Tarot Reading for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding the Cards

Getting Started with Tarot Reading: An Introduction

Tarot reading has been around for centuries, and is now a popular form of divination. By drawing and interpreting the symbols on Tarot cards, you can gain insight into your life, within yourself, and even into the future. It’s an important and beneficial tool for spiritual growth and self-exploration.

Tarot reading is considered both a skill and an art. Learning how to read the cards begins with having a thorough understanding of the cards themselves and their meanings. This article is meant to be a beginner-level guide on how to interpret and use the Tarot cards.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

The first step to reading the Tarot cards is to make sure you have the right supplies. The following are the essential supplies needed to get started:

  • Tarot Cards: You will need an actual set of Tarot cards, which can be purchased either in a physical or digital form. You can also find printable copies of the cards online.
  • A Reference Book: Having an illustrated guide to Tarot cards is essential, as it will help you understand the card meanings and interpret them correctly.
  • A Comfortable Environment: Reading Tarot cards can be an intense experience, so it’s important to be in a comfortable space free of distractions.
  • A Journal: Keeping a journal of your readings can be an important part of the practice. Writing down what you have read and interpreted will help you better understand the cards, and track your progress.

Step 2: Learn the Card Meanings

Before you start reading the cards, it’s important to learn the meaning of each card. Each Tarot card carries a special, individual meaning that often has multiple interpretations.

Start by familiarizing yourself with the Major and Minor Arcana cards. The Major Arcana cards, numbered 0-21, represent life’s karmic and spiritual lessons. The Minor Arcana cards, numbered 1-10, represent less weighty matters, such as day-to-day events.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the individual cards meanings, try to understand how they interact with each other. Certain card combinations can represent a particular story and lead to deeper understanding.

Step 3: Know the Layouts

When you are ready to start your Tarot reading, you should decide which card layout to use. Card layouts, also known as spreads, refer to the arrangement of the cards in the reading. Depending on the spread you use, cards can represent different things, such as past events, present circumstances, or potential futures.

There are hundreds of different Tarot card spreads, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for when choosing one. For example, the Three-Card Spread is best for getting an overall view of the past, present and future, while the Celtic Cross is ideal for uncovering the specifics of a given situation.

Step 4: Perform the Reading

When you’re ready, begin your reading by shuffling the deck and asking a specific question, or set an intention for the reading. Place the cards in the chosen spread and take your time to interpret the images, colors and symbols on each card.

Remember that Tarot readings are not predictions, but snapshots of the energy around a given situation at a certain time. Pay attention to the card combinations and their overall message. Your interpretation of the cards should include both the individual card meanings as well as how they interact with each other.


Tarot readings can be an enlightening and deeply rewarding practice. If you follow the steps above, you can begin to understand the cards and use them to gain greater insight into your life and the events going on around you.
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Is there a link between astrology and tarot reading?

Yes, astrology and tarot reading are both ancient practices that explore the relationship between humans, the universe, and the greater spiritual forces at play. Tarot cards are often used to provide insight into how astrological influences manifest in a person’s life. In tarot readings, certain cards are associated with specific zodiac signs and planets, and the tarot reader can use the position of the card within the spread to provide insight into a person’s life and outlook on the world.

How can tarot cards be used to gain insight into one’s life?

Tarot cards can offer insight into your life by examining patterns of behavior, relationships, and other aspects of your life in order to gain a holistic perspective. In tarot, each individual card has a certain meaning that can be interpreted differently depending on the context and combination of cards. When laid out in an orderly spread, you can gain a better understanding of the possible meanings of each card as well as the theme of the overall reading. With this insight, you can gain a better understanding of your current situation and gain a new perspective on how to approach decision-making in your day-to-day life.

What symbols and metaphors are used in tarot card readings?

Tarot cards are traditionally associated with many different symbols and metaphors. Commonly used symbols and metaphors include elements of the natural world such as rainbows, fire or trees, animals, mythical creatures, and religious imagery. Other symbols that often appear in tarot readings include trips, arrows, keys, cups, swords, wands, coins, roses, and pentacles. All of these symbols and metaphors are intended to convey a deeper meaning during a tarot card reading

What basic tarot card meanings should a beginner be familiar with?

As a beginner to the Tarot, it is important to understand the basic meanings of the cards in each suit and the overall message each card carries.

The Major Arcana: The major arcana consists of 22 cards, each of which represent a different life experience or larger concepts. These include the Fool, Magician, High Priestess, Empress, Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers, Chariot, Strength, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, Devil, Tower, Star, Moon, Sun, Judgement, and World.

The Minor Arcana: The minor arcana consists of 56 cards, divided into suits: Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. Each suit is associated with an element and represent different aspects of life. Cups are associated with the element of water and represent emotions, intuition, and relationships. Pentacles are associated with the element of earth and represent finances, health, and material possessions. Swords are associated with the element of air and represent mental activity, thoughts, and ideas. Wands are associated with the element of fire and represent energy, enthusiasm, and creativity.

Each of the cards in the minor arcana can be further broken down, but as a beginner, it is important to become familiar with the general meanings of each suit, as well as the overall message that each card carries.