How to Do a Reading Without Tarot Cards


How to do a reading without tarot cards

Curious to find out more about giving readings without using a deck of tarot cards? Many readers get into different branches of the craft in all sorts of exciting ways.

After a while it can feel like you are using the cards more than you wish to – and you may want to set your cards aside now and then to try other methods. How to do a reading without tarot cards?

In this guide for doing a reading without tarot cards, we’ll cover the following:

  1. Using your intuition
  2. Grounding and meditation
  3. Aura readings
  4. Palm readings
  5. The power of touch
  6. Pendulums
  7. Crystals
  8. Crystal ball
  9. Tea leaves, coffee grounds or wine sediment
  10. Astrology and numerology
  11. Observation and listening
  12. Essential oils
  13. A regular deck of playing cards
  14. Using tarot just as a guide

Don’t be afraid to leave the cards behind, and let’s learn about the many ways you can expand yourself and the services you offer. This guide proves that there is so much more to readings than just using your deck of tarot cards!

Before we get into the details, I want to point you to the Related Articles section at the bottom of this post. I’ve listed a number of articles that you will find interesting. Check them out when you are finished reading these tarot reading strategies (without tarot cards).

How to Do a Reading Without Tarot Cards

1. Using Your Intuition

Getting yourself in the right frame of mind and really closing off any noise or distraction will help you get in touch with your intuition. The point of getting in the zone is that intuition is all about listening to your instinct and trusting what you already know.

What does intuition have to do with giving a reading? Pretty much everything. Also commonly referred to as your sixth sense, intuition can literally guide you from the beginning to the end of a reading session.

For some, their intuition speaks loudly, clearly, and without having to focus or practice. But, for the rest of us we must work at it constantly if we have hopes of sharpening this skill.

2. Meditation

How do you prepare for giving a reading? Do you have a ritual or something specific to get you ready and open? Grounding yourself and meditating can help to enhance your reading and also help protect yourself during the session.

For reading without cards, meditation can help you sharpen your intuition by freeing you from distraction and making you acutely aware of the person in front of you.

Since so many people struggle with the idea of meditating, guided meditations are often seen as a good source for beginners. Guided meditation is helpful because a gentle voice leads you to avoid distraction and reach places you may not be able to get to on your own.

While you are in meditation mode, be sure to take measures to protect your energy from transference and counter-transference, which is the unhealthy exchange of energy between you and your client.

I personally love guided meditations. You can download a nice one here, free guided meditiation mp3.

3. Aura Readings

What is an aura? Some will be familiar with aura readings, but others will have no idea what it means. Steps for learning the basics of aura readings work best with a partner.

  • Have your partner sit in front of a white or lightly colored wall.
  • Focus on one area of their being but look past that.
  • Imagine the aura like steam coming off of their body.
  • Take a few deep breaths and calmly observe.
  • You’re looking for a glow-like light around their physical body.

When it comes to translating the colors of the aura you’re seeing, there can be an explanation for 10 different shades of each color, then branching off into even more detail by describing what different color combinations mean.

Here are the basics of the aura color wheel:

  COLOR MEANING
Blue Trusting, Calm, Smart, Powerful
Pink Tender, Sensitive, Caring, Sympathetic
Purple Creative, Sad, Mysterious, Luxurious
Red Love, Passion, Anger
Green Envious, Jealous, Balanced
Yellow Cheerful, Warm, Energetic, Enthusiastic
Orange Happy, Healthy, Wealthy
Black Bold, Strength, Powerful, Evil

4. Palm Readings

Broaden your menu of services offered by learning the art palm readings. Perform an entire session without once thinking about reaching for that deck of tarot cards! The art of palm reading is known as palmistry or chiromancy and has been practiced for thousands of years.

When studying palmistry, you will learn how intricate the art is. Each line, the length, the placement and connection with other lines all have specific meanings. Also, which hand you are reading makes a difference. Ideally you will give full reading which of course includes both palms.

But it is believed that for a female, you should start the reading off with her right hand. This is believed to be the hand she was born with, and her left is the one she gained during life. The opposite is thought to be true for a man. Start his reading on his left hand and then move to the right.

Your palm lines will change with age, so if you had a palm reading done years ago, your outcome could be slightly different from what it once was. And, since the lines change, it is thought that palm readings may only be accurate in predicting the future, and not so accurate in telling your past.

I’ve also written an article that reviews the differences between palm reading and tarot, read that here, “Tarot cards vs. Palm reading.  What’s the difference?

