I was lucky to have a bunch of friends who read tarot when I got my first deck. Truly, ALL my closest college friends had their own decks already. Awesome match, huh? Even the bookseller at Borders was a tarot reader. For decades.
I never read a tarot guide until I bought my first book. There were several books in the store, along with a few sources online. Nowhere as widely written about as today.
If you just got your first deck or are itching to, check this out. This is what I’d tell a friend who was wondering how to begin as a tarot reader.
Buying your first tarot deck
The best way to find a new deck you like is to buy it yourself. It’s going to be your divination tool for hopefully a long time. You can always ask for a gift card to your favorite bookstore or tarot site!
Aeclectic Tarot’s deck list is huge. Their forums have even more posts by members on their experiences. The more widely-used ones have their own subforums. Go here. Seriously. I searched for “Russian” because, well, I am. It’s how I found my first deck, which I still love.
Barnes & Noble: the store and the website. It helps to have an employee discount! But you can grab a coffee and enjoy browsing all their decks. All stores I’ve seen have at least a full shelf packed with tarot, Lenormand and oracle cards. I’ve scored the Classic Tarot which, at the time, was going for upwards of $100. It cost me around $20. You can buy directly from B&N or 3rd party sellers, like Amazon.
Tarot Garden is run by knowlegable, helpful people offering hundreds of decks. You can search through popular, more accessible decks all the way to rare and small prints.
Youtube! Watch a reader actually use a deck- “interview” readings and unboxings. Search for a particular deck by name or type in “tarot deck review”.
Keep it simple.
A single deck is perfect to start with– you still have 78 cards. Get a journal and pen. Learn a couple simple spreads. This gives your intuition room to work. Large spreads with a dozen fixed places is aggravating to remember.
Keep away from the LWB. Or as much as possible. Your new tarot deck likely has illustrations on each card, making it easy to see what it’s talking about. If you’re an analytical type or really want to see what the fuss is about, give the book a look through. But know it’s not about memorization. Get a flavor for the suits (pentacles, cups, etc). Sense the progress from Ace to 10 to King. But your own knowing is the first source you should always look to. And it looks cooler when you’re doing a reading.
Readings really became sharp and clear when I stopped referring to books. You, hopefully, may begin to see and feel information sparked by each card. Trust and practice are running threads in successful intuitive work. Start good habits early on!
Find willing participants. I got my first deck in college and read for friends, at art studio get togethers, online….honestly, the best part was seeing people’s surprise just by saying a couple sentences for each card. The worst was seeing disappointment. I was quick to throw out the “it’s just a reading” disclaimer. But get used to the idea that real people will run the spectrum of elation and shock to misery. Maybe not misery. Not most people you’ll run into. But people have real problems that are not always apparent to you. To them, it’s all they can see.
Help them see more. Go into readings with the intent of hearing them. Get clear messages outside of your own ego. There is plenty of plain old human connection involved, especially when reading in person. It may depend on how seriously you’d like to take tarot reading. Personally, I take it pretty seriously. I haaaaaaate “will I win the lottery?”. It shows lack of foresight. You may feel differently. You’re just beginning to see what tarot is all about. Finding out what type of tarot reader you are follows. Bridget over at BiddyTarot has a fun quiz to help!
Begin a daily intuition practice.
Find a few minutes each day to sit quietly and meditate. Have conversations with your cards- some of the craziest, most inspiring messages and card meanings come from just pulling random cards. Ask a question, out loud or in your head, shuffle and pull. Keep the dialogue going with more questions that the cards and your mind inspire.
Write everything down in your journal. I’ve found it useful to record new meanings and experiences that happen in life. You may not have thought “bad investment” before when The Moon shows up. Then your querent confirms your new interpretation (which you’re hopefully beginning to trust!). Write it down! This is your tarot vocabulary expanding. And it’s another example of trusting your own feelings as soon as the cards are drawn.
Keep meditating, get used to intuition, trust, tell, practice. Keep at it.
Trouble finding querents who aren’t related to you? Read 3 Favorite Places to Practice Tarot Online. This is where I began as a wee tarot reader.
Sign up for MoonBeams, my free monthly newsletter, and get this 14 page ebook free! You’ll also receive a wecome coupon to use in my shop.
MoonBeams goes out the 1st of each month- packed with shop news, exclusive specials, tarot spreads, rituals, videos and more! Hope to be sending you one soon.