Get inspired for learning the tarot with some helpful tarot tips, tricks, and secrets for beginners!
Tarot cards are a fascinating, fun, and magical tool that anyone can use to connect to their higher selves. But when you are brand new to tarot, learning tarot can feel overwhelming. There’s so much to know, not only about the cards and their meanings but about how exactly to use tarot cards.
I love tarot cards and have been working with them for over 25 years. That’s why I felt called to write this article sharing my best tarot tips. Plus answer some frequently asked questions about the tarot.
This article reflects my own personal tarot wisdom. Please use what resonates with you. I hope these tips inspire you to think differently about how to learn and connect to your tarot cards!
**This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you for products you purchase via this website. For more information click here.**
You’ve probably asked by now Do tarot cards actually work? And if so, then how?
Yes, tarot cards work, most of the time. Tarot cards can be a highly accurate divination tool. The information they give can eerily forecast the future. Let’s get into how exactly they work, and why they may sometimes not work.
How do tarot cards work?
The information you get from a tarot reading comes from you. Tarot cards reveal the emotions, truths, answers, and hidden knowledge already inside of you. When you pull a card, you are pulling your own wisdom. Your own subconscious. It is you who is revealed. You are the key.
At the same time, the you who is revealed through the cards is the bigger, more expansive version of you. It’s not just the you who you know to be you, but your higher self, future self, past self, and sometimes even a parallel-timeline you.
Tarot cards are a tool of divination, meaning they are a tool for communicating with the divine. Which, again, is you. You are divine.
Your divine self interacts with spirit angels or energies who are, in a way, an extension of you. They serve your higher self. Your higher self may give permission for those energies to assist in your tarot reading.
Tarot cards work especially well in retrospect
As in, you don’t always understand the meaning of the cards you pulled until some time later in the future.
For example, I can’t tell you how many times I pulled the Queen of Swords upside down throughout the winter of 2019-spring of 2020. For months on end, I pulled this card over and over.
Upside-down, the Queen of Swords represents an unkind, untrusting woman. I wondered if this was some aspect of myself. Until I discovered it was someone close to me. Someone I’d have never expected to turn on me was revealed to in fact be a foe, not a friend! I was shocked! And the cards were the first to try and warn me!
Why tarot cards may not work at times
Often, your tarot cards aren’t working because of your mindset. If you are feeling very fearful, distracted, or desperate, the cards may not comply. In these emotional/mental states, your energy is blocked. Your fear is subconsciously trying to control the reading.
Or, your tarot cards may not answer you if the question is simply unknowable/unseeable at the time of the reading.
There are times when you cannot get an accurate reading because you (remember, it all comes from you) do not have any insight or intuition about the question whatsoever- none exists from your higher self, future self, angels, or any other aspect of your conscious or unconscious self.
In my humble opinion, there are times when future timelines are more clear/stable, and times when future timelines are evolving/forming so spontaneously/rapidly that we simply cannot know the answer to our question/s.
Will a negative tarot reading come true?
Although negative information from the tarot is often spot-on (sorry to say) you don’t need to succumb to despair. Because of the fact that the future is not set in stone, neither is any tarot reading.
Things can and do change between a reading and the time after a reading. This includes new wisdom gleaned from the reading itself, which can shift the outcomes. Consider nothing static, permanent, or definitive. Timelines often shift, and you have more power than you may realize.
Tips to increase the accuracy of your tarot reading:
Tarot card accuracy varies from person to person. Tarot accuracy depends on factors such as the intimacy of the reader with the cards, the mindset, and the energy of the reader. Let’s discuss how you can ensure your most accurate tarot reading.
Tip #1- Connect with your tarot deck
There are many ways to connect with your tarot cards. Think of “connecting with your cards” as pouring your emotional/mental/psychic energy into the cards.
Handle your cards often
The most obvious way is to hold your cards. Shuffle them, feel them, study how they look. Get to know them as an object and become familiar with them on every sensory level.
