How to Prepare for a Tarot Reading

By Elisia Guerena

As a Tarot practitioner of many years, I know full well the power of a focused and accurate tarot reading. Tarot acts in service of divine energies that want to aid us on our path and help us make the right choices. Despite the Tarot’s mystical associations, it is a straight forward and practical tool that aims to elucidate the querent’s situation with empowering and applicable insights.

That being said, it’s common for me to hear that people who never before have received a reading are nervous. Some people will cite cultural depictions of Tarot readings that prophecy eerie or unwelcome news. Others bring their own superstitions into the mix, believing that a reading will mar their karma in some intangible, ethereal way. The noncommittal attitude of some people is rooted in a hesitancy to invest money in something which lacks the hard, tangible results we associate with value in our Western World.

Trepidation over having your cards read is also understandable on a psychological level. Receiving objective illumination on your life gives your subconscious and its habit-hardened tendencies no wiggle room. The ego is couched in its security-oriented ways, and can powerfully resist change. When a reading reveals the path for transformation and empowerment, that ego can kick into high gear, as it fears losing the safety of what is known and comfortable. We balk, consciously or not, at the notion of change or divine deliverance from our long-suffering problems. It’s a far from rational, yet wholly recognizable response I’ve observed over the years.

Yet all these reasons stem from either misinformation or a fear-oriented perspective. None of them hold up as valid excuses for not seeking and receiving the guidance or reassurance you need on your path. Perpetuating the same cycles of unknowing and confusion is painful and unnecessary. The Tarot is an instrument designed to lead us directly into a liberated and united existence. In my experience, a querent does not need to have some prior knowledge, spiritual belief, or even hard and fast notion of what they want to gain from a reading in order to benefit from it. The only requisite for receiving a fulfilling and helpful reading is coming into it with a clear understanding that the information provided is there to assist and support you. That initial step is crucial to positioning yourself to receive aid and insight.

That being said, the most successful reading is one entered with the understanding that it is an investment in your personal and spiritual growth. Taking time to reflect on what you would like to gain from the reading can set you up for an enriching and healing experience. In order to prepare for a reading, you can follow one of the following meditations or pointers:

  • Take some time to get into a heart-centered zone and interview yourself. Ask yourself questions that pertain to your emotional, mental and physical health, as well as your relationship to your material world. What has been causing you dis-ease in any of these areas? What areas of your life seem blocked, or are there any patterns that keep occurring? You can also choose this time to home in on positive changes and occurrences in your life. How does this new development impact your life from a spiritual / physical / mental perspective? Is there anything you need to work on in order to sustain it or allow it to be more fully received?

  • Take these interview questions and see if you can use them to formulate at least one question relating to what you want to gain from a reading. This could be anything from "How can I best take care of myself right now?" to "What's the reality of _____ situation?" to "What goals should I be pursuing, and what moves can I take to support these goals?"

  • Some people find themselves in a state of flux, transformation, or stagnancy so great that they don’t know which angle to approach a self-interview. Or, they feel uncertain of how to clearly articulate where and on what they desire clarity. If you feel completely unclear, I say that mentally positioning yourself to receive support is a great first step. Commit to a positive outcome by visualizing yourself receiving clear, helpful guidance. That will signal to your subconscious self that it’s about to receive the boost it needs, and also take some of the pressure off feeling you need to do work you’re not equipped for. Visualizing a positive outcome is a great way to prepare for anyone who receives a reading, clear questions or no!

  • When you show up to your reading, respect the time and energy you’re putting into it by making the necessary physical preparations. Turn your phone off and clear your schedule so you can be completely present. Leaving yourself some quiet time after the reading ends can also help you integrate the messages you received.

Every tarot reading offers a unique blueprint for your present existence. It reveals the reality of what gifts and tools you have at your disposal, what work you can do to help yourself, and what limiting beliefs can be cast aside. By speaking directly to your unique situation, it reinforces how important you are, as well as your well-being. We're very fortunate to have several highly skilled readers at Firebird. Check out their bios and lists of services to see who resonates with you and your current situation. You can book a reading at any time by contacting the practitioner directly, or by simply emailing