Estimated Reading Time: 11 minutes

Be The only reader You’ll ever need

Follow these tips for reading tarot for yourself, work through your own reading using the free downloadable workbook, and discover that you’re the best reader for you!

I first presented this for the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup on Saturday, May 21, 2022.

Can You Read For Yourself?

It’s a common belief in the tarot reading world that you can’t read for yourself. The conventional wisdom is that you’re too close to the situation, lack objectivity, or are too invested in particular outcomes. More than that, we tend to second guess ourselves.

Essentially, the mind that created the problem can’t solve the problem.

Some tarot readers read for themselves for small things, but when the situation is important or confusing, they reach out to another reader for added perspective.

Anyway, aren’t tarot readings always a conversation?

Big Life Questions

Eventually, a profound question enters our lives. Important decisions, such as whether to stay in a good but unfulfilling job, where to move to, when to end and when to keep a relationship, or making a major purchase can cripple the most analytical brain with indecision.

But beyond solving life dilemmas, many people want to know, “Am I doing something wrong? How did I get here? How can I reach my goals? And how can I move past these roadblocks that prevent my growth?”

Ultimately, their question becomes, “Am I on the right path? Am I on track?”

It feels like we are missing bus after bus as we sit at the terminal, wondering how to get where we want to go in life. We don’t have the knowledge or experience we need to figure out how it works. We realize we simply want someone to tell us which bus to get on to go to our destination.

Another Perspective

So we look outside ourselves for answers. People who are ready to help us include friends and family, someone dedicated to helping, such as a therapist, religious leader, or coach, or a professional reader.

We try a variety of solutions. Talk to a friend, our family, that one person who you can always trust. These people know us the best, care about us the most, and are invested in what’s best for us. But sometimes:

  • They know you too well
  • They can be averse to you taking risks
  • Worse, they’ve already decided what’s right for you
  • If so, they want to convince you of their opinion, not help you explore new ways of thinking

You search out someone dedicated to helping, such as a therapist, a religious leader, a coach. They have experience helping people sort through problems. They have expertise in a particular method for arriving at answers. But sometimes:

  • They don’t know you
  • They rely on general good advice that seems to be one-size-fits-all
  • If they’re good, they turn the question back on you, and you’re back trying to make this decision by yourself

So you go to a reader. A professional reader works with a large set of symbols that combine into a unique story that outlines a suggested course of action for you. They have a unique ability to cut directly to the heart of the matter. However:

  • Readers vary greatly in their style and abilities. How do you know who to choose?
  • Readings can be expensive; will it be worth it?
  • Will I get my questions answered, or just hear a bunch of New Age schlock?

But Not Necessarily Our Perspective

And ultimately, will any of these helpers understand me and my needs? Will the advice feel truly personal, as if they are speaking straight to my heart?

Eventually, we realize only we can make our decisions.

If I want to understand what’s best for me, shouldn’t I be able to look into my own heart, my own psyche, my own future, and see what I need to know?

I do want to find my own answers. Why is it so hard?

Why Is It So Hard?

We set aside some time, light a candle, pull out our favorite deck, and start shuffling. Doubt creeps in. Why should this reading be any different than the others I do? How can I make it better, clearer, more relevant, more accurate?

How can I be the best reader I can be and the only reader I’ll ever need?

Solutions And How To Use Them

It’s not easy. And it takes practice. But you can do it.

Over the next few slides I’ll share a list of solutions for you to try. Practice these tips to get the most out of every reading.

  • Use all the tips together to create a profound reading experience
  • Or incorporate them one at a time
  • Become familiar and comfortable with a suggestion before adding in another
  • There’s no order — start with the ones that make the most sense to you
  • When you’re ready to go up a level, add in something new
  • Eventually you’ll include as many of these steps as resonate with you

Be the Best Reader For You

These tips fall into three categories:

  • Before the Reading
  • During the Reading
  • After the Reading

Simply put, there are only three primary recommendations.

  1. Take time to get in the right mindset for a reading
  2. Maintain a sense of open curiosity during the reading
  3. Document your experience after the reading.

Doing all three of these will let you be the best reader you can be.

