How to Do a General Tarot Reading

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How to Do a General Tarot Reading

Whether you are a seasoned tarot reader or just starting your journey into divination, conducting a general tarot reading can provide you with valuable insights and guidance. The tarot deck is a powerful tool that can help you explore various aspects of your life, gain clarity, and access your intuition. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of conducting a general tarot reading, from choosing the right deck to interpreting the cards.

1. Choose the Right Tarot Deck

The first step in conducting a tarot reading is to select a deck that resonates with you. With a multitude of tarot decks available, ranging from traditional to modern and themed decks, it’s essential to choose one that speaks to your personal aesthetic and intuitive preferences. Take your time to explore different options, browse online reviews, and connect with the imagery and symbolism of the deck you feel drawn to.

2. Create a Sacred Space

Before diving into a tarot reading, it’s crucial to establish a calm and sacred space. Find a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed and set the mood by lighting candles, burning incense, or playing relaxing music. Creating a sacred space will help you focus your energy and create a spiritual atmosphere conducive to receiving clear messages from the tarot.

3. Prepare Yourself and the Cards

Once you have chosen your tarot deck and prepared your space, take a few moments to ground yourself and connect with your intuition. This can be done through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or visualization techniques. Shuffle the cards while concentrating on your intention for the general reading.

Some tarot readers prefer to cleanse their decks before readings to remove any stagnant energy or previous impressions. You can accomplish this by smudging the deck with sage or using your preferred method of energetic cleansing.

4. Determine the Reading Spread

Next, decide on the reading spread you will use. A reading spread refers to the arrangement of the tarot cards on the table, and the number of cards drawn will depend on the complexity of the spread you choose. For a general tarot reading, a simple three-card spread is often sufficient. This spread consists of three cards representing the past, present, and future.

If you’re feeling more ambitious or seeking deeper insights, you can opt for more complex spreads such as the Celtic Cross or the Tree of Life. These spreads offer multiple positions for cards, allowing for a more nuanced exploration of the situation at hand.

5. Begin the Reading

With your deck shuffled and the spread selected, it’s time to draw the cards. Lay out the cards as per your chosen spread, and turn them over one by one, placing them in their designated positions.

Card Position Card Meaning
Past Represents past influences and events.
Present Reveals the current situation and energies influencing it.
Future Offers insights into the potential outcomes.

These three cards will provide you with a foundation for your general reading, offering insights into the past, present, and future aspects of the situation you are exploring.

6. Interpret the Cards

Interpreting the tarot cards requires a blend of knowledge, intuition, and personal connection. Take your time to contemplate each card’s imagery, symbolism, and the energy it evokes in you. Consider the relationships between the cards in the spread and any patterns or connections that emerge.

Consulting a tarot guidebook or studying the traditional meanings of the cards can provide you with additional insights, but remember that the interpretation should ultimately resonate with your intuition and the context of the reading.

7. Explore Deeper Meanings

Once you have gained a basic understanding of the three cards in your general reading, you can dive deeper into their meanings. Consider the numerology, elemental associations, astrological correspondences, and any intuitive impressions you receive.

Use your chosen tarot spread to explore other aspects relevant to your inquiry. For example, you could draw additional cards to understand the underlying emotions, the external influences at play, or the potential obstacles and opportunities in the situation.

8. Reflect and Take Action

After completing the interpretation, take a moment to reflect on the insights gained from the tarot reading. Consider how these insights align with your current circumstances, emotions, and goals. It’s essential to remember that tarot readings provide guidance, but you are ultimately responsible for your decisions and actions.

Based on the insights gained, identify any action steps or changes you may need to make in your life. Tarot readings can empower you to take charge of your own destiny and make informed choices along your life’s journey.


Conducting a general tarot reading can be a deeply rewarding and enlightening experience. By selecting the right tarot deck, creating a sacred space, and focusing your intention, you can tap into the wisdom of the cards and gain valuable insights into your life’s path. Remember to trust your intuition, interpret the cards with an open mind, and use the guidance gained to create positive change in your life. Enjoy the process of discovery and let the tarot be your trusted companion on your spiritual journey.

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How to Do a General Tarot Reading