I’m sure like many others, you are confused on how to read intuitively. Heck, I spent ten year not reading intuitively tarot myself and I was quite confused. I was especially envious of those who could read intuitively and get all those informations from a card. As an air sign, and lots of air in my chart, I’m rather rational and logical than intuitive, I could be, without a doubt, a Vulcan in a past life.
My first intuitive reading hit me like a brick. I have to tell you that story. I had just bought the Ancient Enlightement Tarot and those who know what deck know how weird and strangely ugly the deck is. I personally like weird and strange and the fact that the Rider-Waite Smith minors are inspired from it, I had to have it. As usual when I get a new deck, I bring it to my mother so she can check it out, she deeply wishes though I could stick to one deck for life at some point. She asked me to read her about work using this deck and I did so. As the obstacle position, the Three of Wands came up, the infamous decapitated cupidon. This card was my first intuitive reading. As you can see, the cheeks of the cupidon are hurt and swollen and he seems in pain. I suddenly remembered my mother’s arthritis and in particular the one she has in her mouth and jaws, at that moment it was very painful and swollen and it was giving to my mother headaches as well, she could barely eat too, hindering her work. I swear, when I saw this card and understood it, I almost jumped and screamed: "Oh my God, I just read intuitively!!!"
Another example of an intuitive reading is one I made at some point with the Fey Tarot. The High Priestess came up. She is a pretty fey reading a book, sitting in some stairs. I was wondering what it could be, as you probably must have noticed, majors are hard to decipher, and suddenly, I saw that there was a door in the back at the top of the stairs, and the two dragons seemed to be inviting me there but the High Priestess was blocking the path. I realised that it meant that there was something I wanted to get but a person was blocking my way to get it which was true indeed (I ended up not getting it by the way).
Since then, I do read more intuitively. I guess we are so worried to learn by heart the cards and stop using the books all the time that we forget to look at the images of the deck. Effectively, the images will draw you in and elements might pop up more than others and you might suddenly get an idea about it. It is important though to keep on learning tarot’s meanings, for intuition will not always kick in and you will need to fall back on your knowledge of tarot then.
An aspect though that might affect reading intuitively is the deck that you are using. As you can see in my examples, there is only one decapitated cupidon on a Three of Wands and it’s in the Ancient Enlightement Tarot. If I would have used another deck, I would have not gotten that reading. You might like the deck you have now but do you really connect with it? Can you be inspired by it and read intuitively with it? Sometimes, people get better readings with other decks than the "one" they have, some say that since you are not used to these new images, the cards are fresh and elements might pop up more than a deck you know by heart and don’t really notice anymore. Since this is all a matter of personal taste here, what might work for you might not work for others. You might find some decks aesthetic pleasing and yet, you might not be able to do intuitive readings with them. It’s a matter of testing decks and finding the one, or the ones, that suits you best. Some per example, use certain decks for certain matters, like The Lovers Path Tarot for love and relationship readings. As you can see, having more than one deck can give you advantages over those who only have one.
This is a past blog entry from my tarot blog on Multiply.