5 Tarot Secrets To Read Like a Badass

Tarot reading can be a terribly misunderstood practice. Some people think you have to spend years practicing and studying the cards before you ever pick up a deck and actually do a reading. Other people think the cards themselves are either source of great magickal power or a straight up gateway to hell. And some people see them as some sort of window on the future.

Tarot is not as complicated as you might think. There are thousands of books, courses, and workshops out there to teach you how to read tarot, some which make a relatively simple and spiritually awakening process incredibly convoluted for no real reason other than a desire to create a barrier to entry. At least that’s how I’ve always seen it. If you make something seem incredibly complicated and difficult you’ll instantly eliminate a lot of possible participants because they just can’t be bothered. But this isn’t what tarot is.

Tarot provides a powerful way to connect to your intuition, your Higher Divine Self, and to access deep wisdom and knowledge that you already have access to even though you may not realize it. Sometimes that’s because you don’t know exactly how to tap that wisdom. The cards come in as triggers to help you do that.

But what does it mean to read like a badass?

Reading tarot like a badass means you have no fear, no doubt, and no worry about getting it wrong. You know you’re in tune with your highest wisdom, you know that reading the cards is just a matter of quieting your mind and connecting, and that your job when reading is not to rationalize what you see but to simply express it.

A badass read doesn’t mind stirring up a little shit with their readings because they know this is how change happens. They see it, say it, and let it go so things can manifest.

These are five “secrets” to help you get started reading like a total badass.


1. Make Sure You’re Using The Right Deck For You

While I’m a big fan of using the Rider Waite deck when you’re new to tarot, I do feel that best most badass readings happen when you’re using a deck that feels very “you.” There are thousands of decks out there and no doubt there will be at least one that really speaks to you. You might find the art just clicks or the theme or mythology the deck is built around is something you’re deeply connected with. It’s also highly likely that you’ll find more than one deck that feels right or you might have certain decks that seem to work better in certain situations. All of that is totally fine, and yes, completely normal {you will become a deck junkie, FYI}. Regardless of which deck you choose, take time to get to know each card in the deck so you feel comfortable with them when you pull them in a reading.


2. Don’t Memorize The Cards

One of the biggest things you can do to fuck up your chances of being a total tarot badass is to put time, effort, and energy into memorizing the meanings of the cards. Yes, there are traditional, generalized meanings to each of the cards. These meanings are based on the symbolism in the cards themselves. However, that doesn’t means that’s all the cards mean. It might sound a bit crazy, but the cards mean whatever it is that you feel the cards mean at the time when you pull them. This is where you use your intuition to get to the real message the cards are tying to tell you. You pulled the cards you pulled because your energy was drawn to those cards based on the intention you set. That’s all intuition. So why would you want to then read the cards using canned meanings? Let your intuition guide you. Why do you feel you pulled a certain card in a certain position in your reading? What do you see, feel, or hear when you look at this card? Sure you can keep those genreal meanings in mind, but they are secondary to your gut reactions, first impressions, and intuitive hits that come up.


3. Don’t Try To Read The Cards As Singular Entities

Another really big mistake people make learning to read tarot is to look at each card in a reading as a standalone entity, as if each card just means one thing and the other cards in the reading don’t have any effect on it. The best way to shift this habit is to do your reading as though you’re telling a story. I teach my students two processes that help this tremendously, one technique called the 60 Second Reading and the other called The Tarot Detective Method. Both of these are designed as was to look at all the cards together where the the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Think of your cards as chapters in a book where the first card in the spread is your first chapter and the last card is the final chapter. Just like in a book, read your cards as a story that flows one chapter into the next with each chapter effecting the next.


4. Look For Yourself, Friends, Family, And Life Experiences In The Cards

One of the best ways to relate to the cards is to connect them to your own life and your own life experiences. The Major Arcana cards, the first 22, are the best place to start since these cards are connected to commonly understood and experienced archetypes. For instance the Empress is the Mother, the Emperor the Father, Death is transition and transformation, the Star is hope, Temperance is balance, and so on. When you look at these cards and say, “What does ‘mother’ mean to me and how can I relate that to the image in the Empress card” you’re able to create a very intuitive and personalized understanding of the card. The same can be done by looking at the cards and seeing if you recognize specific people or events from your life in the images. This happens a lot for people who use more modern decks that are reflective of their personal lifestyle of culture {aka not the Rider Waite}. For instance I love the Urban Tarot by Robin Scott {over there on the right}, and when I look at the Devil card in that deck, the image reminds me so much of the bathroom of a goth club I used to go to in Boston in my early 20s. And the guy sitting in the stall reminds me of someone I knew from that time of my life who was the kind of guy who could get you to give in to just about any temptation presented to you, the kind of guy who could “sell ice to an eskimo,” as the saying goes. So I have a very definite feeling, memory, and connection to that card in that deck which helps to inform me intuition when I pull that card.


5. Go Into Every Reading With A Purpose And Intention

I have to admit that as a reader myself, I fucking hate general reading requests. You know the “Just tell me whatever I need to hear” kind of readings. Everyone has a reason for wanting a reading. You have a reason for wanting to read for yourself. It’s never really “whatever comes up.” Even in the case of pulling a card or two for the day as part of the regular tarot practice, you do have a purpose with that reading! You’re looking to get a sense of what challenges you may face that day or what energies you need to be aware of as the day unfolds. The same is true for any kind of general reading, there is a question in there. While it’s great to have a very specific question to help you stay focused, simply having a clear intention is essential. This means taking a “tell me whatever I need to know” and turning it into “what do I need to know right now about my relationship/job/finances/health/etc’” This gives you something to frame your messages from the cards within, something that can be critical when you’re trying to understand why you pulled certain cards or what they are trying to tell you. You can always say to yourself “OK, I pulled the Five of Cups here so how can this help me to better understand my job right now?” That’s certainly better than “So what does the Five of Cups mean to me in general right now,” because it could speak to ten different things if you let it.


These are just a few of the tips for intuitive badassery. They’re not the hard, right? Tarot doesn’t have to be something that needs to be like pulling teeth. It doesn’t need to take you decades of study before you do your first reading. Yes, there is a huge academic aspect to tarot, but only if you want to go down that path. The intuitive, spiritually driven tarot path is practical, easy, and designed to be second nature.


Want to go down this path with me?

There are only a few days left to join me for Intuitive Badass, a six week online course in learning to read the tarot intuitively. In our 6 weeks together I’ll share with you what I’ve learned in my three decades with the cards. I’ll teach you the same practices I’ve been using for 20 years as a professional reader to give my clients positive, accurate readings.

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