1. Build a Relationship With Tarot to Improve Your Tarot Reading Skills
There is no “best way” to become an amazing tarot reader or improve your tarot reading. The truth is, everybody has their own path to take, and everyone is unique. So, the best way to improve tarot reading skills is really about the methods that work best for you.
With tarot, you’re looking at how to build a relationship with the cards.
Relationships are all unique and so how you build one with tarot can be too. Think of it as a journey and each day is a step to building a stronger connection with your cards.
This means you can keep trying different things to see what works. Spend whatever time feels right for you on each technique you try. See what you like the most. Combine them if that helps. There are no rules!
2. Journal About Each Tarot Card
A very popular way to get familiar with the archetypes and symbolism of tarot decks is to journal personal interpretations of each card.
Many people will spend a day per card. In the morning or at some point during the day, you can draw a card and then write about what it means to you to improve your tarot reading skills.
Look in your day to find connections that relate to the meanings of the card. For instance, if you draw the Ace of Cups and notice someone talking about a new love or a new creative pursuit, connecting that experience with this card will help you to recall its meaning later during readings.
Spending a few weeks or months going through the deck this way can really amp up your resonance with the deck and tarot system you’re using to improve your tarot reading skills!
3. Buy a Tarot Journal to Record Readings to Refer Back to Them for Insights
I bought a tarot journal to record my readings. I had a situation with a workplace where I was pulling a lot of “negative” cards.
I saw that the boss I was reading about had high expectations (Magician) of her employees and is emotionally manipulative and deceitful (King of Cups with 7 of Swords). She wants employees to be Magicians for her but doesn’t want to pay them or treat them right.
In another question about that same workplace, I pulled a lot of 5s. I put this all down in the journal, but then allowed myself to doubt what I was seeing. I rejected my insights because I didn’t trust myself and what I saw. Having it written down to refer back to is what became my gold here.
Turns out that boss is doing a lot of awful stuff there. I won’t get into details, but I will tell you it was super powerful for me to be able to go back to that reading and understand on hindsight.
I wasn’t completely right about everything with that boss, but I was accurate enough that the reading was a great warning of where not to work. I can learn from what I got wrong too, on how the cards are trying to talk to me.
You can do this with your readings as well and learn from your own relationship to your decks. These insights become your own reference or “bible” of a sorts and are great to improve your tarot reading skills!
4. Watch a Greater Variety of Readers
Another great way to improve your tarot reading is that if you watch others read on platforms like YouTube, don’t stick with the same ones all the time. Expand the people you follow, and their perspectives will help grow.
Like, I just heard one say the other day that the Strength card to him can sometimes mean someone trying to overpower another and that really hit home with me. I’d never heard that before.
I’m not saying don’t give up on your favorite tarot readers, but to keep incorporating other readers in your learning as you have time and the curiosity to do so.
But also, don’t just watch anything that seems popular unless you’re studying people. Instead, vet the readers you watch and make sure they’re sincere and genuine.
You don’t want to get caught in the trap of being influenced by people that are into dark things, fraudulent, or generally don’t take this path seriously and give flippant, trendy, or ill-advice. Aside from the moral issues of these practices, it’s just not helpful to your growth to watch things that will stunt your instead of things that will improve your tarot reading skills.
Even if you can see through their antics, some of these types can be very detrimental to those who do not have that same kind of discernment. So those with more wisdom and insight are protecting those that don’t by not giving credence or attention to frauds.
5. Read on Important and Vivid Past Events
Another good way to improve your tarot reading skills is to do readings on past events. Do not use the book in this case and then write down your impressions and let your knowledge help guide you on the cards.
Build a relationship with the cards don’t just keep it at face value. Look for nuances. Pay attention to your voice interacting with the cards and don’t be afraid to let it come out and shine even if it’s scary.
Many of us were taught to shut down and ignore this voice inside. With tarot reading, it’s time to face your fears and let that shit shine!
Make an intention that you will let your voice speak so you can break through and improve your tarot reading skills to levels you couldn’t imagine! You are the most important key in your readings! You matter.
