Reading for Yourself: A Beginner’s Guide to Tarot Self-Readings

Getting Started

The Tarot has been used for centuries as a way of gaining insight into the various aspects of life. While it has come to be associated with the occult, it is a tool of knowledge and understanding that can be used by anyone. It is an excellent way to explore one’s innermost thoughts and ideas, as well as explore one’s place within the larger world. This guide will provide an overview of the steps necessary to begin a tarot self-reading, as well as outline the basic tenets associated with the practice.

Choosing a Deck

The first step to begin your tarot self-reading is to select a deck. Tarot cards come in a variety of forms, from symbolic designs to artistry-focused decks. Different decks are supposed to evoke different types of energy, so it is important to find one that speaks to you. While there is no “right” answer here, beginner tarot readers should avoid decks with too many symbols or esoteric details. Simpler designs may prove to be more accessible for first time tarot readers.

Once you have found your deck, it is important to understand the principles associated with the suit of each card. Tarot decks are typically divided into four suits: swords, cups, wands, and pentacles. Each suit represents a different energy—wands energy is typically associated with creativity and passion, while pentacles energy may be more analytical in nature. Familiarizing yourself with the attributes of each suit is key to understanding their messages.

The Spread

Once you have selected a deck and familiarized yourself with its structure, the next step is to select a spread. A spread is like a template that lays out which cards are used, and where they will be placed. Different spreads can be used for different types of readings— for example, the “Celtic Cross” spread is often used for general readings, while the “Horseshoe” spread is widely used for relationship readings. Beginner readers may want to start with the simple three card spread, which can be used for any purpose.

Interpreting the Cards

After laying out your chosen spread, it is time to interpret the cards. Begin by looking at each card in the spread in isolation. What type of energy does it evoke? What symbols can you pick out that are relevant to your situation? What does the suit of the card tell you about its message? Remember: the cards are merely messengers that bring information from an unseen source. Pay attention to the subtle details of each card, and open yourself up to what it is trying to tell you.

When you have looked at the individual cards, it is time to look at how they interact with each other. How do the cards work together to form a message? Consider the type of energy each card represents and the direction in which it is facing. Is there a main theme that emerges from the cards? What solutions or action steps can be taken based on the information presented in the cards? Keep an open mind and allow the cards to guide you to the answers you seek.

Reading with Intention

One of the key principles of tarot readings is the intention with which the cards are read. Every reading should be approached with clarity and focus. Taking a few moments to ground yourself and set an intention will not only create a positive atmosphere but will help the reading to be more accurate and effective. Knowing what type of information you are seeking will help to guide the reading and draw out even more information that can be beneficial.

Evaluating the Reading

At the end of your reading, it is important to go back and evaluate your results. How does the reading make you feel? Were any messages that resonated strongly with you or that feel especially meaningful? Are there any actionable steps or solutions that you can take based on what the cards said? Take the time to go over each card, consider the messages that have come up, and reflect on how you feel about them.


Tarot readings are an excellent way to explore the various aspects of life and to gain knowledge and insight into the things that matter to us. By following the steps outlined in this guide, anyone can begin their own tarot self-reading with confidence and an open heart. With practice and a little bit of patience, you can learn to discover the hidden depths of the tarot cards and uncover the core messages that they have to tell.
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What tools do I need for a tarot self-reading?

You will need a tarot deck, a comfortable place to sit, and some quiet time for reflection. You may also want to have a notebook and pen handy to jot down your impressions and insights.

What are some techniques for a tarot self-reading?

1. Start with some grounding exercises. Take a few moments to ground yourself in the present moment by focusing on your breath or visualizing a calm, peaceful place.

2. Set an intention for your reading. Ask yourself, “What do I need to know?” or “What questions do I want answers to?”

3. Create a Sacred Space. Light a candle, burn some incense, say a prayer or affirmation, or even just take a few deep breaths and focus your attention.

4. Choose the appropriate deck. Depending on the types of questions you have, choose a deck that speaks to you.

5. Shuffle the cards. While shuffling, focus on your intention and questions.

6. Pull and interpret cards. Pull three cards that correspond with the types of questions you have. Take your time and focus on the symbols and energy of each card. Also consider how they relate to one another.

7. Reflect on the results. Sit with the cards, letting your intuition and knowledge guide you. Consider what the cards have revealed and how they can help you find clarity around your questions.

What are some tips for performing a successful tarot self-reading?

