Divination With Tarot: An Introduction

A tarot reading can give you valuable guidance and insight, highlighting important themes in your life situation. Tero Goldenhill takes us through an introduction to Tarot.

The Tarot is a wonderful tool for illuminating your inner landscape. The 78 cards act as a mirror, reflecting your thoughts, emotions, feelings, hopes and fears. A tarot reading can give you valuable guidance and insight, highlighting important themes in your life situation. A reading can likewise give you advice on how to proceed in the best possible way, navigating safely through challenging or uncertain times.

Although many people still think of fortune-telling when they hear the word “tarot”, it’s important to keep in mind that the cards can be used in many different ways. Also, there are many different types of readers (and therefore readings, too). Here are some of the most common uses for the cards:

Playing games: for many people, the tarot deck is still essentially an extended playing card deck, which can be used for various card games.


Creativity: Tarot can be used to spark your creative juices - writers, poets, artists, musicians and actors have all used tarot cards to enhance their creativity.


Fortune-telling: in old-fashioned fortune-telling, the cards are used to foretell future events. Here the cards are used as signs (fixed meaning) instead of symbols (personal meaning). In terms of introspection and gaining wisdom or illumination, fortune-telling usually offers very little.


Divination: in divinatory use the Tarot acts as a channel between the spiritual and the mundane. Divination means communicating with the divine, which can mean different things to different people. In Tarot divination, the deeper meaning behind mundane events is usually highlighted.


Psychology, therapy, healing: as a visual, reflective tool the Tarot can be used to assist in psychotherapy, art therapy or other therapeutical settings. Here the cards act as a point of reference, facilitating healing and/or wholeness. Especially in Jungian context, the archetypal quality of the cards is emphasised.


Because of the variety of uses, it’s important that you as the client know how the reader uses the cards. Always make sure you know what kind of a tarot reading you’re going to get. Avoid any reader who mentions about removing a curse, or who feels judgmental or acts unethically. There’s no governmental body or authority which would supervise tarot readers - anyone can pick up a deck and start doing readings.

The Tarot is a “Picture-Book of the Soul”, whose 78 ageless and eternal “wisdom images” speak directly to the modern traveller, offering clarity, insight and intuition.

3-Card Reading

There are many kinds of three card reading layouts or spreads (as they are called), here is one example: Situation - Challenge - Advice

Shuffle your tarot deck thoroughly.

Decide what you want to look into with the reading: do you want to do a “general reading” without any specific question, or do you prefer to examine a particular question or theme.

Avoid yes/no questions as there are no cards in the pack which would have either word written on them.

Next, decide how you’re going to choose the cards: either turning from the top (the first three cards in order), or then by spreading the cards in a fan, and choosing from it.

After you’ve chosen the cards, place them according to the layout:

Card 1 - Card 2 - Card 3

Card 1 is on the left side, and represents the “Situation”. This card symbolises your situation, what Tarot thinks is the gist of it. If you use reversals (in which case some of the cards can appear upside down in the spread), a reversed card in this position might point to something that’s out of balance.

Card 2 is in the middle, between the two cards. This card symbolises the “Challenge”. Think here of something that you need to understand, or something that needs to be overcome or integrated. With a reversal, think of what needs to happen in order for the “upright” meaning to manifest.

Card 3 is on the right side, and represents the “Advice”. This is the advice from Tarot, what it thinks would be a good decision or something important to keep in mind, in terms of the situation and the challenge. With a reversal, the indication might be about correct timing.

If you’re a beginner, I advise against using reversals.

They can spice up the reading, but also require more skills from the reader.

A tarot reading works perfectly fine without using any reversed cards.

Also, in every reading (whether in the above 3-carder or anything else) always pay attention to how Major Arcana and Minor Arcana cards appear in the spread.

A Major Arcana card can symbolise deeper, archetypal powers operating in the psyche, whereas a Minor Arcana card can point towards the outer sphere of life or how / where the Major card manifests in your life.

A Court Card can refer to other people, but just as well symbolise an aspect of yourself.

Tero Goldenhill

Tero started reading the tarot in 1990 at the tender age of 13. Having been born and grown up in Finland, in his early childhood he spent many years living in Iraq, where he was exposed to a global community. This sparked a lifelong interest in other people and cultures. Tero is active in the Tarot community with a portfolio of clients here in the UK and abroad, with a solid reputation among his peers in the field. In addition to readings, Tero also teaches and writes about the tarot, and loves to share his knowledge with others. With a passion for healing, he brings clarity and compassion to even the most challenging situations. Tero’s readings are insightful, focused and clear, holding a space for you to access your deeper wisdom. Tero is one of the readers at Treadwell’s Books in Bloomsbury.

Before fully committing himself to consciousness evolution, Tero used to work as a nurse in neurosurgery intensive care for 11 years. He also holds a degree in nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, and LogoArt, which is a combination of Steinerian art therapy and Viktor Frankl’s psychotherapy. An avid fan of C.G. Jung, Tero has a personal collection of over a 100 books on Jungian Psychology. Tero is also a Reiki healer, and practises mudra yoga in his spare time. Between 2012-2013 he spent nine months in Wudang Mountains, China, focusing on Tai Chi and Qigong. Tero loves to teach both 1:1 and groups, and has been working with clients from all walks of life, including community centres and corporate clients. Tai Chi and Qigong offer wonderful tools for removing stress and increasing vitality, bringing beauty and harmony into your life.

Although quite different at a glance, Tero says Tarot and Tai Chi are not that different, deep down: “Both of these tools allow you to recalibrate yourself into here and now, and become one with your own, true being or essence. This, in turn, will enable you to make better choices about your life and health. Tarot shows you what might need to change and how to best do this; Tai Chi and Qigong give you the tools how to put this into practice.”

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