How to Read Tarot Cards: Beginner Tips From the Pros

How to Read Tarot Beginner Tips

You know times are seriously cha-cha-changing when once-demonized practices like astrology and Tarot have gone mainstream. Now more than ever, folks are opening up to the idea of consulting the cards basically everywhere! If the pool of mystical seekers grows, it only makes sense for the pool of readers to grow as well. If you’ve been considering ditching your nine-to-five to become a full-time Tarot reader, or are simply curious about experiencing the magic of Tarot firsthand, this article is for you!

We have consulted four professional readers, gaining insight into their practices and inspiring stories on how their journeys began. Many of them began exploring Tarot at an early age and fell into reading professionally at critical moments in their lives.

The Inspiring Stories of Four Professional Tarot Readers

Theresa Reed, author of Mastering the Art of Intuitive Tarot, began reading during her originally slow bartender gig. The word about her work spread quickly, making her night the most popular with opportunities to do full readings outside her gig. When she expressed her idea to her then-boss of making Tarot a business and heard, "You would never make it because no one would pay for such a thing," she took it as a sign to quit her job immediately and start her business. Reed has been in business for over thirty years now and has penned multiple books on both, astrology and Tarot.

Professional witch Renné Watt began playing with Tarot at only ten years old, reading for friends during recess and sleepovers. But it wasn’t until her twenties that she began charging for readings in a street booth during a trip to New Orleans after running out of cash to go back home. To her surprise, customers flowed in steadily throughout the following days, helping her realize she had been sitting on a legitimate business opportunity for a long time.

Mallorca-based Caitlin McGarry also found Tarot at a very early age but didn’t charge for readings until she was given a gig to read at a party ten years ago. It was then that she overcame the fear of reading for other people (other than her friends) and slowly began switching to a full-time Tarot reading career.

Fernando Salinas, known as Your Favorite Fortune Teller on social media, comes from a lineage of healers, so magic and mysticism run in their blood. After a terrible breakup that left them heart- and wallet-broken, they started getting intimate with the cards as a way of finding healing. Shortly after, they began giving readings at a psychic hotline, followed by community and in-person events. Fernando has been reading for ten years and their astrological and Tarot advice is often featured in local TV outlets like Telemundo and ABC.

The Connection Between Tarot & Personal Evolution

After reading these stories, one can’t help to wonder: Did these readers choose Tarot—or was it the other way around? Either way, they have all grown and evolved at a personal level because of it. In Reed’s own words: “The truth is, my future seemed pretty bleak before I found Tarot. It helped me find my way by assisting in decision-making. I have harnessed both, Tarot and astrology to navigate the hard stuff and build a life and business I love.”

McGarry, on the other hand, began trusting her intuition and self-expression by way of Tarot. “Being a shy person with a very intense birth chart, it was hard for me to express the intuitive downloads I saw or felt until I started reading Tarot for others. Personally, the Tarot has given me my voice and has guided me in understanding the depths of the human experience, she adds.

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6 Beginner Tarot Tips From the Professionals

Learn From Books

Tarot pros can’t stress this enough! According to McGarry, Tarot becoming extra-popular on social media platforms like Instagram and Tiktok means the deeper meaning of the cards (and the practice itself) has gotten diluted and even misrepresented at times. Instead of learning from social or the internet, getting yourself books is the right way to learn and personally experience every single one of the 78 cards. As Salinas affirms, “The only way to truly learn Tarot is to read and actually study it from books. There is nothing like reading the history and archetypes of the cards, and then seeing the information fall into place before doing readings. ”

Take Your Time and Do Not Rush the Process

Like everything in life, establishing a Tarot business takes time. After being in the business for thirty years, Reed affirms that “While Tarot and astrology seem to be everywhere these days, their popularity can rise and fall at any given time. If you decide to enter the field because you assume this will be a great source of easy money, think twice—it's hard work! The ones that last the longest at this game understand this.”

RELATED: 5 Essential Tips for Anyone Going to Their First Tarot Reading, According to Tarot Experts.

Do the Work

The fact that Tarot is seen as an esoteric practice doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be less professional. Arriving to readings on time, excelling at your craft, and being open to accepting feedback (like in any other profession) is essential in order to grow and evolve as a Tarot reader. “When getting started as a professional Tarot reader, I definitely recommend giving away readings at first. Until you're comfortable practicing your gifts on a complete stranger, you shouldn't be charging for these services. Working at pagan pride festivals or conventions on a donation-based fee is a great way to dip your toe in. Once you’re ready to charge, working in a New Age or Occult shop is also a great way to immerse yourself in the local community and attract new clients,” Watt adds.

Consider Learning Astrology

While astrology and Tarot are different arts in nature, they do have a strong correlation, especially when it comes to working with the elements and court cards. Astrology can help illuminate facets of Tarot that sometimes remain hidden, adding depth to the interpretation of the card’s archetypes. The fact that all four professional Tarot readers featured in this article know astrology speaks of the meaningful relationship between the two.

RELATED: Your Sun, Moon, and Rising Signs Highlight Your Best Personality Traits.

Don't Be Afraid to Try New Techniques

Like many esoteric practices, tarot has a variety of styles, spreads, and strategies that you can use to create your own technique as a reader. Experts encourage you to keep things simple when you're first starting out–but also be willing to branch out once you've gotten the hang of things. If you find yourself stuck at any point in your Tarot journey, you might even try a new deck to see if a change in energy can get you out of your funk. Tarot is just as much about technique as it is about magic.

Take Your Ego Out of the Equation

Lastly, being able to be objective is something to strive for as a Tarot reader. “When offering a Tarot reading, remember to take your ego out of the equation. The fear of being wrong can create intuitive blocks and even dampen your ability to speak openly about what you're sensing while connecting with the cards. It's also extremely important to use discernment when working with clients. The idea is to leave people feeling empowered and inspired without dishing out false hope. Be honest about the work that lies ahead, and don't be afraid to deliver bad news if it shows up in a spread,” Watt adds.

UP NEXT: Discovering Your Witchy Side? Here’s How to Manifest With the Tarot.