Preparing For A Tarot Reading

by Theresa Reed on September 22, 2011


Doing tarot on the fly is a real possibility (and sometimes a necessity) but I have found that the best tarot readings come when both reader and querent have done a little prepping.

Why?  It’s because the right mindset will lead to a better reading (and experience) for all parties involved.

A reading done in haste is rarely done well – and a reading done with an unfocused mind or scattered agenda leads to a lack of clear answers.  Here’s how to prep for the best reading possible whether you are the reader or the client.

For the reader:  

  1. Make sure you are rested.  A tired reader leads to a lackluster reading.
  2. Be sober.  Don’t consume too many stimulants (caffeine).  BE PRESENT.
  3. Meditate before opening your practice for the day.  A walk or any form of exercise is helpful as well.
  4. Energy work helps to get the chakras balanced and chi moving through the body.  Reiki is a wonderful tool for readers.  I’m also a fan of “Energy Medicine” by Donna Eden.  Her techniques work wonders for me.
  5. Keep your office quiet.  Soft music can help (although some readers need silence).  Yappy dogs and kids should not be present.  You need to focus.  Turn off the phone.
  6. Breathe deeply.
  7. Give the client an oracle card to read before you begin your work together.  This gives them a moment to slow down and clear their brain.  Many clients come straight from work and need a little time to center themselves.
  8. If you are unwell, cancel your work.  You must be PRESENT for the client – if you are ill, you need to be present for yourself.
  9. Cleanse the space before the client arrives.  Smudge, open a window, light a candle – whatever helps you to get your tarot groove on.

For the querent:

  1. Do not get a reading if you are freaking out.  You will not be centered.  Wait if you can.  An aggressive, impulsive or trippy mindset will only hear what they want to hear.
  2. Take time before your reading to quietly reflect on what you need from the reading.  Write a list of questions before you come so that you are sure to cover the information you most need.
  3. Be sober.  Don’t consume too many stimulants (caffeine).  Yup, it works both ways – reader and querent need to be centered.  The calmer you both are, the more clear the answers will be.
  4. Breathe deeply.
  5. Tape your reading.  This will allow you to listen to the reading later – but it also frees you from having to take notes which can interfere with your ability to deeply listen to the reader.

Phone readings: For phone readings, the rules above apply but it is extremely important for the querent to have a quiet space so that they may be present for the reading.  For example, if you are getting a phone reading and you have too much noise in the background, you may not hear what your reader is saying.

The tarot reader will also need to make sure that they are holding the same sacred space for their client on the phone as if the client were in their office.  Do not be checking email or watching soaps in the background while on the phone.  Cut out your distractions and focus.  You must BE PRESENT for the client even if they are not in your office.

Email readings:  If you are getting a tarot reading via the email, take time to formulate your question.  Be as clear as possible.  Don’t mix too many questions into one as this will muddy your question and lead to confusion for the reader.  If you are comfortable, send a picture of yourself as this gives your reader something to focus on.

If you are giving a reading via email, just make sure that there are no distractions – once again, you want to focus all of your energy on the querent.  Email readings need the same care that in person or phone readings need.  Approach them as if the client were sitting right in front of you.

The main criteria for a solid tarot reading is a PRESENT mind.  If you can manifest that on demand, great (I can’t).  But for those of us who are not that spontaneous, the suggestions above can help everyone walk away from the experience feeling content.

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~ Buddha



How do you prepare for your reading?  Not just as a tarot reader but as a client?  What helps you feel “ready”?

James Wells September 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm

All very sound guidance, Theresa. Presence is such a powerful ally. Thank you for this!

admin September 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Hi James

Thanks for stopping by! And yes – presence IS a powerful ally. Agreed!


Anna September 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Thank you Theresa,
for yet another great post.
I find that I need some alone time before a reading. Sometimes I give myself Reiki, other times I pray for clarity and a good connection with the client. I also avoid any distraction like noise or reading or watching something potentially disturbing shortly before the reading. When possible I like to work in the same setting as I find that reading in the same place over and over helps me tune is faster. Making sure the room in clean, tidy and has fresh air is also important to me.
When I go for a reading I do my best to select a time when I am not too stressed and in no rush. I also avoid talking much as I prefer to listen, but I will confirm information that makes sense to me and ask for clarification if I am not sure I follow.

admin September 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Hi Anna

Alone time is essential for me. Because my work is extremely interactive with other people, I need my quiet time to recharge. I also make sure that I don’t work if I am overly stressed out or unwell. I like to be present and calm for my client.


Shannon September 22, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Most of the time, I don’t think querents realize how important it is for them to “show up” (be present) for their own reading! The hardest experiences for me as a reader have been when the person across from me has outright told me, “I don’t have any questions.” Um. . . and you’re seeing a reader because. . . ?

To be fair, those experiences have been almost exclusively when I have been working out of a metaphysical store as their in-house reader for walk-ins which means those exceptions are folks looking at it as a “fun” thing to do or in the middle of a crisis (crying, upset, freaked out) and not able to really listen to the message.

The people who actively seek me out for a reading have questions and lists and discussion points ready to go. And you don’t even have to have extensive lists, a little bit of intention goes a long way! People either don’t realize or tend to forget (and I’m including myself in here) how eager the Universe, our guides, and our angels are to help us along our path.

Luckily, those tough readings don’t happen too often and Spirit is able to come through loud and clear on the majority of readings.

This is such a great article! Thank you for writing!

admin September 28, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Hi Shanno

YES – I agree – a tarot reading is a 2 way street and the client needs to be as present as the reader. I also don’t understand why someone would come if they have no questions.


Hilary September 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Once again, an excellent post with spooky timing. So often it is the small things that we don’t bother to write out or externalize that make or break a reading. After a bad or iffy reading, I like to wonder on the reason why… and that reason usually is one of those items you wrote about (client in an “emergency”, having a cold while doing a reading, too much coffee, etc.). What helps me feel “ready” is the laying out of the table (since I don’t have one dedicated to readings in my home, and I often read for people in public): laying down a cloth, laying out some stones for good communication and intuition, then taking out the deck. The real “ready” portion I feel is the shuffling of the cards. Like the click of the switch… I’m “there.”

admin September 28, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Hi HIlary

YES – the shuffling of the cards starts “creating a vibe”. That is part of the ritual of preparation!


Dianna Monroe September 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I’m curious to know from other readers what are some of the most common questions they are asked. The all-time popular favorite I get is, “Is he going to call?” Are relationship questions some of the most popular for you?

admin September 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Hi Dianna

I rarely get the “is he going to call” questions. Most of my clients will ask about relationships but more along the lines of will I meet someone.


Mary Ellen Pride September 23, 2011 at 1:27 am

Regarding phone readings: I feel that it important for the client to be not only in a quiet place, but also a stationary place. I’ve had clients call in for their phone reading while they are driving. It’s hard to concentrate and tune-in one some one’s energy when they are zipping down the highway at 50 mph. I tell them to call back once they’re parked.

admin September 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Hi Mary Ellen

I totally agree!


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