Over the past few years, more and more people have begun to use tarot as part of their spiritual practice. In 2018, the New York Times reported that tarot deck sales were higher than they’d been in the past 50 years — and showed no signs of stopping. As tarot has become more popular, there’s been a shift in how people approach it. “These days, tarot is a lot more about tapping into your intuition than a cool party trick,” Sami Main, author of How to Deal: Tarot for Everyday Life, tells Refinery29.
This shift in how people approach tarot can be seen in the rise of the daily tarot pull. In this practice, people begin each day by pulling a single tarot card for themselves and reflecting on the meaning. “It’s only pretty recently that people have started to be cool with pulling their own cards,” Main explains. Old myths say that pulling your own cards and buying your own tarot deck brings bad luck — but many people now discount these myths, saying that these practices can be beneficial to yourself and to others. If you’re new to tarot, beginning each day with a tarot pull can help you get familiar with the different cards and their meanings; and buying your own deck helps you choose one that resonates with you, not to mention financially supports the deck’s creators.
To do a daily tarot card pull, you’ll first need to set aside some time each morning for the ritual. “Like most tarot readings, you want to get in a calm location and clear your mind a little,” Main explains. Some people like to light a candle or say an invocation. Then, you “focus on starting your day: think about what kind of day you want to have, or a problem you want to solve.” While you’re considering this, shuffle your deck. There are many ways to do this: pick one that feels right to you. Finally, pull your card and reflect on its meaning.
Main suggests beginning with your own intuition. “Every deck is different, with lots of cool art and imagery, so maybe something in there will speak to you,” she says. After that, you can look up the card’s traditional meanings in a guidebook or online. After you’ve deciphered the card’s possible meanings, reflect on how they apply to you. “If the card that comes up is the Temperance card, maybe you’ll want to focus on balance throughout your day,” Main says.
The card you pull doesn’t predict your future. “It’s more like a message to take with you, or something to meditate on, or something to inspire you to set an intention for your day,” Main says. “It’s kind of nice to get an unbiased opinion from the universe, and that can be what the daily card is for some people as well.”
Some people like to add journaling to this practice, writing down their thoughts about the card. Journaling can also make it easier to reflect on the card at the end of the day, if you want to compare your experience to the message you took from the card.
And while daily tarot pulls are usually done in the morning, if you’re just not a morning person (guilty), you can still incorporate this practice at another time of day. “I don’t think tarot wants to be an obstacle in someone’s life,” Main says. “I think it wants to be illuminated in however it can best serve. It can definitely be customized. The beauty of tarot, or any sort of ritual, is getting into a place that works for you.”