5. The Power of Touch

Touch is more powerful than most of us would like to believe. Many societies are under touched, meaning we have lost touch with each other, and ourselves. A connection can be made between two people with the gentle touch of a hand.

Combining the art of using your intuition and touch can bring clarity and answers to a session. You might begin the session by turning your palms upright on a table and instructing your client to place their hands on top of yours. This approach makes them feel comfortable and lets them move at their own pace.

Reaching out for them without warning may shock, scare or startle them, And have a negative effect on their energy, mood, and attitude about the remainder of the session. You must gain the client’s trust, and that begins with explaining how the process will go and having them be aware of what you are doing.

6. Pendulums

Pendulums are basic in design but very powerful in effect. They are popular with all types of mediums and body-workers, as well as the average person just looking for answers for their life. A weight or crystal, precious stone, wood or metal hangs from a chain or rope, which gives it the ability to swing freely.

When you’re ready to use your pendulum, you will begin by deciding which direction of the swing means no and which one means yes. Your answers don’t have to be such a straightforward answer as a yes or no, but that is the general idea. When it swings around in a circle in the center, it can be interpreted as a maybe.

  • Once you have your directions designated, the interesting stuff can start.
  • Hold it from the top of the chain or rope; this will allow it to swing.
  • Now you or your client ask a question, either verbally or ask without speaking.
  • Closing your eyes during this first step helps you shut out any distractions in the room.
  • Hold your hand as steady as possible; any move you make will influence the pendulum, and you won’t get a true response.
  • When you feel it start to move, see which way it’s swaying. North to south? Or is it swinging west to east?

The practice of using a pendulum goes beyond a basic yes, no, or maybe. Depending on the speed of the movements and direction of the spin or swing, how much friction or drag and how freely it swings – these will all affect your interpretation of the movement.

Pendulums can be used for giving readings as well as healing, raising your energy, and use as a pre-reading ritual. Be sure to clean the pendulum after each use. You can mentally clear it, or you can physically clean it by rinsing with cold water and placing in sea salt after it’s completely dry.

7. Crystals

Ah, crystals. A psychic’s best friend. Chances are that you already have a few, if not an entire collection. Once you start buying crystals, it is hard to stop.

As for what crystals are best for psychics, mediums, and card readers the answers may vary depending on at what stage of your craft you are at.

Are you a novice reader? Just getting started with readings and crystals is all very exciting and new to you, still. So, let’s look at the crystals that may help you grow. Depending on the stone, and on you.

You may wish to wear it on your body, use it in a self-care ritual, or use it during your sessions.

  • Amethyst-One of the most well-known crystals, Amethyst is used for awakening psychic abilities and opening your third eye and clear your crown chakra. An amethyst mat is worth looking into if you’re a beginner. Though it may be a bit pricey, definitely worth the investment as it will be
  • Quartz- Another popular crystal is the quartz. There are many varieties of quartz in the world, but clear quartz is especially beneficial to beginners. This crystal is very helpful when you are trying to receive messages. Also bringing clarity to your life and help you to hear your messages more clearly.
  • Moonstone-Newbies often struggle with energy and developing their sensitivity to it. Moonstone helps enhance your natural intuition, therefore heightening your awareness of the energy all around you. Most effective when worn, moonstone can bring you vivid dreams, as well. Make it into a charm, bracelet, or ring!
  • Tiger’s Eye-When it comes to giving readings for others, integrity is a must. You are dealing with people’s lives and futures, so you should have sound values and be honest. Tiger’s eye will aid you in finding the balance and courage to take action when necessary.
  • Black Onyx-The The final stone suggestion we have for you is one for protection. When working with energies and readings, protecting your energy is absolutely vital. Combined with setting your intentions, grounding, and meditating black onyx can provide you with a barrier from transference of negative energy.

Caring for Crystals

Though there are many options when it comes to purchasing your first crystal, these suggestions are the top-ranked amongst your peers. Once you have purchased your new crystals, be sure to take care of them properly.

  • It is suggested to cleanse them with good energy and sea salt.
  • Charging your crystals is important for keeping them at their best. Setting them out in the warm sunlight, or under a full moon gives them a full charge straight from nature. (cleanse before charging for best results)

How to Perform a Cleanse

Treating your crystals to an extra cleanse clears the room and your energy, too! Sage is, of course, the most popular to burn for cleansing. Also, Palo Santo and Frankincense are powerful cleaners.

