To be perfectly transparent, I had no idea what I was going to write about for today’s Tarot Tuesday post? I thought about sharing some of the past week’s readings I’ve been doing on Instagram but it didn’t feel authentic of necessary. I decided not to stress about it though, and went to some tarot chats, groups, and forums I often haunt to get inspiration. I was bombarded by the same questions over and over and realized I haven’t done a blog post addressing the immediate needs of the Beginner Tarot Reader.
My Tarot History (in brief)
I admit, I was blessed to begin my tarot journey under the wings of an adept. in 2009 I spent a year in mentorship to learn to read tarot professionally. Through this I was given a very strong foundation in the cards, how to talk to clients, and the beginnings of a business which has led me to where I am today. For this, I will always be grateful but I am not foolish enough to recommend everyone take the same route.
In 2012 I taught tarot for a short period. I did classes at a local community space and had a few students under my wing. I realized quickly that I needed to have some recommended resources beyond my own instruction. I scoured tarot books, flitted through a number of decks, and spent weeks online analyzing website to figure out what to recommend. I finally figured out what worked and when I took a break from teaching tarot and reading in 2015 (due to having a child) I found myself relying heavily on these recommendations and resources when asked.
Some Advice for the Beginner Tarot Reader
Before you begin, though you might not ask for it, I do have a few words of advice. Take it or leave it but this comes from nearly a decade of reading and most of my experience comes through trial by fire.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one will die if you read a card wrong or if you decide this isn’t for you. Have fun with it instead. If you can relax and enjoy yourself, reading will be much easier.
Don’t get caught up in myths and superstitions. This might sound weird coming from me, but hear me out. I meet so many would-be tarot enthusiasts who wait literally years to get started because of superstitions like your cards must first be given to you or you have to commit yourself to reading the cards in certain rituals for certain periods of time. There are no tarot police to tell you that you’re doing it wrong.
Start slow. If you’re like me, this suggestion might infuriate you, but it is so much better than getting overwhelmed and tossing your deck later on. Begin with simply connecting with your cards, looking at the imagery, doing daily one card pulls, things like that. Don’t stress about memorizing the book in a week or doing full spreads every morning. Slow and steady wins the race.
Keep a tarot journal. Record readings, meditations, information that resonates with you, course notes, discussions about the cards, etc. Check out tarot journal prompts (like these from Little Red Tarot). Go back and review regularly (I like to do quarterly journal reviews).
Favorite Beginner Tarot Resources
Don’t let this title fool you, I recommend these resources to tarot adepts as well. Fact is, we all return to the basics again and again because we learn something new each time.
Biddy Tarot: If you prefer working online or on a computer, are strapped for cash and looking for pdfs and articles instead of books, or are seeking basic info from adepts, this is the site I recommend for people across the board. For 4 more tarot sites I highly recommend, check out my blog post HERE (click the link).
Tarot For Your Self by Mary K. Greer – one of the best tarot writers ever published. I highly recommend Greer’s other works but this book in particular is great for tarot readers of all skill levels. Figuring out how the tarot pertains to you, your numerology and astrology, your personal and cultural beliefs, this all makes learning the tarot so much easier as well as helps you connect strongly with your own intuition and practice.
Rider-Waite Tarot Deck – This is the deck I recommend for beginner tarot readers. I know that many readers don’t resonate with the imagery and would prefer to start with a more modern or artistic deck. Be my guest, however, most decks are either based on this one or require the reader to be in tune with their intuition and magickal skills. If you are not particularly connected with your psychic self, or desire a traditional training in the tarot, this is the best deck to start with.
When I did lessons in tarot, I initially allowed my students to start with whatever deck resonated with them. This caused a lot of confusion as new deck creators often veered away from traditional numerology, astrology, kabbalah, and other symbols in the tarot. After settling the chaos, I looked at decks and made a list of which ones would work for my course. I say this now, not to tell you that you must follow my methods but so that if you decide to take a course or learn from a book, check to see what deck the course or book or teacher recommends first. This will make learning much easier.
The Thoth Deck – if you follow a High Ceremonial practice, are interested in the works of Aleister Crowley, desire to get deep and go into intuitive tarot reading and journeying fearlessly, then I recommend this deck. It isn’t an easy deck and can kick your ass when it comes to its upfront, no holds barred messages. I find reading for clients with this deck often makes them uncomfortable with its level of accuracy and ability to cut through masks and false beliefs like a scalpel. It is one of my favorite decks for that reason. If this is the deck you decide to purchase and learn with, I also recommend Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette.
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Need More Direction?
One of the best things my mentor ever did was give me my first professional tarot reading. This showed me what reading the tarot could be like, how it could reveal the path I was heading on, be a mirror to all the emotions and beliefs I had, reveal my shadow at work, point out my strengths and weaknesses, and give me advice on what to do next. Without that first in-depth reading I wouldn’t be where I am today – a grateful witch with my soul-mate, my son, my business, my tribe.
Are you considering getting into tarot but need that first reading to see what it could do for you? Check out my tarot reading sessions today.