I was in college when I first started reading Tarot cards. I had no idea what I was doing. Nevertheless, there I was: a grungy, pot-smoking twenty-something (it was the ‘90s) sitting cross-legged on the floor of an apartment I shared with two friends. I clumsily shuffled my yellow Rider-Waite Tarot cards, prepared to help guide my friends with monumental life issues.
“Even though it’s my senior year, should I change my major?”
“Is my boyfriend cheating on me?”
I fanned out the deck of cards and instructed my very-much suspecting querent to choose a card. As I thumbed through the little book that came with the cards, I read out the meaning of each card in between bong hits.
A wise spiritualist I was not.
Now in my mid-40s, I realize that the biggest mistake I made as a first-time Tarot reader was asking yes/no questions, because it assumed that my fate was fixed.
Does Tarot predict the future? Yes and no. Tarot sheds light on areas of your life that aren’t working for you, so that you can make better decisions. Sometimes, Tarot shows you a possible pathway to your future but the messages are never set in stone. It’s up to you to carve the path forward.
Ask Tarot more empowering questions
Those first Tarot readings left me puzzled, confused and anxious. Ironically, those first Tarot readings were telling me to ask better questions, to reframe how I was seeing the world. The 8 of Swords often showed up to tell me that I was stuck in a cycle of self-victimization, afraid to see my situation for what it was, which prevented me from making positive decisions to move forward.
Now, I tend to stay away from yes/no questions. Instead, I reframe the questions to something more specific so that I feel more empowered about my situation.
Instead of asking, “Will my business be successful?”, I ask questions like:
- “What do I need to know about my business?”
- “What do I need to pay attention to about my business?”
- “How can I improve my business?”
- “How can I align my business with my Highest Good?”
Like most people, I am curious about what the future may hold. Here are some ways to inquire about future possibilities without stripping you of your decision-making powers:
- “What might the next six months look like in my relationship?”
- “What might my business look like in the next year if I don’t make any changes?”
- “How can I meet my goals this year?”
This is how I use Tarot. The important thing to remember is that only you can decide how you want to use Tarot. Do what feels right for you. There is no right or wrong method. So, if you want to ask a yes/no question, go for it.
Here are some tips on how to interpret yes/no readings:
- Biddy Tarot recommends keeping it simple. If the Tarot card is upright, it’s a yes. If it’s reversed, it’s a no. Use a balanced mix of upright and reversed cards. Cut the deck, turn the cards 180 degrees from top to bottom and reshuffle.
- Use your instincts. Which cards feel like a “yes” or like a “no”? If I pull the Devil, The Tower or 10 of Swords, that always feels like a hard “no” whereas any of the Ace cards (Swords, Pentacles, Cups or Wands) or The Sun, The Empress and The Magician say “yes.”
- Ask additional questions, such as “What do I need to feel comfortable in this relationship?” or “What is one step I can take to get me closer to my promotion?”
- Be honest with yourself. Don’t keep pulling cards if you don’t like the answer. That’s going to cause confusion.
Create your own Tarot ritual
Tarot is a tool for developing yourself and your spirituality. If you don’t feel connected to your deck of Tarot cards, then you won’t achieve the true benefits of Tarot. Create a routine around your Tarot readings that is special for you.
Start by setting your intention.
What do you want to ask Tarot? What kind of advice are you hoping for? How can the Tarot reading be empowering for you? This will hold yourself accountable and enable you to be in control of your choices. Learn more about how to create a sacred space here.
Set the tone of your reading.
Try to engage all of your senses. I like to dim the lights and light my favorite Crystal Journey Reiki-charged candles. They smell amazing. I turn on some soft Yoga music or binaural beats. When I feel relaxed and calm, my mind is engaged for a meaningful Tarot reading.
Spend some time in meditation.
This is a really important part of your ritual. Clear the clutter of your brain. Use guided meditations. Take some deep belly breaths. Visualize your question. I am still learning how to meditate and truly clear my monkey brain of endless to-dos and everyday stresses. Meditation helps keep me centered and grounded, ready to connect with my intuition.
Track your Tarot readings in a journal
Keeping a journal might seem like a daunting endeavor. It doesn’t have to be! Start by scribbling your first impressions, observations and thoughts in a notebook. Doodle some drawings around how you feel. A journal is your sacred place where anything goes.
I love to look back in my Tarot journal — to see which cards showed up more than once and how I interpreted them at the time. Each card plays different roles for me in every unique situation. A record of my Tarot readings helps me see the patterns while tracking my progress at the same time.
In Summary …
My tarot readings always — 100% of the time — reflect how I am feeling. They help connect the dots between my subconscious motivations to my current situation, opening up the possibilities of how my future might unfold. Tarot might not predict the future, but it will help you make better choices.