Free Online Tarot
Welcome to iFate's free tarot readings. If you're a beginner or an expert, these tarot readings provide free insight and fascinating perspectives on life, work, romance or any question or situation you can think of.
If you're new to reading tarot, think of this one page as a tarot crash course or a tarot bootcamp to help you get started in just a few minutes.
To start, select a tarot spread from the choices above. Each spread provides you with different perspectives on your question, but we recommend that tarot card beginners start with a simple tarot spread with a smaller number of cards. The simple "Past, Present and Future" spread is a great place to start your tarot journey if you're just beginning.
Some simple tarot card instructions
Online tarot readings are no different from physical tarot readings. Before asking your question, it helps to relax and to think of the many dimensions within your current situation. Who are the players? What are the forces involved? How is this affecting your life? Then, when you are ready to consult the tarot cards, clear your mind and move on to shuffle the deck. When shuffling the deck you may see a card drop from the deck. This is normal. If it happens, try to remember the card that drops as it may have some significance later. Some tarot card experts pay special attention to events like this, others do not.
Draw the tarot cards
When you draw the tarot cards, carefully move across the cards and wait for a pull. Don't select a card until you feel that the card has some significance to you. As you practice using tarot cards, you will learn to get better at identifying this psychic pull from the cards. When you feel a psychic tug or a feeling over a specific card, choose that card and repeat the process When you have finished drawing all the tarot cards in your spread, you're ready for your reading.
How to read tarot cards
While entire books are written on the art of tarot reading and tarot reading techniques, the craft is simple to learn.
At the most basic level, there are two important things to pay attention to during your tarot reading: The first is the meaning of each position within your tarot spread, and the second is the meaning of each tarot card in that position.
DEFINITION: A tarot card spread is a specific arrangement of 2 or more tarot cards. In a spread, each position represents a different facet of the question being asked. The card filling the position should be interpreted only in the context of that position's meaning. Most tarot readers will also assign meaning cards which are adjacent or opposite to each card. These neighboring cards are often (but not necessarily) seen as relevant forces either supporting or opposing the position.
The meaning of the position tells you "how" the tarot card in that position is relevant to your question. (For example, in a "Past, Present, Future" tarot spread, the first position references the past events leading up to your current situation. The card in that position relates to those past events) Once you understand what the spread position means, it's time to interpret the meaning of its associated card.
When you are interpreting each tarot card, don't forget to consider to the "Arcana" of the card. Each card falls into two groups. Major Arcana cards tend to be very important and indicate major messages or themes within the reading. Minor Arcana cards tend to have more common meanings and often indicate more day-to-day themes, emotions and events. (This is not always true, but it is a good rule of thumb to begin with).
Also don't forget to take note of the suit of Minor Arcana tarot cards. There are four "suits" in a tarot deck. They are: The suit of cups, the suit of pentacles, the suit of swords and the suit of wands. In many cases the suit of a tarot card can give us a quick indication of what the card is referencing.
- The Tarot suit of Cups: The suit of cups (also sometimes referred to as the suit of chalices or goblets) generally indicates emotional issues, love, relationships and issues regarding feelings.
- The Tarot suit of Pentacles: The suit of pentacles (also commonly referred to as the suit of coins or sometimes the suit of discs) usually indicates finances, business, health and the material world.
- The Tarot suit of Swords: The suit of swords (also rarely referred to as the suit of blades) is often a reference to communications, logic and making decisions.
- The Tarot suit of Wands: The suit of wands (also commonly referred to as the suit of staves or the suit of rods) typically references creativity, action, inspiration and passion.
There are often many ways to interpret each card so it's important not to simply take the face value of each card, but instead to think about how each particular tarot card relates to the position in the tarot spread, and to the overall tarot question at hand.
Tarot Suits and Zodiac Signs
Another dimension to the tarot reading comes from the relative astrological signs associated with each suit of the minor arcana.
- The suit of Pentacles is often associated with the zodiac signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.
- The suit of Wands is often associated with the zodiac signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.
- The suit of Cups is often associated with the zodiac signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
- The suit of Swords is often associated with the zodiac signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.
When analyzing a minor arcana card as part of a tarot reading, don't forget to consider that the card may be referencing a particular zodiac sign, or a person of that zodiac sign. This is particularly true with court cards and other cards that depict people in their visual references.
Inverted tarot card meanings
Tarot cards can also be read in their "inverted" or upside-down meaning. When tarot cards are inverted the meaning of the card is altered.
Are these reversed tarot card meanings bad? No. In fact, sometimes they make otherwise gloomy cards much "less bad". In other cases they may mean that the positive forces indicated by the card are being opposed or challenged somehow.
Beginners who begin learning how to interpret reversed tarot cards often make the mistake of 'flipping' the meaning to an opposing meaning. This is an overly simplistic (and usually wrong) approach. It's important to remember that inverted tarot cards do not usually have the exact opposite meaning of the traditional upright meaning. Instead, the meaning of inverted tarot cards should be interpreted as a failure, disruption, lessening or discontinuation of the upright meaning.
NOTE: The simplest way to think of inverted tarot cards is to think of their upright meaning either failing -- or the upright meaning being blocked or subverted by an opposing force.
There is an ongoing debate among many tarot readers whether beginners should use inverted tarot meanings at all. If you are just learning to read tarot cards, it may be easier during your learning process to ignore the inverted meanings and read all tarot cards in their upright state. Once you have mastered the basic tarot meanings, you can always add the additional dimension of inverted cards at a later date
It's also important to look carefully at the visual imagery within a card. Many novice readers forget to look deeply at each picture and consider what is being said visually. Is there a reference within the picture that looks similar to anything in your life?
The gender of the card is also important: Does the card seem to reference a man or a woman? Does it reference a family? Are there animals in the tarot card? What time of day is referenced in the card? All of these visual elements should play a role in your tarot interpretation.
Also, keep in mind that many of the symbols in tarot cards have significance in astrology, numerology and many other disciplines. So the more you learn about related fields, the better your tarot card interpretation will become.
Some tips on asking a tarot question
Many beginner tarot readers make the mistake of looking for too-specific an answer. Others make the mistake of asking questions which are unsuited for the tarot.
Needless to say, if you ask: "What's the winning lottery number on Saturday" you're going to have a very difficult time interpreting the results. That kind of question is not what tarot is for.
A more common mistake however is to ask a good question, but to frame it in a way that makes it difficult to interpret the tarot results. Tarot readings are excellent tools for providing insight and understanding to a question, and (at times) providing insight into the future of a situation. The more you practice with tarot, the better you will become at the latter.
In the interest of providing insight and understanding, it's best to 'ask' for insight and understanding. Specific questions often yield confusing answers. A good question might be "Help me understandand give me some insight into how events will resolve?"
Open-ended tarot questions play to the strengths of the tarot deck and leave your mind open to the endless possibilities that tarot opens the door to. Good topics for tarot questions include love and romance, career and fortune, and health and medical decisions.
Don't worry if your first few readings seem a little confusing. Tarot, like all skills, takes years of practice to master. If you're a beginning reader, try simple 3 card spreads or even 1 card Yes No Tarot readings before you tackle the larger spreads like the Celtic Cross. Many readers don't tackle larger spreads until they have been reading tarot for many years.
Other free readings
If you enjoy iFate's tarot card readings, be sure to try iFate's free love tarot readings which focus on questions of romance and relationships.
Also be sure to stop in over at iFate's extremely popular I Ching readings which make understanding the I Ching easy for beginners.