What do I do with my tarot cards?
What are tarot cards for anyway? Can they read the future? Or are they just telling you what you need to hear? And do you need to be magic to use them?
History says the tarot started out as a pack of cards in the 15th century, before evolving in to a method of divination and fortune-telling in the 18th century and beyond.
Everybody knows the cliche of the witch at the end of the pier, telling you about tall, dark and handsome strangers entering your life - some people say this is just spiritual guff, and others say the magic is real if you believe. Most tarot readers will tell you that the cards are just a channel for their intuition to receive messages (from spirit, or the universe or just the unconscious mind), and what you use this method of getting in touch with your sixth sense for is up to you. Reading for yourself, or reading for others. Reading for fun or reading professionally.
Modern tarot reading says: anyone can read tarot and you are probably best off starting reading for yourself. Tarot for self care, tarot for reflection, tarot for self-discovery - it's where it's at today. Besides, you better know yourself before you start dishing out advice to others, amiright?
If you are a complete beginner, you will need to start with a tarot deck whose imagery is (at least loosely) based on the traditional Rider Waite Smith tarot (such as Tarot by Caro here at The Wootique). Then you will need to get yourself a book which explains the cards meanings, some of the symbolism and gives you hints and tips about tuning into your intuition in order to tell a story with your cards and put it all together to create meaning. Books are good if you don't know how to lay the cards out or which order to read them (hint - you can make up your own spreads!) and they are also good for learning from others' experience. But ultimately, it's practice which makes a good tarot reader.
Two books I recommend for tarot beginners are Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova and Tarot for Your Self by Mary K Greer (a kind of workbook for personal development). Tarot is a fantastic resource whether as psychological self-help or magical tool. Try it for yourself and see.