Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search

4 Reading Tips

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on May 27, 2011 | Comments (6)

Before digging into the details of a reading, I like to get an overview. Looking at the big picture helps me relate the details in a reading to each other, creating a more coherent message. I think of it as an artist first sketching in a composition and then going in a filling in the details. The sketch helps keep everything in perspective and in right relation. The details give the image nuance and bring it to life.

1. Look for Major Arcana cards.

The Majors make up fewer than one-third of the deck. If there are more than that in a reading, it tells me that there is something bigger going on than perhaps the querent thinks. There are life lessons and probably many forces beyond the querent’s control.

2. Look for the Court cards.

Fewer than one-quarter of the cards are court cards. If more than that shows up in a reading, I keep in mind that there may be many other people involved or influencing the situation. Or perhaps the querent is feeling torn about how to behave.

3. Analyze the suits present.

Are all four suits equally represented? If not, what is predominant and how might that influence the energy of the situation? What is missing? Is that suit one that should be brought into the situation by the querent?

I don’t always expect the suits to be equally represented. For example, if I would expect more cups in a relationship reading. What is striking to me is when there are no cups present in a love relationship reading. When reading about a job or career, it is interesting to determine the querent’s priorities by the suits present. Pentacles is financial, of course. Wands shows that ambition and excitement are valued. Swords indicates a love of problem-solving and analysis. Cups suggests that emotional fulfillment and good relations with co-workers and clients matter a lot to this querent.

4. Look at the visual pattern made by the cards.

Tarot is a visual medium. Art and artistic elements matter to most readers. Before looking at the art of each card, look at the cards on the table altogether as if they were one picture. Look at the colors and shapes. Is there a flow…or lack of flow…that you can see?

The next time you do a reading, try these four steps and make a sketch of your interpretation. Then fill in the details card by card.

Let me know how it works for you!

Reader Comments

Written By Dee
on May 27th, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

Great tips–thanks for the astute write up! 🙂

Written By Scott K Smith
on May 27th, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

All sound advice!

One of the earliest lessons I was taught was to look at the pattern. not just the spread, how are the cards placed, who is where and in relation to what (major, court, suit, etc).

Thank you for the affirmation of good information!

Written By Brandi Palechek
on May 27th, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

As a beginning reader, I tend to over analyze the cards. This simple, effective 4 step checklist will be ever so helpful!

Written By Russell
on May 27th, 2011 @ 3:56 pm


Another great collection of tips. I have been using the analysis of suits for a long time now, and was beginning to grasp at the concept of the presence of arcana and court cards. It is nice to see those ideas codified like this.

I am not a very visual person and so the visual aspect of the Tarot has always come to me with great difficulty, but the idea of seeing the flow, or lack thereof, between various cards makes a lot of sense, and I will definitely try to work that in to future readings.

Thanks as always.

Written By Jeanne
on May 28th, 2011 @ 5:29 am

Thank you Barbara for sharing.

This will help me tremendously! 🙂

Written By Shaheen
on June 7th, 2011 @ 1:38 am

This is wonderful! I always tell people to really look at the cards and see a whole picture because those cards fell that way for a reason, and every aspect of it is perfect. I think that this really lend to the idea of allowing the colors and pictures speak for themselves, rather than relying on book meanings. Great tips that I will share with others!

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address

Verification Code:
Please enter the words that you see, below, into the box provided.

Next Post: