How to Begin a Reading by Jayne Wallace

How to Begin a Reading by Jayne Wallace

When I got my first Tarot Deck, I had no idea what to do with them, so I did a meditation and feel that this was a good way to start, over the years I felt that for me this was the best way. but it is always important to find your own way as well. below are my Practical tips.

Practical tips

  • To bond with your Tarot Cards, touch all of the cards. This imprints your energy upon them, and makes them yours. Don’t let others casually play with your cards, and wrap them in silk or other fabric and put them in a special place when they are not being used. I have a lovely box that my father got me.
  • Begin by giving yourself a simple reading every day, such as the one-card reading , or a three-card past, present, and future. Keep a note of your daily cards and see which reoccur for you. You may also find you begin to develop your own personal meanings for some of the cards.
  • Give readings to friends and family, and ask them for feedback. Don’t put yourself under any pressure - just enjoy the process.

How to Begin a Reading

Before you begin, honour the ritual of tarot-reading by finding a quiet room with a table and comfortable chair. You may like to light some incense or a candle to create a sacred space, extinguishing these when your reading is over.


1. Set your intention

To begin, set your intention that you give yourself, or the person you are reading for, the best possible reading that is available to you with your cards.

2. Choose a spread

Choose a spread, or arrangements of cards - do this before you shuffle and select your cards, so you’ll know in advance how many cards you will need to lay down. Choose any spread from this book you feel drawn to (see page xx). If you are reading for another person, choose a spread for them.

3. If you are reading for yourself

Shuffle the deck, thinking about what you would like to know, as if you’re shuffling your question into the cards. Do this for a minute or two. If you cannot think of a question to ask, just keep an open mind. Place the shuffled deck face down, making a fan shape. Feel your hand being drawn to certain cards, select them, then place them face down in the spread arrangement you have chosen.

4. If you are reading for someone else

Ask the person to shuffle the cards with an open mind, asking their question aloud or silently. While they are doing this, take a few deep breaths and focus on the person. Then ask them to place the deck face down in front of them, and split the deck into two piles; then place the bottom pile on top. Take back the deck, then deal the cards from the top of the deck, placing them face down in the spread arrangement you have chosen.

5. Turn the cards, and begin

Turn the cards face up, then begin your interpretation; let your intuition guide you to a meaning based on the cards’ image, or/and refer to the interpretations on pages xx-xx. If a card is upside down, just turn it the right way up. In The Oceanic Tarot, I don’t include meanings for reversed (upside-down) cards, as they are often negative – instead, I include ‘advice’ for each card, to guide you towards an understanding of the wisdom each card holds.

6. Finishing your reading

When you have finished reading, say a thank-you with your inner voice for the guidance you have received, as you give the cards a final shuffle to cleanse and re-energize them. Gather up the cards, then wrap them in silk or other fabric to protect them, and place them in a box or drawer until you are ready to read again. Extinguish your incense or candle.



When reading for another person, the only time they touch your cards is at the beginning of the reading, when they shuffle the deck, and divide it, and reassemble it ready for you to lay out in a spread for them. At the end of the consultation, if the person has any specific questions to be answered, as them to say the question out loud, then you take the top card on the deck and lay it down to give them their answer.

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