"How do you actually read the Tarot?"
This is quite possibly the most common question that people ask me soon after I've performed a reading for them, especially when it has really hit the mark. I'll answer this for you here so that (hopefully) you'll have a clear expectation and understanding of my process before you have me do a reading for you.
How I Read the Tarot
There are four basic aspects to the process I use to read the Tarot: your energy, my connection to the Universe, the Tarot cards themselves, and my intuition.
I believe it's important for you to handle the cards in order to infuse them with your energy and to help make a connection between you and the Universe. Your energy will enable the cards to reveal information about your feelings, thoughts, senses and spirituality, and your connection will allow the Universe to infuse the cards with the message or messages that you need to hear during the reading. As such, I will ask you to shuffle the cards until they feel good to you, cut them, put them back together, and give them to me; I'll take it from there.
My Connection to the Universe
As you shuffle the cards, I will make my own connection to the Universe so that I can tap into your connection and to the message or messages that the Universe has infused into the cards. I do this by making my mind quiet, still, peaceful, and empty of any personal thoughts, perspectives or viewpoints. I'm not here to pass judgment in any manner whatsoever, but rather to provide you with the messages and Spiritual guidance you need to help you resolve the issues that are currently affecting you.
My Tarot Cards
I have a large collection of Tarot decks that I use for my readings, somewhere in the neighborhood of ninety-one (and counting) at the moment. I've found that some decks contain artwork and symbolism in that tend to lend themselves to certain types of issues, and other decks are good for just about any question. I typically have at least five to six different decks with me when I'm performing readings and I select a deck for a particular reading based on a combination of three criteria: the nature of your question, my intuition, and recommendations from my Spirit Guides.
Although I have a great knowledge of the commonly held core meanings and derivative meanings of the cards, I rely on my intuition and the card's relative context and position within a Tarot spread to determine what a given card means at that point in time. My intuition also helps me interpret meanings from the artwork and symbolism in a card, thereby enabling me to provide subtleties and nuances to the message I see in the card.
It's important to note that I don't do predictions. Instead, I do forecasts - it's a lot like what the weatherman does with the weather. You can learn more about how I do forecasts by reading the post on my blog titled Tarot and the Future: Predicting vs Forecasting.