6. Stop Trying to Be Right, Accurate, or Correct
We live in a world that wants “rightness” to be king. This is not actually how the world works. If you spend any amount of time studying the human brain, specifically neuroscience, you’ll quickly learn that there are far fewer truths than we believe.
In fact, every individual human is shaped by circumstances and situations that determine how a person views reality. None of us can see past our current reality. We can expose ourselves to other’s truths and grow our reality, but we can’t see beyond it from a past sense.
This means that the only way you can be “right” is to be completely in the moment at all times and be able to glean insights from both the future and the past in this present moment.
It almost becomes a paradox to know the “truth.” There are fundamental, overarching truths but that is a bit different from this subject here. With tarot reading, it is all about perspectives and guidance rather than right and wrong answers.
Not many people can see all enough to do “right” readings, but the ones that can are extremely good psychics. It’s not that it’s impossible, but if you’re a beginner and haven’t worked with that, most of the time you’re going to be wrong trying to be right.
So, to avoid this conundrum, we drop all assumptions and allow whatever needs to be – to be. This means we must learn to face what we don’t like or want to see and accept it as a truth trying to come through and express it to improve your tarot reading skills.
And by being curious instead of judgmental about information, judging it as right or wrong, we just allow what is to be what is.
For instance, if you get a a spread that is screaming at you about ill health, but you can’t exactly pinpoint why in the cards per their traditional meanings, you may fight that interpretation as wrong.
Only to find out later you were right. The conversation with the cards is more important than being “right” about the traditional meanings of the cards. Listen to your inner voice.
Try not to fight the information or shut it down. Let it come through and ask questions about its truth and reality in the reading.
7. Avoid Predictive and Yes/No Questions
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not right or wrong to do prediction and yes/no type questions in divination. The point I’m making is that when you’re just beginning, or if you’re having issues with learning divination, to not muddle the waters.
Don’t make it harder for yourself when you’re already confused. To set yourself up for the best success, and if nothing else is working, pare down your techniques. Weed out anything that could be making it more confusing for you.
If you don’t know how to read a yes/no answer in tarot, why have that there to confuse you? When you learn to work simply, you can build a solid foundation first. This foundation will then lead you to you being able to read predictions accurately.
It’s important to define that you want to be accurate, not right. Tarot is sometimes obscure, so being accurate can be different from being right. It’s a guide and sometimes the guidance is much more powerful than the logic.
When you’ve built a solid foundation, then start to reincorporate things like predictions and yes/no if that’s your thing and this will help improve your tarot reading skills.
8. Try Oracle Decks Instead
If learning the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) decks are a struggle, many people find it really helpful to switch to oracle decks or even Marseilles decks.
These systems can feel less technical in learning their meanings and the journey of The Fool, and therefore less intimidating to learn.
Once you get familiar with something a little easier, then you can always come back to trying the RWS system.
9. Keep Trying Different Things
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut when we try to learn something using methods from only one or two other people or groups.
While this can work fine for many people, some of us need more insight to learn. And that’s perfectly okay too!
Some people are very quick learners and can hear things once and they’re off. Others, like me, are very slow learners and need many different insights.
Neither way of learning is better or worse, but just different ways of learning. Some people are built to learn and teach one way, and some are built to learn and teach other ways. It all ends up working out with how we help the collective.
If you get stuck or find your learning has hit a plateau, try other ideas from this list or from other people and keep incorporating and checking back in with yourself.
The Temperance card is about experimenting and combining. This is maybe an overarching lesson you’re learning in life.
You can even use this card to inspire you each day by setting it out where you can see it. Remind yourself that you just need to try something else and eventually you’ll get there.
Ward off frustration by adopting an open attitude about your unique way of learning. This helps your voice feel less afraid to come out too. You’re on a journey together with your inner voice. Let your curiosity out!
10. Learn Psychic Skills
I’m going to be honest, meditation is my nemesis lately, but I still advocate for it even if I can’t do it myself very well.
