Tips for how to connect with your tarot cards for the first time or if you’ve had your deck for years.
Whether you haven’t picked up your deck in a little while, have been feeling hesitant about doing a reading for yourself, feel “off” with the readings you’ve been doing, or just bought a new deck, connecting or reconnecting to your deck can be an effective practice.
For tips on how to choose your deck, check out: Reading Tarot for Beginners: How to start reading tarot for yourself.
Connecting to your tarot deck is an important part of being a good reader. But like any good relationship, you have to put in attention, care and time.
How can I tell if I’m not meant to work with a deck or I just need to reconnect?
Short answer: You’ll likely have a gut feeling about it.
If you’re feeling off with a deck or like you don’t quite know how generate a good reading with it, It’s either a.) Your connection with the deck needs strengthening or b.) It might not be the right fit for you right now.
If you don’t feel like you relate to your tarot deck or you don’t seem to speak the same language, it’s possible that you and your deck aren’t meant to be in a serious LTR. This doesn’t mean you’re not meant to be a reader (there’s a deck out there for you if you want to learn, trust!).
BUT there’s also a good possibility that you just need to put in a little time and effort to develop the connection. Especially if you felt drawn to your deck to begin with.
Some decks you may use for some things and not for others. Most likely you’ll find one central deck that you do the majority of your magic with, but can call in others for support, clarification, or fun. I love collecting decks, they’re beautiful works of art, after all! And I love looking to them when I want to mix things up or am doing a specific kind of reading, but I do all of my professional readings and teaching on my original ride or die deck.
All of this is to say, it’s great to experiment with decks and try a bunch out. For choosing your first deck do some research, look at the imagery, and go with the one that you feel a spark with.
Here are a few different steps for reconnecting to your deck. I lay them out in the order I’d do them in, but please feel free to follow your intuition and make this practice your own.
How to connect with your tarot cards
Step 1: Cleanse your deck.
You can do this in a number of ways — with sacred smoke, crystals, the moon, salt, or by shuffling. Read more about cleansing your deck here.
Step 2: Set an intention.
Hold your cards in your hands and take a few moments to breathe. Then consider what intention you’d like to set for your practice with them. It can be a word, phrase, or feeling. This can be a time when you call in any guides or spirits you like to work with to help you or open your channel to divine guidance that’s in your highest and best interest.
Step 3: Shuffle well.
Shuffling is a form of cleansing the energy within the deck. It also generates the random system that channels the guidance we’re seeking from the deck. The randomness that shuffling generates is precisely why we’re able to access a whole new perspective from the cards — we’re breaking from the pure rationality and leaning into the unknown. Read: How to Shuffle Tarot Cards.
Step 4: Do a connection spread.
Spend some time doing a tarot spread that specifically addresses your deck — to feel one another out, get some new insights, and yes, connect.
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR TAROT DECK SPREAD
- What do you want me to know about you?
- Your strengths?
- Your limitations?
- What kind of relationship can we have together?
- What work are we meant to do together?
- Which card can be my teacher right now?
- How can I go deeper with this card?
Step 5: Decide how you want to store your deck.
Create a ritual around putting your deck away. You may have a box you keep it in, a special scarf you wrap it in, a crystal you put on top of it, or an altar that you put it on when you’re not using it. Deciding on this little routine is a way of caring for, acknowledging and thanking your deck at the end of each session or day.
Bonus Tarot bonding exercises:
The big picture. Lay out the deck starting with the Major Arcana numbers 0-22 in lines of 7 cards across. Then lay out the cards Ace through King for each suit in this order: Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles. Look at the deck in this form and really take it in. Then mix it all up and shuffle well.
Choose a guide. Select a card based on appearance and/or known meaning to be your guide and anchor for connecting to your deck and intuition. Journal with this card and all ideas, feelings, and questions it brings up for you. Meditate with it. Notice how it comes up both in your tarot practice and daily life (journal on these findings, too!). Place this card on your altar when not working with your deck. You can do this for a week or a moon cycle and then choose another.
Sleep with your deck under your pillow. If you can make it comfortable, you can connect with the cards in your unconscious time.
And remember, building a relationship and connection to your deck takes time. And like any relationship, it changes over time as you grow and learn.
More about reading Tarot:
- Resources for Learning How to Read Tarot
- Free Download: 44 Questions to Ask the Tarot
- How does Tarot work?
- Tarot Books & Resources
- Reading Tarot for Beginners
- How to Cleanse Your Tarot Cards
- Free 3-Day Enhanced Intuition Challenge
- Tarot Foundations: A course for reading in a more intuitive and connected way