This post is for you if you…
- are interested in a tool that stimulates explosive personal growth
- want tarot tips for beginners
- are open to new ways of connecting to your intuition
The Purpose of My Post
I am always looking for new ways and ideas to empower you, my fellow introvert, to not only realize how powerful you are but to also find the confidence to bring your magic into the world without apology. The world needs all of us to show up daily in the most authentic version of ourselves without worrying about what other people will think. You are here for a reason in this lifetime and I want you to remember that. Today, I give you an amazing tool to add to your self-development toolbelt: tarot for personal growth. Read on as I discuss what tarot is, what it isn’t, what it can do for you and how to start.
My Personal Tarot Story
One of the best decisions I ever made was to ignore the conventional opinion about tarot and buy myself a deck. I knew absolutely nothing about tarot and had only a vague notion of what it might do. What I did know was to keep my tarot interest under wraps from even the people closest to me out of fear of what they might think.
I found a metaphysical store near me and drove there one early Sunday morning. Sitting in the parking lot for a full 20 minutes, I spent the time googling whether they were actually open (I didn’t want people to see me walk to the door only for it to be locked) and telling myself to get out of the car. When I did finally walk inside, I went straight to the back where all of the tarot cards were locked in a cabinet. The sign said “All tarot deck samples are available at the front desk”. My nightmare. Not only was I going to have to talk to someone, I was going to have to admit I was interested in tarot.
My desire to own a tarot deck was greater than my fear of publicly admitting it, so I found the courage and asked for help. The woman working was amazing and asked me questions about where I was in my tarot journey and asked if I had already worked with the Rider-Waite deck. I had no idea what the Rider-Waite deck was but didn’t want to appear clueless, so I said yes. She pulled out a deck that she said I might like and I made a show of shuffling through the cards before emphatically saying “yes, I’ll take it”. I smiled as I paid and walked out of the store very proud of myself, carrying a deck that was way too advanced for me.
Tarot for Yourself: You Don’t Have to Be a Professional
I began pulling a card daily, adding the practice to my morning routine. It was and still is my favorite part of the day, the early morning guidance bringing structure on how to navigate through the hours until bed. The one thing I learned in the very beginning of my tarot practice was I did not need to be a professional tarot reader to benefit.
The same goes for you. If you believe that the only people who can use tarot are the ones who are going to make money from doing readings, I am here to dispel that myth right now. As both a personal and professional tarot reader, by far the greatest gain for me was reading for myself. When I started, I had absolutely no intention of going professional. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and I was crippled by fears and limiting beliefs. What I did know is that something had to change.
Reading tarot for myself was by far the biggest catalyst to my personal growth that I had ever encountered. More than the retreats and seminars and countless self-help books (don’t get me wrong, these absolutely had a hand in getting me to where I am today). As an introvert, tarot gave me the space to connect with my authentic self in a way that spoke to me. In the early morning solitude, tarot helped me go deep within myself in a way I had never experienced before.
What is Tarot, Anyway? Hint: It’s Not the Devil’s Work
So, let’s get into the facts about tarot, some you might know and some you might not.
Tarot first originated in 15th century Europe as playing cards similar to the game of bridge. Popular with wealthy Italians, the cards were basically hand-painted paintings. As the printing press was not invented yet, these one of a kind decks were seen as a status symbol.
It wasn’t until the late 1700s that the tarot deck became associated with divination practices. A Frenchman named Jean Baptiste Alliette penned the first known tarot book, a guide that assigned meaning to the cards and brought in the four earth elements (air, water, fire, earth) and astronomy.
Today, the most popular deck (especially for beginners) is the Rider-Waite deck. It gave tarot its first update in over 100 years when in 1909, spiritual mystic A.E.Waite wrote a new guide book, toned down the Christian imagery and commissioned Pamela Colman Smith to illustrate them.
The tarot deck consists of 78 cards; 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana contain 22 karmic life lessons and the remaining Minor Arcana represent experiences we face on a daily basis. Within the Minor Arcana are 16 Court Cards that encompass character traits that we may choose to express or encounter in others. There are 4 suits – cups, pentacles, wands, swords – and each suit contains 10 cards.
We have all heard it: tarot tells your fortune and is directly connected with the devil. Go into a halloween store and you will find tarot decorations next to the fortune telling gypsies and you know better than to bring up the fact that you are interested in tarot at your next family dinner. The origin of these ideas came from the early Christian church and misguided 18th century French authorities and is based on misconceptions about what exactly tarot does.
Tarot is simply a deck of cards with no magical power. Some psychics may be able to use the cards to predict the future but for the majority of us, it is strictly an intuitive tool that helps us understand our present. If you still have resistance after reading this, I encourage you to do a little research on your own about what tarot is and is not. It may surprise you and open you up to experience one of the greatest self-help tools I know of.
