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Using the methods of renowned reader Brigit Esselmont, Everyday Tarot blends mysticism with actionable self-help to create a method for building the life you want, using the ancient wisdom of Tarot.
This approachable guide, from the founder of the incredibly popular website Biddy Tarot, brings the allure and guidance of Tarot to contemporary, goal-focused readers through relatable exercises and an emphasis on intuition. Everyday Tarot takes a fresh approach to a timeless art, giving modern soul-seekers the tools they need to access their inner wisdom and create an inspired life, using the cards as their guide. This contemporary approach to Tarot is empowering, uplifting, powerful, and practical — instead of seeking to tell the future, this method allows readers to unlock their full potential by connecting more deeply to their own instincts.
This unique book draws on the knowledge of Brigit Esselmont, the founder of Biddy Tarot. Her distinctive approach blends Tarot with personal growth, creating an actionable wellness practice that speaks to contemporary readers. Beginning with Esselmont’s personal story of leaving behind a corporate career to pursue a more grounded, passionate life, this beautiful and useful volume explains how Tarot really works, with a focus on how we approach the cards and draw on our inner wisdom for guidance. Everyday Tarot moves through concrete areas of life (career, romantic relationships, major goals) and incorporates exercises and sample spreads, alongside a quick-start guide to reading the cards that reinforces big picture concepts and builds confidence as readers begin creating powerful and positive change.
FOUR A.M. IT WAS PITCH BLACK OUTSIDE, AND THE AIR WAS COLD. I was wide awake.
I was fourteen years old and on a mission to master the art of ESP, extrasensory perception. So, I lit a candle and stared into the flame. The minutes ticked past as I stared and stared. Five minutes. Ten. Twenty. I sat there just waiting for something “extrasensory” to happen. But all I saw was the flickering flame in front of me.
I opened my tattered ESP book, a hand-me-down from my mother, and reread the page outlining what I could expect to happen when I stared at the flame. My third eye would open, the book promised, and I’d receive infinite wisdom from the Universe. Oh dear. All I got was a headache and a black spot in front of my eyes.
Candle gazing wasn’t the only thing I tried to increase my psychic abilities. I made my own Zener ESP cards—five cardboard cards with different shapes and colors—and did my best to switch on my supernatural powers to guess what was on each card as they lay facedown in front of me. But alas, I only got a 20 percent hit rate and a growing feeling I was not a born psychic.
So, I gave up on ESP and instead focused on all kinds of spirituality and religion. I learned about Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam (thanks to the open-minded religious education teacher at my Presbyterian school). And I delved into Wicca, Paganism, and witchcraft (hey, The Craft came out when I was in high school!). I experimented with spell crafting, meditation, yoga, prayer, chanting, and more gazing, this time at sacred symbols like Om and the Flower of Life.
The timing was perfect. My high school years were rocky, dealing with the usual issues of troubled friendships, nasty bullies, and broken hearts as I experienced love (and lust) for the first time. Exploring these different spiritual systems helped to keep me grounded and open-minded as I discovered new aspects of myself and how I fit into the world.
In 1997, when I was seventeen, I traveled to Germany as a high school exchange student. I was keen to become fluent in German and expand my horizons in a new culture. I went to see a Tarot card reader before I left, just as a bit of fun, to see what might happen on this six-month trip. The reader was in an old part of town with a painted wooden sign out front. I walked up the creaky wooden stairs, through a purple and gold sheer curtain, and into a small room filled with crystals, angelic statues, incense smoke, and, of course, Tarot cards. It was like walking into a movie set, and I wondered if this was part of the act.
The woman invited me to sit down, then reached out and held my hands. “What do you want to know, dear?” she asked, her eyes piercing into my soul, reading every thought I had—or, so I feared. I explained I was going abroad for six months and wanted to find out what might happen when I got there. She picked up her well-loved cards and, closing her eyes, mumbled something to herself then shuffled. Meanwhile, my heart was racing and my palms were sweating, as I looked for the nearest exit in case she flew around the room. The woman opened her eyes and then peeled off the top card of the deck, laying it down on the table.
“Ooh, the Emperor! You’re going to find love in Germany, doll. Real love. Not all that high school stuff you’ve been contending with. Your heart will open in a big way, and you’ll fall madly in love with a sweetheart.”
For a moment, I was super-excited. Love? That sounded amazing! But then the doubt and skepticism rushed in. I bet she says this to everyone. She’s just telling me what I want to hear. This isn’t real. This is BS.
