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Nakisha's Basic Guide to Reading The Rabbit Tarot and other tarot cards*

Reading tarot cards shouldn't be overwhelming, even if you've never done it before, or never had your cards read. You don't have to immediately memorize every meaning for the cards, there's no rule that says you can't make up your own meanings over time. The descriptions and meanings given in the booklets for the cards are guidelines, nudging you in a particular direction, or giving you a starting point.  I encourage the intuitive approach to finding the meanings in the cards over time- what does the imagery say to you? What do you associate with the images, what do they mean to you? After time, you can develop  a relationship where the cards "speak" to you or tell you things.

To start reading cards, you use spreads. Spreads can be a single card up to the entire deck. Each location in the spread is tied to a specific  thing (event, goal, obstacle, task, person) or time (distant past, present, near future).  Cards are shuffled unseen and  picked and placed in the spread. Then the cards are read.

Note that cards drawn upside down are considered reversed. Reversed cards can change the meaning, some of the cards have their reverse meanings listed in the booklets. I often use the idea that the reverse cards point to outside influences, and the straight up cards refer to internal influences. You can decide if you want to consider reversed cards as having separate meanings, but if you are just starting out, it may be easier to ignore this aspect.

When beginning to read cards, try to think of it like story telling. Use the meanings in the booklets and associate that with the place in the spread. For example, here is a basic three card spread. It's a good beginner's spread or for someone looking for a quick read.

Three cards are drawn. The first card is the past, the second is the present and the third card is the future. You can turn the cards over one at a time, or all at once.  I prefer all at once, so you can see how they relate together.

Three card Spread the Rabbit Tarot
In this example the first card is the past- the Four of Sticks. The description is refuge, safety. The second card is the present,  the Five of Daisies, meaning loss, guilt, failure, a lie. The third card is the future, the Star, meaning hope, new horizons. Now look at the images, in the first card the rabbit is hiding behind a stick, with more sticks hiding around it. Not terribly friendly or outgoing rabbit is it? The second bunny reaches in to a stream after floating daisies, is it trying to catch them or is it letting them go? The last card's bunny is hugging a star in a playful sky. Looks pretty happy right? So, one interpretation of this spread could be "In the past you were withdrawn and stayed in a safe spot, now you are worried , trying to hold on to ideas that prevent you from being happy, but there is hope, in the future that things will improve."  

The three card spread is a good introduction to help hone your reading of the cards. Once you are comfortable with short spreads you can try more complex ones.

Here is a more complex seven card spread I developed over many years reading cards. The first cards is the past, the second is the present , the third is the future. The fourth is the pivotal card, this is the card around which everything revolves. The fifth card is the obstacles, the sixth is what will help you move forward, and the seventh is the conclusion.  
Seven card Spread the Rabbit Tarot
My reading of this spread is "In the past you embarked on a new adventure (past/Fool), which you continue to learn from today (present/3 of Daisies). In the future you will reap the rewards of your hard work (future/4 of Sticks). At the core of this journey is something that didn't work out in the past (pivot/8 of Daisies). You will need to continue to work hard (obstacles/ 9 of Carrots) but are buoyed onward by your current success (help/1 of Carrots) which will pay off in the end (conclusion/1 of Daisies)."

Drawing additional cards- Once you have done a reading you may want clarity or more to go on. I often draw two more crossing cards after the seven card spread to "sum up" the reading.  If you have a spread with a past card for example, and it's unclear what the card refers to in your past, draw and additional card and place it next to this card. Potentially you can keep drawing cards until the deck runs out, but you will most likely end up with a confusing mess.  It's best to use the additional cards sparingly.

Once your confidence builds, try having another person shuffle the cards then read their spread.  It can be quite interesting to see what turns up and how people relate to your reading.

Have fun with your cards, don't be frightened of what they might mean or what you see in them. Look online for new spreads and try them out with different decks. Some decks are easy to ready, while others are harder to interpret, this all depends on the person reading the cards and how they relate to them.

The reviews for my tarot decks have often said that the Rabbit Tarot is an excellent, non threatening starter deck for beginners,  yet  remains insightful for the experienced reader. Don't give up. Try asking a question and pulling just one card, you might be surprised with what comes up.

Images are of the Deluxe version of the Rabbit Tarot.

*Disclaimer- there is no ONE WAY to read cards. Do what makes sense for you, research other ideas, think about what you want to learn from reading cards.  Reading tarot cards is not about predicting the future, getting lottery numbers, spying on your significant other, diagnosing or curing an illness,  or summoning  ghosts or evil spirits.  They are tools for reflection, clarification and inspiration. The random nature of drawing the cards can bring new ways of thinking about things or seeing things you may not have thought of. 

 

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