Learning to read Tarot cards is an ongoing process. When you first start out, it generally takes quite a bit of time. Any program or course that claims to teach you in less than a week is bullshit (in my opinion). Instead, you should take your time to really learn the cards and their meanings so that you understand it more thoroughly.
Even after you’ve learned how to read and interpret the cards, it’s always a good idea to continue practicing and performing various exercises to improve your skills.
So, for today’s blog post, I’m going to share with you another Tarot exercise to help improve your intuitive abilities. It’s especially helpful to use when first starting out, but even seasoned tarot readers can get some benefit from this exercise.
The Tarot Exercise
For this exercise, all you need is your Tarot deck. You’ll want to pull one card (either starting from the beginning or at random) and focus on the image you see. Really look at the card. Think about (or write down) the things that stand out to you – such as the colors, any symbolism that you see, and the overall scene displayed.
BEFORE looking to see what the card actually means, write down what YOU think it means. Let yourself think about your interpretation for awhile. Then, look up the traditional card meaning using the deck booklet (or various online resources).
Compare the two – most of the time, your instinct will be correct (or at least, somewhat close to the traditional meaning.) This will really show you how to trust your intuition during readings.
As I mentioned earlier, this is most helpful to those just starting out with learning Tarot – you have no frame of reference for what the card might indicate, so you’re genuinely getting an instinctual interpretation.
Those of you who have been reading Tarot cards for awhile may not find it as helpful, especially if you’ve learned by memorizing the card meanings, but it’s still something you can do when you get a new deck.
Personally, this is how I learned how to read the cards and I “memorized” the meanings based on that particular deck and image rather than the card itself. For a long time, I actually only ever used one deck in my readings because that was the deck I’d learned on and was comfortable with.
Now, though, I find it really helpful when I get a new deck – often, the images are slightly different in different decks, so it’s almost like having to learn all over again.
I’ve used a semi-traditional Tarot Deck since I started reading, so when I bought the Everyday Witch Tarot deck, some of the cards gave me pause – even though this deck is based heavily on the RWS imagery, some of them were a little different.
The Two of Swords is a good example of one of those cards, so I’m going to use this one to show you how this exercise would work:
In this card, a woman stands blindfolded while throwing a sword at a dartboard. One sword is already in the center of the dartboard, so it’s clear she’s done this at least once before. There is a black cat and a black crow in the room with her.
The fact that she’s indoors also stands out to me – she’s in a darkly lit room with only the black animals nearby.
My first impression when looking at this card is that it makes me feel anxious. I suppose you could look at it as a game, but given her grim expression, the dim lighting and gloomy colors, along with the black cat and crow (two symbols of bad luck), it seems more like an ominous card to me.
Based on this image, I would interpret this card as suggesting that there’s something external in your life which you feel is at stake. She looks as if she’s under a lot of stress in the image, which tells me that this “game” is more important than it might seem at first glance.
In addition, there’s an element of danger to the act of throwing swords at a dartboard while wearing a blindfold. That suggests that she feels like whatever this situation is, it’s unstable.
The two swords and two animals suggest a lot of duality here – I’d guess that it has to do with trying to decide between two different courses of action. Since she’s throwing swords, though, it seems like either choice isn’t necessarily a great one. She’s stuck having to decide which way to go when neither way is going to lead to happiness.
Finally, the blindfold indicates that she’s not seeing everything around her – she’s literally blind to her surroundings.
According to the Everyday Witch guidebook the 2 of Swords represents having a decision to make but not making it in the most rational or logical way possible. This card also indicates that you already know the correct decision, but that you’re having a hard time accepting it.
When this card comes up, it’s advising you to look at the situation carefully, particularly looking for what you might’ve overlooked or what you might be ignoring, and that you go with your gut instinct.
As you can see, my initial intuitive reading of this card was fairly similar to what the card actually means. If I were to give a reading to someone and this card came up, I wouldn’t need to look up the meaning – I could go based on just what I observe.
When you first learn Tarot, using this intutive reading exercise will help you improve your ability to trust your own instincts when it comes to the cards. Once you start doing this, you’ll see that you’re right most of the time. That alone will help you start to trust yourself more.
Plus, even if you’re not completely correct in your interpretation, you can start to understand how to read the cards more easily. What are the colors, symbols, and body language cues that you’re not looking at? What elements of the cards do you need to pay more attention to? If it was wrong, how did your interpretation of the card compare to the general meaning?
As always, thank you so much for reading this! Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried this method of learning the cards and how it worked for you.