If you’ve just started learning Tarot or are still considering picking up that first deck and find yourself overwhelmed, you’re not alone!
Tarot resources are abundant and it can be easy to feel exhausted by conflicting sources telling you what to do, so why not eliminate some of those possibilities by knowing what you might not want to do?
Today, let’s discuss 5 common beginner’s Tarot mistakes that people can make when learning and reading cards.
5 Common Tarot Beginner’s Mistakes:
1. Being hesitant to conduct readings when you’re “still learning.”
It’s true that some level of memorization and understanding of the cards is needed to be able to read them fluently – but it’s also true that no one is really ever “done learning” cards. While baseline levels of understanding the symbolism, history, and traditional interpretations behind each card are always helpful, there is also a lot of improvement that simply comes from practice.
Of course, if you’re very early within the stages of learning Tarot, it’s okay to take the meanings of some readings with less gravity and recognize that you may be wrong — but keep in mind that, on the other hand, anyone can always be wrong, regardless of their level of expertise!
Blocking yourself off from the practice of card readings because of a lack of confidence in your level of experience simply continues that cycle of inexperience. Don’t be afraid to try to read for some friends in a comfortable, judgment-free environment, where you can also receive healthy and constructive criticism.
2. Feeling as though you must follow Tarot’s old myths & traditions.
From being gifted your first deck to only using silk Tarot deck bags to who can and cannot touch your deck, there is no shortage of Tarot myths out there. Some feel hesitant to even reach for their first deck if it hasn’t been gifted to them simply because of the existing tradition, and some people can feel extremely cautious about who touches their deck.
The truth is, if you wish to follow an age-old Tarot custom and tradition, you’re more than welcome to!
Don’t want anyone but you to touch your decks? Enjoy covering your Tarot cards in beautiful silk? Do it!
Whatever may enhance your Tarot journey and empower your confidence and experience with card reading is always a wonderful thing to try for yourself.
However, your Tarot journey is foremost a very personal one, and it’s up to you to decide how much you would like to adhere to those myths and traditions. Ultimately, they are never something you should have to do or feel limited by.
3. Asking the wrong questions.
In-depth, specific, and thought-provoking Tarot readings come from in-depth, specific, and thought-provoking questions. If you find yourself constantly hitting roadblocks or leave readings feeling more confused than empowered and clear-headed, perhaps the questions that are being asked are misleading, worded funkily, or simply need to be replaced with something more helpful and effective.
Understanding how to ask the right questions can be just as important as reading the cards themselves.
4. Taking keywords & memorization too seriously.
Keywords and associations that come with learning Tarot cards can be incredibly helpful. For example, if you are learning how to remember the 3 of Swords and come across keywords like “heartbreak” and “pain” and find these easy to memorize, you are more likely to be able to use these words as a springboard to further understanding the Tarot spread or reading before you.
However, interpreting the artwork directly in front of you, relating each card to each other, and getting the big picture are goals when you’re reading too. If you limit your understanding of a card down to a few words, you may also be limiting the depth and complexity of your readings in the long-run. Don’t be afraid to reflect a little further on what each card might mean to you personally.
5. “Re-reading” or pulling cards again for the same question.
If you find yourself stumped or confused by a card in a spread, scratching your head and saying, “that doesn’t make sense,” don’t let the instinct to put the card back and pull again take over. If you truly wish to find immediate clarification, simply ask for a clarifying card, and pull again. If you are still confused, consider interpreting the surrounding cards first and coming back to the confusing card.
If, by the end of interpreting the spread as a whole, that card is still a giant, muddled cloud over your head, take a photo of the spread or write down each card to make note of the reading, and come back to it later. The truth is that sometimes we simply aren’t able to make sense of everything within a reading, just like how we cannot always make sense of every situation we encounter or immediately understand why, how, and when things are happening. The fault tends to lie within us rather than the card itself, so allow time to pass before questioning the validity of that card.
A Final Reminder
While learning Tarot can be an immensely gratifying journey with rewards like self-growth, insight, and an enhanced intuition granted to you along the way, it’s inevitable that mistakes will be made along the way.
Even while being aware of some of the common mistakes people make, you still may find yourself wanting to switch out a card or sticking within your comfort zone of memorized Tarot keywords – and that’s okay! Bumps existing in the road and you jumping over them can be a part of your journey too.
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