So you’ve prepared for your reading like a pro, found the right reader, and had a great reading—but the work’s not done just yet.
One of the most common oversights of tarot querents is to leave the sacred space of a reading and jump immediately back into the routine of their lives. They make lots of internal room for revelations during the reading itself, but leave no room for proper assimilation of their guidance. But really, it’s just as likely that the greatest revelations will come later, once you’re alone in your silent truth, reflecting on the messages that appeared for you.
So here’s 7 essential things to do after a tarot reading, when you have the greatest opportunity for both subtle emotional shifts and wild epiphanies. Take your time, and put in the effort. And remember, getting a tarot reading is never a quick fix, but a profound tool of wisdom that isn’t simply swallowed, but digested.
1. Leave time to decompress.
This one is so easy to overlook. Many times in the past I myself have scheduled tarot readings between jobs, or before dinner with my husband, or even during a day out with my friend. Without a proper window for decompression, the powerful messages of your reading may get lost in the distraction. I’d also sometimes walk out of my reading glowing with excitement, and then spill and sour it all by immediately telling others all about it. Respect your space and your own inner truth. Leave at least 20 minutes to absorb your reading, and don’t tell anybody about it until you feel like you have a handle on how it really resonated with you.
2. Journal it out with these 3 questions.
Journaling is an emotional and psychological snapshot, and the best way to capture the way you were affected by the reading. Not sure how to reflect? These are the 3 questions I recommend most to my clients, but add or change whatever feels right.
How does your heart feel differently after the reading? Do you feel better, worse, more scared, comforted, determined, introspective? Pay attention to the feelings, even if (and maybe especially) if they’re not what you were expecting.
Where do you feel called to do more inner work? Maybe you asked about a work shift, but you kept thinking about your boyfriend during the reading. Maybe you thought the inner work was all done, and suddenly you realize you haven’t even scratched the surface. What triggers came up in the reading that are pulling you deeper?
What is the key lesson in your reading? Maybe this is what the reader said, and maybe it was your own personal understanding. Either way, come up with a main idea theme for your reading. Even better, write down any golden nuggets that your reader offered that made you go “Oh—fuck.”
3. Make an action plan.
Sometimes the only thing to be done after a reading is to sit and process, but more likely there are ways you can invite yourself to take action. Don’t worry, this is not a stiff “make a decision” type of recommendation. Just make a list of subtle shifts toward better wellness and self-care, or ways you can support yourself this week. Maybe it’s as simple as journaling for 10 minutes every day. Maybe it’s as big as setting a day to plan that meeting with your boss that your reading confirmed you need to have. Check in with what you can do daily to encourage and support guidance. Stuck as to what to do? Ask your reader, they may have some great advice!
4. Be mindful.
Getting a tarot reading can oftentimes feel like your first therapy session after years of self-denial. I know I’ve personally gotten readings that felt great in the moment, but afterwards my whole world started to fall apart because the readings had answered some heavy-duty questions in me, or worse, failed to answer them. I never stopped to consider that I hadn’t properly reflected on or assimilated what I had learned about myself in that single hour.
Take time to be mindful. Meditate if you can, go into nature. Give yourself copious amounts of space to notice yourself without judgement. Remember that now is not the time to do the big radical things, but the time to actively absorb and integrate.
5. Don’t you dare pull another card.
Who here hasn’t done this? After a reading, especially for us tarot folk, all we want to do is push the limits. We listened and learned, but what to do now? The impulse is to ask the cards, to pull “just one” for extra clarity, or get a mini 3 card reading off Etsy. And what happens? After a powerful reading about quitting your job, you meaninglessly pull the Knight of Cups. Or after resolving to make it work with your girlfriend, you destabilize yourself and get the Lovers reversed. In these situations the tarot seems to confuse or mock far more than help, and we unravel the carefully weaved wisdom of our reading. This is because the lesson is at some point you have to stop asking. You have to simply be in the discomfort, the unknown, and allow space for the way forward to emerge in its right time.
6. What does the reader recommend?
I love when clients ask me for recommendations forward. In these moments my best intuition seems to kick in, and we cooperatively channel some truly beautiful stuff. Don’t be afraid to ask your reader what they recommend you do in the days after your reading. It’s best to ask during the reading itself, of course, but some readers might not mind sending you a quick email with a few options.
Some readers (hi!) even offer specific elements you can add on to your reading for digestion and manifestation. Some offer write-up summaries, or follow-up phone calls, or personalized reflective meditations. These are all great tools, and honestly worth the couple extra bucks. I can’t tell you how many times I wish I’d recorded my reading or opted for the takeaway option, because the reading itself ended up being a bit of a blur after a couple weeks. If you’re paying for the reading in the first place, it’s worth the little extra to help manifest the guidance it offered. Take your reading seriously, and make the most of what it offers you.