How to Do a Tarot Reading on Yourself
As Tarot readers, we’ve all done it: deliberated whether to practise our reading skills for ourselves or seek professional guidance on a burning answer.
Reading for yourself is one of the most difficult things to do. Because it requires self-discipline, and we often look for the answers we want rather than what we need. Even seasoned readers will find it challenging and prefer to have another reader read for them. So, here we share The Wellness Foundry‘s Top 7 Tips on How to Read the Tarot for Yourself:
1. Ask yourself why you need to know the answer?
The main two questions you need to be asking yourself before pulling out your cards are:
- Do I already know the answer and, therefore, even need to be doing this reading at all?
- Are my motivations for doing this reading higher-vibration, or are they coming from a lower-vibrational place?
Take an honest look at why you’re pulling out your deck: Are you asking because your curiosity is killing you, and you must know? Are you just nosy about how someone might feel about something you just did? What is your state of mind?
This is especially true if the answers you’re looking for can be found outside the cards. For example, could you ask the people involved directly instead of referring to the Tarot?
If you do decide that you want to read for yourself, here are a few tips to ensure the reading is fruitful:
2. Be objective
This is the trickiest part. While it’s true the Tarot doesn’t lie, the cards pick up the most prominent energies surrounding a situation. Don’t forget that the Tarot is a mirror that reflects energies it picks up. Therefore, you must be mindful that the Tarot could be mirroring your wishful thinking, negative “worst-case-scenario” thinking, fears, or ego. In addition, reading while you’re stressed can muddy the energies. So, ensure you’re coming in from an objective and open place; if you’re too emotionally invested in the outcome of the reading then it’s probably best to consult a professional Tarot reader.
3. Cleanse your Tarot deck and space
When reading for yourself, you need to set the tone:
- Meditate beforehand (ensure that you are in a calm headspace)
- Centre and ground yourself. How do I ground myself?
- Invite stillness into your space using your cleansing method of choice (sage, palo santo, or our Space Clearing incense). How to cleanse Tarot cards without tools? No problem, you can imagine white light bathing the cards, removing any spent, stagnant or stuck energies.
- Similarly, some people like to cleanse their decks to start the reading on a ‘clean slate.’
- Ask your Spirit Team specifically to give you the most objective guidance for the Highest Good for yourself and those around you. Want to know who is my spirit guide?
- Be honest with yourself and open to receiving any information for your highest good—even if your ego doesn’t like it.
- Use a defined spread.
Many people ask us here at The Wellness Foundry what happens if you don’t cleanse your tarot cards? In all honesty, it’s a personal choice. Some readers don’t cleanse their cards because they like to ‘build up’ the energies over time–almost like a visitor book in a hotel. In contrast, others cleanse their deck religiously after every reading. Find what works for you and stick with it.
4. Use a specific spread.
With the prevalence of Tarot YouTubers doing “freestyle” readings, it might be tempting to just sling cards all over the table and cherry-pick positive cards to reinforce your own beliefs, expectations, or suspicions about a particular situation.
But when reading for yourself, it is more important than ever to give some structure to your readings.
- Use a defined spread with specifically designated meanings for each position in the layout.
- If you need to clarify a card because it’s not making sense to you, lay one or more two cards down for extra information.
- Ask specific questions (this can be scary for some as you risk getting answers you’d rather not receive).
Having a clear-cut spread will keep you in check. As tempting as it may be, don’t keep lying cards down until you get the answer you want! Don’t completely start reading all over again from the beginning just because you didn’t like the answer. Asking the same questions over and over, hoping for a different response, is not helpful.
5. Take the first interpretation, don’t overthink it.
Use your intuition and let the first meanings that come to mind guide you. Remember, your first instinct is usually the right one. Trust your intuition—whether it presents a more intuitive meaning or a traditional by-the-book definition, but don’t go into “denial mode” and start searching for alternative meanings. Combined with the correct spread, you’ll have the messages and answers that you need (but may not necessarily want) to receive.
Also, be mindful of interpreting the cards constructively. Don’t go into “worst-case scenario” mode; stay level-headed and avoid getting roiled up and reacting (for instance, confronting people or getting angry). You’re not reading cards to make yourself feel worse; you’re reading the cards to find a solution.
Make Tarot journalling a habit. It takes discipline to document every reading you do, but it will hopefully combat “Tarot addiction”, the pattern of redoing entire readings just because you don’t like the answer. It’s also a great way to discover if reading for yourself is for you.
Not everyone can read for themselves and are better suited to helping others. If you’re always getting compliments from your friends and family about being “spot-on”, but you’re always ‘off’ when you’re reading yourself, maybe reading for yourself just isn’t for you.
7. When unsure, don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion.
Even seasoned readers will need help from their fellow readers. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion from a friend who reads Tarot, or a professional for a more objective voice. Sometimes what you need for a friend to lend you an ear and somebody with whom to talk–we are social animals, after all. You don’t have to deal with things alone.