Use magical energy
If you feel called to do so, you can let your cards sit in the sun, or under the moon. Place your favorite crystals around them, or place them within an altar. Whatever ways you can think of to reinforce your sense of magic and divinity
Use companion material
You can also get to know your cards through a companion book. Or by using the mini-booklet most decks come with. Companion material can bridge the gap of understanding between you and your cards, allowing you to connect more intimately. Companion material aids your intuition. Not to mention the fact that you need to have a base of knowledge about the cards’ meanings to begin with.
Tip #2- Get rid of distractions
Set up a quiet space for your reading, free of outside distractions. If your mind is racing, do some journaling or sit in meditation for a few minutes to calm your mind. Too many distracting thoughts can affect your reading.
Tip #3- Use props
If you feel called to, set out some crystals, burn some sage, or use any physical props that feel right to re-enforce your energetic connection while shuffling and selecting your cards. These are not necessary but may feel empowering to you.
Tip #4- Set your intention
Affirm to yourself, your spirit guides, the universe, God, and anyone/thing else that you are making a serious inquiry. Then, start thinking of your question. “Feel” your question as you shuffle your deck. I shall explain more in the section below.
The secret to shuffling your tarot deck:
There is no right or wrong way to shuffle from a physical standpoint. And it does not matter how many times you shuffle your deck. You can shuffle for a few moments to a few minutes, (although I wouldn’t draw out shuffling forever. Go for it already!)
The critical tip about shuffling is an energetic tip. That is, you must “feel your question” into the deck.
This is one of my favorite tarot tips for accuracy. Allow me to explain.
As you shuffle and lay out your cards, let yourself feel all sides of the question. What do I mean by that? The “sides of the question” may include the pain you are struggling with, the relief or solution you desire, how the solution feels. Focus on directing the emotional feeling energy of your question into the cards.
As you feel your tarot question, visualize your tarot question as a multi-faceted 3d object such as a spheroid. Every question has many facets of emotion involved.
Once you have shuffled and laid out your cards upside down, you are ready to begin selecting your cards for your reading. As a side note, I would recommend fanning your cards out in a U shape.
What is the best way to select each tarot card?
There are two intuitive tricks I use to select each tarot card I pull; by what I call “quick sight” or by “blind feel.” There is also a third method, which I don’t personally use often, but you might like it.
Trick #1- Quick sight selection
This technique is just like it sounds; you select your card/s quickly and decisively based on which cards your eyes are drawn to. You do not second guess. Just pick the card/s your eyes land on first and place them into your desired spread.
Trick #2- Blind feel selection
After fanning your cards out, you can close your eyes and wave your hands a few inches above them. Feel where the energy of the cards pulls your hands and select the cards by feel that way.
You can use either of these card selecting techniques while the cards are still in your hands after shuffling. That is, you can select your cards this way before fanning your cards out. But with fanning, there is more space to feel or see each card.
Trick #3- Pulling from the top
You may choose to shuffle your tarot card deck then pull your cards directly from the top of the stack.
How to turn your cards over correctly
Once you have all your cards selected and placed, turn each one of them over. Make sure to turn them over from the side so they are not reversed (and hence the meaning would change). You probably know this, but I’m sharing this tarot tip just in case you don’t!
A secret about rouge tarot cards
Whenever a tarot card flys out of your hand when you are shuffling, during fanning, or at any point, take note! That card is jumping out of the deck for a reason- it needs to be read! I consider these types of messages a bit more magical in nature- perhaps coming from my guides or the spirit world.
Similarly, if a card falls out of the deck, is flipped up when the rest are down, or stands out for any reason, consider that card a message.
How long should you wait between tarot readings?
Some people read their cards daily. For example, 1-3 cards per day. Other much less frequently.
How long you wait between cards is a personal choice. My tip would be to wait at least a week or longer between readings. Especially regarding the same question. I give that tip because I usually do a full reading using the Celtic spread method which uses 10 cards.
If you keep asking your cards the same question over and over, day after day, you will not get an accurate response. Your urgency, anxiety, and need to control will muddy the waters.
This leads to another important point.
How long is a tarot reading good for?
If you read your cards on a regular basis, (a few times per month, for example,) the information from your latest reading is good until at least your next reading, when you glean new information.
