Sorry. That was a bit enthusiastic of me.
If you’ve been wondering if you should read your own tarot cards, my answer is yes yes yes.
Here’s the thing, nobody will ever know you better than you know yourself, and while some may know tarot better that you do, they don’t know you, and you are the most important part of any tarot reading.
How Tarot Works
Tarot cards are a divination tool that allow you to communicate with the divine.
Of course, you don’t need any such tools. You don’t need anything to talk to God, Source Energy, the Universe.
You can just sit and chat.
You can pray.
You can meditate.
Source Energy is always talking to you. Always.
But you are usually blocking that communication.
Tarot helps you unblock.
By having a medium, a material object that gives you concrete comfort, you can begin to believe in and build your own relationship with the divine.
Tarot cards were invented by an artist, known as Etteilla, who was playing with the original deck of 52 playing cards, adding in “major arcana cards” for a total of 78 cards in all.
He painted them by hand for rich families, and they were used for parlor games until fortune tellers began using them as a means to interpret the life stories of clients.
It was years later than the cards would come into fashion as everyday divination tools, when a mystic named Pamela Colman Smith got together with an occultist and scholar A.E. Waite and created the most commonly recognized Rider Waite Tarot deck.
Among the 78 cards, there are four suits – cups for emotions, swords for intellect, pentacles for the material world, and wands for inspiration. Then there are the major arcana cards which represent major life issues to consider.
When we read tarot, we could be reading anything. It could be tea leaves, runes, crystals, palms, or the stars.
The divination tools we draw on are merely focal points.
We have accepted tarot into the global culture, so it has taken shape in our imaginations as a means of communication. That is all.
The deck itself hold no power.
And you have no way of knowing whether any tarot reader in particular has any special insight into the gods or if he or she is merely a charlatan great at reading people and figuring out what you most want to hear, or what you are most afraid.
For every truly deeply in touch mystic or spiritual witch, there are a dozen fakes out there seeking profit from your pain and pleasure.
So, can you read your own tarot?
Not only can you, but you should.
Divine and Read Your Own Tarot
Before you begin to read your own tarot, it is a good idea to learn to divine in general.
Divination is communication with Source Energy.
You want to get yourself into a place of alignment before you begin trusting in any tool at all outside yourself to interpret for you.
You need to be able to call bullshit when you see it, even when it sits right in front of your eyes.
Let me tell you why.
About a year ago, I got sick.
I don’t really get sick but once every few years I’ll get a flu or bad cold.
But I got COVID, and it hit my household pretty hard.
I mean, we never got dangerously ill or anything. It was mostly like a weird flu, but it terrified me.
I began to fear death like never before.
What if I died and left my children?
What if I grew too ill to work and became a burden on my family?
What if I never finished the book I’m writing, never left a legacy for my children and husband, never fulfilled my dreams?
Months later, after several months of caretaking for my bedridden grandmother with dementia, I had a nervous breakdown.
I was in an almost constant state of panic.
I felt helpless after spending decades as “the strong one.”
It took months of self-healing, of intense self-care, and of intense self-love, with repeated relapses, to get myself to a place where I can genuinely say I have come out the other side.
And guess what?
Throughout those difficult months of building myself into the person I am today, the person I am still becoming, I pulled the Death card over and over again in my daily tarot readings.
But I was already so deeply entrenched in self-awareness, in self care, and in self-love, already so far down the path toward enlightenment, that each time I pulled good old Death, I said to myself, “yes, yes, I know. I am dying.”
Self Awareness and Tarot in Context
You see, first of all, we are all dying from the day we are born.
I also knew firsthand by that point that I was undergoing a huge transition. A large part of my was indeed dying.
The part that relied on my ego to navigate the world for me.
The part that allowed my brainwashed, conditioned, autopilot subconscious to drive me around each day, barely conscious enough to recognize what a great life I had.
The part of me that was no longer serving me, that was blocking me from becoming the me I had always wanted to be.
Yea. She was dying.
And I was both sad for her, because she got me through so much of my life, and also excited for the me I was becoming.
By this point, also, I had come to terms with my own death.
Do I want to die?
No! Of course not.
But I accepted that I would indeed die at some point, and that my spirit set intentions long before I came into this human body.
I realized that my children were deeply loved by so many people, not least of which is my husband, their father, and that mothers die and leave children behind all the time.
If this was the fate I was marching inexorably toward, so be it.
I had begun to live in the now.
In the reality of “but I’m here now.”
So that lovely Death card not only did not frighten me, but it also encouraged me.
I was on the right path.
Furthermore, the Death card rarely represents physical death. Just as the Tower card does not have to mean your entire physical world will come falling down.
Also, the future, even the present, is never set in stone.
When we realize that everything is in constant motion, things are fluid, and that we are the masters of our own destinies, Tarot becomes a way of working with the Universe, not interpreting some inevitable fortune or doom.
Read Your Own Tarot
So yes, yes, yes, read your own tarot.
But first, get aligned.
Get yourself so deeply in love with yourself that you get to the state of tatata, or Tathata, in Buddhist teachings. This is the suchness of life.
Acceptance of what is.
As Eckhart Tolle teaches, look at each moment as if you had chosen it for yourself.
Now, work with that.
When we do this, we begin to step into the flow of what is.
We begin to see everything as a delicious clue.
We begin to experience deep gratitude for what is, what will be, and even for what has been, no matter how dark it may have been.
The first step toward reaching alignment is to meditate daily.
Wake early in the morning, before anyone else in the house if you can, before sun even if you can.
Do some gentle yoga to wake up your body, and sit for 20 minutes on your mat.
Meet yourself there.
Sink deep into your higher consciousness there.
When you leave meditation, show gratitude for the four elements, the four corners of the earth, and then commit to good thoughts, good words, and good deeds for the day.
Make yourself a warm cup of coffee or tea, your first magic of the day, adding in your herbs, your sweeteners, your creams, and stirring clockwise while affirming your prosperity for the day.
Then sit in your sacred space and pull your tarot cards.
I like to pull two oracle cards from different decks first to set the tone for my reading.
Then take out your tarot deck and begin the shuffle, flipping them this way and that, upside down and right side up.
Then, when you feel ready, divide your deck into three piles, and choose the pile that speaks most clearly to you.
Pull the piles together into one deck again, with your chosen deck on top, and pull three cards directly from the top, laying each card down from left to right, face up as it pulls from the deck.
This represents, in order, you, your path, and your potential.
Now, look up a guide, I enjoy Biddy Tarot, and see which interpretation resonates most with you.
Finally, journal on it.
You will find yourself getting more excited, and more experienced, each day.
Then, if you do ever have someone else read for you, you know what will resonate and when to call bullshit.
A very important part of taking the spiritual path is knowing when to call bullshit.