Another one of the pesky myths surrounding Tarot is the idea that one should never read for oneself. I’ve heard this time and again from a number of people and believed it myself in the beginning of my journey, staying as far away from reading for myself as I could. However as I progressed I learned very quickly the power of reading for myself as well as the great opportunity it serves to practice one’s Tarot skills.
Reading for oneself requires skill. In my view it is far more difficult than reading for others. Whilst reading for myself I am so much more tempted to pick more and more cards till I see one that I like or just make up a story about what I see in the cards in order to fit my pre-existing narrative. So those are the pitfalls. The benefits are that one can help oneself using information from the Tarot on one’s own without relying on anyone else plus it’s great Tarot practice as well. Reading for oneself requires discipline to interpret the cards one receives in as unbiased a way as possible, courage to acknowledge things one doesn’t want to as well as plenty of time. I have found that some decks work better than others for this. I prefer decks that cut to the chase without fanfare and tell me things like they are. I have previously mentioned my love and deep association with the Thoth deck and feel the Thoth uniquely serves this purpose.
Some of my most powerful and transformative readings are those I have done for myself. Whether it is examining past events, current challenges or exploring new options I have used the Tarot to guide the way. This belief of not reading for oneself probably comes from the idea that if one were to read for oneself one would sugar coat matters (it’s tempting!) or that one would then begin to rely on the Tarot for small daily decisions. Like anything else Tarot can become addictive. It is tempting to keep checking and looking the cards up on what to do but it also in my opinion defeats the point of Tarot which is to foster and help our agency rather than the other way round. Reading Tarot for oneself is hard, takes discipline but is immensely rewarding and fruitful. Like the Chariot card in the Tarot I like to remember that I am the charioteer and the cards the chariot in order to get the most out of my personal readings.