As old and esoteric as it may seem, tarot is actually one of the most customizable — and approachable — spiritual practices you’ll find. Seasoned readers may cast intricate spreads (arrangements of cards pulled at random) with as many as 12 cards, but you can find insight and answers to your questions about the future by drawing just one card.
This form of tarot reading is sometimes known as “yes/no tarot,” due to how well it works for answering a straightforward question. You might also hear it referred to as a single- or one-card reading.
While some tarot fans believe this approach to readings is too reductive, we’d rather think of it as efficient. You might not always have time to lay out an intricate spread of 10 or more cards — and focusing on a single card can give you a more distilled idea of how your day is going to go.
Fortunately, this isn’t just a quick and dirty method for experienced readers to get their dose of tarot for the day. It’s also a great practice for total beginners. One Redditor on the tarot subreddit recommended easing into your practice by drawing a card at the end of your day to see how it applies to you. Maybe, after a day of self-care and R&R, you draw the temperance card, which is often associated with moving through life methodically, gracefully, and with great attention to one’s wellbeing. Or you might spend the day confronting a difficult decision, only to pull the lovers card, the card of dilemmas and harmony, at the end of it. Following this routine will help you better understand how the cards’ respective meanings can show up in real life.
These retroactive readings may feel a little tedious or obvious, but they’ll serve you later on, when you start drawing a card in the morning and can go about your day with a confident understanding of that card’s meaning. It’s only by taking your time with your tarot practice that you’ll be able to form a deeper understanding of how your deck reflects your life.
Whether you’re a tarot pro or a newbie, a single-card reading can be an incredibly rewarding part of your practice. For the experienced reader, it’s a chance to reconnect with your deck and appreciate the wide range of meaning that each card contains. And, for the beginner, it’s a great way to dip your toe in the world of tarot without feeling like you’re drowning. Now, all you need to do is pick out a rad deck.
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