Tarot for Personal Growth: Experience Mind-Blowing Revelations
Now that we are briefed in tarot 101, let’s talk about how it can help you. But first, I want to point out what starting a tarot practice requires from you: surrender and trust. If you are to work with this tool, you must release control over what you want to hear (ego) and believe the actual message (intuition). In other words, if you start reading tarot and keep pulling cards until you get what you want, don’t read any further. This isn’t for you. However, if you are open to getting messy and willing to face some hard lessons, tarot is your jam.
Okay, now that that’s been said, here are 10 ways tarot can change your life:
- Opportunity for explosive self-development and growth.
- Incorporate a daily mindfulness practice.
- Discover your authentic self and what your life purpose is.
- Uncover blocks and obstacles holding you back and get an actionable plan to move around them.
- Validation and confirmation that you are heading in the right direction.
- Guidance as you navigate life and make decisions.
- Experience the inner peace that comes with knowing you are living your purpose.
- Connect with and develop your intuition, the seat of your soul.
- Enhance your creativity.
- Opens you up to new ideas that you had not thought of or previously discounted as too out there.
Tarot Tips for Beginners: It’s Not Rocket Science
So now what? How do you start a tarot practice when you have no idea what you are doing?
Buy a deck
Unlike my experience, I urge you to buy a beginner deck if you want to get the most out of this. When you are more comfortable, feel free to expand to decks that speak to you. There are two that I recommend: The Light Seer’s Tarot and The Rider-Waite Deck. I like the Rider-Waite because it is loaded with symbols that help stimulate your intuition. The Light Seer’s is my personal favorite because I connect so well with the modern day imagery and energy.
Buy a Journal and a Pen You Love to Write With
Before you even open your deck, make sure you have your journal with you. This is the place you are going to record feelings, insights and guidance from your intuition. By taking the time to write down what you experience, you can come back and look to see how far you have come.
Connect with Your Deck
Whatever deck you choose to work with, take the time to go through and study each card, one by one. Take note of how you feel as you look at the images and it may be helpful for you to jot down these feelings in a journal. See which ones you like the most and spend time with the ones you don’t; this will give you a clue as to what is lurking in your light and dark shadows.
Meditate with a Card
Don’t pick up the guidebook yet. Remember, this is about reading for YOU, not for others so you want to make sure the meaning you assign resonates with you. Pick a card and stare at it. Look at the imagery, find any hidden symbols and really tune into your feelings as you do so. After you do, close your eyes and think about what you saw. Ask your intuition for any insight into the card. When you are done, write in your journal about what you discovered.
Once you are well acquainted with your deck, it’s time to start asking questions. I find it is much easier to connect with the cards and understand the meanings if you have a specific question in mind. General questions are fine, but if you truly want to get the most out of your tarot readings, get specific. I recommend starting out with a daily pull each morning, then writing about it. Some ideas for questions: What do I need to remember today as I interact with my teenage daughter? What is one thing to focus on as I work through my limiting beliefs? How can I show up in my relationship with my partner that is mutually beneficial?
Advance to Simple Spreads
Once you have the hang of all the above, allow yourself to move on to easy multiple card spreads. Ask specific questions and feel free to create your own simple spreads. Don’t make this difficult. All you have to do is think of something you want guidance on and then ask three questions. Or, you can ask one question and pull three cards. Remember, this is practice for you to get comfortable with going to your deck to connect with your intuition.
The Tarot Experience: You Get to Make the Rules
The one thing I want to stress before we end is that there are no rules to tarot. Lay down any rigidity and confinement as you start your practice and allow for creativity and flow. Remember this is for you and only you, so have fun! Make up your own practices and infuse your own magic into your personal development.
You may experience frustration at first and this is totally normal. You are learning to break down your walls and really connect with your Higher Self. If you are coming up blank as you work with the cards, resist the urge to run to google and find the meaning. Once you determine what the card means for you, then I encourage you to start exploring as it will only enhance your practice.
I am so proud of you for trying something that might be new and out there for you! As you strip down the layers of conformity you have built around yourself, you will discover a whole new world full of hope and possibility.
As you go forth into the wild unknown, I leave you with an action plan to implement into your daily life:
- Pull a daily tarot card
- Write down what your intuition is telling you
- Come up with one actionable item you can do that day to implement the message
- Review at the end of the day to see how you did
- Celebrate daily your successes and be gentle with yourself as you discover who you truly are
I would love to know…how has tarot helped you in your self-development?
Related Reading: 10 Surprising Ways Tarot Shows You How to Be Yourself