  • Release any expectations or attachments to outcomes or what you “should” get out of the reading.
  • Be curious, not judgmental. There is no “right” or “wrong” reading.
  • Be open to whatever comes up for you.
  • Write down your insights and observations.
  • Don’t treat tarot as a substitute for professional advice.
  • Trust your intuition and discernment.

What is the difference between a self-reading and a traditional tarot reading?

A self-reading is when you use tarot cards to gain insight into yourself and your own personal questions, without involving a tarot reader. It is a more solitary exercise and can be done without guidance. A traditional tarot reading is when you consult a tarot reader. During a traditional tarot reading, the reader uses the tarot cards to interpret the symbolism and provide insight into your questions and life path. During this type of reading, the tarot reader is the guide to interpreting the cards, and it is up to them to decide how to interpret what the cards say.

What are the advantages of a self-reading versus a traditional tarot reading?

1. Accuracy: Self-reading tarot cards tends to be more accurate because it avoids the potential for bias and personal interpretation from a tarot reader.

2. Comfortability: A self-reading tarot allows one to take time and focus on the cards in their own environment, which tends to make it more comfortable and conducive to trust and self-awareness.

3. Affordability: Self-reading tarot cards are more affordable than traditional tarot readings.

4. Flexibility: Self-reading tarot cards can give you the ability to ask questions and explore areas of personal interest on your own terms. It allows for more creative interpretations and exploration, including multiple meanings per card as well as connecting certain cards up as you see fit.

5. Connecting with inner wisdom: A self-reading tarot can be a powerful tool to connect with one’s inner wisdom and gain clarity on any spiritual and life questions.

What benefits does a self-reading tarot provide that a traditional tarot reading does not?

A self-reading tarot can offer you a unique opportunity to understand yourself and your own personal journey in a safe and empowering space. It allows you to have control over the meaning behind the cards, as it is you that determines the interpretations without the influence of others. This can give you access to accessing deeper truths about yourself which may not be as accessible with a traditional tarot reading. It can also offer you an opportunity to be creative with the interpretation of the cards, making each reading more personalised to your life and circumstances. Overall, a self-reading tarot can be a powerful tool to access inner wisdom and gain clarity when faced with spiritual and life questions.

What skills can be developed through self-reading tarot cards?

-Enhanced intuition, intuition-based decision making, understanding and interpreting archetypal energies, exploring archetypal patterns and stories, developing greater self-awareness and self-confidence, honing one’s communication skills, developing deeper empathy for oneself and others, deepening and strengthening one’s connection to the spiritual realm,creating awareness of one’s life purpose, meditative practice, and gaining insight into one’s past, present and future.

What are some benefits of self-reading tarot cards?

1. Develops intuition and listening to your inner voice.

2. Increases understanding of the cards and the complex meanings behind them.

3. Develops a better understanding of yourself.

4. Allows for deeper self-reflection.

5. Gives you a greater sense of control when it comes to life decisions.

6. Builds confidence in making decisions through trusting your intuition.

7. Connects you to your spiritual side and enables you to become more at peace.

8. Helps you to connect with subtle energy and interpret it.

9. Helps you to set intentions and manifest the life that you want.

10. Enhances creativity and helps you to manifest creative ideas.

What type of tarot deck should I use for self-reading tarot cards?

That really depends on your personal preference. There is no right or wrong answer as to which tarot deck is best for self-reading. If you are looking for something more traditional, you can choose from a vast selection of Rider-Waite-Smith decks. Other popular decks include the Thoth Tarot, the Wild Unknown, and the Radiant Rider-Waite. There are many more available and picking one that fits your style and speaks to you is key. You can also create your own unique deck if you’re feeling adventurous. Another tip would be to research the meanings of the cards and symbols before you use them in your reading. This will help you understand the cards and make your reading more accurate.

What tarot readings should I do for self-reflection?

1. A Tarot card spread for self-reflection: This spread can be used either for the entire year or for a specific month to look at the personal energy you are bringing to the world.

2. A monthly tarot spread: This spread can be used to reflect back on events of the past month, issues and successes that have arisen, and any lessons that were learned.

3. Relationship tarot spread: This tarot spread can be used to examine the current state of a romantic relationship, work relationship, or even a relationship with a family member.

4. Spiritual growth tarot spread: This tarot spread can be used for self-reflection on areas of spiritual growth, such as meditation and prayer, understanding of one’s beliefs, or thoughtful connection with the divine.