So if I ask a question about healing a relationship, the information from my cards applies until either:
- My question/problem is resolved, and I forget about the question and reading.
- Or until I read my cards again regarding the same question, (say, a week later.)
This is just my personal rule of thumb. Because most problems/questions become irrelevant in time. And since you can’t know for sure when you will use your cards again next, you have to develop an intuitive sense of how long your message is good for. You can take this tip with a grain of salt; it’s simply what makes sense to me intuitively.
Should I let other people touch my tarot cards?
For the most part, it’s perfectly fine to let other people touch your cards. In fact, if I were doing a reading for someone else, I would ask them to shuffle the cards. And then spread the cards in a fan and select their cards. I would not shuffle and select for that person.
This is my preference, as I hold the belief that the person getting the reading needs to infuse their energy into the cards via shuffling and holding the cards. I’m well aware some psychics and tarot readers feel the exact opposite- some would prefect to shuffle and select the cards for their client.
My feeling is that once you are confident and feel powerful as a reader and with your connection to your cards, nothing and no one can break that bond. (Unless, perhaps, that person is powerfully and intentionally evil, but that would be a very rare situation.)
My tip would be, whenever you have allowed someone to handle your cards, and after the cards are returned to you, to simply cleanse your cards of their energy.
Should I memorize my tarot deck?
If you want to study and memorize your tarot cards, then what a wonderful goal to have! Memorization of the cards’ meanings is always a good idea. And if you want to use tarot cards professionally, then you will need to study and know their meanings.
But, unless you want to use your cards professionally, you don’t need to memorize them.
It’s funny because although I’ve been reading my own tarot cards for 25 years, starting as a teenager, I don’t have them all memorized. Not even close.
Naturally, I do know many of the cards, yes. But not all, considering the cards have different meanings right-side-up versus upside-down.
I still use the mini guidebooks that come with the cards, along with my intuitive sense of the cards. And every time I pull out the little guidebook I have a little laugh and think to myself Gee, I can’t believe I don’t have these tarot cards memorized yet!
The point I’m getting at is, If you aren’t going to memorize your cards, don’t ever feel bad about it. Take the pressure off yourself and give yourself permission not to memorize. Your connection to the tarot is highly personal, and you don’t need to conform.
Your cards are no less powerful, and you are no less adept as a reader for not memorizing them. You can get to know your cards with time, practice, and intuition, and they will be just as powerful a divination tool. You will be just as powerful a tarot card reader. Memorization will come naturally anyway, in time.
How can I care for my cards?
Tip for cleansing tarot cards:
Set your intention by asking God/your angels/spirit guides/higher self for your cards to be cleared of any foreign or negative energy. Ask for your bond to be fully restored. Affirm that it is so. This ask only needs to take a few seconds. Remember- you are in control. You are powerful. You are the master of your cards.
If you feel like you need to take things a step further, there are many card clearing rituals you could perform. More tricks to cleanse your cards, along with prayer/setting intention include:
- Sage your cards.
- Set your cards out in the sunlight or moonlight.
- Sprinkle a ring of salt around your cards and leave them there for a few hours or a few days.
- Surround your cards with a crystal grid.
- Wave a crystal wand of selenite around your cards to clear their energy.
- Place black tourmaline, or another similar black stone on your cards to absorb unwanted energy.
How to store your cards
Store your cards carefully so they will not be harmed. Treat them with respect and integrity. That’s all that matters.
You can keep them on a shelf, in a special box, on your altar, or wrapped in velvet fabric. Whatever feels right to you.
Final thoughts about the magical tarot
I hope these tarot tips and secrets were interesting to you, and included some ideas or advice you haven’t heard of before.
During your experiences with the tarot, you will encounter so much different wisdom; you have to select what resonates with you and keep the rest on the back burner. But never disregard anything completely; you never know when you will change your mind or expand your thinking!
My rule of thumb is to never think you know it all. Because the minute you think you know it all, the universe shows you proof of the opposite! I’m always learning, and so should we all. If you have any good tarot tips or tricks, or any tarot card secrets to share, please leave them in the comments.
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