A great way to learn to read tarot cards is to create a daily tarot practice. But when you look at Celtic cross spreads and Instagram altars, it can be really intimidating.

A crystal point in a circle with tarot cards surrounding it with the text "How to Have a Daily Tarot Practice Without Sacrificing Your Precious Time"

Luckily, you don’t need to have a big, sexy tarot ritual to have a good daily tarot practice.

When I first started, I really wanted to have the black silk altar cloth and crystal grid and gold foil tarot card experience. I thought I needed that because that’s what I saw all over the place. But that’s also not how I live.

My daily tarot practice started really simple. I would pull a card from my deck and look it up.

There was no fancy witchy setting. It was me, on my couch with my cards, and a snoring dog next to me. But that was enough to help me learn to read tarot fast, and it showed me that the tarot reading essentials don’t necessarily align with what Instagram says.

What is a Daily Tarot Practice?

Your daily tarot practice is whatever you make it, and it can be whatever you need it to be.

So don’t get bogged down with the idea that you have to build a whole ritual from the outset. Maybe you will, but maybe you won’t. And as you progress, you may never build to that ritual stage. I haven’t.

Your practice is just that–your practice. So don’t worry too much if it doesn’t look Instagrammable or if it doesn’t match what others say it should be. You get to do what works for you.

And I recommend keeping it small at first.

Simple Daily Tarot Practice Ideas for When You Don’t Have a Lot of Time

It can be hard to build habits when you’re trying to do the most from the outset. So instead focus on little things you can start with. Then, as you build that daily tarot practice, you can incorporate more and more elements.

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Here are some ways you can build a daily tarot practice:

001: Pull one card and journal.

If you don’t have time for a full spread every single day, pulling a single card can be a great way to steadily learn the card meanings. Like I said before, this is exactly how I started.

But one thing I wish I would’ve done was journal. I only pulled a card and read about the meaning, but journaling about that meaning would’ve done a lot to help solidify those meanings in my head. And I could look back and see how the meanings have shifted as my understanding of the cards has changed over time.

If you’re interested in journaling your way through the tarot, you should check the Tarot Card Meanings Journal and the Daily Tarot Pull Pocket Journal. They’re great ways to record the cards you pull and learn more about the cards in the process.

002: Read a tarot book.

I love reading tarot books, especially from people of different races and generations. There are a lot of factors that affect the way we interpret the cards, and getting different perspectives from different people is a great way to see what others are picking up about the symbols and archetypes that maybe you’re not.

I have a whole post on the best tarot books for beginners, and definitely recommend checking it out. But if you’re not in the mood to spend money on a book and your library doesn’t have a ton of tarot resources, I recommend checking out the authors of tarot books on social media. They share a ton of information for free.

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003: Touch your cards.

Okay. So touching a deck isn’t enough to make you a better tarot reader. But getting in the habit of picking up your deck every day is a great way to build a daily tarot practice.

You don’t even have to pull a card or do a spread here. Simply picking up the cards and shuffling through them could be enough to get you started.

This can familiarize you with the deck you’re working with and make it easier for you to understand the cards in the future. And it can help you break in your deck so you aren’t dealing with such stiff cards when you start reading.

004: Compare different decks.

One way to learn more about the tarot is to compare how different decks illustrate the same card. And if you don’t have a lot of time to do full-on readings, you can pick a card to compare each day.

You can do this a couple of ways. If you have two decks, feel free to use them. But if you only have one, I recommend using your deck and then looking up images of other decks online. You can find the Smith Rider Waite for free on Wikipedia, and many independent deck creators have all their images available on their sites or social media.

005: Focus on a part of The Fool’s Journey.

Are you a story person? I bet you are if you’re on this blog.

If you approach things through the lens of story, then I recommend thinking about the Fool’s Journey, and what it means to you. I’ve talked about using the tarot to outline a novel before, and I’ve recommended that because the tarot can function as the monomyth. You know, the hero’s journey.

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Well, in this case, the hero is The Fool.

So focusing on an aspect the journey from The Fool to The World can be a great way to build your daily tarot practice. Reflecting on what that journey means to you, and what it looks like in practice may be the thing that helps you better understand the cards.

006: Ask simple questions.

Maybe you just want to ask a question and pull a card. This is a great way to start reading tarot. And it’s the way I read tarot most often.

I like to ask simple questions. Things like, “What do I need to know right now?” or “What’s holding me back from doing this?” are great questions that the tarot can answer. Just ask and pull a card.

You won’t ever get a simple answer, and you’ll need to take some time to interpret what the card means in the context of the question. But it’s a great way to work with your deck when you don’t have a lot of time.

Tell Me About Your Daily Tarot Practice

What does your daily tarot practice look like? Do you do full spreads every single day? What’s your favorite way to build a tarot habit?

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