Spiritual Health

‘I’m a Tarot Card Reader, and This Is How to Master the One Card Tarot Pull’

Mary Grace Garis

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Photo: Getty Images/Natalie_Magic
Call me an extremely lazy mystic, but I will always do a one card Tarot pull over a spread. I'm still getting acquainted with all 78 members of my Smith-Waite deck, so yes, while one day I will learn how to read Tarot cards proper, card-pulling has been an easier way to seek guidance. What's my relationship to So-and-So? Seven of Cups. How do I find love? Two of Pentacles. What's ahead for me in 2020? The Hermit, again. I'm going to be single for a little while longer, but whatever, it's a pandemic.

Okay, hold up, allow me to backtrack. If you've never done a one card Tarot pull, it's essentially intuitively selecting a single card to inform a question or situation. This Tarot 101 technique simply requires a bit of self-reflection (especially if you're pulling for yourself), and a little bit of research if you're still brushing up on your Tarot card meanings. And according for astrology and tarot card reader Maria Sofia Marmanides, you can use a one card Tarot pull for more than Yes/No questions, and don't have to go full spread all the time.

"One card pulls can provide as much clarity, while also helping you sharpen intuitive reading skills," says Marmanides. "Think of the one card as describing the entirety of the situation—past, present, and future—to reminds us that the solution is often found in the problem. Whatever card you pull, it’s about empowering you to use that energy to move forward or leave it behind with clarity."

So how do you master the one-card pull effectively? Below, Marmanides shares three easy steps to getting the clearest answers when doing a one card Tarot pull.

How to master the one card Tarot pull

1. Lay some simple ground rules with yourself

"Think about what your intuition is telling you about the answer before you even pull your card," says Marmanides.

While we're supposed to look at the Tarot guides for wisdom or guidance, we also want to follow our gut. So whether you're doing a Tarot card spread or simply Tarot pulling, you want to make like the High Priestess and think inward; focus on the ways you want to be led, how you feel about a particular situation already, and pour that energy into your reading.

2. Ask a very clear, specific and heartfelt question

"Then see what you’re being invited to understand about the situation that you may not be consciously aware of," says Marmanides.

The important thing to highlight here is that you're asking a question that you want an objective answer for, not confirmation for the answer you want to receive. That also means not being quick to grab a second, "what do you mean" clarity card, and "be receptive to the divinatory message you are receiving in this moment and trusting your guides are telling you what you need to hear in this moment," says Marmanides. "While it may be tempting to pull another card for clarification, it is about honoring this card’s medicine for you in this moment."

3. Meditate on the card you pulled

"The artwork, the symbolism, the traditional meaning and also any personal meanings that come up for you," says Marmanides. "What I think is best is to then write down the card and those keywords somewhere—your notes app, a tarot journal, a sticky note—to refer back to and see how the answer will manifest in your life."

When you're working with a solo card, you have the ability to really delve into what it's message could be. And again, grant yourself the kindness to be honest about what it could mean. Like I didn't super love pulling The Hermit for 10 months straight after a break-up, but I honor what it's telling me, and I'm committed to what it's saying.

"Particularly if you’re pulling this card for yourself, it’s about treating yourself like you would a client," says Marmanides. "Don’t shortchange yourself from fully exploring and explaining the situation to yourself, using that card as the framework for your advice, as if you were telling it to someone else."

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