How to use tarot for personal growth

Tarot has come a long way from its humble beginnings back in the 15th century, and nowadays many people use tarot for personal growth.

You might be totally new to tarot or are just starting on your journey with learning tarot. This post will give you some ideas about how to use tarot for personal growth.

If you’re a more seasoned tarot reader, then let me know in the comments if you have some tips for using tarot for personal growth!

How I got into using tarot for personal growth

A few years ago I was feeling really lost in life. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to continue with my career and I felt stuck and unsure of how to move forward.

I was having therapy which had beeen helpful in some ways, but after sessions finished I still felt that something was missing.

That same year I had my first ever reading from a professional tarot reader. I was intrigued to see what the cards would say about my situation.

The tarot reading really blew me away. It didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, but the imagery helped me to connect with my difficulties on a different level. I came away from the reading feeling more certain about how I wanted to move forward.

I spent the next 3-4 months studying tarot and getting to grips with the card meanings. It was hard work, but totally worth it. Now, I use tarot on a near-daily basis to think through problems and consider ways of approaching any challenges I’m facing.

Why use tarot for personal growth?

The tarot cards represent universal themes that we’re all likely to come up against at some point in our lives. For me, the themes overlap with a lot of the themes which come up in my psychological work with clients.

For this reason, I feel tarot is a great tool to learn more about ourselves, how we “tick”, and what drives us to do the things we do.

I should emphasise that I don’t use tarot with my clients. I’d much rather leave that to experienced tarot readers.

How can tarot be used for personal growth?

If you’re familiar with journaling, then tarot is great to use alongside this. I highly recommend keeping a record of all your tarot readings. So, keeping notes of:

  • The date
  • The question you asked
  • The cards you pulled and their meanings
  • Your thoughts and reflections on how the card meanings relate to the question you asked

It’s really useful to look back on past readings so you can see what has transpired since the reading, and also to see how you’ve applied any learning from the reading to your life.

Tarot for personal growth is a great way to get to know yourself through the use of the imagery and the universal life themes of the tarot. Tarot for self development is more popular than ever, and if you are a beginner tarot reader then this video will give you some ideas for how to get started with tarot for self discovery.

What sort of questions should you ask?

If you’re a beginner tarot reader then I think it’s best to keep things simple.

My go-to question which can cover any situation is “What do I need to know about [X situation]?”. Examples might be:

  • What do I need to know about my day at work today?
  • What do I need to know about the disagreement I had with my partner?

I try to keep questions open-ended because they tend to give richer information. I found ‘yes/no’ questions to be trickier to interpret when starting out with tarot.

And to be honest, I still avoid using ‘yes/no’ questions because I want the tarot to give me things to think about, rather than answering a question with a specific yes/no answer.

Personally, I don’t believe that tarot can answer any questions for me; I have to answer them for myself. However, I do believe that tarot helps me to think of things from different perspectives, and that in turn helps me to find my way through life’s challenges. 

How many cards should you use in a reading?

In theory, you can use as many cards as you like; however, I think things could get a bit complicated with using too many cards.

Also, I don’t recommend doing large spreads (like the Celtic Cross) if you are reading for yourself every day. You can get more than enough information from three cards.

I tend to use between 1-3 cards for my regular readings. Some days I might want to pull just one card in order to think about that card’s theme for the day.

Other days I may pull 3 cards and use a specific spread (which we’ll get onto shortly).

How often should you do readings for yourself?

There are no ‘hard and fast’ rules about how often to do readings. My near-daily readings relate to more ‘everyday’ subjects, such as any projects I’m working on or social activities I have coming up.

If there is something ‘bigger’ happening in my life I won’t do a reading on this every day as that could get confusing. I tend to do one reading and take some time to reflect on what that means, and how I could apply it to the situation I’m facing. Of course, I journal about it and give it time to run through my mind.

Sometimes I’ve revisited the same ‘problem’ with the cards a month or two later; however, I never ask the same question. I will ask a different question which usually is influenced by what I’ve learnt from the previous reading.

Should you use open readings or spreads?

Open readings are those where there are no spread positions. For example, if I pull three cards then I will note their meanings and try to ‘weave’ those meanings together to see how they relate to the question I’ve asked.

Conversely, a spread is where each card has a fixed position and the meaning of each card is interpreted within the context of that position.

There are no rules about which method you use. In the beginning, I found spreads easier to use than open readings but try both out and see what works for you.

There are hundreds (in fact, probably thousands) of tarot spreads online. If you google ‘tarot spread…’ and then add on the topic you want the spread to explore then you are bound to find something to suit your needs.


I hope this has given you a good starting point if you’re just getting started with tarot for personal growth. Let me know in the comments about any other tips you might have!