Happy Monday! Lets kick off the week by talking about Tarot Cards. I want to start off by saying I am by no means an expert. It’s always important to follow up any article like this with your own research. I have my own beliefs and have done my own studying that I’m happy to share. But it’s always good to form your own basis of knowledge. I have found it is best to connect with people you know and trust to get information from and to help guide your research. They should be able to tell you the best sources to get information from, including trustworthy websites and book recommendations. One of my local shops offers a “Year and a Day” course which could also be a helpful thing to look into in your area. I have been lucky enough to know a couple of very educated, talented witches and spiritual people to get advice and guidance from. I encourage everyone to connect with their own people they trust.
Tarot is a method of divination used by many people who identify with a variety of labels. The label I most closely identify with is witch. But as you journey into these spiritual practices you’ll find your own language to use. Labels have a lot of heavy historical and social context to them that can sometimes be intimidating. Anytime you learn something new, it’s important to reserve your judgements until you’ve done a fair amount of research. When it comes to the world of the occult, we’re taught many superstitions and exaggerations which simply aren’t true. Or at least are not the norm. Keep an open mind and learn about the subject from many different angles before deciding how you feel.
Today I want to talk about small ways you can use tarot cards on a daily basis. These exercises can make for a great daily practice or meditation. But they are also great for beginners because they give you an extra opportunity to study the deck and put the meanings into practice.
If you don’t already have a tarot deck, you may not want to rush out and buy one. I had bought a deck and book to learn with, but when I started trying to do readings for myself something didn’t seem to be clicking. I consulted a much wiser witch and was informed that tarot decks are traditionally meant to be gifted. Fortunately, it was close to the holidays and my husband was happy to gift me a new deck. Sure enough, the new cards made much more sense to me, and I had a much easier time interpreting them. She also told me there are online exchange forums where people can arrange to gift decks to one another, though I have never looked into these myself.
Once you have a deck you should spend time studying it. You can use a book to guide you, which should also have some study tips included. I am an art lover. So I enjoyed studying the images and symbolism on each card and determining my own meanings. After I had done that for a while I began consulting the book to see how accurate my interpretations were. Meanings of the cards can change slightly based on many different factors. Such as who the reading is for, who is doing the reading, the direction the cards are pointing, and the relationship of the cards with each other. I still rely heavily on my book to interpret my readings, and I only do them for myself. I still have a lot of studying to do before I would ever feel confident giving a serious reading to someone else. Whether you take the practice of tarot very seriously or not, you should still approach it with reverence.
Once you’ve acquired a deck and have done some studying, you can begin doing these daily practices. The first I want to share is a brief reading you can give yourself each morning. It’s a great way to start your day with a little prayer or meditation, and it gives you a guide for what lies ahead of you.
You lay out three cards, choosing them intuitively: The first represents what the day will bring. The second represents what to focus on. The third tells you what to let go of.
If you are a beginner you may choose to ignore the inverted cards and read them as upright facing cards. That’s what I did in the beginning. Then I was taught that a great way to interpret inverted cards is to think of them as energies that aren’t quite as strong as upright facing cards. It could be an energy that is newly entering or exiting your life. That can be a helpful way to read those. It definitely clarified things for me.
Spend a moment interpreting the cards yourself or by consulting your book. Meditate for a moment on what they mean to you. You can track your daily readings in a journal and review them weekly or monthly to search for patterns or other insights.
The second practice, and the one that I use most often, allows you to set an intention rather than be guided. This is something you could do even without tarot cards. Choose a card that represents something you want to embody or address during your day. It could be a good quality you want to embrace or an issue you want to conquer. You can leave the card on the top of your deck facing upright. Or display it on your altar or in another space where it won’t be disturbed.
A third practice you can try is a combination of the two. You can choose one card, but choose it intuitively the way you would in the first three-card practice. This sets an intention, thought, or guide for the day – but not one you knowingly chose.
If you plan to read tarot regularly or use these daily practices, I recommend dedicating space to it. If you already practice other forms of witchcraft, wicca, paganism, or something similar, you probably already have some sort of altar in your home. You can save a space on it for daily tarot. You could also use a small space as simple as on top of your dresser or nightstand. If you know it wouldn’t be disturbed, you could set up a space near your front door or even your bedroom door. Maybe the last thing you do before you leave for the day is to stop and do your morning tarot reading. This would be a great daily practice to commit to.
I don’t keep a formal altar necessarily, but I do keep something similar that stores my witchy stuff as well as my art supplies. Art is a very spiritual practice for me, so in my case it makes sense for the two to share a space. My favorite candle is this old black skull that burned down so that it holds a tarot card perfectly. So I display my daily card there. Everything in your altar space should be very special to you. This is what makes the space sacred. (This is also a great way to look at your entire living space, and is a minimalist practice. But your altar or tarot space can be a very concentrated version of this.) When your cards aren’t in use, store them in a safe space such as a box or a bag.
Daily routines and rituals are very important to living a healthy, mindful lifestyle. Regardless of your belief system, tarot can be a great tool to receive daily guidance or to set an intention for your day. Even if you don’t want to use tarot as a daily tool, you can still commit to the practice of spending a few moments of each morning being mindful and thinking about your hopes and plans for the day. This might even be a moment of gratitude. Whatever works for you – be sure to allow yourself to pause for a moment of peace before rushing off into your busy day!