Checking In On My Tarot Skills

As a professional tarot reader, I am always looking to expand and update my reading skills. I voraciously devour books, blogs, articles and courses to increase and improve my tarot skills and experience. Sometimes, though, getting to basics is the best way, and when it comes to basics, there's nothing better than sitting down and letting your cards tell you what's what. 

A friend recently directed me to the wonderful Reader Development Spread over at The Tarot Parlor (such a great tarot resource, I highly recommend you subscribe!). With Sarah's kind permission, today I am throwing a Reader Development Spread for myself, to see where I'm at, where my strengths lie, and what I can do to make sure I am always offering my beautiful clients (that's you!) the very best tarot experience. Using David Palladini's Aquarian Tarot, here's what I came up with.

Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini  ©  US Games 1970.

1. My strengths as a tarot reader - Judgement Reversed

Judgement reversed suggests that my strengths lie in an ability to peer under the surface of situations. If Judgement is about being loudly called, then Judgement reversed points to the more muted callings we receive in life, messages that may be so quiet as to pass unnoticed when we need them most. Naturally, we seek out external guidance when we don't feel a solution is obvious to us, and I always strive to use a tarot reading to unearth the solutions that are hidden to our conscious minds. Using symbols and reflection to make previously unavailable connections is the aspect of the tarot process that is most interesting to me, so I'm happy to see that I've got that working well for me! 

Additionally, this card suggests that the type of reading that best suits my tarot style is the spiritual path reading. Turning inward and working on personal and spiritual development is definitely my forte, and Judgement Reversed suggests that my readings are particularly strong in this area. 

2. My weaknesses or areas that need improvement - Five of Rods

Naturally, when I see this card appear, conflict comes to mind, and I think I speak for all of us readers when I say that we all deal with inner conflicts and self-doubt from time to time. There are so many ways, right and wrong, to read cards, situations, and spreads, it's easy to question your own intuition and perspective. A little questioning is what drives us to improve, but too much and we run the risk of being unable to be sure of anything! At this stage in my development as a reader, I no longer feel like that doubt is crippling, but it does creep in from time to time. This card reminds that I always need to be mindful of getting drawn onto that mental hamster wheel and running myself in circles!

The Five of Rods is also about competition and playfulness, and it may also relate to Two Sides Tarot finding its niche in the industry. My professional tarot business is six months young, and part of my professional journey is finding where my voice fits in with or stands out from the other tarot offerings out there. This is something I work on every day, and I'm excited to see where it leads me and my business. 

3. How to develop my skills as a reader - Two of Pentacles

I had to chuckle a little when I saw this one come up. When working on my professional development, my tendency is to try to do everything. I'll often have a course on the go, and be reading two or three different tarot books and working with four or five different decks at a time. It seems that approach really isn't serving me right now! The Two of Pentacles stresses the importance of prioritising and honing your focus, and that is something I clearly need to work on. It's virtually impossible to give all of these different sources the deep attention they deserve, so I am going to schedule my reading time a little better, and really dig deeply into what I'm working on before moving onto the next thing. Reminders to slow down and focus are always welcome!

4. How to deal with blocks in my development or readings - Page of Swords Reversed

I think the Page of Swords Reversed and the Two of Pentacles share a similar lesson. Planning without action and action without planning are equally problematic. Rather than trying to bulldoze through difficulties and frustrations, the Page of Swords Reversed suggests that perhaps a more considered approach would be best. If I am tending to try to think my way out of problems and blockages without success, slowing things down and actually making a plan will help me to get over the line. Take a breath. Calm that hamster wheel we saw in the Five of Rods, and get both feet on the ground before taking the next step. Sounds good! 

5. What to avoid or what will block my growth - Queen of Pentacles

My old pal the Queen of Pentacles! It's hard to see a card I like so much appear as something to avoid, but it's a good lesson that all cards have positive and negative teachings. The Queen of Pentacles says that when it comes to my continuing growth as a reader, I need to be mindful of being too materialistic. It's very important to me to offer practical advice to my clients in every reading, but the Queen reminds that the practical is but one side of the story. Being mindful to include spiritual exploration in my readings will make my approach deeper and more holistic. 

In terms of my personal study and development, I do certainly find it challenging sometimes to separate my spiritual practice from the day-to-day development and running of my business, so I hear this loud and clear! After the crazy astro energy of April, this month I'm trying to focus a little more on my personal routines and self-care, and the Queen is a great reminder that my tarot practice is so much deeper than checking web stats and making marketing plans (although they are important, too!).

6. The lesson I am learning at this stage in my tarot practice - The Lovers

This card suggests that right now, I'm working on pulling it all together. Ain't that the truth! As we saw in the Two of Pentacles, there is a lot out there to integrate into a journey of lifelong learning, and it's easy to be overwhelmed. The Lovers speaks of the importance of making connections, marrying up disparate ideas, and finding unity and wholeness in my own unique approach to tarot. I'm pleased to hear that I'm in the midst of this lesson, as I certainly feel I am ever developing this in my work.

The Lovers also sets my heart aflutter, because tarot really is my true love! This card suggests that I am learning what it I most value, and discovering that spending my days reading tarot is a purposeful and meaningful way for me to live. The Lovers speaks of a choice that leads to deep satisfaction and purpose, and choosing to tread this path has certainly brought that into my life. This card resonates so strongly, and I can happily verify that I awake each morning feeling blessed and excited to continue my tarot journey! 

7. The outcome of my work with tarot and my development as a reader - Ten of Rods Reversed

Ultimately, it seems the goal of my work is to lighten the load. It is my firm belief that tarot can help us to ease our passage through this world, and I hope that my readings help my clients find that sense of ease, particularly when the circumstances they are experiencing feel anything but easy. I can only be pleased to see that the goal I am growing towards is to help my fellow humans to shoulder their burdens with greater understanding, ease, and joy. What greater service could I hope to offer you?

I'd love to see what results other readers get from this spread, so if you give it a try, do share! If you read tarot, do you use the cards, or any other methods, to check in with your progress as a reader?