• Jana Field

Tarot Books: 5 Guides to Reading Tarot Like a Pro


Are you fascinated by tarot cards? And, have you wondered how tarot readers are able to weave magical stories about your past, present, and future using these decks? Tarot has been around for thousands of years, most often used as divination tools. Tarot cards are also empowering tools for exploring your inner world.


I’ve been reading tarot cards for a number of years and every day I learn something new about this deck of cards. My first teacher was Lionel Berman, a phenomenal shaman who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. He taught me to use my intuition to read the cards. For beginners new to reading tarot, this can seem daunting and it helps to know the meaning behind each card.


If you’re looking for some guides to help you master the art of reading tarot like a pro, take a look at these books. You’ll discover all you need to know about the major and minor arcana, the different suits, what each picture means, and the types of spreads to use.


1. The Ultimate Guide to Tarot: A Beginner’s Guide to the Cards, Spreads, and Revealing the Mystery of the Tarot – Liz Dean

A guidebook written by a doyen in tarot means you’re getting all you need to know to help build your knowledge and expertise around using this deck of cards. This book is designed in such a way that it’s easy to use while covering every topic under the sun concerning tarot. This comprehensive guide gives you the steps to use when learning to read tarot cards.


It also gives you a variety of card layouts to experiment with for different types of readings. Liz Dean has kept her book simple while giving you practical techniques to build your reading skills. Each card is clearly described, with its meaning and links to other psychic methods such as astrology. The author also talks about using your intuition when reading a spread. By using a combination of meaning, intuition, and layout, you’ll be able to tap into the magic of tarot.


While this book has been designed as a guide for beginners, it’s one you’ll use throughout your life whenever you do a tarot reading.



2. The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings – Brigit Esselmont

When I used the internet to give me extra tips on reading the tarot as a beginner, I often used Brigit Esselmont’s website, Biddy Tarot. Her book is equally useful with its in-depth translation of every card meaning in the tarot deck. The author includes interpretations of upright and reversed cards as well as different meanings for various situations such as relationships and careers.


Brigit Esselmont explains how to use tarot cards as journaling prompts, keyword charts, and so much more. This comprehensive guide takes you through each card, its meaning, and how to use your intuition to read the pictures.


If you’re looking for a modern guide to using tarot as an everyday practical tool in your life, then this is the book for you.



3. The New Mythic Tarot – Juliet Sharman Burke and Liz Greene

I love to use this guide in conjunction with my Osho Zen Tarot cards. This way, I can get a variety of card meanings to give my querent a more comprehensive reading. First published in 1988, this book tells the story of the archetypal characters portrayed by each card. The new edition hasn’t lost its original touch with updated text and beautiful illustrations done by Giovanni Caselli.


This tarot book adds depth to any reading through the storytelling of gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines based on Greek mythology. It’s a fascinating read while sharing the deep meanings of every card pulled. By associating each card with the Greek characters, the reader can grasp the patterns of life so typical of every human.


This is a classic every tarot reader should have in their collection. While it may be a bit confusing for the novice tarot reader, it’s an excellent guide for getting really deep into the questions being asked. The book also includes the Celtic Cross spread and how to use it when interpreting a reading.



4. Tarot in the Spirit of Zen: The Game of Life – Osho Zen

I bought this book to support my deck of Osho Zen Tarot. While the cards came with a guidebook, this book gives more detail about the meaning of each card. I also use it with my Rider-Waite deck to give my readings more substance.


Each suit is explained in more detail while giving the reader a Zen approach to using the tarot. Osho Zen’s personality comes through strongly in all the meanings, offering humor, kindness, and love in all interpretations. This guide is a gift for both the novice and the expert tarot reader and an excellent guide when reading the Osho Zen Tarot for self-exploration.


If you’re looking for a Zen insight into each tarot card, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s also a wonderful book for using tarot to bring you into a state of watchfulness or for being present at every moment. A list at the end of the book correlates each Osho Zen card with a Rider-Waite card for easy reference.




5. Tarot for Beginners: A Guide to Psychic Tarot Reading, Real Tarot Card Meanings, and Simple Tarot Spreads – Lisa Chamberlain

Dispelling myths and misconceptions that are so commonly associated with tarot, Lisa Chamberlain’s book for beginners gives 21st-century readers everything they need to REALLY know about this deck. She guides you through the process with a step-by-step approach while giving you the meaning of every card.


The author has focused on helping the reader use the tarot for themselves by giving them useful tips and tricks of the trade when reading the cards. This guide is relevant for any type of tarot so you’re not limited to a specific deck. Basic interpretations give you an understanding of what each card means.


If you’re looking for a guide to understanding the history of tarot, tips to using two most-used spreads, and the core meanings of each card, then you’ll find this book useful. This author will show you how to use the language of tarot for inner self-work.



Final Thoughts

There’s always something new to learn when using the tarot deck no matter how many years you’ve been reading the cards. I often turn to my guides to give me more in—depth interpretations when my intuition needs more prompting! I hope you find these books as useful as I do.


Learn more about the history of tarot in this video.



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