How to Use Tarot for Self Discovery and Personal Growth

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I feel like tarot gets this rep as a “woo-woo” practice that is all about telling the future.

If I mention the word tarot to someone who is unfamiliar with the practice, images of Romani gypsies using crystal balls might spring to mind. 

And while, yes, tarot is used by many as a divination tool, there is another side to tarot too, which is tarot for self discovery!

When you practice tarot for this purpose, it’s not necessarily about seeing into the future and trying to predict your fate, but rather about using the cards as a tool to do inner work and grow as an individual.

Reading tarot is something that has become a part of my daily life over the past few years, and as a result I’ve got to know myself on a deeper level than ever before.

Tarot is one of the practices that I value most on my journey of self improvement, and I truly believe that it is a tool that can be beneficial for anybody regardless of your own personal beliefs about the practice itself.

person pulling tarot on floor

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What is tarot?

The tarot is a set of 78 playing cards, with each card representing the life experiences and lessons that we encounter.

The cards are divided into the minor arcana, which represent the smaller day to day lessons we face and the major arcana, which represent the larger long term soul lessons we encounter. 

Each card has its own name and traditionally features an in-depth illustration to portray these lessons and experiences. 

Tarot readers use the tarot to perform “readings” by asking a question and interpreting the cards that come up in a spread.

This allows them to find answers to personal questions and evaluate their current life path.

If you’re wanting to learn the tarot card meanings, check out these cheat sheets!

How can tarot help with self discovery and self improvement?

The tarot cards are often seen as a mirror of what you are experiencing in your life. 

When a card comes up in a reading, it encourages you to look inside yourself to look for areas where this may resonate.

In this way, the cards are a tool but all the answers come from inside yourself. 

By practicing tarot for self discovery you’re building your levels of self-awareness and developing your intuition. 

When you do this regularly, you get to know yourself on a deeper level and you feel more connected to the choices you make and the path you take.

Tarot helps you to live your life with purpose.

person reading tarot

5 ways to use tarot for self discovery and personal growth

We should probably note that, as with every practice, practicing tarot once isn’t going to be enough to see significant self improvement. But with consistent use of this tool, you’ll get amazing results!

Here are 5 of my favorite ways to use tarot for self discovery and personal growth.

1. do a daily self tarot reading

This is my absolute favorite way to practice tarot for self discovery and it’s so simple.

You might hear this referred to as a “card a day reading” or a “daily draw” - it simply involves pulling a singular tarot card each day (preferably in the morning) to gain insight into the day ahead.

This is something that I have been doing on a daily basis for over a year and it has completely shifted my morning routine

I think that daily card readings are super beneficial for personal growth for three reasons:

  1. They can inform an intention setting practice encouraging you to begin your day with purpose

  2. They encourage self reflection as you look for ways in which the card may have resonated at the end of your day

  3. They allow you to get really familiar with the cards and improve your awareness of tarot card meanings and how they relate to you

And what’s great is that you don’t ever have to deal with complex tarot spreads if you don’t want to -committing to a daily draw is a great way to see results, even as a complete tarot beginner!

2. Start a tarot journal

If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know that journaling is one of my favorite practices for personal growth, as is tarot!

So of course it makes sense that combining the two is a no-brainer when it comes to self improvement.

Starting a tarot journal is super simple. It involves performing your usual tarot readings (this includes daily draws) and reflecting on and writing about what comes up for you.

I find that doing this helps to increase the self discovery aspect of tarot even more because it really encourages you to reflect on a deeper level. 

You can then also read back on previous journal entries to see how far you’ve come and what you’ve learned on your journey!

If you want a fun and easy way to start a tarot journal, check out my printable tarot journal pages!

3. Use tarot spreads for self reflection

Another way to use tarot for self discovery is to specifically use tarot spreads that are designed for the purpose of self reflection.

This means asking questions that will allow you to delve deep and explore your inner workings.

Yes, sometimes this can bring up uncomfortable messages that might be difficult to face, but this is what growth is all about!

By using tarot, we can get to know which areas of ourselves we need to work on and live our lives accordingly. 

I recommend starting out with smaller spreads while you’re just getting started - here are 15 easy three card tarot spreads including spreads designed for self discovery!

person reading tarot in nature

4. Meditate on a tarot card

You can also take your self reflection further by meditating on a card that comes up and what it means for you. 

Sometimes, the relevance of a card may not be immediately clear, but when you meditate on it you are able to tune into your subconscious and reflect on how this might resonate.

Meditation is a great practice to combine with tarot and it can also be particularly beneficial to meditate before a reading to get into the right headspace and heighten your intuition.

If you’re new to meditation and want to get started just check out this free beginners meditation guide!

5. Let the tarot guide you

Letting the tarot guide you is perhaps the most daunting aspect of using tarot for self discovery, but also one of the most rewarding.

This involves asking the tarot for guidance and using your reading to guide a decision or method of action.


Doing this requires complete surrender and trust in the wisdom of the tarot, which can be surprisingly liberating. 

Using the tarot in this way will allow you to develop and follow your intuition deeper.

Once you start following your intuition you can step out of your comfort zone and embrace new opportunities for growth.

Understandably, this can be very difficult at first, but with practice you’ll be able to surrender your faith to the Universe and let your intuition and the tarot guide you to your higher purpose.

tarot numerology cheat sheet

Get your FREE tarot numerology cheat sheet to learn intuitive tarot reading!

There are so many ways in which tarot can be used for self discovery and personal growth, and as I said before I truly believe this is a practice that everybody can benefit from in some way.

If you have a favourite way that you like to use tarot for self discovery then definitely let me know!

Want more tarot tips?

And don’t forget to pin this post!

tarot for discovery

About Esther

Esther is the founder of Through the Phases.  Her mission is to guide others to grow to their full potential and create their dream life using spiritual and personal growth practices. Read more about her story here!

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