I have done it enough to sense that it can exponentially heighten your intuitive sight and reduce your monkey brain’s idle chatter that can mess up guidance.
Work to build a practice in meditation so you can better understand your energy and inner voice. This is very helpful when having to discern what information is coming from where if things get too muddled.
Additionally, do other things that are non-tarot related that build your intuition.
Try other divinations like runes or work on building your psychic skills so you can hone in on energy more precisely.
11. Pick the Right Decks for You
If you have a deck that makes you feel unsettled or upset, or bored out of your mind, these decks are not for you.
Don’t try to read with decks or divination tools that intimidate you into feeling powerless in your readings and in life.
A deck that makes you feel good, empowered, or like you’re in a conversation with it right from the start, this is what you want.
Sometimes when I’m looking at decks, ideas are jumping out at me with the images. For instance, I was looking at a mermaid deck on Amazon and the 3 of Swords is of 3 mermen surrounding a dead whale and with 3 swords laying on the ice. I instantly felt grief and sadness for the whale.
Because I was instantly touched this way and felt emotion, this deck was speaking to me, and it made me want to buy it.
This doesn’t mean you should buy every deck that speaks to you, but you are more likely to connect with a deck that “talks” to you like this than a deck where you’re feeling fear, unsettled, or other energies that shut down your voice instead of open it up.
Find decks that speak to you. When you look at the images, do you feel like you immediately understand them? That’s a clue that deck is for you.
Even if the deck speaks darkly or negatively, if you don’t feel shut down by its darkness, then that’s okay too.
But do be aware of how it might affect people you read for. And perhaps only use dark decks for clients who are in a place of being able to accept those kinds of messages.
If you can afford it, switch decks if you start to feel one is getting tired and not really reading well for you anymore. It’s okay to take breaks and move around between decks or have several you like to read from at a time.
There really are no rules here. The point is to be aware and stay aware of your energy from day to day and keep maintaining it.
The point is to let your inner voice start leading more often and allowing a conversation to develop from your logic brain to your intuitive brain.
Ideally, you want them to converse in a bonded way, neither shutting the other down overly much, and both considering what the other is saying.
This is wisdom and is not only useful to improve your tarot reading skills, but also in your everyday life.
12. Try Challenges on Instagram and Pinterest
Search on Instagram and Pinterest for tarot challenges where you can find questions to ask your deck that helps you grow as a reader.
These questions generally have a list of questions you ask each day.
In the same way you might pull a general ‘card a day,’ this method helps you to get better at understanding tarot cards in different contexts.
For example, one question might be, “How can I be a better friend today?”
This is going to give you more precision in your readings because the question is a specific ask instead of just a general subject.
Simply by asking this question, your mind is programmed to find an answer, so throughout the day you should hopefully find opportunities to become a more valuable friend to others!
And the more questions you ask, the more your mind expands, and this can greatly improve your tarot reading skills!
13. Join Facebook Groups
14. Find Tarot Workbooks and Exercise Books
15. Try to Match Tarot Cards to Things in Your World
Pick a tarot card a day and try to find instances of it going on in your life. For example, if you draw the Tower card and you’re watching a show, movie, or some other type of media and something shocking happens to someone, note how that feels and plays out in their life.
Think about times in your life where something shocking, good or bad, happened to you and really changed the course of events.
These don’t always have to be major events. Sometimes we can even have small shifts in perception that can ripple out into our lives in life changing ways.
As you learn to associate the tarot to what’s going on in your life, this will help you read tarot in a more skillful way for others.
16. Do Your Readings Out Loud to an "Audience"
Of course, you don’t have to actually have an audience. You could use a piece of paper with a smiley face drawn on it or use some item that represents an audience to you.
Or you could start a YouTube channel. It’s up to you.
The thing is, when you start doing your readings out loud, you will start to incorporate more parts of your brain, which helps you to draw in more logical and intuitive insight.
It’s a great way to build your fire element if you’re working on self development.
It might sound a little funny and feel a little nuts to do this, but you won’t know until you try it!
