reading tarot

  • When The Hierophant Speaks – Using Intuition In Tarot Readings

    When reading tarot cards, it’s not only important to know the classic meanings of the cards, but also to be able to use your intuition to allow the cards to “speak” to you.

    The other day, I was doing a reading using my general go-to spread in which the Hierophant was the central card. There were other people present for the reading, which isn’t optimal if I say so myself because privacy and confidentiality can help both the reader and client focus on the reading without feeling put on the spot or hesitant because of those other people. Anyway…

    The meaning of the Hierophant, when looking at the cards from an archetypal viewpoint, would point to doing things conservatively, within the church or societal rules, etc. It is the level after the Father level. But he can also signify marriage.

    And this time, he kept telling me, “I mean marriage; there’s going to be a wedding.”

    UGH! Hierophant! REALLY?

    Most of the time on the hotlines, I am dealing with clients who are like: “I just met him and this is crazy. Gonna call my psychic – see if we’ll get married and have babies!” (You know the tune and you’re welcome for the earworm.)

    The gal I was reading for had been in a long-term relationship for years, though — something I didn’t know when I was doing her reading. Another thing I didn’t know was that her boyfriend was going to propose to her that night. A representative king was also in the bottom row or Foundations of the reading, right under the Hierophant.

    But, because of past experience and not wanting to instill false hope, I tend to tiptoe around marriage and pregnancy. These are super-charged, highly anticipated events and they are important to get right. Even when the Hierophant is whispering his message of upcoming nuptials to me, I am like… Um. OK. But I want to deliver this with sensitivity and tact – not create anticipation when and where I shouldn’t.

    Hindsight being 20/20, I should have put more emphasis on what the Hierophant was whispering (or yelling) to me. But I mentioned it in a very non-committal way: “Oh. The Hierophant can actually point to a marriage as well or sticking to traditions.”

    I do have to say, though, that the reading I gave her, despite the fact that it didn’t center on an upcoming marriage, hit a mark with her. It reminded me that we will give the clients the proper messages.

    When intuition speaks, it is really important that we take a moment to listen to it. This is also a time for a good reader to take a deep breath and a step backward and sort out how to most tactfully deliver the message. There will always be the possibility of the message being overemphasized by the reader or by the client —and there is always information (backstories, upcoming plans, other people) that feed into what happens in the lives of clients.

    As I said before, I skirted around what my intuition was telling me in this reading and I really feel like I learned a few lessons:

    1) Trust what you hear from your intuition – especially when it seems that the cards are speaking to you.
    2) Know that the client will be served by your alternate reading as well. You can even give two possible scenarios stemming from the cards. It is possible that both will have an impact on your client, as with my reading.
    3) Still, deliver messages about things like proposals, marriages, breakups, pregnancies, and even death with the utmost amount of tact and sensitivity toward your client.

    What do you think? Would you, as a reader, point out the potential wedding/proposal coming up or would you interpret things differently?

    I’d love to hear what you have to say about it!

    Blessings to you!

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  • How Do You Read Tarot Reversals?

    Reading tarot reversals. Such an interesting and diverse topic to discuss.

    I do work with tarot reversals, leaving the cards laying upside-down and examining them as being blockages, stagnation, lack of motion, the need to go back to the meaning of the card before.

    Today, I did a three card reading for my reading for the MoonCoaching assignment in Silvia “Moon Coach” Pancaro’s Facebook group for this month’s New Moon in Aries group.

    If you’ve never heard of Silvia Pancaro or Moon~Coaching ™, let me tell you a little bit about it. Basically put, each month (Silvia calls them moonths, as the months are based on the moon cycle), Silvia creates a Facebook group dedicated to harnessing the power of the sign the moon is in along with using tarot readings as a point of reflection for how to best use that power.

    This month, moonth, the New Moon was in Aries, which signals the beginning of the Zodiac Year. Aries is a fire sign, a sign of new beginnings, forging ahead, breaking out of the mold, creating change that you are excited about and motivated toward.

    I chose a couple of cards to set my intention for the month and year, to be honest. This month, I purposely chose the Queen of Fire and the Queen of Earth. Basically put, I want to reclaim my fire, my personal power, my passion, my self-confidence, my sexuality. All of those are associated with the Queen of Fire. I also want to create a positive home environment and be in better charge of my material ‘world’ – aspects associated with the Queen of Earth. I want my home to be a sacred place for my family and friends: comfy, inviting, secure, just nice. Finance is also a part of my issue right now. I want to also be prosperous and financially secure and stable – myself. Not relying on my husband, but making my own way in life.