I walked away from the reading thinking I had just wasted my fifty bucks on someone who made up whatever her clients yearned to hear. But there was also a part of me that was hopeful—sneakingly optimistic that what she had said was right and I would find love. “Oh, stop dreaming!” my mind kept telling me. So I forgot about the reading and moved on with practicing my German and getting ready for the big trip.
I was in love six months later. I had found the boy of my dreams, a real sweetheart who wanted to impress me and take care of me. We met in class at the local high school, and he was keen to show me around and give me a taste of the German lifestyle.
Later, he invited me to stay at his home for a few weeks when I had a falling out with my host family. It was a blissful romance that came to its inevitable end when my six months were up and I had to fly home to Australia. There were tears and promises to stay in touch, but, eventually and inevitably, we grew apart—although, his mum still sends us gifts every year and emails with regular updates.
The Tarot reader was right. He was my first Emperor!
That got me thinking. If the Tarot cards predicted this new romance, then surely they could do so much more. So I asked my parents for a deck of cards for Christmas, and I learned how to read Tarot.
LEARNING TAROT—THE EARLY DAYS
At first, I was keen to learn how to use the Tarot cards to predict the future, just as the woman had done for my first reading.
As a diligent first-year university student studying commerce and arts, I did what had worked for me throughout my education. I created a study plan and set about memorizing the card meanings, rote learning how to do a Tarot reading.
I bought a dozen books on Tarot cards, created my own notebook with a few blank pages set aside for each card, and scheduled at least one hour a day to study. I decided to start with the Fool—the first card in the deck—and move my way through each of the seventy-eight Tarot cards, until I knew every single meaning by heart. Then, I would be a master of Tarot—or so I thought.
Off I went—spending hours reading about each card, taking copious amounts of notes, and then doing spot quizzes to make sure I had remembered what I learned about them all.
Then I learned how to do a Tarot reading. I researched what I would need for a reading (a cloth, crystals, candles, essential oils, and so on), learned the techniques for shuffling and laying out the cards, and memorized the most popular Tarot spreads.
Eventually, I felt ready to do my first “real” Tarot reading! Hoping to gain insight into my love life, I asked, “When will I find love?” and shuffled the cards, laying them in the ten-card Celtic Cross (purportedly the spread for reading Tarot). The first card represented me in my present situation—the Page of Cups, with a young man holding a cup with a fish jumping over the rim. I scanned my memory bank and remembered, “Ah! A message or invitation! A surprise that brings joy.” Things sounded good so far.
Then I looked at the second card, representing the challenge—the Nine of Swords, where a woman has awoken from a nightmare and is holding her head in her hands. “Oh dear. Worry, anxiety, nightmares,” I recalled. And so the reading went on.
By the end of the reading, I had ten different messages about my future love life from the ten different cards. It was interesting, but not the massive download from the Universe I had been hoping for. And it was a little confusing, to be honest. Every card had its own message and nothing fit together into a broader message. Plus, every book had a slightly different meaning for the cards, and I was never sure which was the “right” one.
I kept practicing like this for a year or two, hoping that over time I would someday master the Tarot and be able to predict the future with my new superpowers.
It didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted. Every reading felt robotic. Instead of opening my third eye and accessing the psychic realm, I was busy trying to remember what the cards meant, hoping I was right. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this.
I put my Tarot cards in the back of a drawer, feeling disappointed and upset that I had just spent two years trying to learn how to read but still couldn’t do what I wanted. Fortune-telling would just have to wait for a different lifetime.
A few months later, I got a niggling feeling I needed to reconnect with my Tarot cards again. So one morning, I dug them out and lay them in front of me. I knew from my earlier work that rote learning just wasn’t cutting it. So this time, I tried something different.
I shuffled the deck and pulled a card: the High Priestess. This time, instead of trying to recall its precise meaning, I let myself gaze at the imagery of the card and allowed myself to “drink” it all in. The beautiful woman had a dreamy, all-knowing vibe about her. The crescent near her feet reminded me of the wise, feminine energy of the moon. Then I saw the pillars on either side and sensed she was the guardian of a sacred space, and I remembered that there were pillars in some other cards, like Justice and the Hierophant. I wondered, “Is there a connection there?” Then I saw the book in her lap, as if she had all the answers to life’s questions at her fingertips, and also inside her mind and heart.
