Reading Tarot cards is a lot like telling a story. Though it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the basic meaning of each card in the deck, you can actually start reading the cards without having first memorized the “traditional” meanings.
First, simply look at the images on each card and imagine what the people in the cards are doing, saying, thinking or feeling. Then make up a story about what is happening in the cards, what are the peoples’ relationships to the animals or objects in each card? For cards that have no people, what might the symbols on the cards represent?
As you draw on the well of your imagination, you might be surprised at how accurate you are in interpreting the meanings of the cards. Below are two simple spreads that will get you started on the path to becoming an intuitive and skilled Tarot reader.
Mix and shuffle your deck of Tarot cards, and as you do, focus on one person, situation or issue that you would appreciate insight on. Write down a question based on this focus. You may even want to start a special Tarot journal for exercises such as these, or you can just write it down on a piece of paper. Then randomly pick one card in the deck. Spend some time looking at the card you have picked, taking in the colors, shapes, people and other details of the card. Write down everything you see, describing what is happening in the card as if you were telling a story. Then re-read your question and also read your interpretation of the card. What does the story you told about the card have to tell you about your own situation?
Two-Card Relationship Reading
This spread is ideal when you have particular questions about a relationship with another person in your life. Mix the cards and focus on this person, yourself and what you want to know about both of you and how you interact. Then choose two cards, facedown. One will represent you, and one the other person. Without thinking too much, write down what you see in the card that represents the other person. First you may just want to jot down random impressions, but then describe the card as if it were a scene in a movie or a chapter in a book.
The more details you can relate the better. Think about color, shape, animals and how all of these things interact within the boundaries of the card. Then do the same for the card representing you. When you have finished with both cards individually, take a look at the cards together. What might be a way of describing the relationship between these two cards? Record these impressions as well. When you have completed your written meditations on both cards, re-read what you have written and notice what kind of insight it offers on your relationship with the person in question.