Tarot Cards: How to Use Them to Gain Insights and Guidance

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Tarot Cards: How to Use Them to Gain Insights and Guidance

For centuries, tarot cards have been used as a tool for divination and self-reflection. The practice of reading tarot cards can offer valuable insights into various aspects of life, including love, career, and personal growth. If you are new to tarot cards or want to deepen your understanding of them, this comprehensive guide will take you through the basics and provide tips on how to use tarot cards effectively.

What are Tarot Cards?

Tarot cards are a deck of 78 cards that are often divided into two main categories: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, each representing powerful archetypal energies and significant life events. The Minor Arcana is further divided into four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles), each depicting different aspects of life and representing earthly experiences.

When used for divination, tarot cards can help you gain insights into your subconscious, access your intuition, and explore possible outcomes and solutions to your life’s queries. Tarot can be an empowering and insightful tool, but it’s important to approach it with an open mind and a genuine desire for self-reflection.

Getting Started: Choosing a Tarot Deck

There are countless tarot decks available, each with its own unique artistic style and symbolism. When selecting a deck, it’s crucial to choose one that speaks to you personally. Take some time to research different decks and look at sample images online or in local stores. Trust your intuition when selecting a deck, as a strong connection with the cards is essential for accurate readings.

Once you’ve chosen a deck, spend time familiarizing yourself with the cards. Explore the artwork, symbolism, and meanings of each card. This foundational knowledge will help you interpret and connect with the cards during your readings.

Learning the Tarot Card Meanings

Understanding the meanings associated with each tarot card is the backbone of tarot reading. While there are standard interpretations for each card, it’s vital to develop your own personal relationship and understanding with the deck you’re using.

Start by studying the meanings of the Major Arcana cards, as they represent major life events and themes. Journaling and maintaining personal notes about your own interpretations can help you develop a deeper connection with the cards and strengthen your intuition.

When studying the Minor Arcana, familiarize yourself with the associations of each suit. For example, Wands are often associated with creativity and passion, Cups with emotions and relationships, Swords with intellect and challenges, and Pentacles with material aspects of life.

Remember, tarot card meanings are not set in stone and can vary depending on the context and other cards surrounding them. Allow your intuition to guide you and develop your own unique interpretations over time.

Preparing for a Tarot Reading

Before conducting a tarot reading, it’s important to create a calm and focused environment. Find a quiet space where you feel comfortable and won’t be easily distracted.

Set the mood by lighting a candle, burning incense, or playing soft music. Creating a sacred space can help you enter a more receptive and intuitive state of mind.

Take a few moments to ground yourself and clear your mind. You can do this through deep breathing exercises, meditation, or any other relaxation technique that works for you.

Performing a Tarot Reading

There are numerous tarot card spreads available, ranging from simple three-card spreads to complex ones like the Celtic Cross. For beginners, it’s best to start with a simple spread until you feel more comfortable.

The popular past-present-future spread is an excellent starting point for beginners. To perform this spread:

  1. Shuffle the deck while focusing on your question or intention.
  2. Cut the deck into three piles with your left hand.
  3. Re-stack the deck into a single pile.
  4. Draw three cards from the top of the deck.
  5. Place the first card on the left for the past, the second card in the middle for the present, and the third card on the right for the future.
  6. Interpret each card individually and then consider the overall message conveyed by the cards as a whole.

Remember to trust your intuition when interpreting the cards. Look for patterns, symbols, and intuitive flashes that resonate with the question or situation at hand.

Using Tarot Cards Ethically

When using tarot cards, it’s essential to approach the practice with respect and Ethics. Here are a few important guidelines:

  • Use tarot as a tool of self-reflection rather than a means to manipulate or control others.
  • Obtain permission from the intended recipient before giving a tarot reading.
  • Respect the privacy and confidentiality of the readings.
  • Don’t use tarot to exploit vulnerable individuals or provide medical, legal, or financial advice that you are not qualified to offer.
  • Remember that the future is not set in stone, and tarot is a tool for guidance and insight rather than absolute prediction.


Tarot cards are a powerful tool for self-reflection, gaining insights, and exploring possible paths in life. By choosing a deck that resonates with you, learning the card meanings, and developing your intuition, you can effectively use tarot cards to guide you on your journey of personal growth and empowerment.

Remember, developing proficiency in tarot reading takes practice, patience, and a genuine desire to learn. Embrace the journey and allow the tarot cards to illuminate your path as you navigate the twists and turns of life.

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Tarot Cards: How to Use Them to Gain Insights and Guidance