Tarot Tip #2 – Using the Tarot for Yourself


When I teach tarot, inevitably my students ask, what if I want to use the cards to read for myself? 

     As with all divination tools, using the tarot to answer questions or even do complete readings on yourself is a touchy subject.

     The reason for this is simple.  Most of the time when you want to know about something that’s going on in your life, it’s because it’s emotionally important to you.  And there’s the problem.  As soon as your emotions become involved you tend to interpret the cards in a way that either gives you what you want, or if you are really fearful, expands your fears. 

     The best time to do a reading on yourself therefore, is when you’ve got nothing important going on in your life, so you’re able to be objective, just as you would be when reading for another person.

     But of course, that’s not what you really want.  You want the cards to give you answers when you need them.  That means, your emotions are involved.

     I generally caution my beginning students to either refrain from doing readings on themselves entirely, or if they absolutely must, limit the readings to simple yes and no questions, keeping in mind that a question must be carefully thought through and worded correctly, before you ask it, as you must only ask it once.  When you ask the same question over and over again, the cards will just lead you to confusion as they will seem to be contradicting themselves.  That’s because they already answered the question once, so even though you might try re-wording it, they assume you must be asking something else entirely.  They may be answering something you are holding in your mind and didn’t even give voice to.  Yes, it can get very confusing.  So, the rule of thumb is that a question should only be asked once.

     For more advanced students who want to do entire readings on themselves or a situation in their lives, here are my recommendations.  Try doing a meditation before doing the reading, to clear your mind of emotional stress and mental confusion.  Do your reading in a clear and protected space, free from interruptions.  Be alone, because if you are with a friend their attitude and thought patterns will affect what you see in your reading.  If you want their input, show them the cards afterwards and get their input separate from your own interpretation.  Record the reading if you are able, so that you can let the words come without interrupting your flow to take notes.  Don’t overthink. Remember to take a photo of the card spread so you can refer back to it in the future.  I have photos of spreads of cards I’ve done on myself more than five years ago that are still playing out.  Occasionally I look back at them, and am amazed at how accurately the tarot can predict the future – although most of the time when I did the initial reading, I only caught a bare fraction of the information they actually gave. 

     My final recommendation is, don’t take them too seriously.  Have fun with them.  The tarot is an amazing educational tool and if you can remain objective, you are your own best practice subject!

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