5. Life path tarot spread: This spread can be used to take a look at one’s purpose in life, where one is going, and what next steps to take in order to move forward.

6. Shadow work tarot spread: This spread is used to look deep into oneself at the underlying motivations for why one does the things they do and how one can use those motivations in a more positive way.

7. Work/Career tarot spread: This spread is used to examine areas of life that are are related to one’s work or career, such as job satisfaction, purpose, and motivation.

What tarot spreads are best for self-reflection?

1. The Diamond Spread

2. The Three Trees Spread

3. The Six Steps Spread

4. The Five Elements Spread

5. The Life Path Spread

6. The Shadow Spread

7. The Wheel of Fortune Spread

8. The Mandala Spread

9. The Tree of Life Spread

10. The Relationship Spread

What tarot cards should I use for self-reflection?

The most commonly used tarot cards for self-reflection are:

•The High Priestess

•The Empress

•The Hierophant

•The Hermit

•The Star

•The Wheel of Fortune

•The Chariot

•The Hanged Man

•The Tower

•The Moon


•The World

•The Ace of Cups

•The Ace of Pentacles

•The Two of Cups

•The Three of Cups

•The Four of Cups

•The Five of Cups

•The Six of Cups

•The Seven of Cups

•The Eight of Cups

•The Nine of Cups

•The Ten of Cups

•The Ace of Wands

•The Two of Wands

•The Three of Wands

•The Four of Wands

•The Five of Wands

•The Six of Wands

•The Seven of Wands

•The Eight of Wands

•The Nine of Wands

•The Ten of Wands

•The Ace of Swords

•The Two of Swords

•The Three of Swords

•The Four of Swords

•The Five of Swords

•The Six of Swords

•The Seven of Swords

•The Eight of Swords

•The Nine of Swords

•The Ten of Swords

•The Ace of Pentacles

•The Two of Pentacles

•The Three of Pentacles

•The Four of Pentacles

•The Five of Pentacles

•The Six of Pentacles

•The Seven of Pentacles

•The Eight of Pentacles

•The Nine of Pentacles

•The Ten of Pentacles

What types of questions should I ask myself when using tarot cards for self-reflection?

1. What can I learn from this tarot card?

2. What do I need to focus on and how can this card help me?

3. What parts of my life can I work to improve based off of this card and its meaning?

4. What areas in my life are blocked/need attention and how can this card give me guidance in those areas?

5. How can I use this tarot card message to help me stay grounded and mindful?

6. What opportunities have presented themselves through this tarot card reading and how can I take advantage of them?

7. Is there anything in my life that needs to be released or eliminated on this journey?

8. What strength, courage, or insight have I gained from this card and how can I tap into it?

9. How can this card help me move forward in life and become more self-aware?

10. How can I use this card to better understand the energies of my life and the surrounding universe?

What are the benefits of self-reflection through tarot cards?

1. Gain insight into yourself: Self-reflection with tarot cards can help you to gain insights into yourself that you weren’t aware of. By exploring the various symbols and meanings of the various cards, you can gain a better understanding of your motivations and behavior.

2. Gain clarity about your goals: Using tarot cards can allow you to gain clarity about what you want to achieve in life and how to accomplish your goals. The cards provide a platform to discover and reflect upon what matters to you and how to move forward.

3. Foster creativity and problem-solving: Tarot cards can help to foster your creativity and provide you with additional perspectives and strategies on how to solve a problem. They act as a sort of visual aid, enabling you to think outside of the box and come up with new solutions.

4. Connect to intuition: By trusting your intuition and allowing yourself to be guided by the tarot cards, you can connect to your inner wisdom and gain guidance from the spirit world. This can lead to personal and spiritual transformation.

5. Develop spiritual awareness: The meanings of the tarot cards can help to promote spiritual awareness and understanding. Connecting with your spiritual side can be an enriching and fulfilling experience.

What are some of the best tarot cards for self-reflection?

1. The High Priestess – This card encourages you to look within and trust your inner wisdom.

2. The Star – This card symbolizes hope and promises that even in darkness, you will find illumination.

3. The Hermit – This card reminds you to take a step back and reflect on your inner self.

4. The Hanged Man – This card encourages you to surrender to the moment and pause to reflect on what has been and what is to come.

5. The Wheel of Fortune – This card encourages you to be open to fate and unexpected opportunities that come with it.

What are the benefits of self-reflection with tarot cards?

