How do I read tarot cards

Laying tarot cards: this is how you get answers to love questions

Photographed by Megan Madden.
There are many things you can do with tarot cards. Some try to read their future with it, others look at their career opportunities and - yes - the cards can also help you in matters of love. But how do you become a card reader? We spoke to two tarot readers and asked them what reading the cards can tell us about love in particular. But remember: There are many different ways to lay tarot cards - after all, it is a very intuitive way of divination. So you may need some time figuring out your course of action. But let's be honest: very few of us currently lack time.
For Katelyn Lemay, founder of Heuristic Tarot, reading cards is not necessarily a glimpse into things that are yet to happen: “I try to focus on the present and not the future. When I lay the cards for people, I tell them from the start that I am not going to tell them when they will meet the love of their life or what color of hair the person has. It is much more beneficial if we deal with ourselves and the things that we can control ”. Instead of asking: When will I meet the love of my lifeso ask yourself: What can I do to open myself to the possibility of a relationship? or even: What qualities should I look for in a partner?
Tess Giberson, also known as City Witch, shares a similar philosophy. “I think it's more useful if we use map reading as a tool for self-reflection,” she says. Tess recommends asking questions like: What role do I play in this relationship? How do I show myself to the other person? How can I get more open to love? How can I learn to set boundaries in a relationship?What should I focus on in my relationship?
Tess also says that this practice should never be done for people who are not present at the meeting. “It is one thing when two people or a polyamorous group come in and ask for a reading. But from an ethical point of view, I would never read cards for someone who is not in the room, ”they explain. "I have the feeling that this massively violates the independence of the person."
Professional cartelers use certain techniques to read the cards. With a little practice, however, you can also read your cards yourself. “Although the superstition says you shouldn't read your cards yourself, I don't believe in it,” says Katelyn. "I think the only problem is that you often only see what you want to see or tell yourself that some cards don't apply to you."
Tess advises setting an intention before starting the reading. Imagine a rain of energy and try to ground yourself by visualizing yourself as a tree root. Then you can summon your guardians, ancestors and spirits. If that's too much for you to start with, according to Tess you can just open the window and take a few deep breaths. Just do what makes you feel really present, grounded, and centered.
Then the cards are open to you for questions. There are of course different ways of laying. You can either spread them all out on the table in front of you and choose the ones that you feel a connection with. Some feel a little vibration in their hands, but for others it's more of a gut feeling. However, Tess recommends beginners to only draw three cards from the deck and think about their meaning.
"For example, you can see whether the cards appear multiple times, whether there are relationships between the cards and which element appears most frequently," says Tess. The numerology of the cards can also be important: "For example, if you draw four cards and three of them are sixes, then I would look at what numerology says about the number six". There are also recurring symbols, the traditional meaning of the card, the colors that appear on the card and what they mean in color theory and for our chakras. Even the orientation of the living beings shown on the map can give you information about your question.
If you get stuck with some cards, tarot textbooks and a quick Google search can help. And if all of this sounds too complicated for you, you can start with just one card. Because Tess also thinks: "There is no right or wrong way to read tarot cards".