I’ve read tarot cards for over a decade ever since a friend’s aunt showed me her deck. Since then, I have collected decks and read for friends. A few years ago, I tried combining tarot and ghost hunting, and the results were fantastic. At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The idea behind the experiment stemmed from my belief of how tarot works. I’ve always felt that shuffling a deck absorbs the energy of whomever you are reading. Since spirits are a form of energy, why couldn’t they transfer that energy into a tarot deck?
The First Test
The first time I tried to read a location was an abandoned town. Most of the former homes reduced to foundations overgrown by brush and poison ivy. Because of this, it isn’t a location I don’t recommend going to and thus haven’t written about here. There is a river that flows through the area, and I chose that spot to sit on a log and lay out a cloth. I didn’t know where to start, as this method hadn’t been done before to my knowledge. If people have tried, they haven’t written about it at least. I did my best, and the results were better than I could have expected.
A Tragic Tale Revealed
As I shuffled the deck, I began to breathe deep, listened to the surroundings, and focused on the history absorbing into the cards. I laid out a three card reading representing the distant, near, and immediate past. It was difficult to focus because of the amount of energy surging into the cards. One event that was most prominent in my mind was the feeling of an individual pursued by a group. I decided to do a ten card reading, focusing on that energy. That reading revealed there was a death of a child, either during the late 1600s or early 1700s, and I felt it was an accident. The man who committed the murder was an outcast, and without adequately holding a trial, a group was formed to seek out and kill the man out of revenge.
It was a sad story to reveal, but it was discovered by reading the tarot of the location. Since then, I have done about two dozen readings of sites. Those readings had taken place at homes, outdoor areas, and locations that are both old and young in terms of when established in history. It was a trial and error process, but now I can pass that experience on.
Tips on How to Read Tarot at Locations
One of the most important things about this method is making sure you have a connection with the location. How that connection forms will vary from person to person, and not all places will connect with you for the same reason. If you have visited the location prior and are familiar with it, that will be a great connection to build off. If you haven’t been prior before, even showing up a half hour early and taking the time to walk around absorbing the scenery will help. Once you have a sense of the surroundings, deciding where to perform the reading is the next step.
Find the Heart of the Location
As cliche as it is, finding the heart of the location will improve the reading. For me, the heart of a place is where there is the most energy. Homes and locations are a bit easier to decide where that is. They tend to be the rooms where the living would have spent the most time. Kitchens, living rooms, concert hall stages, even a mud room everyone passed through all make potential heart rooms. If multiple rooms could be the heart, go to whichever one draws you in most.
Outdoor locations can be a bit more complicated when deciding where to read them. The ideal place would be if there were a specific area of the site where you know significant happened that would have created an energy imprint. If you don’t have that information or the energy is spread out throughout the location, pick an area where your eyes naturally wander. It could be a cluster of trees, a stature, a strangely shaped rock, or even a lone hill that sticks out. Whatever you may find, imagine drawing the energy to that spot like a magnet.
Shuffling the Deck to Read Tarot of Locations
When shuffling a tarot deck for reading a location, the process is almost identical to that of a person’s reading. If I want a general sense of the site, I’ll take a moment to sense the surroundings. Run your fingers across the wallpaper or through grass, and pay attention to how the environment smells. If you close your eyes and focus on the sounds, what can you hear? Is there anything around that affects how you feel? While shuffling, focus on those sensations and imagine the energy flowing into the cards. If you know an event that happened and you wish to find out more information about it, focus on that event while shuffling. If you have a photograph of someone you want to know more about, have a photo of them on hand and focus on their features.
Choosing a Spread to Read
When choosing a spread to read, I suggest starting with a three card reading representing distant, near, and recent past cards. Meditate on the cards and begin to piece them together as you would any other interpretation. When you’ve pulled images from the cards into your mind, reshuffle the deck and focus on the events. If you feel you need more pieces of the puzzle, lay out another three card reading until you have more of the story. When do you, try laying out spreads with more cards. No matter which spreads you choose to do, make sure you are comfortable with them. It will make it easier to read energy.
Be Sure to Cleanse Your Deck After a Reading
I always recommend cleansing your deck before leaving a location. You can sprinkle some sea salt over each card, and leave it outside to absorb into the ground. Just make sure it won’t kill any plants or grass if it is a landscaped area. Other options are to burn sage and pass the cards through the smoke, or use crystals to absorb any negative energy. Use whichever protections you usually would during a regular reading.
The Next Time You Investigate, Try Reading Tarot!
Reading tarot at locations was something I had no idea how it would go. Worst case there wouldn’t have been enough energy to transfer into the cards. I’m glad I decided to try it because it does add another element to investigations. Transferring energy into tarot cards gives you a better connection to the location that only investigating can’t offer by seeing the place spiritually, and visually. It also gives you further insight into the history of the site, including events and some of those that may have lived there prior or passed through. If you know how to read tarot, the next time you investigate, be sure to bring your favorite deck and try this method! If you do, I would love to hear about your results.