If you’ve ever walked through the streets of New Orleans, you’ve probably seen some of the Tarot card readers who make their livings by doing card readings for strangers. Or maybe you’ve met a reader in a local metaphysical shop.
You’ve probably noticed decks of cards for sale in that same shop but found yourself wondering: is tarot reading for me? Am I someone who can read tarot?
Absolutely! Anyone can learn to read tarot cards if they have a desire to learn and are willing to put the time and effort into learning. Age, gender, religion, and even literacy should not be able to prohibit anyone who would like to read tarot cards. The only people who shouldn’t read tarot are those who don’t want to.
There is no prerequisite for reading tarot. The practice does not have to be hereditary. You don’t need to posses any special skills or have any sort of spiritual gifts. Tarot reading is done for different purposes by different people.
Tarot can be read as a form of divination, connecting with a deity, communicating with spirits, or even as a means of self reflection. You can read for all of these purposes, just one of them, or any other combination of them depending on your own personal beliefs and interests.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the old tradition of “your first deck must be gifted to you” is not observed my many modern readers. We wrote an article about choosing the right tarot deck for you. Here is the article, “How to choose your first tarot deck: A Buyer’s Guide“
If we all waited for someone to gift us our first deck, some of us would never start reading. Plus, if you’re buying your own deck you can be sure to pick on that’s just right for you out of the thousands of decks that are available out there.
If you do want to adhere to this tradition though, that is perfectly okay too. You could always “gift” a deck to yourself or ask a friend to gift you a deck as a favor.
You might be wondering if you could use someone else’s tarot cards until you receive your own deck, we have an article about that too! “Can you use someone else’s tarot cards?“
Before we delve deeper into this topic, I wanted to point out the Related Articles section at the bottom of this post. I’ve collected a number of articles that I thought you would find interesting. Please check them out when you finish this topic.
Table of Contents
How old do I have to be to read tarot?
There is no minimum age for reading tarot and you are absolutely never too old or too young to start. As long as you are old enough to know you want to read tarot, you are old enough to read it!
Plenty of readers start out in their teenage years, but some start younger, and others don’t get into the art until they’re much older.
Children have very curious minds. They may see tarot depicted in books, movies, or television and want to try it for themselves. They may also become interested in tarot reading by watching a parent or other family member work with their own deck.
While some parents may be apprehensive about letting a child read from a traditional RWS deck or other deck containing violent imagery, there are some great decks out there that are designed just for children.
This article from Spiral Nature lays out fifteen different decks that would be great starting points for an interested little one. Amazon also has a selection of tarot cards for kids, one option is the Elemental Tarot for Kids book that comes with cards. This deck has intentionally omitted 7 cards and there is a little controversy in the reviews related to this.
Some tarot decks for kid come in black and white so a young reader can color them in themselves and really engage with their new cards as they begin their tarot reading journey.
It isn’t just children that become interested in tarot though. You can become interested in tarot much later in life too. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
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Whether you’re in your 20s and beginning a spiritual journey, just retired and wanting to try something new in your newfound free time, or in your late 90s and finding yourself interested curious about the cards, you can always pick up a deck and start learning.
Another nice source of tarot cards is Etsy. There are many different decks available there and are definitely worth checking out.
Is tarot reading a female-only practice?
Definitely not! While many people picture tarot reading as a female dominated art, there are absolutely no gender restrictions on who can read tarot. Whether you identify as female, male, non-binary, gender-fluid, trans, two-spirited, or anything else, you can read tarot.
Saying that only women can read tarot would be like saying only men can be doctors. You can say it, but you’d be wildly wrong.
A deck of cards doesn’t know what your gender is, and it doesn’t care. The same goes for sexual orientation. You can read tarot no matter how you identify or who you love.
Tarot and Religion
Some people feel hesitant to start reading tarot because they worry it may conflict with their religion.
When it comes to Christianity, there is definitely no commandment that says “thou shalt not read tarot cards”. Some Christians believe that the cards are witchcraft (Spoiler alert: they aren’t. You can read more on that here where I covered this topic, “Are Tarot Cards Witchcraft?” and this makes them uncomfortable with the idea of using them.
The reality is that a reader can use their cards in a variety of ways and as long as you are not using your cards to interact with a deity other than the Christian God, you can read cards as a Christian without issue.
Divination is not a permissible practice in religions such as Judaism or Islam, so tarot cards tend to be very taboo within these religions. That being said, depending on how traditionally you practice your religion you could still learn to read tarot as a means of self reflection.
You may meet those who disagree with your decision to read, but the art of tarot is a highly personalized practice and you should not let anyone stop you from learning it if you feel comfortable doing it.
Many people who practice new-age religions such as Wicca read tarot as well. Practicing a Neo-pagan religion does not mean you have to read tarot, but the practice is very common within these religions.
With any religion, the important thing is that you find a way to personally reconcile the practice of tarot with your own spiritual and religious beliefs. Religion does not have to prohibit you from pursuing this interest, but it may require you to do a bit of work and research in order to learn the art of tarot while staying true to your beliefs.
Here’s an article that talks more about taro and religion: “Are Tarot Cards Religious?“
Well what if I’m ______?
There are other barriers that someone might face when wanting to learn tarot, but those can be overcome too.
What if I can’t read well enough to understand the instructional booklet that came with my deck? Sometimes you only have access to tarot resources in a language you aren’t fully confident with.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t read tarot. If a child who has not learned to read at all yet can learn about tarot, an adult can’t be stopped either.
Your local metaphysical shop will most likely be able to point you toward a mentor who can help you learn to read your cards. There are also many YouTube channels out there that are dedicated to teaching viewers how to read tarot cards.
What if I’m blind? Not being able to see the art on your cards doesn’t mean you can’t be a card reader. There are actually tarot card decks out there that have been specially printed in braille for those who are blind or visually impaired.
And if you’re color blind and worried about missing out on the symbolism of the color on your cards, there are many decks out there that are intentionally designed in black and white, so color is not part of the equation.
What if I don’t live in a situation where I can own a physical deck? Some people, especially those who live with conservative family members may not be able to keep a tarot deck in the house. But that doesn’t mean they can’t learn to read tarot.
As with so many things these days, there’s an app for that! There are a number of free tarot apps available in the App Store and Google Play Store that are just as reliable as a physical deck.
These apps are also great options for people faced with a cost barrier preventing them from buying their first deck. With these free apps, the price is right and they can be easily hidden away from those who would not approve of you learning to read tarot.
Tarot readers come from all sorts of cultures, social classes, age groups, and belief systems. Anyone can read tarot cards as long as they have the one key thing: a genuine interest in learning the art of tarot reading.
Here’s an article that discusses this… “What culture are tarot cards from?“
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I’d love to hear about your experience. Please connect with me, after you’ve had a reading…
- What are the best questions to ask in a tarot reading?
- How to do a tarot reading on yourself
- How do I read tarot cards, a complete guide
- Are tarot readings on YouTube accurate?
- What’s the difference between the Major and Minor Arcana?
Recommended Items on Amazon
I’ve included a couple of items below that no tarot household should be without. First, the diffuser is a great way to add some essential oils to your environment. I love lavender and peppermint. (image below)
The Himalayan Salt Light, I love this in my room, it has a nice glow.
The Crystal Tree of Life. I have owned my tree for more than 10 years. It sits on my piano giving off good vibes.