Learn Tarot: The Morning Lesson

The Morning Lesson

Quite often, I get this question:

“What would you suggest to a beginner who wants to learn to read the tarot?”

And my first answer would be to PUT THE BOOK DOWN. Yes, you read me. You don’t need the book. In fact, I think that the book is a hindrance rather than a help to a beginner. You begin to rely on someone else’s insights and don’t look and listen for your own. For me, Tarot reading is a very intuitive divination system. In fact, I think most divinatory systems are tools for your intuition to scamper down. Think of the cards as a ladder!

I teach a series of fourteen steps. The next few musings will deal with how to begin to read Tarot. And, if you are an experienced reader, you might try this method with a new deck. And I still do these steps when I get a new deck as a way of exercising my intuition and getting my logical self to take a hike.

First Things First

You will need something to write in and write with. Don’t over think this. Just run to your local store and grab a spiral-bound notebook and indulge in a pen you like. If you tend to lose pens, buy a bit of ribbon and tie the pen to the notebook.

This can be the same thing as your Tarot Journal, but it doesn’t have to be. You could have one of these notebooks for each deck in your possession if you so desire.

I am assuming you have a deck. If you don’t, go get one. A good beginner’s deck is the Rider-Waite deck. I recommend the Radiant Rider-Waite. Here is a review of this deck.


Find a place in your home for reading. This can be a desk you have set up specifically for this or it could be your bed each morning. Just be consistent about it so you can have a spot that feels right to you.

My desk is where my computer sits. It is cluttered with candles and stones and pens and decks. I clean it up and it will go right back to a disorganized clutter in a few days. sometimes hours. One day, I keep telling myself, I will have a clean desk.

Make sure you have a good light source. Luckily my desk is in a room where I have great sunshine through an East facing window in the morning. I also look out onto the greenbelt behind my house which is just lovely when the deer or the fox are in the fields.

And a comfortable chair is a must. Don’t hurt yourself! Things to consider when chair shopping:

  • SIT IN IT!
    • The best seat height is approximately one-fourth your own body height, but you need to sit in it first.
    • It should have arm rests as well.
  • Make sure it is adjustable. Look at the base. five points is recommended for stability.
  • Invest in one that has an adjustable backrest in all directions. If you do much work at your desk, you will appreciate this!


Pick a morning to begin. Sit down in your spot and focus on being open to the Universe. If you can, take five minutes of quiet time before you begin your work.

When you are ready, shuffle your cards. There are many ways to shuffle. I won’t tell you that any of them are bad. Some of them are harder on your deck than others, but you do what feels right to you.

As you shuffle, hold this thought in mind.

“What does the Universe want me to be prepared for today.”

Or any version of that. You are being open to being told what you need to learn for this day.

When you feel that you have shuffled the cards enough, place the deck in front of you. With your non-dominant hand (generally the hand you do NOT write with), cut the deck into three piles and then restack them.

Turn the top card over. Look at it for a minute. Don’t worry if it is upside down or not. Just study it.

Now write what you see in this card. Does it remind you of anything? anyone? any time? Jot down notes as you think about these questions. What colors leap out at you? What colors repel you? Any associations with these colors that come to mind? Write. Write. Write.

Now note your general impressions of this card. What story is it trying to tell you? Don’t worry about getting things “right.” Just get the words down for now. When you feel like you’ve written eveything important about this card, move to the next step.


Once you have completed this, close your notebook and set it aside along with your deck. Get ready for your day and do what you need to. We will see you tonight for the rest of the lesson.

Look for the evening portion of this lesson in two days. Don’t worry about the night time yet. Get used to the rhythm of the morning reading first. Trust me, it will be ok.

Here is the Evening lesson.

Author: TarotByArwen

Arwen is the professional Joy Seeker. Her true calling is as a Professional Joy Seeker. She co-creates solutions with her clients to help them find their joy again. "Seek joy, y'all" is her motto. Her decks include The Fairy Tale Lenormand, Secrets of the Mystic Grove, Bianca Niero Tarot, the Elle Qui Oracle, and the Field Guide to Garden Dragons (all published by U.S. Games INC.). She is the author of 33 Days to Finish Your Book.

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