I felt something shift within me as I gazed at this card. My mind was no longer in overdrive, fretting about the “right” meaning. Instead, a beautiful energy flowed over me, and I could feel my own sense of knowing, just like the High Priestess. Then it dawned on me: the High Priestess was… me. I was the High Priestess. I closed my eyes and imagined myself as this woman, sitting in this sacred space, with all the answers I needed available to me. I understood that I, not some Tarot book or expert authority, was the source of all knowledge. Everything was within me.
With this powerful insight, I started reading Tarot differently. Instead of thinking what a card meant, I felt what it meant to me. Instead of worrying about the right meaning for a card, I let the imagery and symbolism of the card guide me. And what happened was magical. I established a personal and intuitive connection with the Tarot cards and, ultimately, a personal and intuitive connection with myself.
When I operated this way, my readings were so much more in the “flow.” I could see the story. It wasn’t about piecing together individual card meanings, but instead beautiful, intuitive connections were coming through the cards, creating a personalized and relevant narrative. Rather than using the cards for fortune-telling and party tricks, I saw the lusciousness of the insights I could attain from them, perspectives that showed me more about the present moment and my true potential. A whole new world was opening up to me in a beautiful and unique way.
And as a result, I discovered that I was intuitive and I gained a deeper appreciation of my own spirituality. I trusted myself more, and as I read for more and more people, my client interactions became much more enriching.
I had finally discovered that blissful place where Tarot flows, and I was ready to share it.
THE BIRTH OF BIDDY TAROT
While I was learning to read Tarot back in 1999, I also started my own website to share what I was finding out about the cards with others on the Internet (and let’s be honest, I needed the distraction from studying accounting and economics). Every time I uncovered something new, I would post it to my website—Tarot card meanings and spreads, techniques, you name it. By 2001, I was offering ten-card Tarot readings for ten dollars (crazy cheap, right?), and people bought them!
I didn’t realize it then, but this fun side hobby would later turn into the seven-figure business people now know as Biddy Tarot.
WHY “BIDDY” TAROT?
Many people ask me, “What does the ‘Biddy’ mean?” Well, I wish I had an impressive story to tell you about how I meditated in the rainforest about my business name and dreamed of a cute, furry kangaroo that whispered the words, “Biddy Tarot.”
But alas, it wouldn’t be the truth.
In fact, the truth is a little embarrassing.
When I was thirteen, all my friends had cool nicknames—except me.
So I did what any kid would do: I made up my own nickname—Biddy (short for Brigit)—and encouraged everyone to call me by it.
The only problem was… my plan didn’t work.
Everyone kept calling me Brigit, much to my disappointment, and I had to give up on ever having a nickname.
Seven years later, I was gearing up to launch my website and to begin my professional Tarot reading practice, but I didn’t feel comfortable using my real name. So out came “Biddy,” and Biddy Tarot was born!
Now, twenty years later, Biddy Tarot has blossomed into the leading online learning community for people who read Tarot. Every year, Biddy Tarot helps over four million people read Tarot and is consistently in the top rankings on Google as a trusted source for card meanings and tutorials. Over 2,000 students have taken part in our online training courses, and we have more than 1,000 members in our Biddy Tarot Community. We employ fifteen team members (including my husband) and now generate an annual revenue of over $1 million through our online courses, books, audio programs, and a membership site.
It seriously blows my mind.
Thanks to the success of the Biddy Tarot business, I can spend more time at home with my family; I’ve manifested my dream home on the Sunshine Coast, Australia; we live an abundant lifestyle; and we can travel regularly and take extended breaks to do fun things together.
At the same time, Biddy Tarot is giving me the space to go deeper with my own spiritual practice. And every time I teach others about Tarot, I end up teaching myself something new too. It nudges me along, inviting me to go deeper.
It is more than I ever could have hoped that day as I gazed at the High Priestess and read the Tarot intuitively for the first time.
HOW I USE TAROT NOW
When I started learning Tarot, I focused on mastering the Tarot card meanings and reading with confidence. My goal was to do a Tarot reading from start to finish, without going blank or worrying whether I had it right, and to create an accurate and insightful reading using the cards and my intuition.
I then put my energy and attention into reading Tarot for others, as a professional reader. Over twenty years I read for over ten-thousand clients, mostly online. Now, you would think having read for thousands of clients, I would have “mastered” Tarot, but what I came to realize is that you can never fully do that. It’s an ongoing journey where you reconnect with your inner wisdom. The deeper you go with the Tarot, the deeper you go with yourself. My epiphany fundamentally changed my practice.
