Are you a Tarot beginner? Start here!

Learning Tarot can be an overwhelming experience. So many decks and books to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. If you are feeling in need of a little guidance, I made this video just for you!

6 Steps to Learn Tarot:

Step 1: Get a Tarot deck.

rider-waite-smith-tarotI recommend The Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Read my detailed review right here.
My favorite version of this deck is the Universal Waite Tarot (check it out on Amazon).



Step 2: Get a good Tarot book.

I love A Magical Course in Tarot by Michele Morgan and Learning the Tarot by Joan Bunning. Both books are excellent resources that you will want to have in your library!

learning the tarotmagical-course





For more information about what Tarot decks and Tarot books to get, check out my article Best Tarot Decks & Books for Beginners.


Step 3: Don’t get overwhelmed!

Learning Tarot is like peeling an onion – there are many layers. No matter how much you think you know about Tarot, you can always learn more. So don’t attempt to learn everything all at once. Pace yourself, relax and have fun with it!


Step 4: Download my free audio tutorial

free download banner 2
In this 16 minute guided exploration, I will walk you through all the steps of giving yourself an intuitive one-card Tarot or Oracle card reading.

Go here to get your free download 🙂


Step 5: Make your very own Tarot journal!

tarot-journalAll you need is a blank notebook, some colored pens and maybe some stickers if your into that sort of thing.

Your Tarot journal is your space to write about each Tarot card – what you think it means, any impressions you get, keywords, etc. Or, you can take a more specific approach to Tarot journalling and write about particular topics, as I suggest right here.

Check out my article Make Your Own Tarot Journal…And Boost Your Tarot Reading Skills for some ideas on Tarot journalling.


Step 6: Learn the Tarot card meanings

Learning the meanings of the 78 cards in your Tarot deck will be lots of fun when you use my 7 Tips for Learning Tarot Card Meanings.

Grab your “Tarot Cheat-sheet” right here. This list of all the Tarot card meanings will be handy to have on hand as you learn Tarot!

You may find that learning the Court Cards is harder than you thought. If you struggle with this, have a peek at my article & video: Learn the Tarot Court Cards Once and for All!


Further study:

buddhaHow to Read a Tarot Card with Intuition
Learn how to develop your intuition and how to use it to interpret a Tarot card.

3 Ways to Connect with Your Deck
Your Tarot readings will improve dramatically once you feel a true bond with your cards. This exercise is a must-do whenever you get a new deck!


I want to hear from you! If you are a Tarot beginner, what do you find is your biggest challenge in learning Tarot? If you have been reading Tarot a while, what helped you the most when you were first learning? And what advice do you have for beginners? Tell me in the comment section below 🙂



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55 Responses to Are you a Tarot beginner? Start here!

  1. William Dollarhide says:

    Thank you for your great videos and information. I have always had “abilities”. But, I have just obtained my first Tarot deck and feel good about it. I think it will give me a structure to work within. Your positive energy just makes me feel even better about the whole thing.

  2. jennifer seybert says:

    i have always been abie to feel things about people,than the norm.,born on friday the 13th my powers are real, today i just opened my tarot cards i,,,i know nothing about them ,but touching them..wlow..i feelvery peaceful and this is where i belong,,,im home i;ve landed in my true world just now..cant wait

  3. Serenity Kay Lynn says:

    Hello! I don’t really know how to explain this but I have a hard time feeling things? Like i have a passion to do it i just have a hard time connecting to things. This goes for feeling the energy of objects and feeling a connection to a tarot deck. How do i fix this?

    • Kate says:

      This can be hard, I know. Were you a really sensitive child? If you were, you may have shut off your sensitivity to things around age 12ish to protect yourself because the experience was overwhelming. This is common for a lot of us who feel drawn to develop our intuition again. If this is the case, just keep practicing the intuition exercises (if you don’t have any to practice, there are plenty of good books out there like Shakti Gawain’s book on intuition and Sonia Choquette’s book The Psychic Pathway). Tell yourself each day that it is safe for you to open up your intuition and imagine yourself connecting to things and how that will feel. That is the first step 🙂 Good luck!


