Updated: Sep 4, 2019
As a tarot reader, I naturally get asked every type of question you can imagine about tarot. Almost all of these questions stem from the basic question: Can you tell me how to read tarot? Which the answer is, yes and no. I cannot go through the process for you, but I can give you tips and tricks that helped me. (And I can also offer to mentor for those who are committed and interested. I have a lot more information than I can give in one article, and a step by step program.)
DISCLAIMER : I am not the rule maker for tarot and neither is anyone else. This is based on my perspective and experience. I'm sharing in hopes that it will find those who it could help.
✓ Tip 1. Stick to a deck, it will take you farther than jumping around deck to deck. (especially for beginners)
When I was 14 years old, my mom gave me my first tarot deck, the traditional Rider-Waite deck, as a gift. Since she reads tarot herself, she told me that for good luck, another person is supposed to gift you your first tarot deck. While I don't state this as truth, I do recommend having someone buy you your first deck if possible. Just adds a personal touch.
I still use the same tarot deck to this day because it holds all of my experience, energy, and the results of hundreds of successful readings. Not only is it sentimental, but it's much, much easier for me to read with imagery and energy I'm familiar with. It'd be much more difficult to read accurately for people if I was using a different tarot deck every time. So in my opinion, if you're a beginner especially, it's going to be much harder to resonate with the meaning of each tarot card if you do not stick to one deck.
What deck do I recommend for beginners? The traditional deck. But is it the only great one for beginners? Not at all! Pick a deck that resonates for you, but stick to it if you plan to really expand your practice.
✓ Tip 2. Use your intuition over logic or memorization while reading tarot.
Intuition over logic... What do I mean by this? The first mistake I made when I was learning tarot, was thinking that every website on the internet knew more about my tarot reading pull than I could figure out intuitively. When clients send me pictures of their tarot pulls asking "What do you think this means?" I tell them, it isn't my place to say because they aren't my cards and it wasn't my pull for you.
If you are pulling cards for yourself (read the next tip), or if you are reading for others... if it is your pull, you benefit most by using YOUR intuition and basis of knowledge of tarot. It is great to read or memorize what the ace of cups means in the booklet from your tarot deck for help. But what does it mean in the situation your pulling for? Sure, a new emotional beginning, but that is so vague. And your intuition, when you develop it, will tell you far, far more than "its a new emotional beginning." Sometimes you may pull the ace of cups in a reading, and it truly has little to do with the explanation in that booklet. It requires your intuition.
All in all, when in doubt, do not say "The three of swords, this means blah, blah, blah". Having the basis of knowledge of what the card represents is necessary, but it won't get you the same answers you'd get intuitively with practice.
MEMORIZE THE KEYWORDS AND BASIC KNOWLEDGE, BUT YOUR INTUITION NEEDS TO BE BUILT UPON FOR THE REAL DETAILED READINGS YOU ARE SEEKING! :)
✓ Tip 3. Play tarot games, practice on others + more on that.
A game: Pull cards three cards and pretend you are reading into someone's past, present, and future.
Entirely makeup what this 'person' is going through.
Say you pull the Devil as their past, the Moon as their present, and the three of swords for their future. Of millions of possibilities, you could read it as "This person has been in a toxic relationship situation. Looks like right now they are very jaded, confused by this relationship. Shortly, they are going to wake up to the truth and it will hurt. But it will bring clarity."
By making up situations, you practice your illogical mind, tap into your creativity, which is where your intuition blossoms best.
Read for family, friends, those who are open-minded. You can read for skeptics who are open-minded and kind about it, but avoid reading for people who are only going to criticize you or remain close-minded. Readings cannot be successful unless both people are relatively open-minded to the process. If you have read for someone who is closed off to the experience, you know what I mean.
To conclude, know that it takes time to be a detailed tarot reader like any other kind of hobby you wish to pursue. If you want to go to the ''star'' tarot reader level, go for it. But these tips will work just as well for those who just want to get better at reading for fun, simplicity, or leisure.
Thank you for reading! Wishing you best of luck on your tarot journey!