6 Ways To Prepare For A Tarot Reading

Here's how to maximize this spiritual experience.

by Kristine Fellizar
how to prepare for a tarot reading
Sergey Mironov/Moment/Getty Images

Tarot cards are a powerful tool to validate your deepest feelings, explore new ideas, and illuminate your path forward. Whether you’re having a professional reading done for the first time or pulling cards for yourself, it’s important to physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare yourself so you can receive the messages you were meant to hear. According to professional tarot readers, there are some things you should be doing in order to prepare for a tarot reading.

Whether you have questions about love, money, career, or what you should be doing to align with your life purpose, tarot readings can provide you with the insight you need to make decisions and move forward confidently.

“It’s a fabulous tool to use for self-reflection, like your heart or gut texting your head a message to explain something that sits below your consciousness,” tarot reader Emily McGill tells Bustle. “Think of it as a mirror that peers into the deeper parts of yourself and taps into the innate knowing that each spirit holds. It’s an opportunity to explore things from a new perspective.”

If you’re new to tarot readings, especially ones done by a professional reader, it can be pretty nerve-wracking since you don’t know what to expect. Because of that, it’s a good idea to come prepared. So here’s how to prepare for a tarot reading, according to the professionals.

Approach Tarot With An Open Mind

One of the most important things to remember when you’re doing a tarot reading is to go into it with an open mind. As Davida Rappaport, tarot reader and spiritual counselor, tells Bustle, “If you have a closed mindset, it makes it harder for me to connect with your energy and to do a good job for you.” Being open allows for energy to flow so readers like Rappaport know how to interpret what the cards are saying, as well as what their guides and your guides are telling them.

Pick The Right Tarot Reader Or Tarot Deck

You can do a reading with five tarot readers using the same deck and have a completely different experience each time. That’s because every tarot reader is different and has their own style. As Rappaport says, “Not everyone reads cards the same way or uses a specific spread or layout to do readings.” At the same time, some readers are very soft and compassionate, while others are more direct with no fluff. It’s important to do some research do you can find the right reader for you.

If you’re doing a reading for yourself, be mindful of the kind of deck you’re pulling from. Many people start off with the standard Rider-Waite deck before trying others. Nowadays, are there even so many pop culture-inspired decks that can make your reading more fun. There are angel decks, devil decks, and everything in between. There are also tarot-adjacent oracle decks, which put a spin on traditional tarot structure. Choosing the right deck for your particular reading can enhance the experience.

Bring A List Of Questions

In order to maximize your time with a tarot reader, it’s a good idea to have a list of questions prepared, or at the very least, an area of your life you want to focus on. According to McGill, questions can be as heavy as “What is my life’s purpose?” or “Is my current partner my life partner?” and as light as “Where should my next vacation be?” The possibilities are seemingly endless.

“Often when it comes to bigger questions, information on relationships and careers are hugely popular,” McGill says. “But you might also have questions about your health, education, or a family member.” Health questions, especially anything regarding pregnancy, can be pretty tricky for some readers. So it’s important to find a reader who’s comfortable discussing your concerns.

Connect With Your Intuition

If you’re doing a reading for yourself, be sure to find a quiet, private space where you can better connect with your intuition. You can also try journaling or meditating on your question or topic to get into the right headspace. According to McGill, some people also do yoga or exercise in order to clear the mind beforehand. “Even sitting alone quietly for as little as five minutes can help you get into your body, which is hugely helpful when doing a reading of any kind,” she says.

Keep Your Expectations In Check

Keeping your expectations in check is essential before going into a reading. Know what a tarot reader can and can’t tell you. For instance, a tarot reader is not a therapist. “Don’t expect miracles or for a tarot reader to solve your problems,” Rappaport says. Although readers can offer guidance and information based on the cards and their intuition, they can’t tell you what to do.

Also, don’t expect your tarot reader to bring back an ex. “That is just not done,” Rappaport says. “It’s also unethical because you would be imposing your will upon another human being.” Some readers like Rappaport may also stay away from “What are they thinking or feeling?” questions as it “invades someone’s private thoughts and feelings.”

Record Your Tarot Reading

When you do a reading with a professional tarot reader for the first time, it’s easy to focus on one or two big things they say but gloss over the details. Because of this, Rappaport always recommends asking the reader if they can record the reading. According to her, there are often “little nuggets of wisdom” that can be missed the first time around.


Davida Rappaport, tarot reader and spiritual counselor

Emily McGill, tarot reader