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Why You Should Try Shorter Tarot Readings

There is nothing more beautiful and satisfying than a tarot reading that has used 3 different decks, all with beautiful imagery that match the energy of each other, laid out and organized with perfectly spaced margins. Perhaps the reader has bordered the reading with flickering candles, real or silk flowers, crystals and gemstones, or blowing incense.


But there is nothing more to the point – to me, at least – than picking only 3 cards from one deck and letting the tarot tell me like it is on the cat-hair infested carpet of my bedroom. Perhaps its midnight, and perhaps I’ve got a candle too. Perhaps cookie crumbs are rubbing from my fingers onto the cards.


In my expierence, with pick a cards via the internet or in person, more cards does not equal more messages, more depth, more meaning, more personalization. If anything, it seems to equal more repetition of the same idea and message.

Whether you believe that’s because the spirits really want to drive home a particular topic, knocking you over the head with their spiritual book of reality so you really get it through your head this time…or because once a tarot reader locks onto a particular message or idea, our human brains want to confirm ourselves, it doesn’t matter.


I challenge you to try more minimal readings for the next week or month or so.


Personally, using limited cards and limiting decks has really helped me grow as a tarot reader and as a spiritual being. When I do readings for myself, I’m typically only using the traditional Rider-Waite deck and picking 3 or 5 cards. Sometimes 6 if I’m trying to decide between two paths.

And that’s truly all I need.

I find it forces me to sit and stare at a card more closely and see all the possibilities and messages it can have for me. The 6 of cups is about so many things: your inner child, generosity, our childhood, our past in general, community, giving and taking, playfulness, wishful thinking, and so much more. That card alone could tell me all I needed to know about a particular situation.


All the cards are like that. All the cards hold worlds and complex characters that are as deep and complicated and nuanced as any human or animal you would run into on the street.


The limited number of cards forces me to sit back and take what I see, rather than waiting for a “confirmation” card to affirm what I already believe. It’s about trusting yourself as a reader, trusting your intuition, and trusting the line of communication between your inner mind and yourself, or your spiritual team and yourself.


Now don’t get me wrong, there is something otherworldly, beautiful and “vibey” about having all those cards laid out like you’re an ancient fortune teller. We humans like beauty, and we shouldn’t deny ourselves that beauty. Sometimes, we are really confused and really do need that slap in the face, that obvious answer – though I find my own spiritual team refuses to give me that when I “need,” or rather, want it. If you’re a beginner and just picked up a deck or just got a new deck, it might be helpful to have different cards and decks clarify and confirm each other until you have that understanding.


I’m in no-way against complex readings. I have just find that the resonance of a shorter reading with less cards impacts me more and stays with me more than one with 10 or more cards.


Take this as a sign to experiment and play, and ask yourself questions about why you do what you do. I think you’ll find less can be more, and that using less cards really can force you to trust yourself a little bit more.
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