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I recently just got my very first tarot card deck (The Golden Tarot). It came with this book where Kat Black the maker of this Tarot deck interprets each card from her perspective. I have learned a good bit of going off of what I see myself in each card. The Empress I see as the mother, nurturer, fertility, pregnancy. The element I see represented in her card is what appears to be Air. But I then find out it is Earth as the element not Air. 

I have found a few ways to read the Tarot cards in my deck. It makes me wonder if there are other ways that can make it much simpler. I just learned about the elements found in each card and how Fire and Water are opposites, and Air and Earth are opposites. Air can breath life into Fire to make it grow in strength. Water can nourish the Earth and make it fertile. 

Everybody probably has their own way of reading tarot cards, or learned of a specific way to do readings easier. What ways would you prefer in learning to do Tarot readings easier?

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I learned the Rider-Waite symbolism and thus it's easier to read a new deck if it's based on that.

If a tarot maker creates a whole different set of symbols or gives different meaning to symbols you're already familiar with as something else, then it makes the deck harder to read, because you're basically learning a brand new system.

I have a couple of decks like that.  I wonder if it might not be easier to just give the card my own meaning.

I chose the deck that spoke to me the most and that is when I got the Golden Tarot deck. It is just like the Rider Waite but the pentacles are coins in this deck. I would rather just stick with the one deck. I performed my own personal reading a few nights ago, and I better understood the situation I was in. 

Chin Scratch Emoticon--

I also learned the Rider-Waite symbolism, and all my cards are pretty much based on that. So, even though I have a few sets, they're all interpretations of Rider-Waite. So, you still have the same meanings in every deck. I also find this much easier. I don't ever even reverse the cards because that gets way too confusing for me! Especially as I still consider myself a beginner, despite having my cards for a few years. 

One thing I did, after learning the Rider-Waite symbolism, is to meditate on the card before bed. I would hold the card, remind myself of the symbolism, look at it, concentrate on the image and its meanings. Then, I would slide it under my pillow and go to sleep. The next morning I'd write down any dreams I had - as soon as I woke up, before I even got out of bed to make sure I didn't forget anything. I got some really fascinating dreams this way, especially for the Fool. 

I also use the Rider-Waite symbolism. I agree that reversing the cards gets way too confusing. Misia I want to try the card meditation you talk about here. Very interesting!

I have a friend that does Tarot readings as well. He mentioned that putting the deck underneath your pillow at nights helps charge the deck for when you do readings. It helps you do the readings more efficiently. With how I chose a personal day card I put a copy of the card as my background on my laptop. For sake of not ruining the actual card (which is what I am afraid of doing).

I used to use only the Ryber/Waite/Smith deck and the clone versions such as the Eric Dunne (Illuminati Deck), Robin Wood deck and the Karen Marie Sweikhardt decks.  I have the Book of Thoth deck and reading the book of Thoth I find it really weird.

Lately I've come across the Wizards Tarot by Corrine Kenner.  It is probably the best I've come across.

I start with a little prayer/spell and light a candle and some incense.

I usually only use the Celtic Cross spread.  I've been practicing the "Opening of the Key of Solomon" spread which is sort of complicated and time consuming.  

When I read, I shuffle by cutting the deck nine times then spread them out left to right and running my, or the querent's non-power hand over them and then choosing them at random. 

When I am done with a reading, I put them all back in order as way of recharging them and reconnecting with them after the querent has touched them.   

I shuffle my cards after replacing the ones I picked out. With what you talk about the querent's hand I started doing that a few days ago. It is like I let the energy tell me which card to choose. I always wait for a deep warm sensation on my hand to choose the cards. Very interesting approach if I do say so myself.

In tarot, I do pay attention to what the "essence" of each card is. I have a Rider-Waite and a Steampunk deck that is a very wonderful balance of re-imagining Rider-Waite.

Since the beginning, though, I've never paid attention to spreads. (Then again, I've never really been one for concise and precise order in things other than my scholarly work...). Rather, I read the spread as a whole story where things intermingle and contrast with each other. It could be that, yes, some particular aspects of the cards (or a card) pop out, but in general things ebb and flow with each other.

I recently got a Wildwood Tarot that I LOVE (I'm huge on forests, meadows, and animals, so this one was perfect for me). Sometimes, you just click. The moment that I opened it, we knew and understood each other, and I've gotten some very special readings. So also a very important component of the tarot is finding one with a personality that you can get along with - like a good friend. The Steampunk was my first tarot deck, very talkative and full of color and brightness, and it did NOT stop talking. I could read a spread for days and still discover new things. Rider-Waite is much more mature, much more academic, hides a few things from me but in general provides excellent readings. The Wildwood, however, connects with me on a level much higher and deeper than then others, but it's extremely mystical, and it keeps me on my toes because there are some things that I don't realize at the moment, signs and sayings. It's more of like a very old, very wise teacher who is tender but stern when teaching.

Oh! I also pay attention to cards that fly out from the deck while I'm shuffling - and I mean like almost actually flying. Sometimes I shuffle, and a card just falls out from the deck like nobody's business. I used to ignore this. A couple of years later, one of my friends was doing an oracle reading and one of her cards fell out. She indicated that she put it to the side as part of the spread because if it fell out, it must be important. Had had much richer readings since.

Very good to concentrate energy into your hands (if you are holding your cards) and repeat the question in your head, almost like a mantra or meditation, while shuffling the cards. Keep your questions as open as possible; don't asked 'closed questions' (instead of 'When can I get my mother in law out?' ask instead, 'Show me the nature of the relationship between my mother in law and I; and how can we handle our relationship?' See the difference?)

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