How to Avoid Burnout when Reading Tarot for Yourself

                                        The typical aftermath of one of my personal readings

                                        The typical aftermath of one of my personal readings


Admittedly, I am a huge fan of long, windy, soul-searching readings. I can stay up all night laying out cards and really getting into it. This is how my mind works. I love to analyze, dive into the world of detail, and draw connections. But this is also a shortcoming, especially when reading for myself.

When I first started using tarot, I only dealt in these epic card-slinging sessions. It was fun, it was engrossing, and it also made my life seem muddy and confused after a while. Luckily, I've since learned many ways to incorporate tarot into my life in more productive and easily-digestible ways.  

Longform tarot is an experience that is best to linger over, savor, and let unfold over time. I've found that 10+ card readings often reveal their deepest insights long after the reading is over. In my personal practice, I'll do one a month do get a big picture take on my life and its currents. Add any extra of these "big picture" readings and I quickly find their meaning diuluted and diffuse. Plus, I'm not able to focus on the trickier aspects, say a card that just doesn't seem to connect, and pay enough attention to notice when its true meaning reveals itself in my life. (This is, in my opinion, the most magical part of Tarot.) 

Yes, time is a key ingredient. Advice I am always loathe to hear and have trouble following myself! The same things goes for readings about personal issues or big decisions. Keep drawing cards and you could find yourself quickly overwhelmed with information.

This can be seen in relationships readings when you are simply dying to know if you should/will get back together with your ex or any similar situation where the stakes feel high and you're highly invested in a particular outcome. Simply put, it's not wise to pile on cards. You might be burying the wisdom you most need at the moment. Alternately, you could be tempted to continue drawing cards until you get the message you want. Never a wise move, but it comes from a very human impulse. 

So how can you enjoy tarot for yourself without getting burnt out and bogged down with information? I've found that limting myself to one large general reading a month, plus medium readings around sticky situations, decisions, and changes works wonders.

If I were to distill my practice into some sort of guideline, it would be to give each topic one month to percolate. So I'll only read on one subject once per month. If I find it's still present later, I'll draw cards again. Luckily, the question has usually changed as my life has unfolded and the sitaution has evolved.

And my favorite antidote for personal-reading burnout? Supplementing my practice with small, lighthearted readings on creative and sometimes random topics. These usually come in the form of one-card-draws and help me flex my tarot muscles in new directions. I limit my time, usually going off my immediate first impression, and keep it simple.