  4. Jonathan says:

    Hey Kate!
    Just wanted to say that I just started to watch a video of yours, actually pushed play and watched 5 seconds worth. I had to stop to look for a way to talk to you cause I swear your energy feels familiar, like I know you from a past life or something.
    I’ll continue watching and learning, but just had to say this.
    Love and Light hun <3


  5. Polly says:

    Hi Kate! What’s your opinion about a first deck for a beginner? I got the Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck for my birthday but don’t ‘feel’ very much for it (I’m guessing it doesn’t appeal to the designer part of me), however I’m very draw to The Prisma Visions deck. Should I give the Rider Waite a chance till it grows on me or follow my heart’s desire (haha)

    • Kate says:

      Hi Polly,
      The Prisma Visions Tarot looks wonderful, but it might be a tricky deck to learn on. Here’s my advice – get both. I never really loved the Rider deck either, but it is the best to learn with. If you can learn the Rider waite deck, you will be able to read with most other decks. But it’s nice to have a deck that you just love and connect with, so personally I would get both decks (this is what I ended up doing when I first started).
      Good luck!

  6. Damien says:

    Hello Ms. Kate! I’ve recently gotten into tarot and I found your videos on Youtube, and they’ve been really great to watch! I’m going to have to read your blog too now!

    Tarot really interests me, and I think it has for a while, but I only got my first deck a few months ago and didn’t really try it out until very recently. It’s the Radiant Rider-Waite deck, and I like it a lot! I have since gotten the Da Vinci Tarot and the Hanson-Roberts Tarot, but the Hanson-Roberts deck doesn’t seem to like me very much. Thank you for sharing your book recommendations – those will be really helpful. I have put off buying books because I don’t know which ones would be most useful. I’ve never been spiritual, however, and I’m finding it difficult to connect with any of the decks I have. If any, I seem to have a negative connection with my Hanson-Roberts deck, and I don’t know why. I usually use my Radiant Rider-Waite deck though. It feels the best to me. I worry, however, about if I’m really cut out for it or not, and if the people around me will judge me for practicing such an art…

    Regardless, I thank you again for your blog posts and videos! You’ve been very helpful to me already and to other people too, it seems, and I anticipate reading/watching more from you!

    • Kate says:

      Welcome, Damien!
      Thanks so much for leaving a comment and letting me know that you’ve been enjoying my stuff 🙂
      I have some decks that just don’t really work for me, too. I find that if I just tuck it away for a few months, then bring it out later and do some clearing/connecting exercises with it, it will start working better again.
      You don’t need to be “spiritual” to learn Tarot or be a good reader, although for me (and I wasn’t really spiritual either when i first picked up the cards) the practice of studying Tarot ignites an interest in spiritual concepts and life purpose.
      Please don’t let the fear of what others think put you off of studying Tarot. People that think Tarot is evil or bad usually don’t know much about it anyway! And there’s no reason why you have to tell everyone you’re learning Tarot – it can be a private activity that you do in secret, which makes it all the more mysterious and clandestine! LOL!
      Good luck 🙂

  7. Rebecca says:

    Hey Kate!

    The other day my sister took me to get my first tarot reading. I went with no expectations, and ended up crying! I’m not usually an emotional person – at all!

    I bought my own tarot set, which was Arthurian tarot because I’ve always loved the stories and legends behind King Arthur. I felt like the deck interested me more than others. You mentioned that beginners should start with the Waite so I was a bit worried, but I did buy that book by Michelle Morgan. I can already tell its going to be a good read.

    Anyway, thank you for your youtube channel and this blog! You seem very happy and approachable and I look forward to exploring your content more!

    • Kate says:

      Welcome, Rebecca! The Arthurian Tarot is great – I don’t think you need to worry at all. You made a good choice. I always recommend the Rider Waite because it is the most simple, imagery wise to learn with, but if you find a deck that interests you, by all means learn on that deck!
      I hope you find my site helpful as you start your Tarot journey 🙂

  8. sheena says:

    Hi Kate,

    I am so happy I stumbled upon your site!
    I am new to tarot although I have always been very fascinated for a long time. I don’t think I had the patience to learn before but now I feel its time!. I have purchased me Oracle Cards called the Enchanted Map by Colette Baron-reid. I did also purchase a Tarot deck but they are at home right now and I do have my Enchanted MAP Oracle Cards with me.
    I am wanting to know if I am able to ask my deck the same questions you said to ask the Tarot deck? i.e what kind of deck are you. WHat card sums up your personality? etc those questions…
    If they are not suitable for this deck – could you maybe throw some questions my way that are appropriate because I really feel I need to get to know my deck.