1. Increased self-awareness: Tarot cards can help to open up a person’s inner dialogue and help them explore how their current beliefs or mindset is impacting their life. This increased self-awareness can be extremely beneficial for creating positive changes in life and cultivating personal growth.

2. Improved decision-making: Tarot cards offer insight into hidden motivations, patterns, and potential outcomes of decisions. This can be very helpful for someone trying to make a difficult decision.

3. Release of emotional blocks: Looking at the cards can help someone to identify and honestly face any feelings or issues that have been locked away in the subconscious. This process can be helpful in bringing clarity and emotional healing.

4. Problem-solving: By gaining insights from the cards, a person can gain a better understanding of their circumstances and how to move forward and find solutions.

5. Clarity and focus: Tarot cards can be used to help define individual goals and focus on solutions.

6. Guidance and support: The cards can be used to gain spiritual or psychological guidance, or receive messages from the subconscious. This can be a great source of emotional support.

What are the risks associated with self-reflection with tarot cards?

1. Over-Reliance on Tarot Cards: Over-reliance on tarot cards can result in a person becoming overly reliant on the cards for guidance and direction in their life and disregarding their own intuition and judgement. This can lead to a lack of growth and understanding of situations and life in general.

2. Mental Health Concerns: As tarot cards can deal with difficult topics, such as death and financial loss, engaging in self-reflection through tarot cards may be emotionally triggering for some individuals and can even lead to issues with mental health.

3. Limited and One-Dimensional Perspective: While tarot cards can be a powerful tool for self-reflection, one should also remember that they are only one tool and that one should not limit themselves to solely relying on them as they may not provide a full or accurate perspective in any given situation.

4. Misinterpretation: If there is an unfamiliarity with the cards, one can easily misinterpret the meaning of the cards due to the high symbolism associated with them. This can be dangerous as the interpretation can affect an individual’s decisions and actions.

What kind of tarot cards should I use for self-reflection?

There are many different types of tarot cards that can be used for self-reflection. The most popular type of tarot deck is the Rider-Waite deck, which features vibrant artwork and can be very helpful for uncovering hidden truths about yourself. Alternatively, any tarot deck with a strong focus on self-development, inner growth, and personal growth can also be helpful for reflection. Some popular decks for self-reflection include the Thoth Tarot, the Wildwood Tarot, and the Tarot of the Spirit.

What are the different types of tarot card decks?

1. Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck – This is the most popular traditional tarot deck and is known for its rich symbolism and bold images, making it an ideal choice for beginners.

2. The Thoth Tarot Deck – This tarot deck is based on the teachings of the alchemical master, Aleister Crowley, and is known for its complexity and use of esoteric symbolism.

3. The Golden Dawn Tarot Deck – This deck is based on the Golden Dawn system of magical philosophy and is known for its geometric imagery and deeply symbolic nature.

4. Robin Wood Tarot Deck – This deck is based on traditional Tarot imagery, but is designed with vivid imagery and vibrant colors that make it perfect for beginners.

5. The Spiral Tarot Deck – This deck is known for its holistic approach to the Tarot, focusing on the interconnectedness of all things, and features stunningly detailed illustrations of plants, animals, and deities.

6. The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck – This deck is based on the transformative power of nature and includes artwork that promotes connection with the natural world and individual intuition.

7. The Muse Tarot Deck – This deck is based on the Tarot de Marseille and is thought to be the first fully digitally-illustrated deck to exist. It features artwork derived from ancient Egyptian mythology and is perfect for those interested in exploring Egyptian symbolism and the mystical realm.

What tarot decks are the best for beginners?

•Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

•Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck

•Morgan-Greer Tarot Deck

•Osho Zen Tarot Deck

•Golden Tarot Deck

•Yugioh Tarot《遊☆戯☆王》Tarot Deck

•Ghetto Tarot Deck

•Cat People Tarot Deck

•Mystical Dream Tarot Deck

•Gienteel Tarot Deck

•Kabbalah Tarot Deck

•Alice in Wonderland Tarot Deck

What books are helpful for those new to tarot reading?

