How will you know when you are ready to start reading other people’s cards and how should you go about it
When you first start learning to read the Tarot, you will probably not want to attempt readings for anyone else for quite a while. Indeed, it is not advisable to do this straightaway as you will first of all need to familiarise yourself with the cards and absorb the meanings.
Once you are fairly confident, you can attempt a reading for someone you know well, who will not be upset or offended if you make a mistake. A familiar subject will be of more help to you in the early stages, because you will know enough about them and their life to be able to interpret the cards more accurately. They are also far more likely to be willing to help you if you are having difficulty interpreting some of the cards, by offering information that may relate to the cards that are causing you problems.
As you progress in your study of the Tarot, and become more and more familiar with the meanings of the cards, you may find that it becomes harder to read them for people you know. If this happens, do not be alarmed by it, as it is a sign that your intuition and psychic awareness are beginning to develop. Although it is possible to read the Tarot by means other than the psychic method (this will be covered in a later article), readers who use their psychic ability do tend to obtain more accurate results overall (although I know that some non-psychic readers disagree with this theory!).
I find it almost impossible to read the cards for people I know well, as I am unable to be objective when doing so. I find myself thinking “She wouldn’t do that”, or “I don’t believe this could be true”, which means I often don’t relay information that is accurate simply because I don’t believe it to be possible (in other words, we don’t always know someone as well as we think we do!). If this happens to you, it is time to consider attempting a reading for someone you don’t know.
The first ‘stranger’ you read for should preferably be recommended by someone you already know. The person you know should ask a sympathetic friend or relative to act as a ‘guinea-pig’ and explain to them that you are only just starting out at reading the cards for unfamiliar people. This way, the subject is more likely to appreciate any problems you may have and not feel cheated if the reading doesn’t prove accurate.
You should continue reading for strangers who are recommended to you until you feel fully confident in your ability to read the cards for someone who has not been recommended. How long this will take is impossible to predict, as it varies so much from person to person. As I recall, it took me about eighteen months or so to reach this stage. Needless to say, you should not ask for any payment for these early readings, but if it is offered there is no reason why you should not accept it.
If you wish, you can keep a written record of your early readings. Noting down the cards that appeared, your interpretation of them and whether or not those interpretations proved accurate, will be of great help to you in your study of the Tarot and your development as a reader. Even after a few months, as you become even more familiar with the cards, you should be able to look back on your earlier readings and realise why you made mistakes. Again, you will need an understanding subject who will not mind you making notes of their reading.
Make sure that you ask your early subjects for their honest opinion of the reading (you may like to ask them to grade it between one and ten; knock off a couple of marks if it’s someone very close to allow for exaggeration!) and always ask them to let you know when anything you foresee in the cards actually takes place. They should also let you know if anything you tell them proves to be inaccurate, as this will probably be of more help to you – you can check back in your record book and try to see how the cards you misinterpreted could have meant something different that would have related better to what actually took place.
You will probably find that you know instinctively when you are ready to branch out into reading the cards for other people. One word of warning, however – once I started reading the cards for other people, I found it almost impossible to read them for myself anymore and this is also the case for many other Tarot readers. It may not happen to you, but you should be aware of the fact that it may happen and if you enjoy reading the cards for yourself and wish to continue doing so, you may want to think twice about reading them for others.
If you do go ahead and find that you begin to experience problems with reading your own cards, try using a separate deck when reading the cards for yourself. If you do this, you must ensure that you use this deck only for personal readings and never let anyone else touch it. I find that this is the only way I can read my own cards with any degree of accuracy and even then it isn’t always easy or possible. I still find it almost impossible to give myself a reading that involves past events in any way as I simply cannot be objective enough, but I do have some small degree of success when it comes to readings involving events that have not yet taken place.