In fact, in the last two years, I have moved away from reading Tarot for others and am now focusing on teaching people how to read their own Tarot cards and connect with their own intuition. You see, I believe it is so much more powerful when you discover the answers rather than have them read to you by someone else.
I noticed it in my own practice. Yes, I could help other people create significant transformations in their lives. However, I had the most impact when I read Tarot for myself and when I taught others to do the same. And so my Tarot practice evolved into something personal and private. I use Tarot throughout my day to support myself in reflecting on the present moment and connecting with my inner wisdom.
While many people go straight to the Tarot cards, I go to my intuition first through meditation, breathing, visualization, and deep listening—only then do I consult the cards. This shifts the energy from depending on my cards to relying on my intuition and inner wisdom and using the cards as a way to deepen my connection with my Higher Self.
I’ll share more about what happens when you read Tarot intuitively in the next chapter, but for now, know this: reading Tarot intuitively helps you to bring your energy and attention inward, discover your inner wisdom, and trust you have all the answers you need. The Tarot cards support this process by providing the imagery and symbolism you need to connect with your subconscious and intuitive mind, and ultimately, they reflect what you already know deep within.
There is no end to how you can use Tarot. It’s all up to you and how it will best serve your Highest Good. There is no better time than right now to strengthen your connection with your intuition.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM THIS BOOK
Everywhere you look, there is a movement toward spirituality and conscious living. More and more people are turning to meditation, yoga, crystals, Reiki, and Tarot. Millennials are leading the charge for a more connected, fulfilled, conscious life. And Tarot meets those desires.
Step into any Urban Outfitters store and you’ll find the Wild Unknown Tarot deck, Tarot-themed apparel, or an invitation to the latest Tarot Swap Meet.
You’ll even find Tarot-inspired outfits from top designers like Christian Dior, and Tarot-inspired fragrances from Dolce & Gabbana.
Tarot has found its way into popular magazines such as GOOP, Vogue, Teen Vogue, and Elle and even into the business and news outlets at Forbes, Entrepreneur, Wired, and the New York Times.
In the past, Tarot was synonymous with crushed velvet, crystal balls, and Renaissance fairs. But now, Tarot is being seen in a new light—as the cutting-edge path to a deeper connection with the Higher Self.
We are truly waking up and becoming more aware of who we really are—soulful beings having a human experience in this lifetime. No longer will we plod through our days, accepting the status quo and allowing others to control us. No longer will we seek external validation; we want inner wisdom. Now it’s about making conscious choices about who we want to be, what we want to create, and how we can manifest our fullest potential. And Tarot will help us get there. It gives us space and time to connect with our truest selves.
Tarot is no longer just a party trick to predict the future. It’s a soulful tool to help you create the future you want by being your best self and using your inner wisdom and power to manifest your goals.
And that’s what this book is about—offering a practical guide filled with actionable tips and exercises to help you unlock your inner wisdom and manifest your deepest desires. In these pages, you’ll discover how anyone can use the Tarot to manifest their wildest dreams, create love-fueled relationships, set and achieve goals, fulfill your soul’s purpose in work and life, make important decisions, and create the life you want. And you’ll learn how to use your intuition to set goals, manifest those goals in alignment with your soul’s purpose, and power up with the energy of the Tarot cards to achieve your dreams.
But let me be clear. This is not a “learn Tarot” book. I’ll give you a quick crash course on how to read Tarot in chapter 2, but the best way to learn to read Tarot is to read Tarot. So even if you’re a beginner worried that you don’t know enough, just have a go. And if you would like to go deeper and build your Tarot skills, then check out my courses on www.biddytarot.com.
Now, beautiful soul-seeker, as you step into this journey of Everyday Tarot, I want to invite you to…
Make every day an intuitive, connected, and aligned experience in which you are looking at conscious choices about what you create.
Open your mind, your heart, and your intuition—even just a bit. Even when it feels like it’s getting too “woo-woo” or weird, just keep an open mind and give it a try.
Be ready to go deeper into who you are—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Trust that you have everything you need. All the answers lie within.
Honor yourself and make time for you. Even just five minutes a day can impact your well-being.
See Tarot as a part of your life, not just for “doing readings” but as something to integrate into your everyday being.
Forget about doing it right. There is no “right” with Tarot. It’s about trusting your intuition and doing it your way.
