignoring the negatives.

Another issue with reading for yourself and people you know is that you know too much about yourself and the people close to you. You can end up basing a reading on the knowledge you already have of the person instead of solely basing your interpretation on what the cards are saying. You might not be doing this on purpose but it can affect the reading slightly.

When it comes down to it, it is still fine to do readings for yourself and your friends and family. The reading won’t be completely skewered by your intimate knowledge or your tendency to maybe twist an interpretation one way or another. You can still get some very important insight and direction from using the tarot for yourself. Remember to always keep an open mind and try to be fairly neutral with your interpretations instead of jumping to overly negative or positive interpretations.

Advertising your Tarot Services

I’ll admit that the title of this article is a bit misleading. You might expect this post to be full of tips on how to get your tarot reading business off the ground, but it’s more about the way people choose to advertise.

The reason I’m writing about this is that recently I’ve had a lot of messages on social media from other tarot readers offering their services to me. Sometimes they offer to do a quick tarot reading for free, other times for money. Either way, I have to admit that I don’t like it.

The problem with approaching people this way, is that you end up making someone feel pressured into getting a reading. The worst example of this kind of approach happened to me earlier today. A man messaged me on Instagram, offering me a tarot reading. I didn’t really want one but he seemed so eager and I knew I’d feel bad if I said no, so I agreed to the reading. He asked me a lot of questions, like ‘What is your mother’s name?’ and ‘Do you have a partner?’ he then asked for a photograph of my left hand. I provided him with all the information and a picture of my hand. Remember that I didn’t even want the reading, I was just being nice. I thought I was helping him out with practicing his tarot skills on me but no! as soon as he had all the information, he asked me for money. This annoyed me for several reasons. Firstly you should say straight away if you’re expecting payment for a reading, secondly I didn’t know this guy, I had no information about him and his skills or his personal approach so to pressure people into paying for his readings seemed a little cheeky. Most annoyingly of all is that a lot of people would have felt pressured into paying at that point and that’s unfair.

I should explain that offering free readings is fine and a lovely thing to do for people, it’s also a great way to practice your tarot reading skills. It’s perfectly fine to ask someone like me if I want a free tarot reading because I’m obviously into that kind of thing.. however when you start messaging everyone on your friend list, it creates issues. You have to remember that not everyone wants a tarot reading, even a free one!

One big mistake is that some people think that offering free readings will help spread the word that they’re a good tarot reader and it will help them to one day charge for their time and expertise. I offer free one card readings on my Instagram, and not one of the people asking for a reading has then gone on to pay for a full spread reading and a lot of them don’t even follow me on Instagram, they’re just looking for freebies. If you know how to read the tarot and you know what you’re talking about, then you can charge money. It’s not bad to charge money for your services. Tarot reading is a skill that took a long time to learn. When you conduct a reading it takes up a lot of time and energy. You are only charging for your time and you are providing a service that the client wants. Notice how I mentioned that the client wants your service.

To advertise your tarot services, say what you do, explain what you’re about and let people who are interested come to you. Don’t pressure people or force random people on social media into getting a reading from you, you’ll end up putting people off.

Should Children Have Tarot Readings?

As a child, I was very interested in the paranormal, but I didn’t fully get interested in tarot cards until I was about 14. It started when my mum bought the Tarot of Marseilles deck, and I began playing around with them. I didn’t think much to the imagery, and I struggled to memorize the card meanings, I had to keep checking the little booklet that came with them. My mum kept getting the death card whenever I did a reading for her, so she soon became annoyed with them and I ended up keeping them for myself.

After the death of my dad, mum began visiting psychics, mediums and tarot readers on a regular basis. She started taking my little sister and I to psychic fairs. I remember getting a tarot reading when I was 14, it was the first one I’d had, and I didn’t think much to it. My mum swore by this guy, she said he was the best, but he didn’t have much to say to me and seemed to base his reading off my appearance and mannerisms. Recently, I’ve been thinking about that tarot reading, and I wonder if maybe it wasn’t very good, because I was just a kid. I had no career, no love life, no real problems and I didn’t need to worry about finances or relationships. It was supposed to be a general reading, but apart from reading what kind of a person I am, or what kind of a person I’m going to be. There wasn’t a lot to go on or talk about, I didn’t really have a life. Sure, he could have picked up that I was depressed because my father had recently passed away, but I already knew that, and no message from the tarot could change that. Only time could heal me, which it did.

A lot of tarot card readers insist that a client must be over 18 to receive a tarot reading. It makes sense in some ways because as a society, we like to protect our children. Fortune telling and tarot cards are sometimes considered to be evil or demonic in our western society. There’s also the problem of a child being told something by a tarot reader that could disturb them, and then the tarot reader could lose business. Finally, online tarot readers are likely to refuse their services to under eighteens because it is assumed that children and teens don’t make their own money.

I have personally never performed a tarot reading for someone under 18. I have never specified that I will only do readings for adults, but that just seems to be the way it has been for me. When I imagine what kinds of things a young teenager would ask in a tarot reading, it makes me think that maybe it’s for the best that no young people have come to me.. after all, I was a teenager once, and I was a completely different person from the person I am today. It doesn’t seem necessary for a child or teen to have a tarot reading, they are ready to go out into the world and discover who they really are. A tarot reading isn’t going to help them do that, they will do it all by themselves. When life starts to get more complicated and confusing, and when you have to make huge decisions, then a tarot reading becomes an interesting prospect that can help and guide you. This doesn’t usually start to happen until you’re at least in your late teens and early twenties.

In conclusion, if a teenager wants a tarot reading, then fair enough, they should definitely get one. It’ll be fun for them, enjoyable and they might learn a few things about themselves. Is it important for a teenager to get a tarot reading? probably not. It is important to remember that every person is unique, and every situation is different. Some teenagers might be under a lot more stress than others, some may have very real problems! and I don’t just mean problems like trying to get their crush to notice them. For some teenagers, a tarot card reading could be very therapeutic for them, and could help them with the difficult situations they might be in. For most teenagers though, asking the tarot whether the boy they like, likes them back might seem like a waste of time, since a lot of what happens during childhood and adolescence is temporary. I look back on the boys I liked in school and cringe. I imagine most adults look back at the boyfriends and girlfriends they had in school, and wonder why they got so upset when they broke up. I suppose the conclusion is, yes teenagers (probably not children under 12) should be able to get a tarot reading if they want one, however they’re less likely to need one.