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The Maiden 
Join Date: 28 Nov 2001
Posts: 1
How do you do an effective reading for yourself?

Hi all,
I'm brand new to Tarot, I got my deck from a big name bookstore that had a beginner's book and deck set on sale last year. Later I got a book on Tarot from a used book store. Anyway, both books said basically it's difficult to do an acurate reading for yourself because you are too knowledgeable for your own inner thoughts and that throws everything off. Can someone tell me how I might do more acurate readings for myself?

Peace all.

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Old 28-11-2001     Top   #1
Join Date: 14 Aug 2001
Posts: 179

The Maiden (28 Nov, 2001 09:46):
Hi all,
I'm brand new to Tarot, I got my deck from a big name bookstore that had a beginner's book and deck set on sale last year. Later I got a book on Tarot from a used book store. Anyway, both books said basically it's difficult to do an acurate reading for yourself because you are too knowledgeable for your own inner thoughts and that throws everything off. Can someone tell me how I might do more acurate readings for myself?

Peace all.

I'm still new (started studing agian about a year ago).

My basic advise..The hell wih the books. How are you supposed to learn about the cards and youself if you do not put the cards down.

My very knowledgable friends here will tell you to start a journal (I just did, not much for writing).

Good luck and stick with it..I love my cards, they help me see and focus on things in my busy life that I would not have otherwise.

Best of luck,


Knowledge is a tree that only grows when shared.
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Old 28-11-2001     Top   #2
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Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: away, away
Posts: 11,179

Everyone learns to read by doing readings for themselves, so don't take it directly to heart.

The problem is that when you ONLY read for yourself you lose the big picture and cabnnot distance yourself from the information you are given. It is best NOT to read for yourself every single day, and never ask the same question twice. One person on this forum came up with a great idea (using single card daily readings) to keep himself from re-asking the same question. Imagine that you've asked a question and got the Temperance (#14) card. Now you cannot ask the same question for 14 days.

I suggest you plan your question, shuffle and lay the cards out, then write the first thing coming into your mind and do not dwell on the meanings of the cards or search for hidden or intricate meanings. Just go by your first impressions and let it go at that. It's hard to keep objectivity when you start obsessing on something.
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Old 29-11-2001     Top   #3
tiger lily 
Join Date: 27 Aug 2001
Posts: 102

Iīm afraid the books are right: to get an accurate reading for yourself is as difficult as trying to do a self-portrait without ever having seen your face in a mirror before. I was forced to read for myself because I had nobody else to do it for or do it for me (that was in the bad old days before the internet...). I got very discouraged because my readings seemed never on track. I began to doubt my reading ability. My breakthgrough occurred when I began reading for complete strangers over the internet: I did better readings than I ever did for myself.

Even now I read more accurately for others than for myself and if I do a self-reading I usually pretend itīs for someone else (it works...).

But, cj and tarotbear are correct, too: how are you going to learn to read the cards if you donīt read for yourself? few people are patient enough to play guinea pig over and over again until you "take off". You basically have no choice but being your own guinea pig.

A Tarot journal is a good idea. My tip: when doing your daily card in the morning, donīt look at it - lay it aside face down and go about your day as usual. In the evening, write down your day, the events, the overall mood, etc. Doesnīt have to be much, but do it before you look at your daily card. That way, you arenīt tempted to construct connections between your day and the card; you are forced to work with what you came up independantly. That should help you to get a more objective view of the cardīs meaning.

