Do Not Read Tarot for Yourself: Myth Busting #5

Featured Deck: The Rider Waite Smith Tarot

The art of reading the tarot is an amazing way to gain clarity and guidance. However, there seems to be this idea that reading your own cards is not advisable. Here are some of the reasons I’ve heard:

a) People are way too biased about a situation and of those involved which affects the quality of the reading.

b) They will only colour their own interpretations according to what they want to see.

c) It will only induce more anxiety and fear.

I do see merit in the statements above, but I feel that these reasons paint people in general as incapable of discernment and objectivity and that is where I take issue with this concept. From my experience, using the cards helped me become more self-aware. Each card can represent a perspective I wouldn’t have thought off or was too blind to see. It has helped widen my perspective and allowed me to be more open and receptive to others and myself. This practice is grounding for me and it helps me calm my often muddled brain.

Have I read the cards objectively for myself ever since I started?

Hell, no. In fact, I used to believe that this myth was a fact. I couldn’t parse through what was the true intention the cards wanted to say. I allowed my own judgment to cloud my readings and I caused myself unnecessary grief and sadness. Although I did question the legitimacy of it, this didn’t stop me from reading my own cards. In time, I finally developed my intuition and perception that is necessary for me to read my own cards. It took practice and a willingness to make ”mistakes.”

Does that mean I shouldn’t get readings from other people?

Honestly no because getting your cards read by another person, especially a professional one can be a profound experience. Reading your cards is magical in its own right, but it’s a whole different experience to have someone give you their own unique insight and guidance using this tool. Everyone has their own style of reading the cards and relaying information, and that is the beauty of this practice. If you have the financial or energetic capacity to get a reading from someone else then I would highly recommend it in conjunction with your own tarot learning.

How do I start reading my own cards?

  • Don’t be ashamed to use the LWB. I started out reading the cards using the interpretations I got from the Little White Booklet or LWB. This helped me get the basic foundation of the “traditional” meanings for each card.
  • Look at the image of the cards and note down what you see. When you look at the card, what are your impressions? Don’t judge what you see and then disregard it. Consider and reflect to see how it relates to your question or situation, or how it contradicts the traditional meaning. This skill I developed later on and it took a while for me to finally trust what I see.
  • Be experimental about it. Use spreads that you see online, free write what you noticed in each card, record your own readings and just word vomit as much as you can, etc. Just don’t censor yourself and approach it with playfulness.
  • Keep it as public or private as you want it. The rise of social media has given many folks a platform to share their journeys. A lot of people (including yours truly) love to share their knowledge and findings regarding the cards. However, don’t ever feel pressured to share your personal readings online. If you want to keep it to yourself then by all means do it. Do what is comfortable for you.

Reading your own tarot cards is a powerful way to get familiar with the system and to learn more about yourself. It’s a journey that’s a bit topsy-turvy at times, but a worthy one to take on nonetheless.

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