How to read tarot cards like a pro

Photo courtesy of Stefanee Montesantos.

STEFANEE MONTESANTOS | OPINION COLUMNIST | smontesa@butler.edu

Imagine: you brush past the beaded curtain, and the small jangle of the beads hitting together is all you hear. It smells heavily of burnt sage and dust. The room is only lit by candles and the sun that slightly shines through the zodiac sign tapestries hanging over the windows. At the end of the room is a small table with two chairs across from one another and a candle so old its wax drips onto the hardwood surface. At one of the chairs sits an older woman with long earrings, a giant amethyst hanging from her neck, and a robe that resembles your curtains hanging in your living room back at home. Above her a sign reads, “Tarot Card Readings: $20.”

Honestly, that might just be a glimpse into my future. But while I am in college, I will use this column to teach you how to read your cards — for free! Actually, after you are done reading this article you will not even need me.

The future is always around the corner with a giant blinking question mark hanging right over it. Questions about landing the dream job, passing impossibly hard organic chemistry classes and the evergreen “will they/won’t they” between you and the cutie you saw at Welcome Week  plague our minds every day.

While some people pray for guidance or carry their lucky item wherever they go, some go to tarot cards to find the answers — heck, I used them myself just the other day. Whatever resonates with you is what you should do, but I am here to help by teaching you how to read tarot cards. Save the $20; you might need it for something later.

Before I give you the inside scoop on how to read the future I need to let you in on a little secret — nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, can tell you the future. The future is not in a crystal ball nor is it in one of these decks. What tarot cards can do, though, is provide guidance when you are in a period of struggle. They are a deck of cards with words or phrases that give you answers to tough spiritual and metaphysical questions; they give you answers that will help you know what step to take next if you are unsure. The card that you pull will not tell you what will happen, it will only tell you what you need to do for you to achieve what you desire.

A “How-To” on Tarot Cards:

  1. The Cards: Find a deck of cards that resonates with you and your energy. If you do not have a deck on hand, you can find them at any metaphysical store near you.
  2. Shuffle: Do this longer than you think you should. The cards need to familiarize themselves with your energy levels. By shuffling them with your hands and focusing on the problem that has been probing your head for days on end, you are giving the cards time to sit with the vibrations so they can give you the best possible answers.
  3. Present: Fan them out in front of you face down. You want to be able to see every card in the deck. This ensures that you will choose the best cards fitted for the question you are asking.
  4. The Question: Calm your thoughts and ask away. Now, how you form the question is a lot more important than you believe it is. As I said above, the cards can not tell the future, and if you ask them questions that only have distinct answers, they will get confused and it will knock the vibrations askew. They are only here to help you take the next step towards your desired future, not to tell you it will happen. Only you can make the future reality.
  1. How Many: The number of cards you choose is up to you. If you feel that the answer you are seeking can be answered in one card, then one card is all you need. Three cards is often what is chosen, but you can also choose two, four, five, six…etcetera. Sometimes you can choose a card, and then become confused on the presenting of a certain card. You can always ask the cards for clarification on an answer by picking another card. Choosing too many cards will not affect the cards, but it will jumble your thoughts. Clarity is what we are striving for in this situation, so refrain from over-pulling cards from the deck.
  2. How to understand the message: Most of the time the card has a name, title, or a short description of what it means. If you are familiar with the cards, then you will be able to interpret the meaning a lot easier, but if not — do not panic — most decks come with a small booklet that has a more in depth description of the message of the card. Read the message carefully. If there are any words or phrases that ring in your head, then that is the message that the cards are trying to communicate to you. Often times, people can pull the same card for different questions, but each meaning vibrates with each question differently. It all matters on what has the most effect on you and the problem at hand.

Good luck, and remember — if you still need some help, your resident Butler Collegian Psychic is right here in the Opinion column.

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