    Queen of Fire and Queen of Earth from Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine’s Angel Tarot

    Those desires, the ones represented by the Queen of Fire and the Queen of Earth, fueled my I AM statements/affirmations for the month:

    I am driven by my passions.
    I am powerful.
    I am self-confident.
    I am sexy. (I allow myself to be sexy)
    I am the creatrix of my life.
    I am creating wealth easily.
    I am in charge of my finances.
    I am independently wealthy.
    I am the head of a comfortable and well-run home.

    Now, today was the Crescent Moon, and that meant that I should choose a card (randomly, from a well-shuffled deck), and I chose to explore the question: What concrete efforts do I need to do in order to achieve my goals for the year.

    Here’s where the question of reversals comes up that I am pondering right now.

    So, I pulled Strength, reversed; the Devil, reversed; and the Chariot, also reversed.

    Now, this reading is supposed to give me a snapshot of what I should doWhen I think about that concept, I see that reversals, in this reading and for this question, might indicate that I should be creating blocks or going against the meaning of the upright card.

    Sometimes, you have to destroy instead of creating. Sometimes, you have to hold back instead of running forward. Sometimes, you have to take a step backward in order to go forward. Sometimes, you have to backtrack to the fork in the road and take the other path.


    Honestly, I was kind of expecting the message to be what it would have been if the cards were upright. Be strong. Find strength in yourself right now. Grit through things and find your internal power (Strength). The Devil might, in this instance, be something about accepting relationships or bad habits. Then, the Chariot would show that I need to take the reins, focus, and drive myself toward my destination.

    But, considering the reversed cards, I kind of got a different take on the reading. You see, I wasn’t reading these tarot card reversals as negative at all, but reminders of where I am and concepts to consider in order to move forward.


    Strength, the Devil, and the Chariot cards from the Wild Unknown Tarot.

    There are things in my life that aren’t positively contributing to what I want my life to be like. I must admit that. I work like a horse – or so I feel – yet I am not earning half of what I would like to. Our house needs to be cleaned and sorted and aired out, painted, redecorated, etc. I want a fish tank. I want the garden to be finished. I want to have friends over more often. I wouldn’t mind to have an office in Vienna to do readings from. I have financial desires, job desires, etc. I’d love to spend as much time painting or playing with my kids as I do working. I want my self-confidence back.

    So, yeah. OK. Strength, reversed, might mean to look at things I am powering through (and the Chariot, reversed, too). Instead of just accepting or being docile or exerting control over others (or feeling the need to do so), I need to back off a little. (A-HA moment writing this). Of course, the Devil means that I am ready to give up those addictive behaviors and co-dependent relationships.

    Instead of looking to right those cards, or consider the messages that I have to fix that idea in my life or remove a blockage, I am thinking that I should create brakes, boundaries, and even block some behaviors in my life. Some of it might do with giving up on controlling things, to reset my priorities, to see what I am doing and how it makes me feel weak and powerless. To use those feelings of discontent and weakness as catalysts for change. To examine them and accept them and see them for what they are.

    Is that the same thing, though? Trying to right them? Using their concepts, reversed, as catalysts for change?

    I KNOW that I need to change certain behaviors in order to find more happiness, satisfaction, stability, and self-confidence. Continuing to do what I am doing now isn’t going to get me where I want to be. So, continuing on the path I am on right now just isn’t it for me. Gritting through it won’t bring the changes I need to see in order to embody the principles of the Queen of Fire and the Queen of Earth.

    Had the cards been upright, I would have thought ‘stay the course’ was the message that I needed to take from them. Seeing these tarot cards reversed in my reading made me want to pause and examine my priorities, how I spend my time, and what addictions are ready to be released.

    To me, either message is good.

    I guess this is one of those cases of going with intuition, knowing the totality of the situation, and viewing the tarot from an entirely personal perspective. <—this is one of the reasons you want to tell your tarot reader the truth and give details, in my opinion. It helps to fine-tune the reading.

    Anyhow. To me, the message of the cards addressed the question, What do I need to do to achieve my goals this year. It isn’t about forward motion or grinning and bearing it, it is about accepting where I am right now and looking at what I need to change. Some of this might be divinely guided.

    Ultimately, I know that the meanings assigned to tarot readings are 70% cards and layout and 30% intuition. Or 50/50. Either way.

    I’m always curious to see what others say about the meanings and messages that come up. Others interpretations give me a different way of looking at the cards; they give new insight and possibilities.

    What do you think about these readings? How would you interpret the spreads?

    Looking forward to hearing your responses!

    Sue Ellis-Saller


  • 12 Tarot Reading Tips Every Reader Needs to Know

    Whether you’re a beginner tarot reader or a budding pro, there are a few things you should know that will help you give better readings. I have compiled a list of the 12 Tarot Tips Every Reader Needs to Know to help people give better readings. There are a few things I recommend that you do before, during, and after every tarot reading.