"You can only be young once, but you can be immature forever."
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Old 29-11-2001     Top   #4
Fortune Teller
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Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Virginia, U.S.A.
Posts: 7,024

When I started working with cards (non-Tarot decks), I realized I was unable to read for myself & accepted it. Interestingly, it was through readings for others that I gained some of the more in-depth insights to self. My "best" readings have been those for others & for strangers. Over time, I have learned to develop self-readings, but I think it is in direct proportion to the gaining of self-knowledge & not necessarily Tarot knowledge.
The occasional self-readings at certain times of the year are spaced well apart so they are "clean", free from the confusion that oft results from the too frequent readings. There is then ample time for one reading to express itself before another is done. The reading can be approached with an open mind, & as if I am reading for someone else. I always ask to be given what I need to know.
Using the Year Card & the Daily Card(s) have been effective ways to develop insight that carries over into self-readings. Usually prior to or around my birthday is when I do a Year Card reading. I usually feel the energy of the new card year coming in anyway. I do not do another reading (such as a spread) unless something warrants it. Otherwise, it is not until the season has changed.
I've found the Celtic Cross spread is especially effective for a general/overview reading when not used too often. It covers the major areas of one's life, all of which may take varying time periods to fully manifest or to work out. Frequent readings do not necessarily give more information nor will they cause things to change. If anything, if what is given the first time is not utilized nor acted upon, the reading is meaningless.

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Old 30-11-2001     Top   #5
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Join Date: 18 Aug 2001
Location: Travelin' . . . like a ball of twine unravelin'
Posts: 491

Well, The Maiden,

One of the most wonderful things about the forums here is all of the opinions you get. Hooray!

And, I disagree with the posts above. Just an opinion, you can sort it out.

Who know's you better than you? You know what you think, you know what you believe, you know what you want . . .

If the word ever got out that I was attempting to read cards for other people, the readers on aeclectic would chase me down and string me up, a skinny figure hanging from a tree limb in the moonlight . . .

But, the way you learn is to read for yourself. And if, on your 47th Celtic Cross, you don't have a clue what a card means, look at a book. Look at the card. Think about it.

'Course you can read for yourself.


The secret to magic is knowing what to wish for. If you wish for things you're not going to get, your magic will never work.
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Old 30-11-2001     Top   #6
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Join Date: 05 Nov 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 397

I have to agree with Talisman. I find the tarot are one of the greatest tools for personal development that I have found. It is true that you can interpret the readings on your own biases- but be aware of what your biases are- self knowledge is a powerful tool.
I read mainly for myself. I like to start each day with a single card reading. I ask what is the most important thing for me to know or do today to advance a situation or my development. I find it leading me on a powerful, healing journey.
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Old 30-11-2001     Top   #7
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Join Date: 07 Aug 2001
Location: united states
Posts: 562

I found that a lot of times in the beginning I would give myself a reading...look at the cards and when they didn't make any sense I would end up giving myself a new one. Don't do that...Like someone said above...if you are on your 47th celtic cross and it doesn't make sense...stop! If a reading never makes sense to me I write down the cards and come back to them later and even try using some books or maybe a different deck. I don't think reading for yourself is bad if you can be honest with yourself.
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Old 01-12-2001     Top   #8
Major Tom 
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Join Date: 06 Aug 2001
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 8,916

Here's a trap I fell into myself, reading for myself.

When I was first learning tarot - I only read with the 22 Major Arcana. When I read for myself, and the problem was particularly prickly, I would often have difficulty understanding what the cards were saying (or refusing to accept what they were saying ). So I'd try another spread. }> After about the third try, I'd begin to realise the cards were starting to tell me what I wanted to hear!

Keeping a good tarot journal is helpful in avoiding this trap. }>

"We are all free to do whatever we want to do...Isn't that a great way to run a Universe?" from 'Illusions' by Richard Bach

"Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility." Eleanor Roosevelt
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Old 01-12-2001     Top   #9
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Posts: 174

Most of my readings are done on myself, or on family members who are not actually present (My husband won't have anything to do with my cards so I do readings for him without him actually being there and then let him know if anything important comes up).
I find the knack of reading for myself is to only ask the question once then elaborate on it if the reading seems unclear. If all else fails I ask the cards to 'Tell me what I need to know' and take it on from there.

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Old 02-12-2001     Top   #10
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