Every tarot reader is different, and so is every tarot deck. So isn’t it weird that people want to assume there are set tarot card meanings? When it comes to tarot interpretation, there’s room for nuance and the intuition of the tarot reader.

There are crystals and some tarot cards from the Smith Rider Waite deck fanned out on a white tablecloth with a woman in the background. The text on the image says "Easy Tarot Interpretation for Beginners" with a watermark at the bottom for MarisaMohi.com

I’m of the mind that everyone can read tarot cards. You have everything you need already to do so. I also acknowledge that younger readers may struggle more with this idea simply because they don’t have all the life experience an older tarot reader may have.

Which means, it may take some time for them to develop mental responses to the images on the cards.

This isn’t a bad thing. It’s because life experience and cultural understanding are super important parts of reading tarot cards, and younger people have less of those things because they’re things that accumulate over time.

In the end, the best free tarot card meanings come from your head and not a website. Your personal experience and knowledge should always factor into your tarot interpretation.

Tarot Card Meanings Simplified

Look at the card.

That’s all we’re doing, gang.

I mean, yeah. You can look up tarot cards meanings, and I always do when I’m using a deck like the Marseilles deck that doesn’t have separate images for all the minor arcana. Instead, those minors look more like a deck of playing cards because they just have however many pentacles, wands, swords, or cups on the card.

(When you’re looking for your essential tarot deck, I recommend choosing a deck with separate images for each of the minor arcana, because those images will tell you the meaning of that card. More on that in a bit.)

Each deck is different. Each deck uses different images. Sure, some may draw inspiration from older decks, but they make the image their own.

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There’s a reason for that. And it’s because the meaning of each card can be conveyed in the images.

Tarot Interpretation and How to Read Tarot Cards

Whether you’re reading individual cards or whole-ass tarot spreads, all you gotta do is look, baby goose.

Sure, there are some more things you can do, especially if you want to learn tarot reading fast. But for the most part, you just have to look at the cards.

Tarot spread interpretation is simply looking at each of the cards in front of you, and building a story about those cards.(If you want to know how to practice tarot reading, I think that’s one of the best ways to do it.)

Yes, reading about the tarot or listening to a tarot podcast will definitely help you. It will make you feel more comfortable with the cards. But so will studying symbology or reading a wide array of fiction genres.

Basically, what I’m saying here is you don’t need a tarot cards list with the meaning of each card written out. You need to have enough information in your head to draw from when you’re looking at the images.

Easy Tarot Interpretation for Beginners

I know it’s really easy to assume all tarot readers are on some celestial level where they can access esoteric knowledge at the drop of a hat. Maybe some of us are.

But, more than likely, we have a vast well of information in our heads and have learned to trust our intuition to get us to the right information. If you’ve ever wondered how does tarot work, it’s just like that.

There’s no dogma. There’s no magic. (I mean, magic is all around us, so like, there is some. But it’s not like only a select few have access to it.) Tarot cards are simply a form of communicating ideas, and your brain does the work of telling you what those ideas are, and what they mean in a bigger context.

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So, with all that in mind, here’s how you can improve your tarot interpretation:

001: Look at the design of the card.

The images on each card as well as how those images are arranged are important. So are the colors the card designers chose.

The images are there to convey the meaning of the card. And while most of us aren’t used to looking at images for deeper meanings, tarot requires you to do just that.

So, as you’re learning to read tarot, take your time with each card. In fact, if you wanted to journal about the imagery of each card, that would be a great way to understand how you interpret the cards.

(The Tarot Card Meanings Journal exists for just that reason, by the way.)

002: Think about what that means.

I’ve already mentioned that symbols communicate stuff. And I’ve already recommended you journal about the images on the cards. But let’s get a little deeper here.

Images are communicating something. Based on the books you’ve read, the movies you’ve watched, and the other images you’ve seen, you’re going to have different ideas about what everything means.

This is great. Your wealth of experience can only enhance your tarot interpretation. And the creators of those decks are counting on it! Because they’re using those images to convey meaning, and they want you to think about how the images they’ve used fit into a larger cultural context.

So, keep thinking about what each and every single one of those images mean. The more you think, the more connections you make, and the better you get at tarot reading.

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003: Remember there is no one meaning.

I want you to think of a tree. Hold it in your mind.

Now, were you thinking of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree? Or were you thinking about the tree next to the window of your childhood bedroom? Did you see the Giving Tree? Are you a math nerd who thought of a factor tree?

Everyone thought of a different tree.

That’s the problem with words. For the most part, they help us communicate, but they don’t necessarily convey meaning. They have connotations and denotations, but there’s no set meaning. And the definition in the dictionary isn’t always the way we actually use words in real time.

Images are the same. And that’s why there is no one single meaning for any tarot card.

We’re all coming at the tarot with our cultural backgrounds, life experience, learned information, and the particular attitude we have on that day. All of that will shape how we read the cards. And that’s why every book or website that offers tarot card meanings gives you different answers for each card.

That’s why reading your own tarot is so much fun.

What’s Your Secret to Tarot Interpretation?

What made tarot reading click for you? How do you read tarot cards? Do you have a favorite deck that helped you learn tarot reading quickly?

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