Tarot Reading Tips: 11 Tarot Practice Exercises for Beginners

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Tarot practice exercises are amazing for beginners to learn tarot intuitively. 


Not only are they fun, but they allow you to work with your cards in different and unique ways to really get to know them on a personal level.


This means that learning tarot will be a much more enjoyable and rewarding process than if you were to try and learn tarot through a guidebook alone!


The best way to learn tarot


Contrary to what you might think, memorizing the meanings of each and every card is not the best way to learn tarot. 


With 78 cards (and their reversals), that’s a lot of studying and not a lot of action!


The best way to learn tarot is actually to practice.


It is to get into the habit of working with your cards and making connections with them through your own readings, not somebody else’s descriptions.


It is difficult at first, sure. But as with anything, practice makes “perfect”!


The more you read tarot and use tarot practice exercises, the better you’ll get at reading tarot intuitively and the more effortless your readings will become.


These are some of my favorite tarot practice exercises for beginners...


11 Tarot Practice Exercises for Beginners


1. Choose your deck intuitively


If you want to get started with intuitive tarot exercises, it’s going to help massively if you choose your tarot deck intuitively.


This means that you shouldn’t just go for a tarot deck because it’s what you’ve seen a lot of other readers use, or somebody has told you it’s one you “should” use as a beginner.


Instead, you want to look through tarot decks and see which one/s you feel drawn to.


Which deck is calling you?

collection of tarot decks on altar


Tuning into your intuition and choosing your deck in this way will ensure that you have a deeper connection to the cards and it will help you learn how to read tarot cards more intuitively.


With that being said, there are definitely some tarot decks that are easier to work with for beginners.


So if you want a good place to start you can also take a look at these beginner friendly tarot decks!


2. Do a daily draw


A great tarot practice exercise for beginners to learn to read tarot is the daily draw.


This means that each day, preferably as part of your morning routine, you pull a singular tarot card to reveal what your theme is for that day.


Doing a daily draw can really help you to familiarize yourself with your tarot deck since you are pulling and reading cards so frequently.


Plus, looking at a singular card allows you to study each card in more depth rather than overwhelming yourself with complicated spreads.

the star tarot card wild unknown


As you go about your day, keep the guidance you received from your daily draw in mind to make any decisions or remain focused on your intention.


At the end of the day you can then reflect and look for evidence of that card in your day.


3. Make personal connections with each card


The best way to learn tarot is to connect with each card on a personal level, rather than relying on other people’s descriptions.


When you make a personal connection to your tarot deck, you can draw on this information much more easily and learn to read tarot more intuitively.


Go through each card in your deck one by one and study its meaning.


Then look for ways in which this can be applied to your own life.


Is there a time in your life when you felt like you applied the guidance of a certain card?


Perhaps the theme of a certain card reminds you of a past memory, person or place?


Take some time to reflect. You can do this mentally or you can also jot down any realizations you have to solidify these connections even further.


4. Find relations in the court cards


Another great way to connect to your deck is to find relations in the court cards.


The court cards (pages/knights/queens/kings) are unique in tarot because they represent people with different levels of experience and maturity across the suits (cups/wands/swords/pentacles).

suit of coins court cards tarot


Look at each court card one by one and familiarize yourself with the archetype that it represents.


Then look for people in your own life who you feel represent each of the courts.


This doesn’t necessarily have to be somebody you know personally. If you don’t have any personal relationships that you feel match up, perhaps you can think of a character in a tv show or film that represents the archetype well.


Being able to relate the court cards to a particular type of person will help you to have an intuitive understanding of what they represent and will help you greatly on your tarot reading journey!

 

5. Compare the same card from different decks


If you have more than one tarot deck, comparing the same card from different decks is a great tarot practice exercise to familiarize yourself with tarot card meanings.


Take the same card (e.g. Strength) from each deck you own and study the cards visually as a collective.

strength tarot card from different decks


Are there any themes you notice that are consistent across the different decks?


Are there any symbols that stand out or any intuitive messages these cards communicate with you?


This tarot exercise will help you deepen your understanding of each card in a way that allows you to switch between tarot decks seamlessly!


6. Learn 3 keywords for each card


While I wouldn’t recommend learning how to read tarot cards by memorizing each card’s meaning, learning keywords for each card can act as a handy prompt to access your intuition when starting out reading tarot.

tarot cheat sheets


Tarot cheat sheets are also a great tool for you to learn these keywords.


Have these cheat sheets by your side during your readings so that you can prompt yourself if your intuition needs a nudge in the right direction!


7. Positive/negative exercise


This tarot reading exercise is a great way to familiarize yourself with positive and negative themes in tarot, and for you to understand the depths of each card and not take them at face value.


For this exercise, take all the cards out of your deck that jump out to you as “negative” cards.

negative tarot cards - death, the devil and the tower


At this point, don’t think too much about whether this is an accurate perception, just listen to what your intuition is telling you.


Then, with each “negative” card, study its meaning and look for ways in which the card could be seen as positive.


Doing this can help you shift any set perceptions you have about a card and recognize how dynamic each card can be in a spread.


You can also do this with the leftover cards that you perceive as “positive”, looking for negatives or challenges that might be present when these cards appear.


8. Learn the fool’s journey


The Fool’s Journey tells the story of the major arcana, from 0 (the fool) to 21 (the world). 

the fool tarot card the wild unknown


This story represents how we progress through life’s major lessons in cycles, until we have mastered what we have been challenged to master.


Learning this story is a great tarot practice exercise to familiarize yourself with the meanings of the major arcana and understand what level of mastery a card represents.


Once you’ve learned other people’s descriptions of the Fool’s Journey, I would also recommend writing your own!


Write a story that can be applied to your own life to gain an even deeper connection to the major arcana and the journey through them.


9. Learn tarot numerology


Learning tarot numerology can help you to understand tarot card meanings on a deeper level and make links between cards in a spread.


Numerology can also be helpful at understanding timeframes or dates that may be relevant in a reading.


Check out this free tarot numerology cheat sheet to get to start this process.


Then once you’re familiar with this numerology you can start looking for links in your readings!

tarot numerology cheat sheet

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


Want to learn more about tarot numerology? Check out this post!


10. Get to know astrological links


Tarot cards are also heavily linked to astrology, with each card relating to specific astrological signs, houses or planets.


Understanding these astrological influences can help you to make connections to specific people in a reading or timings.


These tarot cheat sheets include the basics of astrological links in tarot and are great to reference during your readings!


11. Write up a reading


One of my favorite tarot practice exercises is to write up a reading.


When we read for ourselves we typically don’t speak out loud, which can make it difficult to digest any insights we have and really make connections to the cards.


Instead, writing is a great way to solidify any connections you make and reinforce your learning.


It is also great to refer back to and review to see how much your readings resonate.


For this, I would suggest starting a tarot journal!


Get into the habit of writing up any readings you do for yourself and watch your readings improve as a result!


My printable tarot journal pages make it super easy to do this!

tarot journal printable


These tarot reading exercises should offer you plenty of opportunity to expand on and improve your readings!


Give them a go and I can almost guarantee that your tarot reading abilities will improve drastically in no time!


Want more tarot content? Check out these posts…


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tarot practice exercises for beginners

About Esther

Esther is the founder of Through the Phases, and author of the Breakthrough Manifestation Workbook.  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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