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The Crystal Gate - Tarot
The Crystal Gate - Tarot

Tarot FAQ
Tarot Code of Ethics
Tarot Certification
Tarot Whispers
Book Reviews
Deck Reviews
Book List

credit: Winter Wren

The following consists of my personal *take* on several Tarot issues. If you don't see what you are looking for here, please e-mail me and I will add it. Each Tarot practicioner will evolve their own *way* of doing readings. Take from here what you will.

Wishing you all a joyous Fool's Journey.


Choosing A Deck

The decks that we choose to read with reflect our personalities - our personal beings. It does not matter whether your decks are given to you or purchased by you - every deck will take on it's own life with you.

Take the time to get to know what is out there. Cruise the internet and look at the wonderful scans of cards that are out there. Some excellent sites for this are and

Alternatively - cruise your local metaphysical bookstores (or even Borders or Barnes & Noble) to see what they have in stock. Most reputable shops have open decks so that you can truly see what you are getting.

Look for graphics that appeal to you, and a deck that fits your hand. :) IMHO - if there is a book and deck set offered, that is a good bet. You will get the views of the deck creators on their deck - which can differ considerably from traditional interpretations.

Probably one of the best decks for beginners is a Rider-Waite deck or a Rider-Waite clone - i.e. something like Morgan Greer (which is my main reading deck when reading for others). Because the card meanings and graphics are traditional, they will be easier to follow in a class structure or in self teaching.

Clearing Your Deck

Energy can sometimes *cling* to a deck, and will need to be cleared. This can be due to a difficult or very negative client, a client with very difficult issues, or sometimes *just because*. (Some people also want to clear a newly opened deck.) There are several very effective ways to do this.

1. Repetitive shuffling - Shuffle the cards until they feel lighter/clearer to you.

2. Ordering - Placing the cards in order from the major arcana through the suits will also clear a deck.

3. Smudging - Wave each card through the smoke of the smudgestick to clear the energies.

4. Placing in the Sun - Place your cards in a secluded place in the Sun spread out over a clean white cloth to clear their energies.

These are but a few of the ways that decks can be cleared. Use what seems most comfortable to you.


Before beginning a reading, it helps to center and ground your energies. When you do, the Tarot images will come to you with greater clarity and the reading will seem to flow better - whether you are reading for yourself or for someone else.

Begin by taking a deep breath and centering your consciousness in your heart chakra. As you exhale, see your heart chakra radiating the light of love (you may choose to radiate white light, or the pink light of unconditional love). Follow several breaths in this manner, until your mind is clear.

To ground yourself, bring in energy from above your head, down through your crown chakra to the third eye chakra, then the throat chakra, the heart chakra, the solar plexis chakra, the sexual chakra and finally to the base chakra. . Feel the energy from Universe cycling through you into mother earth and back again. The cycle does not stop - it is continuous. In this manner - you will not retain any energy from the reading within yourself. You will not pick up excess negative energy, and your own energy will not be depleted during the reading.

Preparing Your Reading Area

Try and find space that is relatively secluded to do your readings in - whether they are for yourself or for others. There should be as little distraction as possible - i.e. from loud sounds, intense light or people passing through. You want to be able to focus on the reading, and not on your environment. :)

Some readers choose to use spread cloths - i.e. cloths that are placed under their cards. If this appeals to you - do so. If you choose to use a spreadcloth, choose one that provides a pleasant background for the cards, and does not compete with them.

You may also choose to place one or more candles (aromatherapy, scented or regular) in your reading area, or perhaps flowers or a grouping of crystals. You may also want to place a nice vase or small statue within site. Whatever makes the area pleasant for you and the people that you read for is well worth the effort.

Phrasing Your Question

How you phrase your question very much determines the direction of your reading. Try to stay away from yes/no questions, as they limit the information that you will receive. If you do choose to do a yes/no reading, a simple way is to do a one card reading, making sure that there are reversed cards when you shuffle. If the card drawn is upright - the answer is yes. If the card is reversed, the answer is no. You can also do the same thing with a three card reading - two out of three upright is yes, two out of three reversed is no.

Questions that are phrased along the lines of "What do I need to know about this issue?" or "What should my next action be?" will reveal great amounts of information. Taking the question out of the realm of "Is this going to happen?" or "What is going to happen?" or "When is this going to happen?" and into the realm of "What do I need to know about this issue?" puts a much more positive spin on the reading.

If you are reading for someone else, and the questions they want to ask are either negative or limiting, try and help them rephrase them in a positive, affirming manner.

Reading Reversals

Each reader makes the choice whether to read with reversals or not. Some people believe that doing so adds depth and versatility to the reading. My personal choice is not to use them. I believe that the nature of the card - i.e. whether it is manifested in a positive way indicating forward movement, whether it is blocked, whether it is an indication of energy that will be available in the future - is determined by a combination of the position meaning within the spread and the surrounding cards.

If you do choose to use reversals, there are several ways in which they may be interpreted. The energy of the card may either be blocked, or the querant may be having difficulty expressing it in their life. Additional cards can be drawn here for a *way out* - actions that the querant can take to make this energy available to them.

A reversed card may also indicate energy that is only temporarily blocked, but will later be available to the querant. Look to the surrouding cards to see if this is the case.

A reversed card may be energy that simply needs to be released so that the querant can move on, rather than energy that needs to be worked with.

A reversed card may also indicate energy that is not blocked, but is there as potential will manifest at a later date. Or it may indicate that the upright meaning of the card is at the time of the reading not fully realized.

Reversed cards can also indicate obstacles that affect the question, or negative influences that need to be addressed to resolve the issues surrounding the question.

The Tarot Connection - The Tarot Podcast dedicated to the traditional, historic and modern Tarot.