Before the Reading: Tips for Reading Tarot for Yourself

  • Make the experience more formal. Set sacred or private space.
  • Release your expectations by meditating, doing breathing exercises, praying, creating art, playing music, moving
  • mindfully, or similar. Something that clears your mind.
  • Get to the heart of the question. Journal first and write until you identify the issue that underlies the problem.
  • Proceed with your reading once you understand the real question.
  • Connect with your guides, angels, higher self, or the Divine. Invite spiritual helpers or those who govern the divination process, for example, Mercury, Thoth, or HRU.
  • Set an intention for truth, clarity, and compassion.

During the Reading: Tips for Reading Tarot for Yourself

  • First, ask a clear question.
  • Be curious. Honestly and earnestly desire to know the answer. Let your mind go blank. Enter a realm of pure potential. Anything can happen!
  • Keep it small. Use simple questions and small spreads, like 2-3 cards. Or break bigger spreads down into bite-size chunks. Work through one chunk at a time before moving on.
  • Dialogue with the cards. Get a conversation going.
  • Explore the question from multiple angles to get perspective. For example, ask: What is the outcome if I do this? What is the outcome if I don’t do this?

After the Reading: Tips for Reading Tarot for Yourself

  • Track your readings in a journal or on reading spread sheets that you can compile in a ring binder.
  • Review old readings and take notes on what happened. Noticing the things you got right and the things you missed is one of your best learning techniques.
  • Create a database. I’ve known a couple of people who kept track of all their readings and did a statistical analysis of what cards came up over the course of a year. If you like this kind of detail, it can be a great way to watch monthly and annual themes over time.


Does this mean I’ll be spending hours on every reading for the rest of my tarot life? I’m out!

Not at all!

Yes, getting to know something takes extra time. But once you’ve built your rapport with the cards, you’re off and running.

I used to spend hours with every reading.

  • But now I connect with Spirit and ask for “truth, clarity, and compassion” as I shuffle.
  • I ask the question, then let it go and become open to receiving the answer as I cut the deck.
  • With these guidelines in place, accurate answers pop right out at me as I look at the image.

I can do a quick, accurate reading for myself in a minute or two.

No More Second Guessing

Even the best tarot readers can have doubts. A few hours or a few days pass. You think of alternate interpretations. You become frustrated with the many layers of meaning each card embodies. Confidence crumbles and your insightful interpretation lies in ruins.

One thing I hear over and over from readers of many experience levels is that they wish they were more confident.

I’m here to tell you: confidence is a mirage.

When we think of confidence, we usually think of our own inner strength. But the truth of the matter is, the reading doesn’t come from us.

Tarot readings come from something greater than us. You can think of it as your superconscious, your higher self, or your angels and guides. Some people believe that readings come from the Universe, Spirit, the Divine, or whatever term you use for the Source of all.

We have confidence in ourselves. But we have faith in Spirit.

Developing faith — we can call it trust — is the key. Trust the process, the cards, Divine Source, and yes, your own abilities.

There are three rules for being the best reader for yourself:

  1. Find clarity by connecting to Spirit, because this is Divine Truth
  2. Be curious and ask honestly, because the power of asking leads to wisdom
  3. Trust the process, the cards, Divine Source, and your own abilities, because faith in the answer leads to understanding.

When you approach a reading with a clear intent, an honest question, and faith, then you will get true, easy-to-understand, compassionate answers.

Could there be other interpretations? Sure. But when you follow these three rules, no other meaning will have any relevance.

Because you’ve already discussed it with your highest truth.

After all, tarot readings are always conversations.

Tips For Reading Tarot For Yourself Free Downloadable Workbook!

Here’s the free downloadable workbook with journal prompts, spreads, tarot spread worksheets, and more.

By the way, I love giving away cool free stuff! And I hate feeling ransomed for my email address for every neat thing on the internet. So this free resource is completely no-strings-attached. But if you like stuff like this, and if you think you’d like other cool stuff that I put together (check out all my downloadables), then I’d love it if you signed up on my mailing list or made a donation. Thank you!

Click the image to open and download the free workbook, Be the Best Reader for You: Tips for Reading Tarot for Yourself

Be the Best Reader for You: Tips for Reading Tarot for Yourself Video Workshop

Additional Resources

Joy Vernon
Joy Vernon

Joy Vernon is widely recognized as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty-five years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup grew into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Now Joy runs the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher in Burien, Washington. To learn more, please visit

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