Reading Tarot is a wholly personal experience, subject to preference and purpose. Still, there are several tips that are useful for experienced or seasoned readers that make your readings more wholesome and easier to understand, not to mention make the whole experience more fun and at ease.
Define your question/card positions to the detail.
This is by far the most important tip. Know what you are asking (or be clear if it is a “general” reading with no specific question). If you are vague about your question, the answer will be equally vague. This is especially true with any do/avoid scenarios. For generic questions, make sure you have very clear card positions. When I do a general life spread, it is important to know which card is in the Career and which one in the Relationships position (and if there is a 2 of Cups in Career, not to start fussing about and placing it in Relationships instead).
Be a storyteller.
Let the cards tell you a story. If you look at each card individually and then just read its meaning, your reading will not be worth much anything. Pay attention to card patterns, similar cards appearing a lot (e.g three Fours or all cards are Minors), the balance of element (maybe there is an element missing?). See how the cards influence each other, sometimes even pictorially. Practice storytelling with cards by drawing three random cards and combining them into a tale.
Sometimes, the situation is bad. Then be honest about it – if we look our demons in the eye, we might just befriend them. I know of some readers who remove cards from their decks – this is not what Tarot is about. If you read cards to only receive messages you like, it’s counterproductive. Same goes for reading for others- be honest about what you see, but always offer guidance on how to deal with the challenges.
It is important to be clear about the message, and not “foam” about it to fish for positive reactions (if you are reading for others). Foaming is used as a cold reading technique, often paired with Barnum statements. You can read about Tarot ethics in my post from earlier.
Be respectful of personal boundaries.
When reading for yourself, make sure you are really reading about yourself, and not “will my colleague X get the promotion”, without their permission. In fact, do not pry in anyone’s life without their permission. When reading for others, this becomes quite difficult at times – and at others, you must respect when the person themselves sets a boundary as well. It makes you a great reader once you master having a respectful dialogue with your sitter, rather than steamrolling over or “offering advice”. Some sitters are there for discussion and advice, others just want to get the message – and not your opinions. Make sure you label any opinions clearly.
Utilise other disciplines
Don’t be stuck to the LWB. In fact, don’t be stuck to Tarot meanings – learn everything you can! Runes, astrology, Kabbalah, shamanism, different cultures, crystals, herbology, the deep occult, alchemy… It will broaden your horizons and help you see patterns in your readings you never thought existed.
Have fun with it!
There we go, the most important rule. When reading, for yourself or for others, make sure you are enjoying it. Don’t push yourself too hard, don’t take everything too seriously, be confident and enjoy what you are doing, this way you will give the best readings.