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What is a Tarot Reading?

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

There are many different types of ‘reading’ you can have, which can be a bit confusing! Tarot readings are also known as psychic readings. Psychics may also choose to use oracle cards, astrology, numerology, your palms, your energy – the list goes on.

Tarot card readings are one of the most popular types of psychic readings. Tarot cards can be used as a tool for psychics to link in with spirits and guides, to offer guidance that may relate to past, present and future. In a tarot reading, the person doing the reading (the “reader”) will connect to your energy and will pull some cards for you, usually based on a specific area of your life. The cards that are chosen, and the positions they fall in, impact your reading.

So what is a tarot reading? A tarot reading is a session with a tarot reader whereby you can ask questions about an area of your life and the reader will provide you with guidance. The guidance will come from your own energy, your intuition and sometimes, depending on how the reader works, from your spirit guides. The reading provides an opportunity to dive deep into something that has been troubling you and uncover what's going on beneath the surface, whether that's by showing you what your intuition is trying to tell you, or seeing a different perspective on a situation where you've been feeling stuck.

Tarot cards can be laid out in various ways and include any number of cards drawn. Some readers may even use a combination of 2-3 tarot decks. Ultimately, the messages and guidance offered will be of meaning and truth, and essentially, is a message that needs to be given to the querent.

The duration of a tarot reading will vary. However long or short the readings may be, the messages given should provide meaning and validation to the recipient.

What is a tarot reading - tarot cards placed on a table with crystals above them to keep them cleansed


In order to read the tarot, you have to be in tune with your intuition. Our intuition is our natural ability to instinctively sense things in the world around us. It is totally separate to our cognitive abilities; it is a ‘gut feeling’ we get regardless of the logistics of a particular situation. Intuition can alert us that something is wrong when all may appear to be right. Have you ever walked into a room and ‘felt’ it wasn’t a good place to be in? Or did you meet someone you didn’t trust, but intellectually you couldn’t work out why you didn’t trust them. They just didn’t feel right? That’s your intuition working!

Being intuitive is something many of us are, naturally. Being psychic is a bit different…. having a psychic ability is when your senses go beyond the normal range of perception. This can manifest in being able to see things beyond our normal vision, or hear things beyond normal hearing. Some psychics can channel into the spiritual realm. Just like intuition, a psychic person can innately use their gift without having to consciously think about it.

Tarot readers sometimes choose to learn the traditional meanings of the cards, and some choose not to. But almost all tarot readers will, to some degree, use their intuition when reading for someone else, and they may also choose to psychically ‘tap into’ your energy to pick up more information. The more a reader uses their intuition when reading the tarot, the stronger it becomes. Tarot cards are tools with which to focus our intuitive senses on.

When you buy a tarot deck, the cards are not “magic” themselves; it's the reader's energy that is imparted into the cards that makes them effective for the reader. The reader’s connection to the symbolism on the cards is what creates the magic, it’s the symbolism that opens the person's intuition in relation to the card. This is because each tarot card creates a feeling in the reader that they then interpret and apply to the reading.

If you'd like to learn how to read tarot cards intuitively, take a look at my Free Tarot Reading workshop You will be prompted to sign up to my website to get access - this is also free.

How to Cleanse Tarot Cards

When you buy a new deck of tarot cards, you will want to clear them. Clearing is the term used to spiritually ‘clean’ the cards to remove any negative energy or blocks that they may have picked up. When you clear a deck of tarot cards for the first time, you are also putting your own energy into the deck. There are many ways to do this – see my YouTube video on cleansing a new deck for a demonstration on performing a tarot deck cleanse.

It’s important to clear your deck fully when you first receive it, but also a quick clearing can be done on a regular basis. I clear my deck every time I use it by knocking on the top and setting an intention to cleanse the deck of all energy. Then periodically, I do a full smoke cleanse using Sage or Palo Santo (the Facebook post shows me using Sage). Regular clearing will help you to read more accurately – negative energy and blocks can impede the clarity of a reading. In addition to clearing the cards, many readers also cleanse the space and objects they use in conducting readings (i.e. the room you use to read in, the table you lay the cards on, and any crystals you may choose to use).

All types of divination requires some sort of energy in order to conduct the reading, clearing the cards and space eliminates the spiritual residue that the energy builds. This helps reduce the possibility of inaccurate and false readings clouded by that debris. This is especially true for those readers who let their clients touch the cards. When someone touches a reader's cards, the cards are then picking up other people's energy, physically and psychically. In that case, you don't want the next reading to have the last person's energy attached to it or it may produce a confusing reading!

What is a tarot reading - tarot cards with a bunch of sage for cleansing the deck

How Often Should You Get A Tarot Reading?

I often get asked how often someone should have a tarot card reading. There is no right answer to this, it depends on your purpose and what type of reading you are having. If you’re looking for some clarification about what is going to happen in the future around a certain situation, then you need to give it time to play out. Certain spreads – like the Horseshoe Spread and Celtic Cross – give 12 month predictions. But if you want to ask for help in making an imminent decision, then you can of course have another reading straight after you’ve made the decision. You can also have different readings about different areas of your life. The important thing is to not rush the process; allow time for your life to evolve so you can revisit the reading and make better sense of it with the benefit of hindsight.

It isn’t useful to ask the same question many times, because the answers will often merely reflect how you are feeling that day. Asking the same question again and again, trying to get the cards to tell you what you want to hear, is not useful. Sometimes life doesn’t give us what we want and we have to accept that and get on with things as best we can.

By using Tarot wisely, it becomes like talking to a good friend. The answers often open up new ways of looking at our lives that can help us bring out the best for ourselves in the future. Like all good friends, it responds best if you take notice of the answers it gives. Subscribe to my website for more information around tarot and oracle card readings. And if you'd like to take my course, you can take a deep dive into the art of card reading and even become a professional card reader if you wish! Click here to read more about the Master Intuitive Card Reading using Tarot and Oracle Cards course.

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