17. Let Things Go That Don't Resonate
The worst thing you could have in your life is things that do not help you open up your intuition. As in, they’re actually even working against you.
If you have decks that feel dead, or people who criticize you all the time or make you feel bad for being yourself, this is going to shut you down.
Try to get these sorts of influences to a minimum in your life.
If you can’t, you will need to learn to build your fire and stop giving a fuck what they think so your voice will have a chance to get loud.
Once you clean house and get rid of decks you don’t click with and other items in your house, and do full inventory on people and situations, this should give your intuition some good space to stretch and breathe.
Be sure to keep adding things and people you do resonate with!
18. Listen to Other Experts Talk About Their Learning Path
Listening to other experts who are already teaching and reading for others can be a great way to relieve the pressure of doing it “right.”
They have invaluable insights into how they overcame obstacles, did things differently than mainstream, and found their way with developing their own relationship with the cards.
Here is one interview that discusses exactly these sorts of things. You can learn through these two teachers who talk about how they learned tarot and other divination subjects.
The Mindz Eye with Patti McGarrahan and Brett Sheldon.
19. Compare Several Decks Card for Card
If you have more than one deck, another fun way to learn card meanings is to go through one or more decks side by side, card by card and compare how each author artistically interpreted the archetype.
Look at the keywords each author uses as well.
You’ll start to see how similar and diverse different people can view one archetype and it helps your mind understand that there are only general interpretations of cards, but those meanings can vary widely depending on the reader and the questions being read.
20. Get a Professional Reading
Getting a professional reading from an expert can help give you some insights on readings for yourself and you may even ask them questions about how to unblock any issues that might be causing you to struggle.
In fact, you could get a reading on that exact subject of how to improve your tarot reading skills and have them help guide you personally on how to read tarot better!
A tarot reader I highly recommend is Brett Sheldon, in the video above. He offers readings and other types of divination, and if you live in his area, you can catch any of his offline courses on astrology, sigils, tarot, and more! Check out his website, MysticPractice.com to find out more!
21. Start a Class or Find a Mentor
There are tons of people offering tarot reading books and classes and offering to be mentors, but not all of them are good.
A great way to find reputable tarot readers is by talking to other people who have already had experiences that gave them results.
The important factor is getting results from teachers and mentors. A lot of people have a lot of knowledge, but only some can guide you towards getting the results you’re wanting.
This is why joining social media groups and forums, or even offline meetup groups is a great way to build a network to learn tarot.
People in these communities can help you find trustworthy teachers and mentors.
If groups aren’t your thing, there are tons of online classes as well. A great one I highly recommend is Sal Jade’s classes on Udemy. If you catch them on sale, which Udemy does often, you’re getting an excellent deal.
Not only will you get an excellent, thorough class, but you’ll also get a Facebook group to join, many other supporting classes you can join, and sometimes Sal will do giveaways and give free courses!
Here is one of her best classes, Tarot Card Success – The Complete Tarot Reading Course.
She’s the most in-depth and thorough teacher I’ve come across and she’s got tons of classes and a great growing network. You can even practice and exchange readings in her groups, which will most definitely help you improve your tarot reading skills!
22. Ask Better Questions
It’s common to start learning tarot without teachers or mentors and start asking questions that don’t help you grow.
Many people misunderstand how to get the most out of tarot and then spread practices that might not be all that great for beginners.
The best kinds of questions to ask usually start with the Where, How, What, and sometimes Why. But I’d leave out the Whys until you’re a more seasoned reader just to keep things simple.
You can do as you wish, but if you’re confused, it’s easier to learn tarot and improve your tarot reading skills if you keep it simple at first.
The important part of asking good questions is to make sure they’re not leading to a yes or no answer. When you’re learning, it might be difficult to discern a yes/no answer from a picture you’re not quite familiar with.
So instead of asking, Will I get the job I just interviewed for? You could ask, What can I know about the outcome of the job I just interviewed for?
This changes the angle of the question so they tarot can be more informing instead of predictive, which is much easier to read this way.