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How To Do An Intuitive Tarot Reading

Intuitive tarot readings with The Cosmic Slumber Tarot (Ten of Pentacles, The Night bonus card, Ace of Swords)

Overwhelmed by card meanings? This method is key to unlocking the tarot…

By Eleanor Tremeer

Countless people have invested years of their life studying the tarot. Which can be very daunting for someone just starting out. Do you have to buy a ton of books and learn every card’s meaning before doing a reading? Or can you just learn as you go?

The truth, of course, is whatever works best for you. Some find greater meaning through study, others can only learn by doing. But tarot readings aren’t just prescriptive, and sometimes the best tarot readings are the ones that come from a feeling…

Intuitive tarot readings: The Moon from Modern Witch Tarot

What is an intuitive tarot reading?

Intuition is a powerful thing. It’s the gut feeling we get about something, the sense or impression that sticks with us. Intuition can guide us in life, sometimes without us realising. It’s key to a lot of esoteric practices, especially anything to do with empathy and divination — yet it tends to be downplayed or ignored by many classic tarot texts.

Sometimes the best tarot readings are the ones that come from a feeling.

The idea behind intuitive tarot readings is to let that feeling guide you, rather than analysing everything logically. Many decks have been created to be accessible, to give people a clear impression of the card’s meaning through art alone. Intuitive reading can be the key to unlocking the tarot, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the material out there.

Intuitive tarot readings with the Modern Witch Tarot deck (Ace of Pentacles, Ten of Wands, Justice), and the Modern Witch Tarot Journal

How to do an intuitive tarot reading

Step one: look at a card. No meanings, no expectations of how the card relates to a query. Just really, really look at it.

Take a few deep breaths, clear your mind of everything else, and dive into the card. If any other thoughts come up, just let them float by you.

What’s the first impression you get about the scene? (It might help to make a note of this.) See what jumps out at you, and think about what that might mean. Does it remind you of anything or anyone? What do you think is the story of the scene? Pay attention to your emotional reactions: unpacking them can really help you understand what the card is trying to say.

Once you’ve spent some time exploring the card visually, then take a look at its meaning in the booklet that came with the deck. Does this chime with what you saw in the card when you were meditating on it? Is anything a surprise? Finally, look at the card again with the meaning in mind, and put it all together.

Now you’re ready to start reading for queries. Basically, you want to use the same method of reading the cards, but set a question for each card first. Then, as you meditate on the artwork, think about how it relates to your query. Is there anything you recognise?

Symbolism & Intuition

If you repeat the above method enough times, you’ll become very familiar with your deck. Soon, you’ll feel like the deck is talking to you as you do readings. Now it might be worthwhile doing some further study. Symbolism can really help you hone your intuition.

Every tarot card is made up of many different symbols. Learning what they are and what they mean can really help when you do an intuitive reading, because you’ll learn the makeup of the card and recognise which element applies to different situations — as well as how cards can shift meanings between decks.

Because ultimately, intuition isn’t just a feeling about something, it’s our brains subconsciously tapping into everything we’ve learned so far, and communicating an impression or reaction immediately without need for analytical thought. Combining your intuition with study of tarot symbolism taps into the heart of this intuitive process, and will make you a formidable tarot reader who is able to divine the meaning of the cards no matter what the situation!

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Do you have any tips for intuitive tarot reading? Let us know in the comments, or talk to us on Instagram!

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Modern Witch Tarot by Lisa Sterle

The Cosmic Slumber Tarot by Tillie Walden

Modern Witch Tarot Journal by Lisa Sterle

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