    Before you begin your tarot reading, you should…

    1) Find Focus

    It is very important to have the time and attention to devote to really looking at and working with the cards. Distractions should be kept to a minimum – that means that you shouldn’t be multitasking while reading, trying to fit a reading in while painting your nails or waiting on hold, or reading in a place that makes you feel frazzled and unable to focus.

    2) Connect

    One thing I do before every. single. reading. is connect to the Universe, Collective Conscious, Spirit, Angels, my guides – whatever you prefer to refer to IT as. I take a few seconds – at the very least – to focus on my breathing; to acknowledge the energy that surrounds myself, my cards and the person I am reading for; and to call in the angels (especially Archangel Michael) to help me make the readings precise and understandable for everyone involved.

    3) Clear Your Cards

    This helps to make sure that the energy involved in the reading isn’t tied to the energy of the last reading. This is especially important if you are reading for multiple people in a short amount of time – but it also helps if you are reading for yourself and might have brought emotions into your reading that you would prefer not to transfer into the next reading you do. Knock on those puppies a couple of times to clear that random energy out of them.

    4) Formulate the Question

    Make sure that you have ironed out the details of the questions that you will be asking for guidance about, because some questions just don’t fit with the way that tarot cards work. For example, yes and no questions can be answered, as can timing questions – but the interpretations can be a little difficult to pin down for beginners. Also, it is good to know if the question you are working with falls within your ethical guidelines.

    5) Concentrate on the Question and the Questioner

    When doing internet readings or when reading for someone who is right in front of me, I like to make sure that I am focused on the person, his/her energy, the question, and what he or she needs to know from the reading when I am shuffling and laying the cards out. This is of utmost importance, as I want the cards to reflect what the person I am reading for needs to know, not what I need to know!

    6) State the Spread Positions (and maybe write them down!)

    Knowing which card signifies what aspect of your question PRIOR to laying the cards out is a tip that every tarot reader needs to know – as is understanding which card went where is afterward! There is nothing worse than looking at the cards, thinking – ‘Oh my God, what in the heck did I intend for that card’s meaning!!??’ Using well-known spreads like the Celtic Cross or using the Deck of 1,000 Spreads can really help.


    Cards from the Psychic Tarot Oracle Deck, ©John Holland
    Cards from the Psychic Tarot Oracle Deck, ©John Holland



    Now when you are interpreting the cards…


    7) Scan the cards without too much thought

    After you have laid the cards out, give them a quick once over. Start formulating potential relationships between the cards. Get a bird’s-eye view of the reading (noting any interesting coincidences – like repeated numbers, cards from certain suits, Major Arcana cards, etc.). See if there are any cards that really summarize what the questioner has mentioned prior to the reading.

    8) Feel free to feel free!

    One tip about reading tarot is that tarot readings use both knowledge and intuition. Don’t let your reading suffer by over-thinking insight that you get during readings. You might pick something up that is unrelated to the picture or the classic meaning of a card – but that is exactly the message that card was wanting to give at the time. When something like that happens, just GO WITH IT! Say what comes to mind even if it doesn’t seem to fit. I have found that those little flashes of insight the most important information I’ve passed on during readings!

    9) Know thy cards

    Tarot IS a very intricate mixture of color, symbolism, astrological, numerical, and societal information. The cards are rich in meaning – and the readings you give can be thoroughly enriched when you know how to decipher what the cards are saying from many different angles. Sure, all of the information might not fit into the reading, but it is all there if you need it. Learn the classic meanings associated with the decks you use most often.

    10) Know other decks

    I have found that all of the books that go with the decks I use bring a slightly different nuance or meaning to each card. Most of the time, the basic “gist” of the card is the same – but there are great differences in explanation that help to further a reader’s understanding of the messages expressed by the cards. It is very useful to study more than one deck of cards and a variety of books.


    After the reading it is essential to…

    11) Be Grateful!

    Thank the Universe, Source – or your Angels and Spirit Guides for their help in the reading. This will help you nurture your relationship with your guides.

    12) Cut the connection

    You need to make sure to end the session in a distinct way, especially when you’ve been reading for a client. After you’ve expressed gratitude, make sure to cut the cord of energy that exists between yourself and the client. Otherwise, you might end up absorbing energy from clients long after the session is over.

    These are the tarot tips that I have found to be most useful when I do readings for myself and for others. I hope you find them to be valuable!

    Do YOU have a TAROT TIP THAT EVERY READER NEEDS TO KNOW to share? Feel free to comment below about the tricks you use when reading!