Be ready to ask, Who am I? And how can I live life to my fullest potential, in alignment with my Highest Good?
BONUS READER RESOURCES
I’ve created a reader resource kit just for you! It includes bonus worksheets, tutorials, tips, and resources to complement what I share in this book. To access your resources, visit www.everydaytarot.com/free.
And to learn more about Biddy Tarot, and me, visit www.biddytarot.com.
This book is intended to make Tarot a living, breathing part of your life and it is a tool to take your practice to the next level. Dip in and out, or read it all at once. Play and experiment! The activities and techniques should get you started, but you can create your own or customize to your heart’s content. You have my blessing!
As you’re about to see, this ain’t your grandma’s Tarot!
TAROT + INTUITION
SO, WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TAROT AND INTUITION?
If you are like me, you’ve got your Tarot cards in your hot little hands and can’t wait to get straight into the juicy activities in this book. But hold up! Before we get into hands-on exercises, I want to take a moment to discuss what we’re really doing here: accessing our inner wisdom and manifesting the future we most desire, using Tarot and intuition as our guide.
Learning how to use your Tarot cards is one thing. But understanding how to use them to connect with your intuition and your inner wisdom is another—that is the work we’ll be doing here. Your inner wisdom is where the magic happens, where your true power shines through and you begin to create a whole new way of living inspired by your Highest Self and your soul purpose. It’s time to tap into that.
WHAT IS INTUITION?
HAVE YOU EVER JUST KNOWN SOMETHING WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING HOW? That’s your intuition at work. It gives you the ability to sense something innately and, in so doing, bridges the gap between the conscious and unconscious parts of your mind.
People typically experience intuition as an “inner knowing” or a gut feeling about something. I’ll bet you can recall a time right now when you had a nagging feeling about something that you just couldn’t shake. You couldn’t explain why you felt that way, but it mattered to you.
For example, my friend Ineka had booked a romantic trip to Vietnam so she and her husband could take time out from their hectic family schedule for a week. But just after she locked in their plans, she started feeling that she needed to cancel the trip, even though it would mean losing the $500 deposit. Her husband wondered if she had gone crazy. She questioned herself too, but this intense notion was unshakable and Ineka knew she had to defy logic and cancel the booking.
She did, and thank goodness, because on the day they were meant to fly into Vietnam, a typhoon hit and the resort where they planned to stay was severely damaged. That’s intuition—you can’t explain why you feel the way you do, but you know it’s real—even if others assume you’ve lost your mind.
Now, do you need to be gifted or special to access your intuition? No. I believe we are all intuitive—including you. It comes down to whether you choose to dial into your inner knowing or not. Think of intuition as radio waves; some people tune in automatically and have a perfect signal straightaway while others might need to work at it more to cut out the static.
Meditation, journaling, breathing, visualization, and, of course, reading Tarot cards are all things that will help you develop and tune in to your intuition. We’ll explore these techniques as we go through the book.
HOW DOES INTUITION WORK?
While intuition can appear magical and mystical, it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s how intuition works. Your brain receives massive amounts of information every second. All that data is too much for the conscious mind to process at once, so lots of it gets pushed unprocessed into your subconscious for “storage.” Your intuition absorbs this data in the subconscious mind, culls useful information, and then brings it into your awareness, so if you are paying attention, you can use it to take action.
Intuition is more than just a conduit for data, though. It helps you connect to your inner wisdom so that you don’t have to rely on other people to tell you what to do. Your intuition helps you go deeper into who you are so that you can find flow and purpose in your life. It helps you manifest what you want by taking the path of least resistance toward your goal. Intuition enables you to let go of your ego and become more whole as you align with the Universe. I call it your superpower.
And Tarot? Well, Tarot is a tool to tap into your intuitive power and illuminate the wisdom of your Higher Self.
WHAT IS TAROT?
While many people expect that Tarot will tell you the future, predictions are not what Tarot cards are about. According to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, “The most powerful sources of information come from within; the Tarot aids in coming in contact with one’s Higher Self.”
Tarot is the storybook of our life, the mirror to our soul, and the key to our inner wisdom.
Brigit Esselmont is one of the world's best-known and most beloved Tarot readers and teachers. She has grown Biddy Tarot into a global enterprise, with a website, courses, and newsletter. She regularly teaches and inspires millions of Tarot lovers, influencing them to live a more mindful and enlightened life with Tarot as their guide. She lives in Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia with her husband and two daughters.