Reading tarot cards is a talent, like singing. Everyone has the ability to sing at some level. Some people are as talented as opera singers; some can only carry a tune. There's no mystery in that. It's an ability you can improve upon, and it's very much like paraphrasing.
Remember when you saw a great movie or read a great book? You just had to tell your best friend all about it, but you hadn't memorized it. So what did you do? You paraphrased it. You knew the intent of the author, you knew how it felt to read it or watch it. Then, you just had to convey it to someone else.
Reading the tarot is a lot like that. You know the meanings of the cards. You understand what the various positions signify. Then you paraphrase what you see. The more you do it, the better you become at it. Just like singing.
Even more like singing, you find after time, that you begin to improvise. Improvisation can take a lot of twists and turns, and so can your readings. The last time you may have looked at that Five of Swords you realized that it meant that there would be 5 months of waiting. The next time you looked at it, you heard the words “Not Five!" in your head, and realized it referred to how many days a week a client should be going to work.
Reading tarot cards is a two-way street, however. You cannot read your own cards, and you can't learn what they really mean without reading for another person. If you're just beginning your quest to learn how to read the tarot, find a few friends who will let you read for them. Don't read more than twice a month for anyone, as the readings will become muddled. This is true whether you are a novice or a professional. Have your friend take notes and report back on the various events your spoke about with him.
There is another aspect of reading that is very crucial. You must try different tarot decks to find which ones will work the best for you. There is a lot of mumbo jumbo out there about not letting others touch your deck, but that's just superstition. If you aren't in a position to buy a dozen decks to try them out, find out if you can borrow a deck from a friend. As with anything you borrow, take care of it, and return it promptly. The magic is in the respect you have for your friends and their possessions.
Eventually, through practice, getting feedback from your friends and trying different decks, you will become comfortable reading tarot cards. Keep at it. Have fun with it. In the end, you'll reap rewards you never imagined!
LucyD has been reading and teaching the tarot for 25 years. Her area of expertise is demystifying the tarot for easy access by anyone. Get your special report entitled: The Seven Questions to Ask Before Getting Your Cards Read at http://onlytarot.net