Modern Mystic: How to use tarot cards

By @studio.bon

By @studio.bon

What do you think of when you hear the word Tarot? People think it’s about predicting the future and reserved for spooky witch sessions; but it can be much more than that. Not just for fortune telling, tarot cards are there to give guidance with what is happening in your personal orbit of love, money, career, goals, and general life path.

Some believe that Tarot cards are religious or spiritual, receiving communication from the entity that they believe in, although tarot cards can simply be an in-depth conversation with yourself using your intuition. Intuition is our instinct, the seat of our emotions, and what exists beyond our rational minds. It is completely unique to each of us; it may take the form of ideas, images, words, phrases, or simply a strong gut reaction that cannot be ignored.

Let’s get started: Tarot 101

The break down: The majority of the cards in a Tarot deck are numbered cards and royalty. There are four suits in Tarot. Each suit consists of an ace through to 10, plus four royalty cards. Most royalties consist of a King, Queen, Knight, and a Page, although it may vary. These suited cards are known as the Minor Arcana in divination. In addition to these 56 cards, there are 22 cards, known as the trumps, or Major Arcana. Read a guide to the Major Arcana here by A Little Spark Of Joy.

Choose your deck: For a classic option choose Rider Waite Tarot Deck or for a modern take with an emphasis on self-care, choose Neo Tarot: A fresh approach to self-care, healing & empowerment

Your space: Choose a calm, healthy environment. You could burn incense or candles, set your crystals out, or just get comfy. It’s also about your headspace; try meditating before reading your cards so that you have a clear mind going into it.

Image via @born _ under _ saturn

Image via @born _ under _ saturn

Time to create a spread

Learn the basics: In the beginning, don’t stress about knowing the meaning of each card. Just pick cards, look at them and allow the meaning to come to you. You can then check the guide book (its comes with the deck) or use a resource like this website to understand the meanings in-depth. Once you begin, Tarot will want to connect with you as much as you want to connect with it. As your skills grow, so will the complexities of your knowledge, but don’t rush yourself. 

Beginning spread: In your head ask a question to the deck. It could be “what will my day be like or what is the message I need to hear today?”. Pull one card from the deck and look up the meaning in the guidebook. Read here for further information.

Intermediate spreads:

  • 3 card spread: ask a question or think of an aspect of your like (e.g. work, love, finance) and pull 3 cards; one for past, present, and future.

  • Weekly spread: Pull 7 cards to represent each day of the week before turning the cards over.

Advanced spreads:

  • Release and let go: the main idea with this spread is to first shine a light on the negative feelings that exist now. We can then focus on how we can release and let go, rising above the situation, and eventually what good will come out of it and what new beginnings can be created to bring positivity back into our lives again. Find this spread and meanings for each card here.

  • Lunar spreads: depending on the time of the month, you can do a New Moon spread or Full Moon spread. This will help you to manifest your goals and reflect on what you have achieved.


Before we go, one more tip. During these spreads we like to keep a journal next to us, to write down key-takeaways. It’s hard to remember all the information that comes out and therefore you can then look back later to reflect.

For further learning; watch this video on The Little Known History of Tarot.

Cover photo by @natalia_benson

Written by Lucy Green; founder of Homebody Club, obsessed with coffee, the moon, deep conversations, nights in and any form of personality test (she’s an Aries / INFJ / Generator / Pitta Vata / Type 1).