I have had people ask me about reading cards so I thought I would put it all in one post to make it easier to get to.
I have been studying Tarot for 20 some years now and it never ceases to amaze me on how spot on they can be every day. But first starting out they can be confusing and there seems to be a lot going on with the imagery and meanings.
First thing to remember is these cards tell you a story. It can be a simple one card story or an entire layout with 12 cards kind of novel. If you are just starting with your first deck, look at all the cards without looking at the LWB (little white book that comes with the cards) and just note your first impressions with each one. Depending on what deck you are using, there will be various images and a feel to the cards.
Above I have several decks showing what today's card is, The 7 of Cups or Chalices. The middle card is from one of the most familiar decks, Rider Waite Smith, the first card is based on that, The Tarot of The Magical Forest and the third card is the Tarot of Marseilles deck, which can be tricky as the Minor Arcana are not illustrated like the RWS decks are.
Use your intuition and tell yourself the story that the card seems to be telling you. Then look at the LWBs definition. The books give you a basic overview of the imagery, iconography, historical meanings and they are very useful in giving you a base to learn from. But like in dream reading, follow your heart and what is most meaningful to you. What rings true to one person may not be the same for you.
I use the cards to practice mindfulness. I look at the attributes of the cards and ask myself how I can integrate the positive attributes into my day as well as how I can work on the more negative attributes. I read their story and then decide how I can improve where I am right now.
The future is fluid and nothing is set in stone. What I read today can change at any point in time and the smallest of changes can move mountains, so I try to keep the positives and rework the negatives.
Looking at today's card, 7 of Cups. I tend to use decks based on the RWS decks as I like the imagery.
We see 7 cups filled with all sorts of dream-like things. This card can be about wishful thinking, wishing you had "stuff," or even letting your imagination run loose. There is a LOT of stuff in those cups too, so you can almost have too many things going on, too many choices can make it hard to narrow things down. So, a lot of things may need to be pared down and put into some sort of order. Find a nice middle ground of orderly to a little creative chaos. It's always good to find that middle ground to work from.
If you are just starting out, reading books can be a huge help in learning more about Tarot cards. Here is a list of some of my favorite books and it can be a good place to jump off from. Clicky for books.
I am working on a sort of Tarot FAQ page to answer some of the other questions. If you have any, please feel free to ask!!
My Tarot Card Practice. I have been studying Tarot for over 20 years now and am still learning new things daily.