In this post, we’re taking a look at what intuitive tarot reading is and some tips for learning intuitive tarot reading as a beginner.
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What is Intuitive Tarot Reading?
Intuitive tarot reading blends two aspects of spiritual practice closely together – intuition and the tarot.
What is Intuition?
Intuition is the inner voice that guides us within. If you ever heard someone say go with your gut feeling, this is essentially another way to suggest listening to your intuition.
Reading tarot intuitively then is the practice of reading tarot cards guided by insight from your intuition or that gut feeling. It’s the inner sense of what feels right and resonates with your spirit.
Learning Intuitive Tarot Reading
Learning how to read tarot intuitively begins with the journey of becoming familiar with the tarot cards.
In my own path as a tarot reader, I found that learning the traditional meanings of the tarot cards first, provided a rooted foundation for my intuitive tarot practice.
So as we explore intuitive tarot reading here, I’ll be sharing tips from my own experience which comes from this basis of first learning the traditional meanings and then interpreting the messages of the cards intuitively.
It should be noted though that, you can start reading straight away guided by intuitive messages.
Learn The Tarot Card Meanings
If like me, you’re starting out with an approach to intuitive tarot reading that begins with the traditional meanings of the cards, there are plenty of great tarot resources out there to learn from!
Companion Books to Tarot Decks
While some companion books provide a few key phrases to get you started others are full books which extensively discuss different interpretations for the cards and the symbolism within them.
So if you’ve picked up a tarot deck with a companion book this is a great starting place!
Companion tarot books aren’t, of course, the only type of tarot book! There is a wide range of stand-alone tarot books available out there.
The Only Tarot Book You’ll Ever Need is one which I found to be quite helpful in elaborating on traditional meanings of the cards.
There are also many new released books which provide a modern take on the traditional meanings and roles of the cards. So there’s lots of room to continue expanding your tarot practice as well.
Take some time and have a look at different tarot book reviews or check out some e-books at the library (depending on what’s open in your area at the moment) to find which books feel like they would be a good fit for your approach to tarot reading.
Online Tarot Resources
As well as traditional print and e-books there are many different resources available on learning tarot online!
YouTube Videos, Blogs, and Tarot Courses are all great places to learn more about tarot card meanings and then adapt these meanings to your own approach.
Taking The Leap – From Tarot Books to Intuitive Tarot Reading
Once you’re familiarised with the traditional tarot meanings it’s time to take the leap from the books to intuitive tarot reading! Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful on my own tarot reading journey.
While we’re exploring the tips we’ll use The Fool as an example card 🙂
5 Steps to Learning Intuitive Tarot Reading
1. Begin With The Meanings
When you’re familiar with the meanings of the cards (whether you like to keep the book open to flip through or want to go from memory) start off your intuitive tarot reading from what you’ve been busy learning!
See what traditional meanings pop out from each card and then let this create a foundation for your next step.
Traditionally The Fool depicts a figure ready to take a step forward off a cliff into the unknown.
A direct interpretation of this card would be stepping, like The Fool, into a space of uncertainty perhaps while your mind is up in the clouds
The Fool: Uncertainty, Unknown, Leap of Faith
2. Listen to How The Cards Speak to The Reading
After picking out the meanings of the cards then it’s time to consider how the cards are speaking in a particular reading. This can help elaborate upon the traditional meanings you’ve learnt while building trust in your intuition and the messages you’re receiving.
Branching off the first key meaning of The Fool we meet a space of uncertainty and unknown. This leap into the unknown can have many different interpretations.
In some readings, it could be a gentle warning to ground and find your footing in the present.
Yet in others, it could be a freeing, liberating expression of spirit getting ready to trust and thrive when surrounded by uncertainties.
Then again, there could be an entirely different meaning that reveals itself to you during the reading.
By listening to the different messages and how they speak to the reading you can expand on the traditional book meanings in a way that fits naturally. At the same time, you’re building up trust in your intuitive wisdom and the messages that speak to you in different readings.
3. Read The Imagery
Reading the imagery of the tarot cards is a great next step in exploring the cards intuitively. Building on the classic Rider Waite Smith symbolism, modern decks have a wide range of variations on their imagery.
This creates an opportunity to step away from the guidebook or tarot book you’re working with.
When drawing the cards, spend some time considering how the different images speak to you. In sinking into the visual world of the card what messages does spirit speak to you of?
Feel free to step outside of traditional symbolism of the deck as well. For instance, a particular landscape, animal, or situation depicted in the card may resonate with you very differently than presented by the book.
Looking to The Fool, we have the classic imagery of a figure walking forward towards the edge of a cliff, eyes lifted towards the sky, dog at his heels and head lost in the clouds.
In other decks, we are greeted with an entirely different scene. In The Green Witch tarot The Fool becomes The Greenman and instead of stepping towards a cliff, The Greenman has feet lifted in a summertime jig.
Intuitively approaching the visual depiction of The Fool in The Greenman elaborates and expands on the initial meaning of the card as a sign of uncertainty. There are many ways this card could be read:
- Finding joy with community in times of uncertainty
- Letting the cares of the day wash away and letting in hopeful happiness despite unknowns
- Meeting the vibrant green growth of The Greenman and discovering joyful resilience though the path ahead is yet unclear.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list either. There are many further ways in which the imagery of the card can be interpreted. Let the images that speak to you guide your reading.
4. Hearing The Story in The Cards
As different cards come together in a reading, they weave together a story, a message for the reading. Learning to find the story that is unfolding in your reading can help you take a further step away from the book.
Seeing how different meanings tell their tale can help you to find structure and progression in the messages in your reading.
Looking at The Fool in the previous two sections we can see a window into some of many different ways that The Fool can be interpreted.
Now, let’s consider how it might tell a story alongside other cards.
The Fool, The Tower & The High Priestess
Here The Fool begins the story with a tale of uncertainty and a sense that the querent is stepping into a space of unknown. Followed by The Tower we can see that this step into the unknown is one which will dramatically transform and shift things. The High Priestess could then suggest that from this uncertain time and space of transformation that a strong connection with intuition will be cultivated.
The 4 of Swords, The Fool, 6 of Wands
In this reading, it is The 4 of Swords that begins the story. Speaking of a space of quiet, patience, and rest. Out of this rises The Fool as an opportunity to take a step in a direction which is entirely different. As an outcome card, the 6 of Wands would suggest that this first uncertain step could lead to a space of victory where all works out.
These readings could certainly be interpreted differently as well. In just this first look, we can see how the role The Fool takes in the story of a reading can be very different depending on the situation.
In other readings, The Fool could even act as a gentle warning such as alongside the 10 of Wands it could suggest that the leap into the uncertainty could bring about overwhelm or exhaustion.
Considering how the cards work together and listening to the story of the cards then provides a way to weave together the many messages of a reading from an intuitive space.
These readings could also of course be read in many different ways. They are just an initial look at the possibilities for how The Fool could influence the story of a reading.
5. Trust in Intuition & Build Confidence
Another step in taking the leap to reading tarot intuitively is the journey of building trust in your intuition.
This will naturally happen over time. By practising with reading for yourself and others, you’ll grow confidence in the messages that you are seeing in the cards beyond the initial meanings of the book.
This doesn’t mean you won’t ever pick up a tarot book again. I still love diving into a tarot book and reading different interpretations of cards. There’s always more space to learn!
It simply means that you’ll trust and find more confidence in the messages that are coming through to you. This confidence will help you find a sense of grounding that the messages you are receiving are fitting for the reading even if they might not match what a particular guidebook describes for a given card.
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