  • Simply light the end of your smudging stick and draw infinity (figure 8) in the air all over the area you wish to clean.
  • While you’re using it, you can chant or simply say a cleansing affirmation.
  • Once you feel that the cleanse is complete, replenish the good energy in the room with a Nag Champa incense and a positive affirmation.

8. Crystal Ball

A crystal ball is known as an orbuculum, and the art of using it is called gazing or scrying. When people think about going to a psychic or to have a reading, they may think of the classic crystal ball. For a good reason.

Even though they may not be used as often as they once were, using a crystal ball while giving a reading is a good tool to have in your professional toolbox. Plus, it looks super cool!

The crystal balls that are sold in stores or online are gorgeous and well made. But, did you know that you can turn any of your spherical shaped crystals into your very own custom crystal ball?

I personally love Esty to source these, check pricing for Crystal Balls here.

Making Your Own Crystal Ball

Through an easy process, you can take that round crystal you’ve had for years, and start practicing telling fortunes with it.

  • Cleanse before beginning.
  • Start with your ball in a stand while you set your intentions.
  • Next take the ball in your hands and allow it to soak up your energy for a few minutes.
  • When you feel that enough time has passed, place the ball back onto the stand and let it rest before attempting to use it in a session.

Just as you would with any other crystal, give your crystal ball a thorough cleanse before and after each session. Also set it out in the sunlight to recharge, or under a full moon.

9. Tea Leaves, Coffee Grounds and Wine Sediment.

A fortune-telling method that became popular in the 1800s in Europe was reading tea leaves done by traveling gypsies. The reading of tea leaves, coffee grounds or tea sediment is known as Tassology or Tasseography.

 It remains popular in European countries, either by a paid reader or by your older relatives around the dinner table. But there’s no reason we can’t bring back Tassology all across the globe.

Tea leaves- Using a loose-leaf tea, brew and sip while thinking about nothing but the question at hand. When the tea is almost gone, you will swirl the cup and start the reading with the handle. The placement of things and images the leaves leave behind all have different interpretations.

Coffee grounds- Best when you use a thick coffee that leaves sediment behind, such a Greek or Turkish coffee. When you or your client is finished with their java, allow sediment to settle. Tip cup over and the answer will be there in the sediment, and the cup itself.

Wine sediment- Known as the crystallization of tartaric acids, wine sediments may be perfectly safe to ingest. But, are much more fun when you use them to give a reading. Red wines tend to have more sediment than white, but either can be used. Tip the glass over when the wine is gone (definitely not before!) and read the future in the grape sludge.

10. Astrology and Numerology

Often times, going hand in hand with giving readings is knowledge of astrology and numerology. They will often be used in a tarot session as a guide, or to further learn about your client. But if you are not familiar with it:

Astrology- Known as a pseudoscience, astrology translates to star-divination. As basic as astrology signs, and as complex as birth charts. The study of astrology has been around for thousands of years, so there is a lot to learn.

Read how Tarot and Astrology are related in this article: How is astrology and tarot related?

Numerology- Numerology is the relation of numbers to patterns and events, to put it quite simply. Often combined with astrology, numerology also associates words with numbers.  We can help our clients see their future in their numerology charts.

When you are first getting into astrology and numerology, it may feel overwhelming due to the amount of information and sometimes complicated charts they use.

Take it one step at a time and have fun with it. If you can find yourself an experienced mentor, that is the best way to learn these arts. 

Here are a couple of articles that provide more details about Astrology:

11. Just Listen and Observe

One of the biggest factors in any occult or psychic practice is communication. Listening and observing are such a large part of communication. While in session with a client, they may be telling you things you may not hear if you aren’t giving them your undivided attention.

In addition to what they are saying, their body language may be telling another story. Pay close attention to their posture and facial expressions. Take a closer look at their hands. Are they still? Or, are they moving around helping to tell a story?

Perhaps they are showing signs of emotion through their hands. Tightly grasped fists or folded hands with white knuckles can tell you something about them and how they are feeling. Check in with them, ask them if they are ok.

Now, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? How is this client making you feel? During a session, you must try to stay in tune with the energy in the room.

12. Essential Oils

Essential oils are the extract of plants used for a wide variety of purposes. Good for everything, from cleaning your kitchen counters to curing your dandruff. If you aren’t well versed in essential oils and their benefits, be warned: there is a lot to learn. Listed below is a good list for starting off.

Each essential oil on the list below has a property that is beneficial to readings. (And there are plenty more to learn about.)

Sage – Of course sage is first on the list. We love sage! Best known for its cleansing properties, sage is great for clearing energy before and after a session. Either spray it around the room or use for personal energy cleansing.

