Is It Bad To Do Your Own Tarot Reading?

Is it bad to do your own tarot reading

Tarot has evolved over many centuries. With a tool that is mysterious and tenured comes strong beliefs regarding its use. These guidelines have been passed down between tarot readers and have inevitably become a doctrine in the community. 

It is not harmful to read for yourself although it may not be effective for everyone. 

Reading for yourself can be a personal practice that incorporates meditation, learning, understanding, and healing. It can be used as an opportunity to bond with yourself or learn more about your cards. The possibilities are endless.

A common misconception that has been shared is that completing a reading for yourself is “bad” and can bring misfortune.

The media’s portrayal of the Tarot often reflects this; many believe that a Tarot reader is a mysterious figure in a dark room, sitting across from a curious patron who is looking to know their future.

This Tarot reader may be dressed in eclectic fabrics and colors and speaks in a raspy voice. Does this scene seem familiar? Is this truly the only viable way that you can read the Tarot or the only way you can receive a Tarot reading?

Luckily, Tarot readers do read for themselves. (Here’s an article I wrote ab out how to do your own tarot reading.) They sit on their beds arranging cards on their blankets before they sleep or pull a card for themselves while drinking their coffee in the morning.

In times where it is needed most, they go to a calm space and pull cards to learn more about themselves at that moment.

Before picking up your cards, there are some things to consider when determining if reading Tarot for yourself is right for you.

Before we delve into this topic further, I wanted to point you to the Related Articles Section at the bottom of this page. I’ve collected a number of articles that you should find interesting. Please make sure you check them out…

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Table of Contents

Things to consider when doing your own Tarot reading:

How objective are you able to interpret your reading?

When reviewing ourselves, our lives, and our emotions, it’s important to understand information that comes our way from a perspective that does not consider our biases.

For example; would completing a reading about your immediate romantic future following a difficult separation from a romantic partner allow you to see an outcome that is not rooted in negative emotions?

If you are currently angry with a loved one, will you read your cards openly enough to view all sides of a situation? I wrote an article about cleansing between readings, which can help you get centered before a reading.

There will always be some subjectivity when reading the Tarot, but this is especially so when reading cards for ourselves. Do your best to remain in a mindset that is open and consider things that are in your control to reduce bias and unhelpful reactions.

Things that are in your control can include the timing of when you complete your reading or your reading location (public space, home, coffee shop). 

Consider your current emotional state as well. How will your reading be impacted if you are feeling angry, guilty, or sad? I also wrote an article about when to use tarot cards, read that for more details.

Sometimes it’s nice to create a little oasis where you do your readings. You could purchase crystals or essential oils to include in your space and create nice energy to work with your tarot cards.

Check out these items available on Amazon.

7 Chakra Gift Box with Aromatherapy (I like this set, well priced and includes scents and crystals)

11 Crystals Box (this includes a box for keeping the crystals)

Pursonic 100% pure Essential Oils (a very reasonable price for what you get)

Everlasting Comfort Diffuser (If you are going to use essential oils, then you’re going to need a diffuser! I like this one, the price is good and you don’t need to constantly fill the reserve with oil. Check out pricing here.)

Urpower 300ml Essential Oil Diffuser (comes with 6 essential oils when you purchase. This is a little more expensive, but again the oils are included and receive excellent reviews. Check pricing here.)

Urpower (budget friendly) Essential Oil Diffuser (this version is more budget-friendly. Check pricing.)

What is your goal with completing your own reading?

The beauty of Tarot comes with the ability to use it in many ways. Although Tarot is often rooted in predicting future events, modern Tarot readers will often use it as a tool for self-reflection. Examples of readings with this goal in mind are general check-in spreads (mind, body, spirit) and daily card pulls.

Spreads that obtain information on two difficult choices and then present information on potential outcomes is another example of open and goal-oriented reading.

These types of spreads can be the most beneficial for a self-reading session as they may challenge any biases or emotions that are present. It can be an opportunity for reflection and seeing the big picture of a situation.

