All About Tarot: Everything You Need to Get Started Reading Cards

Ready to start learning about Tarot Cards? They've been a popular method of divination for centuries, and cards are available with artwork for just about any theme or interest. Here's your chance to find out how they work, what they mean, and the best way to lay them out.

A Brief History of Tarot

Tarot cards
De Agostini / A. Dagli Orti/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

Tarot cards have been around for several centuries, but they were originally an entertaining parlor game, rather than a tool of divination. Find out what changed, and why Tarot became one of our most popular divination methods.

Tarot 101: An Introduction

Tarot reading
Let's get started reading Tarot Cards!. Image by Greg Nicholas/E+/Getty Images

To people unfamiliar with divination, it may seem that someone who reads Tarot cards is “predicting the future.” However, most Tarot card readers will tell you that the cards offer a guideline, and the reader is simply interpreting the probable outcome based on the forces presently at work. Anyone can learn to read Tarot cards, but it does take some practice. Learn more about Tarot Card Basics.

How to Choose Your Tarot Deck

Tarot spread
Choosing a deck can be overwhelming - but eventually you'll find the one that's right for you. Image by Stuart Pearce/Age Fotostock/Getty Images

For a beginning Tarot reader, few tasks are as daunting as actually choosing that first deck. There are hundreds of different Tarot decks available. Really, it can be a little overwhelming. So how does a new person choose a deck? Read on for tips on Choosing Your Tarot Deck.

Making Your Own Cards

Tarot spread
People have made their own Tarot cards for centuries. Image by Betsie Van der Meer/The Image Bank/Getty Images

So maybe you're someone who doesn't want to buy a deck - perhaps you haven't found one you like, or nothing you see really resonates with you. No worries! Many people get crafty and creative and make their own Tarot cards. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind if you're Making Your Own Tarot Cards.

Keeping Your Tarot Cards Safe

Tarot box
Use a box or bag to protect your Tarot cards. Image by Patti Wigington 2009

Now that you've found the Tarot deck that's right for you, there are a few things you should do to keep your cards not only physically safe but also to shield them from negative energy. Here's how to Keep Your Tarot Deck Safe.

Preparing for a Tarot Reading

Tarot reading
There are a few things to keep in mind before reading for others. Image by Patti Wigington 2008

So you've got your Tarot deck, you've figured out how to keep it safe from negativity, and now you're ready to read for someone else. Great! Learn what you should do before you take on the responsibility of reading cards for another person. Here's how to Prepare for a Tarot Reading.

Tarot Card Spreads

Tarot and hands
Try different spreads to see which works best for you. Image by Godong/Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images

There are a variety of spreads, or layouts, that can be used for reading Tarot cards. Try one of these very basic ones - or try them all! - to see which method works the best for you. The more you practice, the more sense it will make, so play around with these different Tarot Card Layouts.

Interpreting the Cards

Tarot and hands
Interpreting the Tarot cards takes practice. Image by Patti Wigington 2009

Now that you've laid down your Tarot cards, in the spread of your choice, this is where the real fun begins. If someone has come to you as a Querent, it's because they want to know what's going on -- what sorts of things will present obstacles to them, what positive outcomes they can expect, that sort of thing. Here are some simple techniques you can use when Interpreting the Cards.

Tarot Card Meanings

French Tarot
Tarot is believed to have originated in France. Image by Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Tarot is a great tool for guidance and advice, as well as solving problems. Each of the cards has a meaning of its own, and as you learn the cards and get to know them better, you'll become a more effective reader. Anyone can learn to read Tarot cards, but it does take some practice. It’s a highly intuitive process, so while books and charts come in handy, the best way to actually learn is by doing. Be sure to brush up on Tarot Card Meanings.

Card Reversals - Do You Have to Use Them?

Tarot fan
Do you have to use reversals? Not everyone does. Image by Eduardo Ripoll/Age Fotostock/Getty Images

Is there something wrong with the outcome if reversed cards aren't used in a Tarot spread? Let's look at the reasons why someone might choose not to use reversals, and how it could affect the results of the reading. Learn more about Tarot Card Reversals.

How Much Should a Tarot Reading Cost?

Psychic with crystal ball
How much is too much for a Tarot reading?. Image by Bruce Ayres/Image Bank/Getty Images

If you're thinking about charging for your services as a Tarot reader, make sure your pricing is fair. That's going to vary, depending on both your skill and experience​ and what your area considers fair market value.

Tarot Readings & Moon Phases

Tarot card display
Read your cards when you need to, but consider moon phases for non-urgent questions. Image by Steve Allen/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Do you have to wait for a specific phase of the moon to do your Tarot reading? While you don't necessarily have to wait - especially if you've got an urgent matter at hand - let's look at some reasons why people choose particular lunar phases to do different types of readings.

Using Tarot Cards in Spellwork

Card And Candle
You can use Tarot cards with your other spell components. Image by Carlos Fierro/E+/Getty Images

Ever wonder if you can use Tarot cards to cast a spell? You sure can - it just takes some familiarity with the cards and their meanings. Here's a guide to get you started.

Tarot Deck Reviews

Whimsical Tarot
Photo by Patti Wigington, Cards by US Games

 Read some of our reviews of various Tarot decks.

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Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "All About Tarot: Everything You Need to Get Started Reading Cards." Learn Religions, Apr. 5, 2023, Wigington, Patti. (2023, April 5). All About Tarot: Everything You Need to Get Started Reading Cards. Retrieved from Wigington, Patti. "All About Tarot: Everything You Need to Get Started Reading Cards." Learn Religions. (accessed June 5, 2023).