Lately I have been getting asked how to get to know a new deck of tarot cards. There are many tricks to getting acquainted, so I'm going to share the things I like when I'm looking through my cards. There is of course no one way to do it right, but it always helps to have suggestions to get started from. These tricks work with or without a tarot diary. It’s up to you to personalize it to work for you.


Go through all of the cards in the deck and look at them. Do it over again but take a little longer to absorb the elements in it. Get to know them. When you’re done with that, take out the major arcana and keep the rest in the deck. Align the cards in a tableau, aligned in rows. Look through them; get familiar with them as a whole. Look for common themes or symbols, and arrange them in cloud piles. Switch them around to the ones that contrast one another the most. Try 1 with 11, 2 with 12 and 22. Compare and contrast your findings until you feel you have squeezed the juice out of them.


Place out the suit of Cups in a similar fashion and look over them again from Ace to King. Make a series of cloud piles and analyze the contained stories told. Look through similar symbols or insinuations. Tie certain cards to the court cards. Repeat this with the three remaining suits. Make cloud piles with all the aces. Compare them. Do this through Ace to King with all the suits present. Don’t you feel as though you have a better understanding of them now than when you started?

Now you can get experimental. Make a pile of all the cards with animals, women, men, and groups or couples. Draw connections from them and study them. Try the same with cards that can be at nighttime or day time. Make a final pile with cards in which you can’t tell which time it is. Play with them a little, make up your own categories.


Take out all the court cards. Look them through. Figure out the zodiac sign each one is intended to represent and stick to it, or look for the one who is most like you in terms of physique and behavior. Find the one that represents you, either by definition or intuition.

I saw myself in the black haired, fair skinned Queen of Swords right away. Lucky me, she just happened to embody the zodiac sign of Libra and my personality. She is a home run!

This one is a little more challenging. Take out all 22 major arcana cards and shuffle them. Fan them out while asking to know which card embodies you. Pick one. What did you get?

The very first time I tried this, I got The Moon. The rest is history.

In the first few or last few pages, make an index of every card from the Fool to the very last court card. Number every other page from 001 to however many the book allows you to have. Allowing two lines for each card in the index, write the number of the page you wrote about that card in. I like the idea of using red ink for romance, green for finance, purple for personal, and blue for reversals. Feel free to mix and match colors according to your own categories.

It makes your own experience a how-to book, which could in fact give you more personalized answers. Your initial impression could come to change in time as you keep employing this technique.

Write down your impressions of each card. Here are things for you to think about:

♡ Imagine yourself having a conversation with the people in the cards. What would their behavior be like? What do you think they would tell you?

♡ Do the characters in the cards interact with anything in another card? Is there a certain direction they are pointing in, or a gesture they share?

♡ Are the court carts facing one another or turning away from each other?

♡ What part of you is represented by the card that you just pulled?

Place the full deck over a table in rows. Shuffle it if you like or place it in chronologic order. Place a clear surface over the cards so that they won’t move over and so that the planchette can glide more easily. Mini tarot decks come in handy for this. Light some candles, meditate and prime your mind for the session. It helps to have a representative of each element present, healing crystals and non-distracting music in the background. Once you feel in your element, you are ready to begin.

Place the planchette over the board and move it in circles after you initiate the session. You are ready to ask questions once you feel it’s warmed up. Start asking questions and record the results or have somebody write down the card sequences for you. Pay attention to whether or not the planchette stops over a particular symbol or a card name.


  1. Wow, I definitely have to start an index in my journal, such a genius idea!