    Thank you for your website – I have subscribed and I feel I will be back here quite regularly 🙂


    • Kate says:

      Welcome, Sheena! I’m glad you found me 🙂 Yes, you can ask all those questions of your oracle deck – it works the same as Tarot. Good luck!!!

  9. Ben says:

    Hi Kate, I am new to tarot and a friend got me Your guide to Tarot by Janet Berres along with the universal deck I am trying to read through the book now is some what confusing as I have never had a reading or anything any help would be appreciated love the website. Thanks

  10. Anthony says:

    I want to learn the craft and I feel tarot may be able to help me out
    Also what are your thoughts on the Aquarian tarot deck I think this deck may be perfect for me because well I’m an Aquarius although I’m far off from being a novice at tarot because I know nothing only what i saw on your YouTube video on the 6 steps what do you think? Also I have yet to purchase a tarot deck

    • Kate says:

      Hi Anthony,
      The Aquarian Tarot looks lovely – I don’t have it but it’s one of those decks I plan to get eventually.
      Good luck with your Tarot studies and I hope you find my site helpful 🙂


  11. Patty says:

    Hi Kate, I purchased a deck of tarot cards as I have always felt that I have an intuitive sense and thought that this may be a new beginning. While I was out I had a reader touch me and say one word about me. I believe that we had a connection. Your web site is very helpful. I thank you.

    • Kate says:

      Thanks Patty, glad your enjoying my site! And that’s wonderful that your answering your intuitive calling and starting to explore the world of Tarot!

  12. GL Anderson says:


    How do feel about going to a “pyschic” who reads Tarot cards for a fee? Some are no doubt unethical? How can I know where to go?

    GL Anderson

  13. Jessie says:

    Hey Katy,
    I just watched your beginner guide for tarot reading on YouTube and you absolutely right it can be overwhelming, but I’ve always had a open mind for everything and your video helped me alot. I’ve recently been doing readings on my friends and I use my intuition and most times there seems to be a connection with the reader but I’m so confused because if I where to look up the meaning of the card on a book it would mean something different.
    Basically my question is should keep doing what I’m doing and use my intuition or should I go by the “manual”
    Thanks very much (hope to get a reply)
    Jess x

    • Kate says:

      Jessie, that’s a great question! What does it mean if your intuition differs from the book meaning of the card and which interpretation should you go with – your own, or the book’s? I feel that the cards were designed to allow us to access our intuition. The book meanings are there if we get stuck. So I would put my intuitive interpretation ahead of my Tarot books interpretation. Remember, you know the context of the reading, the book doesn’t. But if your intuition is totally different from the book definition, spend a moment feeling out both interpretations and see which one feels right. Sometimes by considering the book meaning, you will get some additional insights. But sometimes it just won’t fit at all, in which case you can discard it and go with your intuition if that is what makes the most sense for you. Hope that answers your question!

  14. Lineke says:

    Dear Kate,
    I’ve just been looking around on the internet researching tarot today and I finally found your video and so your site. I loved the video, it was very informative, but I’m still very unsure about what starter deck I shoudl buy. I’ve known about tarot for a while but I haven’t really been interested in actually trying it out until I read The Night Circus. I feel I’m looking for a deck with very minimalistic imagery. For example, I’ve found the The Wild Unknown deck, which the writer of The Night Circus recommended as a deck that has the same feeling as the one used in her book. I immediately fell in love with it, but apparently it deviates from the usual imagery and symbolism and a lot of resources tell me that it may not be a good idea to start out with a deck like that.

    In your video you recommended the Universal Waite Tarot, but that one doesn’t resonate with me at all. I’ve also looked at some other decks like the Druidcraft Tarot and the Wildwood Tarot, which I like better, but still don’t feel that much attraction to.

    I was wondering if you have any insights for a more minimalistic, non-“busy” starter deck, preferably with more nature based imagery?

    Thank you for your time 🙂

    • Taya says:

      Hi Lineke!

      I’m a beginner just as you are, and my interest in the tarot began after treading the tarot as well! I have purchased the Wild Wood Tarot and so far, I am immensely pleased with it. The imagery is beautiful and quite magical, though perhaps not quite as simplistic as you would like. I find it easy to relate to and it also comes with a relatively large book with easy instructions that really simplify reading the cards.

