I feel that for readings to be effective and a sacred act of divination, it is necessary to pull the cards from your deck in a calm, open, and centered manner. This is not always possible, I know...but here are some ways to attain that centered vibe so that you can in turn have a powerful reading experience and be receptive to the messages in the cards.
Find a proper place to do readings -- a place that feels right to you, a sacred and centered place, free from clutter. That may be your bed, your kitchen table, your desk, or a special spot outside. Where ever it is, let it be organized and allow good energy to flow there. Perhaps set up an altar in this space with crystals, a sage bundle, and some flowers. Do what you need to do to add a little extra magic to your sacred space so that it invites you to feel centered and focused from the moment you sit down there to do your reading.
Show respect for your cards. Find a centered state of mind before shuffling the deck and pulling a card. Take three deep, clearing breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth (bonus - breathe the exhales onto your deck to clear them!), or practice a few sun salutations. Dance a bit to get your wiggles out, meditate, tap into your creative energy with a zentangle....whatever it is you need to do to find your inner calm and to connect to your intuitive self -- do that. Then, shuffle the cards.
Set an intention. How would you like to feel as you are pulling the cards? What are you hoping to accomplish? Meditate on this intention, perhaps repeating it with every breath until you feel ready and grounded.
Connect to your intuition -- simply set an intention to connect to this innate knowledge and wisdom. Everyone is able to access this part of their inner selves...and the more you intend to connect to your intuition, the more you'll start to hear it speaking to you.
Do you have any rituals that you do before pulling a Tarot card? Share in the comments below...I'd love to hear them!