Over the years, I’ve observed some confusion about what “intuitive reading” is in the online tarot communities. A lot of people identify as intuitive readers but there seems to be several different ideas of what that means. These concepts seem to range from the idea of a “psychic” reader to someone who just picks up a deck with no training or study and reads the images. This approach can meet with some scrutiny from those committed to a more intellectual approach to Tarot study. Which, I can understand as I feel there is merit in preserving the Tarot traditions of past eras.
Through my own Tarot journey I’ve developed a personal understanding of what intuitive reading is. This realization helped me to have a clearer understanding of the role intuition plays in my tarot readings. First, in my opinion, all tarot reading is to some degree an intuitive practice. It comes down to how each individual accesses their intuition and that is a very personal thing. So, far be it for anyone to deem another person’s approach to reading the cards as NOT intuitive. That being said I have identified a set of preferred techniques that I see as making up the approach known “intuitive reading.” That is to say that when 2 or 3 of techniques is applied regularly by a reader that I would see that reader as an “intuitive reader.” I hope that makes sense. It may seem a bit contradictory is say that all tarot reading is intuitive but also identify an intuitive reading approach. Really, the subject of intuitive is subjective so I think it’s ultimately up to each of us to decide what we feel intuitive reading is.
But I think it’s good to give this some consideration because often I’ve found I need to explain to a client or another tarot enthusiast what I personally mean by intuitive reading. So here are the three techniques I associate with intuitive reading. You can judge for yourself if they align with your personal understanding of intuitive reading. There are:
- A preference for giving the imagery in the cards more significant than keywords, titles or pre-established meanings. This is sometimes referred to as scrying the cards. Do you often find yourself entering the imagery and interacting with the scene in the card in order to derive the answer to the querent’s question? To me this is a sign that you are an intuitive reader. In contrast, you may favour a set of keywords that you would apply to the cards no matter what deck you read with. You feel that you could literally write the titles of each card on a blank index card and still do a reading. From my perspective this latter approach does not fall in the intuitive reader style.
- You feel that the card meanings are fluid not fixed. This means that either the overall meaning of the card or symbols in the card can mean different things based on the context it finds itself in. This technique comes second since I feel it usually builds from the first approach of using imagery in the cards as a primary tool for answering questions. (But that is not always the case.) For example, the white sun in the RWS Fool card could represent the white light of the sephiroth of Kether and everything that Kabbalistic symbol represents OR it could represent a coconut cream pie in another reading. Fluid meanings fluctuate over a vast range of potential representations whereas fixed meanings are a much, much smaller range of potential meaning. Is the Magician always a ceremonial occult practitioner or could he be the sign twirler on the corner or even your son’s action figure toy? Do you tend to see card meanings as fluid and defined in response to context in a reading as opposed to fixed and defined by an external system (like Kabbalah)? If so from my perspective I would consider this an intuitive reading technique.
- You derive meanings and messages from outside the cards in a reading. What I mean here is that you find the environment that the reading takes place in just as significant as the cards themselves. This could include some as simple as a card that jump out of the deck while shuffling (called a jumper card). Which is technically still the cards but they are interacting with their environment is unusual ways. It could also mean dreams that the reader or querent have prior to the reading. It could mean the aura or energy you feel from your querent. It could mean an omen seen in the environment before or during the reading. Like a crow sitting and staring in the window as you read or an advertisement on the bus trip to the reading with an eerily relevant message. If you tend to give credence to these external factors you are employing the third technique I associate with intuitive reading.
There are definitely other techniques and practices that readers would associate with an intuitive approach or style of reading. These are just a few I have noted over the years and that I personally connect to intuitive reading. But as I said since I see all Tarot reading as intuitive I don’t tend to identify with the label of “intuitive reader” or use that as a way to market my reading style to potential clients. But from a personal perspective it is good to know as it informs the type of decks I buy, the books I read, etc.
If you would like to see an intuitive reading in action book a reading with me today!