1. The Ultimate Guide to Tarot: A Beginner’s Guide to the Cards, Spreads, and Revealing the Mystery of the Tarot by Liz Dean

2. Tarot for Beginners: A Practical Guide to Reading the Cards by P. Scott Hollander

3. What the Tarot Can Do For You: Learn to Read and Interpret the Tarot Cards by Gloria Taylor Brown

4. Learning Lenormand: How to Read The Oracle of Love by Evelin Burger

5. Tarot Made Easy by Nancy Garen

6. Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards by Kim Huggens

7. The Only Tarot Book You’ll Ever Need by Skye Alexander

8. The Everything Tarot Book by Jacqueline Stallone

9. Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth by Caitlin Matthews

10. Tarot for Your Self: A Workbook for Personal Transformation by Mary K Greer

What is the difference between tarot and Oracle cards?

Tarot cards are a type of divination tool that consists of 78 cards. These cards often contain symbols that represent different spiritual concepts, archetypes, and themes. Oracle cards are a type of divination tool typically consisting of 44 to 45 cards and are often themed to reflect a particular topic. Oracle cards also often feature artwork or illustrations on the card, while Tarot cards usually feature keywords that help interpret the card’s meaning. Oracle cards are usually used for shorter, more focused readings, while Tarot cards are used for a longer, more in-depth reading.

What is the difference between tarot cards and regular playing cards?

Tarot cards are a special set of cards used in divination, while regular playing cards are used for playing games. Tarot cards are much older than regular playing cards and are composed of 78 cards, divided into four suits of 14 cards (known as Minor Arcana) and 22 special cards (known as Major Arcana). The tarot deck is usually used for fortune telling, spiritual development, and various forms of divination. Regular playing cards, on the other hand, consist of 52 cards that are divided into four suits — hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades — of 13 cards each. These cards are used for playing games such as Poker, Blackjack, and Go Fish.

What do tarot cards represent?

Tarot cards are a popular form of divination which use a deck of cards with symbolic images to gain insight into a person’s life. Each card in the deck is assigned a specific meaning; when the cards are laid out in a specific order, their combined meaning can be interpreted to give advice and guidance to the person seeking insight. Tarot cards represent a person’s past, present, and future, and often focus on themes such as love, relationships, career, and other areas of life. They can also be used to answer questions and make decisions.

Q: Can Tarot cards be used to tell the future?

The short answer is no, Tarot cards cannot be used to tell the future. While there is a long history of divinatory practices associated with Tarot cards, the interpretation of the cards is open to interpretation and the future that is revealed to an individual through them is subject to change over time due to the influence of free will and choice. As such, it is impossible to predict the future with absolute accuracy by using Tarot cards.

Q: Are Tarot card readings accurate?

A: The accuracy of tarot card readings varies widely, depending on the reader and their interpretation of the cards. Many tarot card readers believe they can give accurate readings, while others believe that the interpretation is subjective and that everyone’s interpretation will be different. Ultimately, it is up to the tarot card reader to interpret the cards in a way that best helps their client.

Q: How often are Tarot card readings accurate?

The accuracy of any tarot card reading differs depending on the person delivering the reading and the amount of experience they have. It should also be noted that tarot readings rarely provide an absolute answer and should be used as a tool for guidance, intuition, and reflection. Ultimately, the accuracy of a tarot card reading depends on the skill of the person reading it.

Q: Can a Tarot card reading be wrong?

Yes, a Tarot card reading can be wrong. The interpretation of a Tarot card reading is based on the intuition of the reader and can be subject to personal biases, incorrect assumptions, and misinterpretations. Additionally, the energy of the client and the external influences that exist at the time of a reading can all effect the outcome. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to determine what is most meaningful and beneficial to them in order to interpret the message of the cards.

Q: How reliable are Tarot card readings?

The reliability of Tarot card readings depends on the interpretation and experience of the reader. Tarot cards are not reliable predictors of future events, as the cards themselves are simply symbolic representations of a variety of life situations. While some readers may be able to interpret the cards in such a way that can be useful for personal reflection and emotional healing, it is important to remember that Tarot cards are not a reliable source for predicting the future.

Q: Are Tarot card readings accurate?

The accuracy of tarot readings depends on the skill and experience of the reader, as well as the individual’s belief in such readings. Tarot readings cannot predict the future and might not provide absolute solutions to every query, but they can provide clarity, guidance and insight into situations. Ultimately, the accuracy of a tarot card reading relies on the interpretations of the reader and the context of the query.

Q: Is Tarot card reading reliable?

A: Tarot card reading is not considered a reliable source of information because it is based on the interpretation of patterns on cards chosen at random and the amount of accuracy in interpreting them differs significantly between readers. Since there is no scientific basis for it, the accuracy of the advice and predictions given through tarot readings is highly subjective. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for professional counseling or advice.