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What to expect during your first tarot reading

Updated: Jun 20

By Lauren O’Connell Your first tarot reading can be an intriguing and enlightening experience, offering insights and guidance on various aspects of your life. I had my first reading in 2018 by my now friend Zak Adeel. I was blown away by the accuracy and felt so connected to the cards. I realized that in past lives I must have been a tarot reader myself. Soon after my reading with Zak, I bought The Rider Tarot Deck(this is the original tarot cards and the best deck to start out with to learn the true meanings behind the cards) as well as a how-to manual and began to learn (or relearn) how to read cards.

Here's what you can expect during your first session.

Choosing a Reader

First, choose a tarot reader you feel comfortable with. Look for someone with good reviews or a personal recommendation. It's important to feel at ease with the reader as this will help you relax and be open during the session. I recommend my friend Zak (linked above) or Susan Nora Tarot based in Dubai (she does online readings).

Setting the Atmosphere

A tarot reading is usually conducted in a calm and serene environment. Whether it's in person or online, the reader will likely create a space that feels safe and welcoming. Expect to see candles, crystals, or other spiritual items that help set the mood. Whenever I get online readings, I always burn a little sage to clear the energies air around me and promote a sense of calmness in my space.

The Introduction

Your reader will start by explaining the process. They’ll likely ask if you have any specific questions or areas of your life you want to focus on, such as love, career, or personal growth. If you're unsure, a general reading is a great way to get started.

Shuffling and Drawing the Cards

You may be asked to shuffle the cards or cut the deck to imbue your energy into the reading(if you’re doing an in-person reading). The reader will then draw a certain number of cards and lay them out in a spread, each position representing different aspects of your question or life situation.

Interpreting the Cards

The reader will interpret the cards based on their positions and relationships to each other. They’ll explain the meanings of individual cards and how they relate to your question. Tarot cards have layered meanings, so expect a mix of symbolic, intuitive, and sometimes practical insights.

Ask your questions!

Feel free to ask questions or seek clarification during the reading. A good tarot reading is interactive, with the reader providing interpretations and you offering feedback or further questions. I always have a list of questions with me to make sure I don’t forget anything. I learned this the hard way!

Takeaways and Reflection

At the end of the session, the reader might summarize the key points and offer some guidance based on the cards drawn. Take a moment to reflect on what was discussed and how it resonates with your current situation.

Keeping an Open Mind

Remember, tarot readings are not about predicting the future with certainty but rather offering insights and perspectives that can help you navigate your path. Approach your first reading with an open mind and a willingness to explore what the cards reveal. By knowing what to expect, you can make the most of your first tarot reading and gain valuable insights into your life's journey.

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