      All my best,

    • Kate says:

      Hi Lineke!
      That’s great you’re just getting into Tarot 🙂
      It’s funny you mention The Night Circus – that book just came in at the library for me. After hearing it mentioned so much I figured I should read it.
      Check out the Tarot of the Old Path – you might like it. Another deck to check out is the Morgan Greer Tarot. But if those other decks don’t resonate with you and the Wild Unknown deck really does, then f*&* it! Just get the Wild Unknown deck. It might take you longer to learn, but if you prefer those cards, then you’re more likely to study them.
      Good luck and let me know what deck you decide on 🙂


  15. Shelby says:

    Hi! So I just stumbled across your website while doing some research for a little thing that I’m writing. I’m very interested in tarot and thought it would be a cool thing to include. Lately I’ve found myself wanting to learn to read them. I tend to be a very literal person and I was wondering if you had any suggestions that might help me to relax a little more and learn to listen intuition rather than literal meaning and things that can be proven. Could being too literal make it harder for me to learn to read tarot?

    • Kate says:

      Hi Shelby,
      That’s so exciting that you want to learn Tarot – don’t worry, being a “literal” person won’t be a problem. I was kind of like this at first, too and I got over it. I recommend that you get my free audio tutorial on how to read a Tarot card with intuition: It will walk you through how to tap into your intuition and read the card in your own way, regardless of what the book meaning of that card is.
      Hope that helps you!

  16. Temple says:

    Omg.. This seems like its gunna b hard to learn.. I hope not.. Am excited though

    • Kate says:

      It’s not hard if you take it slow and relax. If you try to master the Tarot in a few weeks, then yes, it’s hard. But just be patient and take it one step at a time and you’ll be doing readings before you know it 🙂

  17. Bridgette says:

    Hi Kate! I really love how you approach guiding beginners. It’s helped! I just have one concern. I noticed that you suggested the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Recently, a friend of mine, knowing my intuition, gifted me with a Shadowscapes Tarot deck. Do you feel this will be too complicated for a beginner such as myself?

    • Kate says:

      Hi Bridgette!
      The Shadowscapes is a beautiful deck, but it is a more “busy” deck which could make it more difficult to learn with. But if you really like this deck I would suggest trying to learn with it – if you find it too tricky then you can always get the Rider deck, otherwise you can stick with the Shadowscapes 🙂
      Good luck with your Tarot studies 🙂

  18. Samantha says:

    I am a newbie to the tarot reading. All of your website is very helpful. I just got my first deck if cards and I do believe I feel a connection when holding them if that makes any sense. I saw that some people ask questions to the deck to get more comfortable with the deck itsslf. Would you just pull a random card out to answer the question you ask the deck? Sorry if this is a silly questions. I also have your book recommendations coming through the mail. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Kate says:

      Hi Samantha – That’s great to hear you just got your first deck! Yes, you would just randomly pull any card out to answer your question. I am so thrilled to hear you bought those books I recommend – I think you will like them 🙂
      Best of luck on your Tarot journey,

  19. Samantha says:

    I am brand new to tarot and I’m trying to learn. The books you suggested are on their way, I bought them online. I do feel a connection to my deck. I got the deck you suggested as well. But to ask the deck questions I’m just confused . Do you just pick one card out of the deck as the answer ? Sorry for my silly questions. Do I start with a certain spread as a beginner ?

  20. maria says:

    I’m interested in learning to read Tarot but find it so difficult to understand. Please put me on your list.
    Thank you

  21. lex says:

    Hi Kate, I absolutely love what you have done for us new beginners. I’ve had the hardest time reasonating with a tarot deck and have watched almost all the reviews and more. I have the RW Universal and only a few cards resonate with me. I also bought Illuminati and it’s beautiful but can be too much for learning and hard to see what is actually happening. I like the 2 of swords you used from getting in touch with your intutation. What deck is this? Lastly, wondering if you might recommend of a deck for me as both are not easy whatsoever for reasons mentioned. My taste is mystic, deep (which I got the feeling looking at the 2 swords pic), colored so I can see, dreamy like, pretty and kind of whispers to you.

    I’m going to take your online course that I didn’t know before and looking forward to learning. I’m so grateful I found you online as your voice is so healing and helps me to get in touch with myself.

    Thank you again. I’m feeling so drawn to learning this as a way to go deeper…why do you think this is?


