The quick answer to whether you can read the tarot for yourself is yes! I do it every day, however there are a lot of tarot readers who find it difficult to do a reading for themselves. I can understand why this is the case and I can also understand why it can be difficult to do a reading for friends and family too.
It doesn’t really matter what technique you use to read the cards, whether it’s looking at the imagery, knowledge of the individual cards and the astrology involved, pure intuition or just saying how you feel about the card. Most tarot readers use a combination of these methods, but the main thing is you can’t be biased. Using your intuition can sometimes come across as you being biased, but that’s very different. The issue of doing a reading for yourself is that you are likely to be biased when interpreting the cards.
Depending on the situation and your general take on every day events, you might end up turning a positive reading for yourself into a negative one and vice versa. For example, I’ve been slowly recovering from an inner ear disorder called Labyrinthitis which causes dizziness, vertigo and tinnitus. Recently I had a bad attack and I decided to consult the tarot to find out if it was coming back. I drew the ‘four of swords’ which was probably the worst card to get for a question like that. I started freaking out, thinking that my whole life is going to be ruined because the illness is coming back. After a while I took it to mean that it was referring to the recovery period. It most likely meant that I shouldn’t push myself too much as it could cause a relapse. If I was reading for someone else, it would have been the second interpretation that I would have chosen, but since it was a reading about me, and I can be overly negative about myself and my life sometimes, I took it the wrong way.
The same thing can happen when you’re doing a reading for a friend or family member. You often want the outcome to be positive for someone you’re close to and you don’t want to disappoint them. I’ve often questioned if I twisted an interpretation to sound more positive than it is just to please someone. At the same time I also think that in every reading you can find positives and so it isn’t so bad to put a positive spin on a reading as long as you’re not ignoring the negatives.
Another issue with reading for yourself and people you know is that you know too much about yourself and the people close to you. You can end up basing a reading on the knowledge you already have of the person instead of solely basing your interpretation on what the cards are saying. You might not be doing this on purpose but it can affect the reading slightly.
When it comes down to it, it is still fine to do readings for yourself and your friends and family. The reading won’t be completely skewered by your intimate knowledge or your tendency to maybe twist an interpretation one way or another. You can still get some very important insight and direction from using the tarot for yourself. Remember to always keep an open mind and try to be fairly neutral with your interpretations instead of jumping to overly negative or positive interpretations.