Geraldine Amaral is the co-author of Tarot Celebrations: Honoring the Inner Voice (1998). I read this book when it first came out and loved it, so I was very excited to see her at the Readers Studio. Her Master Class also concerned honing our intuitive abilities. With a partner, we did an intuitive reading of our soul cards (or DNA cards, as she called them). One thing that struck me in particular was the series of steps she always uses to prepare herself for any kind of tarot reading:
1. Breathe -- Take a few moments to focus on deep breathing because "spirit enters through the breath."
2. Affirm and Protect -- Call on your spiritual ideal for wisdom and protection.
3. Ground and Centre Yourself -- Feel your connection to the earth through your feet. Do not cross your arms or legs while doing so.
4. Soul Connection -- Place your hands (palm down) on the querent's hands (palm up). Close your eyes and breathe. Through the energy conveyed by your palms, try to tune into the querent's vibrations and make a soul connection.
5. Speak Name -- Have the querent speak their name three times. Tune into the name's spoken energy and vibration.
6. Open the Gate -- Imagine a door opening to your intuitive mind, which is "an altered state of consciousness -- the place where synchronicity is produced." With your eyes still closed, imagine yourself walking through that door.
7. Neutrality and Scribble -- Open your eyes and scribble all over a blank notebook page, while silently saying "I release. I release." This is to free you from your own prejudices, hang-ups and preconceived notions so that you can be neutral and unbiased while doing the reading. The scribbling physically enacts this release.
8. Now You're Ready to Read!
Geraldine also recommends "closing our intuition portals" at the end of each reading by thoroughly shuffling the cards before putting them away. A tarot reading imposes order on chaos and on completion, the cards need to be returned to chaos again. This shuffling also ensures that the querent's energy does not remain with the cards.