    • Kate says:

      Hi Lex and welcome 🙂
      I’m so glad you’ve found my site and it’s so good to hear that my teaching style is resonating with you!
      The 2 of Swords card in that video you mention is from the Druidcraft Tarot. I think you would love this deck – its very deep and mystical and has a wonderful pagan/druidy vibe to it. The cards are much larger than most decks, which makes it hard to shuffle, but easier to read from. If you get this deck, get the companion book too – its really good and definitely worth getting. Another deck you may like, which is by the same creators as the Druidcraft Tarot is the Wildwood Tarot.
      You asked why I think you are drawn to Tarot as a way of going deeper. Well, I think that Tarot is a tool we can use to go deeper with ourselves and explore who we are as mystical, spiritual beings. People are drawn to Tarot for a variety of different reasons, but lately I have noticed that it is those who crave a deeper understanding of things who are wanting to learn Tarot (which excites me so much, because that is the true purpose of Tarot – not some hokey fortune telling game, LOL!)
      So best of luck on your Tarot journeys – I hope you enjoy my e-course and let me know if you have any questions along the way 🙂


  22. BRENDA says:


  23. mich says:

    Hi, I saw you you tube video. And I bought my first box of tarot how to read the cards by Juliet Sharman, just want to know if this is good to start. A lot of my family is telling me not todo this because is bad, but it’s calling me, and I want todo it. I would like advice if it’s good. Thank you.

    • Kate says:

      Hi Mich,
      That’s wonderful your learning to read Tarot! Congrats 🙂
      I don’t know of the particular book/set you have, so I can’t say whether its good or not.
      However, don’t pay to much attention to what your family says. Tarot is not evil or bad or anything like that (in my opinion).
      You may want to check out an article I wrote on this topic of dealing with family and friends who think Tarot is freaky:
      Good luck 🙂

  24. Barbra says:

    What a great post, Kate! I think this guide will become very popular in the search engines.

  25. Jesse says:

    My biggest challenge thus far has been trying to memorize the meaning of the cards. I’ve written them down and what they mean to me. and looked into the picture to try and understand the story it tells. but to me the story is never the definition of the card. I’m good at readings, and my friends say that I’m a natural with it. But I know that the emotion I describe coming from the card isn’t the definition of the card. is this a bad thing?

    • Kate says:

      No! That isn’t bad at all, Jesse. It sounds like you are more of an intuitive reader. When I read Tarot I find that the meaning of a card usually supplements my intuition or vice versa. Although sometimes its totally opposite, but then I will give both interpretations and I find that my client can usually relate to one more than the other. Can you give me an example of a card where your “feeling” of it is totally different from the “meaning”?

      • Jesse says:

        Sure. I use the celtic Dragon deck. and the Two of swords is a card I pulled randomly. It is a man standing on a small path, reaching out to a dragon holding two swords perched on a higher safer path. When I see this card I imagine someone reaching out to a goal or to a person because they are in need of help. They are unsure of their surroundings and they are just out of reach of their goal, so they need a little push to get there. The book definition however is Tension and not being able to balance two important things in your life. Or in the three of swords even, When I see the three dragons fighting, I get the sense of inner conflict. Not knowing where you belong or where you want to go. But it gives more of a dispute between friends or family in the book.

        • Kate says:

          Hmmm…okay, I see what you mean now. Thanks for giving the example. I have had this happen to me as well and I usually go with what I feel the card is saying to me at the time of the reading – not what the book says. Its interesting to know what the “official” meaning is and try to see evidence of it in the card, but I think ultimately, your own interpretation is what matters 🙂

          • Jesse says:

            Okay. Well, I will continue with learning the by book definitions. But I will also give what I feel the cards are telling me personally for each person. Because I also feel the cards tell me different things for different people, especially people I’m close to. Thank you for the advice. p.s love your channel you have been a great help and teacher for the past months. 🙂

  26. Ellen says:

    My greatest eye opener was to trust my intuition and look at the cards instead of only relying on books.
    I also love to compare the same card from different decks with eachother.This can add so much more meaning to a cards.
    Great post Kate

    • Kate says:

      Hi Ellen,
      YES! Comparing the same card across different decks is something I love to do and has brought me a much deeper understanding of the cards. I’m glad you mentioned that – I totally forgot how helpful that can be 🙂

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