A clean slate. Get to an emotional, mental, physical neutral so you are open to what the cards say. Having expectations can muddle the meaning of the cards, so be open to whatever the cards provide. Also, place yourself in a physical space that allows you the time and mental energy to focus. Many people also burn sage their space to rid their space of negative energy.
Get to the heart of it. Find a specific question for the reading. Meditate on the issue in order to understand the heart of what you’re asking. Try to stay away from closed questions; ones that can be answered with just a yes or no. Instead focus on open-ended, journey-enhancing questions.
How can I…?
What can I do in order to…?
What do I need in order to…?
Why am I having this obstacle?
Each of these questions focuses on your end goal and how to reach it. For example, asking the stereotypically popular “Will I get married this year?” is a very limiting question and will not get you very far. It gives the cards an ultimatum (yes or no). It also doesn’t give you a lot of free will or actionable tasks to focus on. Instead, asking “What can I do in order to attract people worth loving into my life?” allows you to take action after you think about the obstacles in your way. It encourages self-reflection and enhances your life journey. Try not to repeat readings. Ask unique questions about unique situations. Asking the same source the same question can get confusing.
Choose your spread. Think of what you are asking and how it can be best represented in the cards.
One card spread: A one card spread can really give you a focus on what you need to achieve your goals. It’s a great approach for beginners because it will still answer your question without complication.
Two card spread: There are many different ways to approach two card spreads, but these would probably be best for a beginner.
Cross spread. Your first card will be vertical, the second card will be horizontal, laying in front. The first card will be your issue/problem. The second card will be what is blocking you from moving forward and resolving this issue. It helps you plot a clear path forward if you’re stuck on something.
If/Then spread. Your first card will be your “if I do/bring this into my life”. Your second card will be “then this will be given to me”. Again, charts a clear path forward and motivation for getting out of your own way.
Three card spread. These spreads are really popular. Keep in mind that all the cards should interact with each other.
Past/Present/Future. First card is past. What happened that still has a hold on you? What lesson did you learn in the past that affects this situation? Second card is present. What are the general feelings of this moment? What challenges or opportunities are being presented to you right now? Last card is future. What is the outcome of the past and present? What do you need moving forward? Like the cross spread, this can lay out what issues you are having and what you need to do to move forward.
Mind/Body/Spirit. First card is mind. This card is logic, literature, thinking. What do you need to know about what you are thinking? Second is body. Health. What do you need to do to take care of your body? Last card is spirit. Intuition, energy, flow. What do you need to do to enhance your interconnection? This spread can help you work on healing.
Shuffle the cards. While you shuffle, have that question in the forefront of your mind. Ask it over and over as you shuffle. Feel the cards. Cut the deck as many times as you feel is correct, in whichever place you feel is best.
Draw your cards. Sit with them. What feelings pop up when you see them? What are your first impressions in relation to your question? Remember, if you do multiple card readings that they are not isolated from each other. Think of them as forming a sentence. Look at them. What do the pictures say to you? Accept them. You don’t need to draw for the same thing again. Research their meanings. What do you feel is the best way they are answering your question? Document. Write down your feelings, reactions, meditations on this reading.
Reflect. Think about the reading. Think about the issue. Then, in the future, after things have changed, come back to the reading. Was it accurate? Learn and grow from your readings. Are there new interpretations you now have from your readings?
These steps can really help you establish a baseline when you read. Once you feel comfortable with your cards and readings, you can move on to reading for other people.