5 Beginner Tips for Giving Great Tarot Card Readings

December 16, 2021

5 Beginner Tips for Giving Great Tarot Card Readings | Happy As Annie

Are you way more comfortable doing tarot card readings for yourself? First of all, me too. And that’s perfectly okay! In fact, that’s partly why I teach others to read tarot for themselves instead of offering to do tarot card readings professionally.

But has a friend of yours ever come to you for advice – confused about what to do – and you’re just like, “Man, this would be a GREAT question to ask the tarot!” but the thought of giving tarot card readings to others makes you feel super nervous or insecure, so you don’t offer?

Well, this post is for you! Here are five tips to help you get over your nerves when it comes to doing tarot card readings for others. And honestly, these tarot reading tips are super helpful when you’re reading the cards for yourself as well.

Ready for five tips that will help you get over your nerves when it comes to giving tarot card readings? Here we go!

Tip #1: Don’t feel like you have to start talking right away.

Take your time. Look at the cards. Silence is okay! Feel it out. Gather your thoughts. Then speak.

This advice isn’t even something I learned from tarot reading. You know how I learned it? Prepping for job interviews! We are so tempted to start talking right away when we are asked a question – especially if we are trying to impress, appear knowledgeable, or offer help. Take your time to gather your thoughts and formulate your words. These are words to live by in all areas really, not just when it comes to how to read tarot cards successfully.

Tip #2: Feel free to narrow down the question before you pull cards. 

It’s perfectly okay to insist on tackling a specific question or exploring one particular area in the querent’s life. (The querent is the person receiving advice from the tarot reader.) Sometimes a question like “What do I need to know?” or “What lies ahead?” is too big and broad and vague to be very productive. And it can certainly be even more overwhelming for beginners!  If you want to give a great reading, stick with what you’re comfortable with.

(Related: The Tarot Questions that Lead to Bad Readings – and What to Ask Instead)

how to do tarot card readings

Tip #3: Be clear about your tarot style.

For example, if I ever read for my friends, it’s a collaborative conversation. The cards are there to guide us, prod us, prompt us to go deeper and consider specific angles and emotions. I’m not a fortune teller. Tarot reading isn’t a neat party trick for me, and I’m not trying to prove my psychic skills to you. When I work with tarot, I’m trying to uncover and explore intuitive feelings about situations so that I can discover more about myself and take more aligned action, and that’s the same thing I do for any querent. If a person asks me “When will I get married?” or “What’s the sex of my baby?” I’m going to redirect them because that’s not my tarot reading style.

To be clear, some tarot readers do use tarot cards as a psychic tool and they most definitely consider themselves fortune tellers. That’s okay too! Just be clear about your tarot reading style so your querent knows what to expect. The goal is for you to be authentic as a reader and for them to be satisfied with the type of reading they get.

(Related: 5 Annoying (and False!) Myths about Reading Tarot)

Tip #4: Keep it simple!

If you’re just starting out reading for others, start with a trusty three-card spread. You don’t have to bust out with a Celtic cross on your first try! In fact, I’ve been reading for years and I’ve maybe done a Celtic cross a handful of times, if that. It’s just not my style and doesn’t seem very necessary.

(Related: 6 Tarot Spreads for Love and Relationships)

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Tip #5: Be yourself!

I mentioned authenticity earlier, and I’m going to repeat it as my final tip. Don’t try to imitate other tarot readers or try to embody what you imagine a “legitimate tarot reader” looks or sounds like. Be yourself. Use vocabulary that comes naturally to you in conversation and let your own personality shine. Don’t feel like you have to talk a certain way, phrase things a certain way, use certain words that sound more “magical” or “mystical” or anything like that. Inauthenticity will just block or muddy up the message for your querent, and you don’t want that!

Bonus tip: You’re not going to get it completely right all the time, so you have permission to stop agonizing over that! And, at the end of the day, if you decide reading tarot cards for others just isn’t your cup of tea, that’s completely fine. Reading tarot for yourself and yourself only is an absolutely legitimate and invaluable way to work with tarot!

What other helpful tips and advice have you received when it comes to how to read tarot cards for others (or for yourself)? Let me know in the comments below!

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7 Comments

  • Reply Becky February 20, 2022 at 10:56 am

    Thank you for your advice. I tend to think that to be a great tarot reader – one must possess a large vocabulary which I do not have. I am always comparing myself to others. It’s ok. I’m a work in progress.

    Thanks again. I enjoyed your content.

    • Reply HappyAsAnnie March 13, 2022 at 11:23 am

      Been there myself, Becky! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  • Reply john March 17, 2022 at 9:22 am

    Thanks for talking about how not all tarot readers use the cards to read your fortune. It is important to understand this to get the best readings for your needs. A friend of mine was talking about finding a place to get his cards read, so I wanted to help him find the best.

    • Reply HappyAsAnnie March 23, 2022 at 4:06 pm

      I totally agree, John! Let me know how your friend’s experience goes. 🙂

  • Reply What's the Shadow Card in a Tarot Reading? - Happy as Annie April 11, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    […] that you are doing a tarot reading. You shuffle your tarot deck as you think about or ask your tarot question out loud. You stop shuffling and pull the cards […]

  • Reply Meagan July 4, 2022 at 9:39 am

    rad advice. thank you!! I am setting up for my first public readings tomorrow….ive read for a few folks in private but this will be my first time opening up to the random or strangers. stoked and nervous

    • Reply HappyAsAnnie July 8, 2022 at 1:12 pm

      Have fun, and hope it goes well!

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