How to Read the Tarot Without a Deck

Today, I wrote a blog post about how I read the tarot without a physical deck. I use this almost every day to test my knowledge of the cards and for self meditation. It’s convenient as you can read the tarot while you are traveling in a taxi, while waiting in a line, or even walking somewhere.

I found this to be extremely helpful when I was first learning the cards to get familiar with each image. I highly suggest trying this out for yourself.

Click here to read the post.

Do you use any similar methods in your readings?

Why do you think this method works so well?


Interesting. When I was memorizing the I Ching, I would run through the hexagrams in my head as I fell asleep. It worked…but I fell out of regular practice and can’t now I’ve forgotten a lot of the specifics.

Maybe I’ll have better luck due to the strong visual imagery of the cards…plus it may be better than trying to use a phone or read a book when I wake up wayyyy too early in the morning and need to go back to sleep!


Right, I use this method often when I’m trying to fall asleep. I also use it when I go about my daily life. Right now, I have downtime in taxis a few days a week, so I’ll use that time to give myself readings. I think this exercise really helps solidify the images in my mind.

My best advice is to start with your favorite deck and stick with it. Since I’ve worked so much with Conver, Noblet, and Dodal, I sometimes get the images confused with one another. For example, I may use the Noblet deck in my mind and think about the bird in the tree in The Star, but I’ll later realize that this bird is only in the Conver and Dodal decks.

So, after you memorize the images from multiple decks, it becomes a game of remembering which objects are in which versions. But, I guess remembering too much information is better than not enough. And if you are giving a reading for yourself, you can always use a mix of all of the decks in your mind.


I’ve been working on an approach to both casting and interpreting I Ching Hexagrams with nothing more than the pen and paper (or cell phone) used to write down the hexagrams. Since you seem to have a lot of knowledge on I Ching, I’d be happy to show you what I have so far. A lot of it comes from Harmen Mesker’s material.


I can’t say I’m an expert, but I did play around with it quite a bit for a couple years!

I’ve done the coins and the yarrow stick methods. Both have their benefits (namely the coins are fast and the yarrow stick process is meditative)…I’ve even done virtual yarrow stalks (its quick and quiet so it doesn’t wake up the kids).

I haven’t read Mesker, but I’m definitely curious about what process you’re working on!

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It’s an extension of the Plum Blossom Oracle, which is where you choose trigrams based on observations. Unfortunately Harmen hasn’t written a book in English. I attended an online workshop with him back in October where he showed a lot of interesting techniques for interpretation. The casting extension of PBO is my own, though. And I’ve added some bits to the interpretation