A Path to Insight: Exploring the Art of Tarot Reading


The art of tarot reading has intrigued people for centuries. This ancient activity has a unique ability to capture a person’s attention, both mentally and emotionally. It is a process of exploring the unknown, providing clarity, and imparting wisdom. More than merely a way of divining the future, tarot reading is a journey into self-discovery.

Getting Started with Tarot

Getting started with tarot can be intimidating. It is important to take your time and move at your own pace as you explore the cards. Most importantly, keep an open mind and remember that you are in control.

When looking for a tarot deck, feel free to explore various types and styles to find the one that best resonates with you. Consider the artwork, the symbolism, and the meanings associated with the cards. It is best to purchase a deck with an accompanying guidebook or instructional pamphlet of some sort. This will provide context to the deck, as well as an understanding of the card meanings according to traditional tarot.

Humor and Intuition

The process of tarot reading combines both humor and intuition. With that in mind, it is best to approach each reading with a sense of curiosity, rather than a sense of fear or angst. Keeping a light-hearted attitude allows the cards to tell their story without imposing too much of your own expectations and biases.

Before reading, start by setting an intention for the session. By doing this, you can avoid unproductive or aimless readings, and ensure a sense of focus and connection during the session. Ask yourself what you would like to learn from the cards.

The Spread

Next, it is time to prepare the spread. A spread is simply the arrangement of cards laid out during a tarot reading. Various readings consist of different formations and numbers of cards that help focus on a particular issue.

Common spreads include three-card spreads (past, present, future), six-card spreads (happiness, sorrow, advice, insight, obstacles, and outcome), and Celtic Cross spreads (ten cards arranged in a cross-like formation). Research various spreads and decide which one best suits your needs.

Interpreting the Cards

After the deck has been shuffled and the spread laid, it is time to start reading the cards. With each card, consider the imagery, the meaning, and the overall message being conveyed.

Observe the entire picture before jumping to any conclusions. This may require multiple viewings of the cards. One spread can represent different events in an individual’s life and/or serve as a source of advice, allowing the reader to make more informed decisions.

Walk away from the reading feeling empowered with the knowledge you have acquired. If something was unclear or confusing, make sure to get clarification from a knowledgeable source.


Tarot reading is collaboration between the reader and the cards. It is a process of exploring the self, gaining insight, and discerning knowledge. Begin your voyage into the unknown by selecting a tarot deck that speaks to you, setting an intention for the reading, and selecting a spread that best meets your needs. Then, observe carefully and interpret the messages the cards are sending. Whether or not you believe in tarot, this practice can provide profound guidance, as well as reveal shocking truths.
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What is the history of tarot card reading?

Tarot card reading has a complex and murky history as a practice. The earliest surviving decks of tarot cards are from around the 15th century, with some modern decks claiming to be even older. Historically, tarot has been used for a variety of divinatory and psychological purposes, such as providing guidance or understanding life patterns. It is widely believed that the tradition of tarot card reading started in Italy, though it was popularised in the late 18th century by French occultists. It gained further popularity in the 19th century thanks to the occultist, Eliphas Levi, who wrote prolifically on the hidden meanings of the tarot.

In the 20th century, tarot cards spread throughout Europe and the USA, and began to be used for psychological counselling and spiritual guidance, even gaining recognition in some academic circles. In recent years, tarot card reading has again surged in popularity, with many people turning to tarot cards for self-exploration and clarity in an uncertain and complex world.

When did tarot card reading start?

Tarot card reading is believed to have originated in the late 17th century, however, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact date. The earliest surviving tarot decks are found in Europe, indicating that it likely began in that region. The modern practice of Tarot card reading was popularised by French occultists in the 18th century, and has since evolved into a holistic system that finds use in many circles, both spiritual and secular.