September 11, 2019

Hello and welcome to 🥁🥁🥁part 5 of this 7-part series on How to Read for Others. Today we’ll be discussing what makes a good tarot reading.


  1. Mindset (see here)
  2. Preparation and managing expectations (see here)
  3. Best rituals to start with (see here)
  4. How to keep your personal energy out of the reading (see here)
  5. What makes a good reading (you are here)
  6. Reading the cards—cheat sheets!
  7. Figuring out your personal style

Have you noticed the best tarot readers have a certain air about them? It’s hard to describe, but I’ll try. It’s like they have knowledge of a larger perspective and so, are usually calm, supportive, and empathetic when reading your cards. You may notice that they move slowly and deliberately.

How do they get this way? The obvious answer is “practice,” but what exactly do they practice? There are a few key things…

Personal connection

To give your querent a good tarot reading, you must be completely focused on them during the reading, and even before and after. How do you greet them? Do you make them comfortable? Do you honor their emotions? Are they comfortable? Do you understand the heart of their issue? Do you answer follow-up questions fully? Do you follow-up or keep in touch? These personal touches make a difference!

Being a good listener

When your querent asks you their question, it’s often not super straightforward. They may say they just don’t know what they want to ask exactly (they do, unless you’re the one who initiated a reading) or they may lie or dance around the issue to avoid being embarrassed. In any case, it’s important to listen carefully and read the energy around the question. Does it come from a place of worry? Suspicion? Insecurity? Joy? Mania? Hopefulness? Make a note and ask/confirm if that’s the right energy that you’re receiving.

Setting the scene

Your querent is not like you—they don’t interact with tarot everyday! So, when they ask for a reading, it’s important to make them feel as if it’s a serious or at least meaningful experience. You can do this by setting up a sacred space (even if it’s just through light meditation) or using crystals, candles, and so on. There’s more info about rituals in Part 4.

Balancing the good and the bad

Some of the most unpleasant tarot readings happen when the reader only delivers negativity or criticism. The way that tarot is, it usually does not give straight out fearful messages without including a message of hope. It also doesn’t say that good is good all the time and without fail. Good can sometimes veer into the territory of overindulgence or denial. So, when you read, be sure to balance out the good and the bad. Be honest about the messages you are receiving and if they feel a bit incomplete, feel free to shuffle again and pull one clarifying card. You can place it on top of the card that is causing confusion.

Keeping messages simple

Think about the divine messages you’ve received in your life. Were they along the lines of:

“this” but “that” a little. And maybe a bit of a third thing. Maybe a fourth thing too.

Probably not. You probably received one clear message, loudly and without doubt. So to should your readings for the querent be. It might feel easier to give a laundry list of all the possible meanings a card can have, but your querent is relying on your intuition and insight to give them a clear message. If you get multiple messages, picture the messages in your mind’s eye and see which one you gravitate towards. You can imagine the messages in however way you wish—as situations, flowers, or faces. Which one comes out bigger or more prominently in your mind?

Giving intuitive insight

Sometimes you’ll get messages that aren’t in the cards. These are called “downloads.” It could be the person’s guardian angel or spirits speaking to you while you are performing a reading. It’s ok to say these messages if you get them, even if they contradict what the card says. You can say, “the card says this but I’m also getting this other message for you.” Sometimes you may read a card purely for the image and not for the memorized meaning as well. For example, if the person asks about their dog who just passed and you get Rider-Waite’s The Fool, the message could be about the happy dog on the card, not about “new beginnings” or “jumping in with two feet,” which would be irrelevant to the question.

What’s your thoughts on this subject? If you read for friends and family, what’s helped you give a good reading? Any do’s or don’ts you’ve learned? Be sure to email me and let me know!

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