How I Became a Masterful Tarot Reader by Going Beyond Card Meanings

 How I Became a Masterful Tarot Reader by Going Beyond Card Meanings

When you first start learning tarot, it can seem like a monumental task to develop the same kind of depth of understanding that the pros seem to have.

Some of the most popular books on the subject are these fat tomes that you can use to club someone to death with! Not to mention how academic some of it seems to be.

Kabbalah? Correspondences? Significators? What? Your head is swimming. You’re like OMG here I am just trying to grasp the basics and there is all this complicated stuff to learn.

I was there too, a couple of years ago. There are loads of people with 20+ years in the field and they are highly knowledgeable people. And a lot of people in tarot groups will tell you that it takes time to get good.

Yes, it does take practice. A LOT of practice. But it doesn’t have to take you a decade!

What helped me the most was thinking outside of the box. Yes, I did have what I learned in books as a basis but I did not let it restrict me.

The thing that really helped me get to pro level at tarot is looking outside the individual cards. Seeing connections between the cards, taking a bird’s eye view of the spread, learning about numerology in and psychic development.

I ended up taking what I learned in these areas and combining it to create my method of tarot reading. I did it in such a way that I deepened my understanding of the cards and developed the ability to give really insightful readings within a short space of time.

Honestly, all in all, I think it only took me maybe a few months to a year of learning by doing, by applying these things, to really master this whole thing and feel confident in my abilities as a card reader.

If I can do it, so can you! In this article, I’ll take you through all the steps and components I mentioned to explain to you how to do this in a little more detail.


The card meanings and spreads are meant to be the foundation. There’s so much more you can do and so much more you can build on top of it.

Everyone Starts with Card Meanings and Basic Spreads

One thing you have to remember is that even the most expert and experienced of tarot readers started out by getting to grips with all 78 card meanings and some basic spreads.

This is the foundation of tarot reading. Every single tarot reader felt like learning all 78 card meanings would be so difficult.  They got to grips with it either by studying academically, by doing lots of readings, or some combination of both.

I was no different. I picked up a deck and started learning. Eventually, I felt as if I had a fair understanding of the card meanings and how to use spreads.

But this is only the beginning guys! You’re not done yet! Not by a long shot. The card meanings and spreads are meant to be the foundation. There’s so much more you can do and so much more you can build on top of it.

I became a confident and skilled tarot reader by learning how to go beyond individual card meanings and spreads. I learned to think outside the box.

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Make Connections Between Cards

The first thing that helped me is seeing the spread as one whole entity, and not just it’s individual parts. The cards are not really meant to be read in complete isolation (more on that in this post)

I have the mind of a writer and creative type. Aside from tarot and my spiritual work, I like writing fiction and coming up with stories. My brain is kind of hard-wired to see and form narratives.

Tarot is a highly visual tool and what changed for me is when I started to see those narrative connections in the card images.

I started to see relationships between cards in a spread. This card seems to be pointing to that one. What’s the story there?

All the figures seem to be facing in the same direction. What’s the message?

These 2 cards seem to share a theme. Perhaps that theme is important and I should mention it.

This thing alone made my readings better.


The cards are not meant to be read in complete isolation. See the spread as one whole entity, and not just it’s individual parts.

The Balance of the Spread

The second thing I learned about that really transformed my readings is the concept of looking at the balance of the spread and noticing patterns.

When we look for the balance of the spread, what we’re doing is tallying up the number of:

  • Majors – how many major arcana cards are there in total?
  • Each suit – how many cards of each suit are there in total?
  • Court cards – how many court cards are there in total?
  • Court ranks  – how many cards of each court rank are there in total?

We look at which categories have more cards and which categories have fewer cards or are absent. This tells us the dominant themes of the reading and the forces at play.

For example, a reading with lots of majors indicates karma, soul lessons, destiny, and unchangeable forces.

By knowing how to look for this stuff, I was able to add an extra layer of detail to my readings.


Every number has a specific meaning and vibration attached to it. Look for repeating card numbers within your reading and try to think about what message that number has for you.

Incorporating Numerology

You probably see repeating numbers all the time, especially if you’re going through spiritual awakening. The universe is mathematical and numbers are one of the primary ways in which it likes to communicate with us.

Each number has its own vibration and meaning. When you see repeating numbers around you that means there is a message the universe has for you encoded in the number sequence (more on that in this post).

Things really changed for me once I learned numerology. I learned about the meaning of numbers and how to calculate my own core numbers as well as the vibration of my home address, business name, etc.

Numerology is a fascination art in and of itself. But once I applied numerological techniques to tarot, my readings just shot up to another level.

Why is tarot numerology important? It goes back to the balance of the spread. If you do a reading of 10 cards and 3 cards have the vibration of the number 4 (e.g. The Emperor - 4, 4 of Swords - 4, and Death – 13/4), that number has a hidden message and meaning applicable to the reading.

And it’s not just repeating numbers. You can also look at whether the numbers are high numbers or low numbers, rising numbers or falling numbers.

Each one has a meaning and by knowing how to look for these things and how to decode the message I was able to make my readings more rich and insightful.

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Struggling to go beyond individual card meanings and understand the big picture? Download my Tarot Master Starter Kit to learn how to masterfully weave the narrative and read like a pro!

Paying Attention to Intuition

I’m not really going in order here from earliest thing learned to latest. Developing my intuition and psychic abilities was actually one of the very first things I learned. However, it was also the most impactful and that’s why I left it for last.

You see we are all souls having a human experience. Our connection to source, the collective consciousness (aka the archetypal realm), our higher selves, etc, is innate. Intuition is our sense of spiritual perception (more on that in this post)

Everyone has it. That feeling you get that is spot on but has no logical explanation? Intuition.

Psychic ability is basically one step up from intuition. Like a stronger version of it. It’s what happens when you work on improving your connection to the divine.

How does this apply to tarot reading? A couple of ways.

First thing was learning to connect to the cards on an energetic level and really understanding the energetic qualities of each suit. That led me to a deeper understanding of the cards as a whole (more on that in this post).

The second thing is learning how to pick up on intuitive impressions and pay attention to them while doing a reading.

When I’m doing the reading I pay attention to:

  • Images that pop into my mind.
  • Words that I keep thinking of or ‘hear’ while looking at the cards.
  • Gut feelings of what aspect of the card meaning to emphasise.
  • Figures, symbols, or cards that draw my attention.
  • My sense of knowing, i.e. any information or solutions that I receive when I see the cards.

This skill has endless potential. You may start by paying attention to single words that come to mind when you look at a card but eventually be able to channel messages from people’s guides. This is just one example.

This was the biggest thing that helped me become a masterful tarot reader. Merging my capabilities as a psychic medium with the tarot – hence the term intuitive tarot reader.

When you involve the Other Side and pay attention to messages coming is via these channels your readings become so much more.