“The cards are here to confirm the conversations you have already had with yourself“
If you are new to tarot or oracle cards, I thought it would be helpful if I shared my five favorite decks and some tips for how to complete your first readings.
Many professional readers have dedicated a lot of time to develop their intuition, learning the history and symbolism of their decks and the art of reading for others. These readers can provide invaluable insight, but the truth is that everyone can read for themselves.
My theory is that the cards are here to confirm the conversations you have already had with yourself.
If you just picked up your first deck or you have had one sitting around for a while, here are a few tips to help you dive right in.
Cards inform you, they don’t create your reality. No card you pull will ever have more power over your life than you. You are in control of your thoughts, actions, and the outcome of your life.
Remember that you are always in control and no card or reading supersedes your own free will.
Don’t be scared of them. Cards are tools. The symbolism in them is just that, a metaphor up for interpretation. Even cards like the Death or the Tower card are simply symbols of change and transformation, not literal death or of everything falling apart.
Find a deck that you love. Fall in love with the images, the colors, the way you feel when you pull a card. Do you feel connected to them? Do they call out to you? If not, perhaps try another deck.
Find a deck that reflects you, your values, and principles. White men and patriarchy, not your thing? There are quite a few decks with People of Color, feminist, and queer-centered imagery. Seeing yourself in your cards is vital. My very first deck was a feminist centered deck with 3000 years of feminist imagery, and I loved it.
Create your own rules and rituals for your cards. Do you allow others to touch them? How do you cleanse them? (Smoke and sound cleansing is a great way) How do you store them? Everyone has different rituals and rules they follow, and no one way is right. Decide for yourself.
Use the book that comes with your cards. You are not less of an intuitive if you use the book to help connect with a card’s meaning. However, I will encourage you to first trust your intuition before looking up the meaning.
Don’t let your cards sit on the shelf staring at you for months. Get a deck, open it, and dive right in. They are invaluable tools for discovering all kinds of things in your life. Before you know it, you will be a pro at reading cards for yourself and using them as the insightful tools they are.
Ok, so how do you connect with your cards and read for yourself for the first time?
I am a fan of cleansing your cards before you use them — smoke cleansing using cleansing herbs like Mugwort, Juniper, Pine and Lavender are great. If smoke cleansing isn’t for you, sound clearing using a Woodstock Chime is also a great way to cleanse your deck.
Once you cleanse your deck, spend some time in meditation with your cards- holding them, sending your energy to them, visualizing reading your cards, and connecting to them. Your deck holds energy, so this is your first opportunity to share yours with it. The more you use your cards, the more of your energy they hold, the more you will feel connected to them.
Shuffle and cut your deck until you feel it’s time to pull a card. There are lots of rules about how to shuffle and cut, but you can create your own rules and rituals for your deck. There is no right or wrong way.
Have a specific question or situation to address. Concentrate on that question or situation for a couple of minutes and then pull a card or a spread of cards.
When you pull your card(s), lean on your intuition before you look at the book. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is the first thing you feel when you look at the card?
- Where do you feel that in your body
- What is the first thing you see?
- How does the symbolism resonate with you?
- Does it bring up memories or images in your mind?
- Does the card engage any other senses?
- Do you hear a sound or remember a taste?
- Next, look deeper at the card. What else do you notice?
- How do the colors feel, is there a number on the card?
- How do all of these answers fit together to address your question or situation?
Practice, practice, practice.
That is the only way you will feel confident and learn what the symbolism in your cards means to you and your style of reading.
Most of all, explore and have fun. There is no right or wrong way to read cards for yourself.
If you are looking for suggestions on a deck, here are my top five decks.
#5 The Fountain Tarot – I do not use this deck personally, but it is one of the best queer-centered and intentionally inclusive decks you can find. Those who use it, love it.
#4 The Psychic Tarot – I am a huge fan of John Holland Decks. They are beautiful, diverse, and very easy to use. This was my first Holland deck, and I still use it to this day. I highly recommended these cards.
#3 The Psychic Tarot for the Heart – Another Holland deck that is completely heart-centered and great for emotional discovery. The images are stunning and diverse.
#2 Motherpeace – This was my very first deck. It is round and full of 3000 years of feminist symbolism. Its images are diverse, and there are so many rich companion books written for this deck. I highly recommend this deck as an alternative to Rider-Waite.
#1 The Spirit Messages Daily Guidance & Oracle Deck – This is my #1 favorite deck and the one I use the most. This is also the deck I use when I do readings for others. It’s full of direct, deeply meaningful messages that get right to the heart of any question.
No matter the deck you use, remember that you are the most valuable resource and it’s your intuition that brings the messages. Without your energy, your intuition, and your interpretation, cards are just cards.
I would love to hear about the deck you are using and how it has been meaningful for you.
Leave a comment below.
If you are interested in a reading from me, I would love to serve you. My readings are all centered around guiding you to a deeper connection with your intuition, to help you feel empowered with direction, choice, and a better sense of how all of the pieces fit together.
Feel free to book a live reading at the link below.