With hundreds of years of history behind it, tarot remains a popular and intriguing spiritual practice. Used for cartomancy, or the art of divination using a deck of cards, tarot card readings are done by professionals and personal practitioners alike in an attempt to gain self-awareness and receive guidance on topics like love, career, and health.

Whether you’re doing a tarot reading for yourself or booking an appointment to have your cards read by a professional, you’ll want to get as much as possible out of the reading. Set yourself up for the best possible tarot reading experience with these tips:

Choose the Right Reader & Cards

If you’re reading for yourself, it’s important to have the right tarot deck to do so. The deck most often referenced in guidebooks and information websites is the Rider-Waite tarot deck, a fantastic choice for beginners. If you’re looking for something more unique, you’ll find options for all sorts of creative decks, including Game of Thrones, Jane Austen, and cat-themed designs. If you’re having a professional tarot reader perform your reading, be sure you’ve done your research to be sure they’re the right fit for you and the question(s) you’re asking. Similarly, if your reader offers you a choice between decks for your reading, consider each one and how they seem to make you feel before deciding.

Consider the Card & Spread As A Whole

As you learn about tarot, you’ll discover some common keywords associated with each card. It’s just as important, though, that you consider the context you’re reading them in, particularly if you’re performing the reading yourself. Consider how each card relates to those around it (assuming you’ve pulled more than one) as well as how it relates to the situation you’re asking about and to its place in the spread you’re using.

Be In the Right Mindset

You might not even be aware of the effect that your mindset has on a tarot reading but it’s a significant one whether you realize it or not. If you leave an emotionally-charged situation and immediately draw a tarot card for guidance, for example, your reading will be impacted by that psychological response. You might find that a natural solution such as hemp flower CBD can help you to be mindful and open as you focus on your tarot reading. Research suggests that CBD products can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress, both of which will impact your tarot experience. For the best results, compare products to find the best match for your needs (much like you’d compare decks to find the right set of tarot cards for you) and purchase from a reputable brand like Plain Jane.

Recognize Any Personal Connections

When learning to read tarot cards, there are certain keywords and standard meanings associated with each card and suit. As you grow more familiar with your deck, though, you can start to delve beyond those go-to meanings and consider what each card means to you. Look closely at the design of the card and consider the details—how might the depicted scene relate to whatever you’re asking? The same concept applies if you’re having cards read on your behalf. If you see something that has significant personal reading, mention it to your reader—they’ll be able to incorporate that unique symbolism into the larger meaning of the spread.

Get In Touch With Your Intuition

Letting your intuition guide your tarot card reading can help you to connect with your deck and better understand the deeper meanings behind the cards—those that lie beyond the keywords you’ll find in a guidebook. You might find this to be easier if you prepare for a reading with a meditation practice or your CBD product of choice. You may surprise yourself by the new meanings you intuit!

When you sit down for your next tarot reading, whether on your own or with a professional, keep these tips in mind to help get the most out of the experience.