Interpreting Tarot Cards

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Card interpretation is an art that requires a little study.  It is not difficult, and it is not mysterious.  Probably one person in ten million can just sit down and riffle through a deck of tarot cards, then read them accurately without study and practice.  If you find this is true for you, you can skip this story.  If, like me and most others, you need a little more practice and/or study, read on.

All Tarot decks have beauty and mystery in their art. Some come with books to explain each card, and some don’t.  Those decks rely on the reader’s creativity, intuition and talent to bring them alive. Interpreting tarot cards is more than memorizing words in a book, it is a combination of learning what the book says, and your own intuitive abilities.

I really love the Mythic Tarot in particular because the imagery is so rich and deep. In addition, each of the suits is a delineation of a particular Greek myth. If you’re familiar with the myth, you can understand the card with greater conviction. The Mythic Tarot does come with a book, and every time I read it, I learn more about interpreting tarot cards and about myself. I’ve often said, “If you want to learn about your life and your path, read other people’s cards.” It’s really true that the more you teach, the more you learn.

Although the Mythic Tarot book will tell you what a card means in terms of several levels, you never know which one is in play. It could be the archetypal story of the suit, such as cups, that is telling the story.  But it could be that the figure in the card is standing in water and among all the other symbols and meanings available to you, the message lies there.

Sometimes, you’ll catch a subtle thought that says this person is suffering silently – yet that very person, sitting in front of you, seem jolly and content.  Consider the fact that you may be judging your client. What should you do? Don’t say anything. Wait for the cards to bear out that thought – or not. Sometimes our own thoughts get in the way during a reading; you really have to tread softly to get the tenor right.  Turn off your inclination to judge, and allow all thoughts to have equal weight.

Look again at this card that said silent suffering. Does anything stand out? If so, use that cue and turn over a few more cards to illuminate what you see. If you find no further information there, then move on – there are other fish to fry. Your random thought about the querant may be borne out later, so keep it in the back of your mind. The most unexpected aspect of a card could bring it up again. Watch, but don’t say anything until the cards confirm – which might not happen. The deep imagery of the cards will give you plenty to work with. Trust them! Interpreting tarot cards is a confluence of knowledge, intuition, compassion and timing.

Remember, every single card in a spread may have significance in the reading at hand.  Or, only a few cards will seem to take hold with the story forming in your mind. Don’t over-think what you see.  Catch the subtle thoughts that flit in, and project them onto the cards in front of you.  It’s been said that there’s nothing new under the sun, and the classic human story in each card will point you in the right direction.

Lucy D has been reading and teaching the tarot for 25 years. Her area of expertise is demystifying the tarot for easy access by anyone. Get your special report entitled: The Seven Questions to Ask Before Getting Your Cards Read at

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