Cedarwood – For those that don’t care for sage, cedarwood is the next best thing for cleansing energy. Deep and musky, this will push out all the negative and stale energy.

Lemon –  Sharp and citrusy, lemon oil will help to wake up, priming you for giving a great reading. Use it to open your mind and all of your senses.

Rosemary – Perfect for awakening the third eye, rosemary will also assist in cleansing energy. Herb smells are comforting as well as refreshing.

Peppermint – Just before starting a session. Dab a bit of peppermint to your wrists. This will help you concentrate on the client and their energy. It will also help you communicate better, resulting in a more thorough and clearer reading.

When working with essential oils, you must be careful to read labels. Some oils cannot be placed directly on the skin; they must be diluted in a carrier oil. And, also be aware of your client’s sensitivities to smells. These oils can be strong and offensive to some.

13.  A Deck of Playing Cards

To some, it may seem like a joke, but ask any psychic or card reader that has been in the business for a while, and I’m sure they have heard of it or have done it.

Giving a tarot reading with an ordinary deck of playing cards is referred to as Cartomancy.

Using the 52 standard cards, without jokers. Your suits will match up to a tarot deck as follows:

  • Hearts = Cups / Emotion
  • Spades = Swords / Communication
  • Diamonds = Pentacles / Wealth
  • Clubs = Wands / Creativity

The numbered and face cards will also of course match up with a reference guide:

  • Ace – Opportunity (future or  missed)
  • TwoBalance
  • Three – Loss
  • Four – Stability
  • Five – Anger
  • Six – Patterns
  • Seven – Stability
  • Eight – Harmony
  • Nine – Growth
  • Ten – Closure
  • J – Youth
  • Q – Emotion
  • K – Control

There are plenty of different spreads and possibilities for playing card reading. Have fun learning all about it!

I’ve also written a couple of article about the Minor Arcana. This will also give you some insight into card meanings for the numbers and suits:

14. Using the Cards as a Guide

Just because your ultimate goal is to give a quality tarot reading without using a deck of tarot cards, doesn’t mean that you can’t use them as a guide. You need to know your cards well, however.

When giving a cardless reading, you can envision the cards as you are going along. Close your eyes to be able to more clearly which card is “drawn” or which ones are beginning to appear to you.

You can pull whatever spread you feel is right for the session. Instruct your clients to focus on their queries as you are mentally pulling their cards. Communication is very important while giving a reading like this.

Take a Tarot or Psychic Reading Course

Although you may think that a tarot card reader is born with their abilities, no one comes out of the womb knowing everything there is to know about tarot. Even though many readers do naturally have vision normal everyday folks don’t have.

If you are interested in getting instruction on giving better readings, learning the history of tarot, or simply enjoy taking classes and expanding your knowledge, taking a course could be a good fit for you.

You may want to look for training to be an “intuitive consultant,” “tarot consultant,” or “spiritual advisor.” The word “psychic” in an online search is likely to turn up a lot of information you’re not looking for!

Whether the courses are online or in person, do your research to make sure the source is reputable, experienced and trustworthy. When learning about psychic readings, you want to be able to trust your instructor

Practice Makes Perfect

Want to have the ability to give a quality and thorough card reading without a deck of cards? What better way to do that than by practicing? Put all of the aforementioned tips into play to grow and sharpen your skillset.

Cleanse the room with a sage bundle, and don’t forget to swipe it over your energy field. Next, meditate, ground and set your intentions. Perhaps light some Nag Champa or spray some essential oils around the room.

Use whatever methods and tools you wish to bring your client the desired reading. Mix it up and use a little of each. Make it special; make it your own.

You can practice on yourself, or with family and close friends until you are ready to offer it to your clients.

Just make sure that you are confident and knowledgeable enough to provide your clients with explanations of what you are doing.

Free Online Tarot Reading

If you are interested in getting a quick reading, this website will provide you with a couple of free options:

I’ve also set up a Coupon Code with a different website that will offer Free Readings. Use this code “VEKKE50” for a free reading and receive 15% off subsequent purchases with the same coupon code.

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I also love having my White Sound Machine and my Asakuki Diffuser running in my living room. Sometimes I will choose the sound of rain or the ocean or even thunder. It depends on my mood.

I’ll fill the diffuser with lavender or peppermint. With the thunder in the background and the smell of peppermint, it’s like being whisked away to a far away place!

I really love the Himalayan salt Lamp and my Crystal Tree of Life. I have them in my office and they create a “zen” feel for me while I’m working.

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