1. Take the deck in your hands and focus on your intention for the reading.
2. Slowly fan the cards from one hand to the other, making sure to touch each card in the deck, and infuse it with your energy.
3. Shuffle the deck as you wish. When a card pops out at you or otherwise draws your attention in a way you feel is significant, pull it aside. You may also choose to simply shuffle until you believe your card is on top.
4. When you're ready, look at the card. Then consult a guide (or website) to find the meaning of your card.
Engage in this activity every day to get to know your deck, and apply the meaning as you see fit.
Today my card is Strength.
Strength is a card that, when I pull it, I feel recognized for my resilience and for the difficulty of my situation. No one wants to hear that they have it easy, but even just typing this couple of sentences makes me realize the difficulties others face in their lives. In the big scheme of things, on the sliding scale of human suffering, my problems are miniscule.
This is what I find so rewarding about learning to read tarot; I feel like the metaphor and symbolism forces me to do 2 things:
1. Recognize important aspects about my personality and how they govern my actions
2. Practice mindfulness and empathy through encouraging awareness of the conditions of other people.
There are plenty of other types of readings an amateur sensitive can draw to practice, but this one is the most simplistic; Drawing a Card of the Day. You can do this for your own advice or for friends and family. You can find practice guides and thousands of fabulous tarot decks (including the BirdQueen Tarot) at aeclectic.net.
I have enjoyed the focus required to pull cards. It has been a little like meditation, especially when I am able to pull cards for myself. There is a certain calm ceremony about it, or ritual. I breathe deeply and try to focus solely on the question, which is a much- needed exercise for me because I typically have a few things rattling about in my head at the same time, and I tend to be a shallow breather. I liken it to the psychology of a smoke break: when a smoker goes outside for a cigarette, they step away from a typically stressful situation to breathe deeply and be still for several minutes. The same can be said of practicing tarot: the magic happens partially because I am stopping what I'm doing to focus on ONE THING to breathe deeply and slow down my movements for several minutes. That quiet creates an opening for your inner priestess to state her piece... And in the quiet, one can actually hear what she's saying.
So all of this magic and ceremony has gotten me inspired, and I started a little experiment in energy to help me with my cloudiness when it comes to my professional future.
I have 8 possible directions written on pieces of paper that I have taped to the back of 8 cardboard drawing plates. Then I started drawing and sketching. When the drawings are done I will choose one that I connect with the most, and see what career path is tucked away behind. We will see if this experiment does anything for me. If not, I will have enjoyed playing Priestess.