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In this post, I show you how to do a tarot reading for yourself when you are having trouble making a decision.
I actually walk you through a real-life tarot reading I did for myself to show you exactly how tarot can help you sort through your thoughts, get to the heart of what you may be worried about or grappling with, and then make a decision that you feel good about so you can move on with your life!
Watch the video or read on below to see exactly how to do this tarot reading for yourself.
A common (and annoying) comment I get from tarot skeptics is that tarot cards are for people who can’t make their own decisions. Essentially, these people believe that tarot is a crutch that allows us to do a tarot reading for ourselves instead of using our brain to make life decisions.
And you know what? There might be a grain of truth in that statement, depending on how you’re using tarot. If your idea of how to do a tarot reading for yourself is to ask a yes/no question and then assign “yes” and “no” to each suit of the tarot, then yeah. I’m afraid to say that I might agree that you are not using tarot properly (or in the most empowering way, I should say). At that point, you might as well consult a magic eight ball or flip a coin because those types of shallow, superstitious readings do basically turn your life over to chance.
But that is certainly not how I use tarot! And that’s not how I teach my students to read tarot in my online tarot course, Read Tarot Today.
For me, tarot is a valuable self-discovery and self-reflective tool that allows you to dive deeper into your thoughts and feelings – not avoid making life decisions, whether big or small!
Okay, so what’s a better, more empowering way to use tarot to help you make decisions then? Let me walk you through a real-life example now.
The situation and decision I was having trouble making
After experiencing symptoms for the past year or so (nothing super serious or scary, but just annoying enough to cause some anxiety after awhile), I finally went to a doctor to check things out. The doctor assured me that nothing life-threatening was going on and that several weeks of physical therapy would probably cure the cause of my symptoms. He recommended the team at his particular facility – raved about them – and made me feel super confident and low-stress about my treatment plan.
But in true Annie fashion, by the time I got home, I was pretty anxious about it (as I am with most health-related things unfortunately!) and had a million questions. And to my surprise, the therapists he referred me to actually called me back (WHAT!? WHEN DOES THAT EVER HAPPEN?) and were super nice and knowledgable and funny and pleasant on the phone.
That sounds awesome, doesn’t it? So what was the problem?
The problem was that they were booked solid and the earliest appointment I could get to start my treatment was two months away!
At that point, another location (within this same hospital network and medical group) called me to offer me an appointment at their facility the very next week. That location was a little farther away from me and I was unfamiliar with them. They weren’t the same group of female physicians and therapists that were the nicest people in the world over the phone ,and they weren’t the specific practitioners with which my doctor worked closely. I’m sure they were still totally qualified though – and I’d be done with my physical therapy with them before I even started at the first place!
So what to do? I couldn’t make up my mind about which appointment to take. I was obsessing over it and wasting a lot of my work day waffling back and forth between the decision.
Tarot to the rescue!
Whenever this happens, I turn to my tarot cards. And that’s what we’re here for today:
How to do a tarot reading for yourself when you are trying to make a tough decision. Here is my step-by-step process.
Step 1: Clarify your options.
When doing a tarot reading for yourself, you might be tempted to simply ask, “What do I do?” or “What do I need to know?” That runs the risk of providing EVEN MORE random stuff to think about. We need to get clearer with our tarot readings, not more complicated. So the first thing you have to do is get clear on what your options are (usually two, but sometimes you may have more).
In my case, I had two clear options to choose from: Option A was to wait forever to start treatment at my preferred facility. Option B was to start treatment right away at an equally reputable but unfamiliar location.
Step 2: Make a preliminary decision.
Before pulling tarot cards, make a preliminary decision. Which way are you leaning? There’s usually one option that you were totally fine with until complications arose or your brain entered over-drive and your anxiety kicked in and everything went to shit. What was that preliminary preference?
Why is this step important? Doesn’t this negate the job of the tarot cards? Yes, a little bit. And that’s the point!
I don’t believe in blindly asking tarot cards (or any other divinatory tool) for an answer. We need to listen to ourselves first. Tarot should not replace our own judgment. It should help us learn to listen more closely to and better trust our intuitive judgment.
In this scenario, I was leaning toward Option A. I felt pretty confident after my doctor’s appointment. I felt like I was in as good hands as any working with the team he referred me to. It was the surprisingly far out appointment that threw a wrench in the plans. That’s when the second-guessing and trying to find alternatives started happening.
By the way, I’m thinking through all of this – and sometimes even talking out loud to myself – as I shuffle the cards. In my opinion, that’s how the tarot deck connects to my energy and intuition and spits out the right cards.
(Related: How to Bond with a New Tarot Deck)
And one of two things usually happens:
If my preliminary decision aligns with my highest good and I know deep down it’s the way to go, the cards will validate what I’m already thinking.
On the other hand, if I am letting my fear or anxiety or ego make a decision that is probably not very intuitive or aligned, the cards will show me something different. They’ll give me something new to think about that will help me make a better decision.
Step 3: Draw 1-3 cards for Option A.
When I’m ready, I pull anywhere from a single to three cards for Option A. I ask the cards, “What is the energy around the first option? What might I experience if I go with Option A?”
In this real life tarot reading for myself, I felt like picking two cards. Here are the exact cards I pulled:
I almost laughed out loud! Here I was talking about how this was the good-vibes team I wanted to work with (even though I’m sure the other team is perfectly qualified as well), and this was the team who was super nice to me on the phone. And what card pops up? The teamwork card – the 3 of Pentacles.
But then again, of course that card popped up! That’s the magic of tarot! The 10 of Pentacles is about luxury and abundance and comfort – a solid foundation or location. Both of these cards together reflected what I had already been thinking. Option A is preferable.
But just to confirm and complete the reading, I drew two cards for the next option as well.
Step 4: Draw 1-3 cards for Option B.
And here are the two cards that came up in response to, “What is the energy around the second option? What might I experience if I go with Option B?”
Overall, the vibes for this set are not as positive, right? The 6 of Swords, though, was interesting to me because it reflects my need to get a move on. I want to heal as quickly as possible. If that means going to a different facility, maybe I should do it. That was pretty magically spot on as well. But then we have that 5 of Cups that is about grief or regret of some sort. It really told me to just trust: the doctor’s referral as well as his non-rushed and non-emergency demeanor.
Isn’t that cool!?
And that’s it, folks! In this way, I realized that I already knew the direction I wanted to go in from the start. But my anxiety and eagerness to get better faster (not to mention my need to control things and second-guess the Universe’s timing for me) were straying me off the path of my intuition. I was on the less pleasant and kind of obsessive path of my ego.
Once I confirmed my decision, I was able to lay the matter to rest and move on with my life!
If you try this spread the next time you have to choose between two options or make a difficult decision, leave a comment below to let me know how it goes!