If you feel that doing your own reading is about getting a predictive answer fast, consider if reading for yourself will be the most accurate method of getting this information.

Like mentioned before, will your bias and emotions give you the most trustworthy response to your inquiry? Will you interpret a direct answer incorrectly? Is it worth seeking a reading from a trusted Tarot advisor?

Here are a couple of articles that review different spreads that you can use for various different readings:

How many times have you done a reading for yourself on the same topic?

Have you ever asked for advice from someone, and they felt that the answer was not quite right? Have you thought that this person may not “know” enough, and sought out someone else to discuss this with?

As a Tarot reader, pulling card after card or completing spread after spread about the same topic can dilute the message your cards may be trying to send. If you do not understand the message your cards have given you the first time, spend some time pondering why your reading is not clear.

Instead of digging further into any confusion, try pulling clarifying one of two clarifying cards or seek support from trusted people/communities.

Keep in mind that it’s okay (in fact encouraged!) to do a refresher reading about the same topic later on. The future is not static, and circumstances change based on the information we gain. The frequency of readings about the same topic is very subjective to what feels right to the reader.

Ask yourself; has there been a change in my thoughts lately? Have I learned new information that might indicate a change in outcome?

Are you using a new or unfamiliar deck?

For many Tarot readers, Tarot decks are companions. Each deck brings a story of knowledge and inspiration through each of its cards.

The symbolism and energy from each deck vary, which can ultimately impact a reader’s interpretation of a deck. Is it easy to ask a stranger for advice on a personal matter?

Consider this question as it applies to a Tarot deck. If you have a new or unfamiliar Tarot deck, are you able to understand messages and symbols that are specific to that deck?

Are the specific decks you own that are more helpful than others for certain topics? Before exploring a reading for yourself, take some time to explore your deck of choice.

Here are 2 other articles that I wrote that could help here:

Tips for Reading for Yourself

After considering the questions above regarding if reading Tarot for yourself if right for you, get ready to read!

Sometimes, we might not have all the answers at that moment, but here are a couple of tips to use to explore further and to better understand your cards.

Journal your reading to review later

The answer, support, or advice from your cards may not be apparent immediately after laying them down. Just like any new information that may arise, it may be beneficial to process it before coming to a conclusion.

There are many ways to process a confusing reading. Feel free to take a photo of your cards, draw them on paper, or write them down in a journal. This can also be helpful if you complete a reading later on about the same topic.

Write down things such as your emotions with the topic, emotions emphasized by the cards, worries.

Spend some time considering the traditional meaning of the cards, as well as any intuitive thoughts of what the cards may be trying to explain. When you are ready, review these cards again and determine if you have learned anything from this spread.

If this does not work, do not fret! The answer may not be available to present itself at this time.

There are several journals that you can buy online that you can use for your Tarot journey:

Seek more information about the cards from the reading through other resources

With a long and extended history for Tarot also comes a rich assortment of resources! There are many books, documentaries, and websites that discuss various aspects of Tarot such as history, card meanings, and symbols to be aware of.

If you are finding it difficult to read a specific card regarding your situation, use this opportunity to learn more. Perhaps there is another element of the card that you have not considered before.

Also, with the spread of information through the internet, connecting with a Tarot community is much easier than ever. Share your reading and questions with others passionate about Tarot and you may discover more information about your current reading.

Reach out to experts and beginners alike to gain new perspectives.


The unfortunate part about the sharing of unofficial Tarot guidelines is that new readers become fixated on the do(s) and don’t(s) and the should(s) and shouldn’t(s). This prevents those that are interested in exploring the Tarot to stay hesitant and afraid. 

The extremely unfortunate aspect is that there are no rules or governing body over tarot, and there is no right or wrong answer for many of the practices done. This leads to freedom and open interpretation, but no clear instructions.

Overall, the set of rules to follow in your Tarot practice is a personal choice. Do not feel restricted with the messages you have heard, read, or seen regarding Tarot if you feel that a certain aspect of Tarot is right for you.

Feel free to read your cards and look inside yourself! You might be surprised by what you find out.

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