By Winter Clark

When I was first introduced to Tarot as a teenager in high school, I didn’t know anything about it.  My only experience with a deck of cards was with traditional playing cards that you might use for poker or Go Fish.  My mother bought me my first deck and when she handed them to me, I asked her how to use them.  She replied, “Just play with them.”

Hidden Meanings Come to Life

And so I played.  I dove into them; pored over the illustrations, read the little booklet that came with them and looked up various layouts and spreads.  This method served me well for years, until it didn’t.  The day I realized I was reading the cards was the moment the meanings that were coming through for me differed greatly from what the booklet was telling me.  I knew something had shifted.  It wasn’t that I was reading the cards incorrectly; rather I was comfortable enough with the cards to lay them out in a way that felt right and look at them both independently as well as in their grouped framework.  Elements of the artwork such as color and form began to stand out and command attention.  Numbers, suits and sequence suddenly held a deeper meaning.  It was like the curtain had been pulled back to reveal a hidden world.

Creating Space for Sacred Play

There’s something to be said for the art of play.  When we play, we don’t think things through, we don’t analyze and we certainly don’t worry if we’re doing it right!  The magical part about play is that our imagination is engaged, our sense of wonder is activated and for that moment in space and time, we can receive inspiration and messages from Source or universal consciousness.  To do this, we create a space in which these elements can interact in a sacred way.

When I do readings for clients, I create a sacred space of intention.  This space is an energetic structure where Higher self meets inquiry, Source meets Spirit and messages flow freely for the highest good of the person whose cards are being read.  Once this is set, we can play and receive the wisdom awaiting us!  For those who are learning how to read Tarot, this can create a sense of freedom and better understanding of how to access the information that the cards themselves represent visually.

To do a reading for yourself using your intuition, choose a time when you will be undisturbed and have access to quiet space.  Have a notebook and pen ready, as well as some sage or palo santo on hand to burn as smudge or rosewater spray if smoke is unallowed or undesired.  As you smudge, ask that the reading be done for your highest good.  Hold the deck of cards in your hands and imagine the deck be infused with white light.  When you have a question in mind to ask, you can begin to shuffle the deck as you ask your question out loud or in your mind.  When the deck feels “ready”, you can either cut the deck (split it apart) or choose a card at random.

Letting Intuition Lead You

Take the chosen card and place it in front of you.

When you look at it, how does it make you feel?  The first sensation you get is very important.  You can write down what comes up for you.

What do you see?  What colors are strongest in this card?  Is there a number?  What suit is it?  What kind of scene is happening in the picture?  If there are people in the picture, do they look happy or sad?

Write down all of the things that come to your mind for the card.  It doesn’t have to make sense or even be full sentences.  What matters is that you observe and record what comes in.  The impressions that flow in are a mix of mental associations from your personal experiences, information from your Higher self and messages from Source.  This is the play that we have made room for; this is the beginning of using your intuition consciously to understand the depth and meaning of the Tarot card.

Welcoming Creativity into a Reading

Tarot doesn’t have to be traditional.  There are many ways to do readings; the more you explore the possibilities, more will be revealed to you.  One time I decided to do environmental readings by tuning into the natural resources around me, to turn up their vibrations and see what wisdom they had to offer myself and others.  I also do moon readings called Lunar Love Notes, that tune into the energies of the full and new moons when they occur.  Our universe has an abundance of wisdom and information waiting to be shared with you.  It’s only our minds that limit us; tap into your imagination and see what messages you can receive!

Learning to trust your intuition is a skill that takes time and patience.  Using sacred play to access it in an intentional way will help to work that skill and eventually you’ll come to a point at which you will inherently trust the information that is coming through to be accurate – even when it doesn’t make sense!  Be kind to yourself, go slow and pay attention to what is being shown or sent to you… but most of all, have fun!

Share your Tarot experiences in the comments below!


Winter was trained at an early age to work with energy on all levels; for healing body and home, manifesting dreams into reality, and consulting with Divine energy for guidance and assistance. Her work is shamanistic: divinely guided and uniquely attuned, she is focused on helping others build a bridge of trust and honoring the inner voice to access true wisdom.  She teaches courses on mindfulness, practical application of Spirit and wellness for the home.  She also provides Divine Energy work for the body, Space Clearings for the home and Releasing Ceremonies for those letting go of toxic relationships.