There are a wide variety of Tarot cards available today. Probably the first, and possibly most well recognised is the Rider Waite set illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith, first published in 1910. This set contains 78 cards, each illustrated with designs which contain symbols as well as pictures. There are a number of books written which suggest a number of meanings for each card.
Most sets of cards come with a booklet explaining the meaning of each card, which can be very helpful when first using cards for spiritual readings. They often also contain suggested ways of laying out the cards for a reading, with different layouts being suggested for different types of readings.
However, probably the most accurate and useful way of using cards is to allow the interpretation of the meaning of the card to be decided intuitively, rather than looking up in a book the general interpretation that the designer of the card has assigned.
Readings are best achieved in an atmosphere of quiet contemplation, perhaps after a short period of meditation in preparation for the event. This allows for attunement with guides and helpers and connection to the higher self.
The most accurate readings are likely to be the ones where the questioner interprets their own cards, but the ones considered most evidential ore often those read by someone else. Most people question their subjectivity when reading for themselves, and become concerned that they are seeing what they want to see, and avoiding what they don’t want to see within a reading.
It is often helpful to have a question or two that you are seeking answers to when looking for inspiration from cards. The questions act as a context when interpreting the spread of cards. A general reading can be undertaken, and interpretation of the cards can be intuitive.
The more familiar you become with the set of cards you prefer using, the more accurate and helpful the readings will become. Cards will take on particular meanings that quickly focus you on the purpose of the card’s appearance in the set.
Readings should always be seen as a guide to possibilities rather than set in stone events, because the attitude of openness allows the best to be gained out of every reading without restricting future possibilities.
Above all else, card readings should be an enjoyable and inspiring experience, not a map by which life has to be lived.