5 Ways to Use Your Tarot Cards (that doesn't include a daily draw)

I recently was perusing the interwebs for some inspiring ideas of ways you could read or use your tarot cards on a regular basis that didn't include doing a daily draw, because seriously, that shit has been done to death on the suggestions for new readers list. I was finding a lack of inspiration, and so I decided to do what every good creative person does when what they want doesn't appear to exist already: I got to work on my own version of it.

While I will be the first person to admit that doing daily draws is a great way to get to know the tarot system in general, or just your newest deck, I know that we can sometimes ache for new, inventive ways of working with our decks, something that feels fresh, and exciting, kind of like how a new relationship feels, when all you want to do is see your new partner, and you two can't keep your hands off each other. I often feel that way about my new decks, but sometimes one or two cards drawn every day just feels... so... uninspired. So, I hope you like my tips, and please, let me know in the comments what you like to do with your decks, and if you had any success trying out my own tips!

5. Just Flipping Through It.
Never underestimate the power of making a cup of tea, coffee, or pouring yourself your favorite alcoholic beverage (or virgin!!!) and sitting somewhere comfy, just flipping through the deck, really, no, really looking at the images. It's one of my favorite ways to get familiar with the symbolism, art, and details of a new deck. I usually don't go straight to reading with a deck until I've had a good look-see of it (unless I've already worked with this deck on my phone as an app extensively, or had a really good look through of it from a friend's copy), and so this first bit of time spent with my new deck is usually an amazing, and enlightening, experience. I don't tend to journal my impressions of a deck, because I found that these entries were never getting read over again, unless some sort of epiphany really hits me, and I simply have to write it down and explore it. Tea is usually my beverage of choice, and my bed is usually my preferred spot to do this, although the river side on an overcast afternoon is a close second.

4. Illustrating Your "Current Mood."
If you are on social media at all, you're no stranger to those "current mood" posts that people post, usually some sort of comical or emotive image, that is supposed to illustrate exactly how that person feels at that moment. When I feel like I also want to express my emotions at the time, but I don't want to put it into words, or when I'm struggling to grasp how I actually feel, I will reach for my tarot deck and search through the images until I find a card (or 10) that depict my emotions at that moment. Sometimes, I share these card collections with my journal, my friends or spouse, or even social media. Sometimes, I don't. But I find it very helpful in getting what feels like a stuck or tangled emotion out of my psyche, and clearing the way for deeper exploration, or resolution.

3. Goal Setting. 
First off, if you guys haven't heard of Danielle Laporte's book The Desire Map yet, then seriously, open up a new tab to your favorite online book seller's website and buy it. That book is a GAME CHANGER when it comes to goal setting. I adapted her techniques to include some metaphysical techniques, because that's way more me, by adding tarot. Basically, you identify through some journaling exercises which core feelings you want to feel this month, week, year, or other period of time, and then design your goals around that FEELING. That way, you're not going to be chased with a feeling of let-down after you achieve something that you thought would make you happy. But, I choose my goals with tarot cards, consciously choosing which cards express how I want to feel, and then either writing some of my goals based on that card, or finding other cards to help with the goals. Whether you work with tarot to just identify the feeling, or also pick more cards to develop specific goals, this tool is extremely helpful.

2. Telling a Story.
Whether you randomly select cards to help you get inspired for your next fiction piece, or consciously draw cards to help tell your own story, or a combination of those techniques for an un-ending list of writing possibilities, tarot can be a groovy tool for helping juice up your written works. I use this technique sparingly, as I'm often called to write when I already know what I want to say, but I do use it from time to time, and I'm never disappointed.

1. Drawing a Card for a Time Period (NOT daily).
So, again, we've all heard about doing daily draws. But what about drawing a card of the week? The month? Or calculating your card of the year using numerology to select your Major Arcana card for that calendar year. You'd be surprised how accurate some of these cards can be in articulating the overall energy of that period of time. I draw a card at the beginning of the month, and reflect on the messages or influence that that card may be having for me every couple of days, or whenever it seems appropriate. Your card of the month is a pretty common practice for experienced tarot practitioners, but it's something I don't hear getting recommended to beginners often, which I think is a shame. Reflecting on a single card over a longer period of time can have a lot of benefits, such as really getting the meat off the bone of a card's meaning, reflecting on the deeper meanings of a card, and establishing a personal connection with it. If it's not something you've tried yet, I definitely recommend giving it a go!

Remember, reading tarot is an art, not a science. You really can't "fuck it up" by reading it the way that you feel called to. Tarot books and daily draws are a great way to get to know your deck, but remember, it's a personal thing, built on personal experiences and familiarity. Don't be afraid to mess about. As my childhood hero, Ms. Frizzle from the show The Magic School Bus used to say, take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!


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