A question I hear a lot. Whenever people are thinking about learning tarot cards, most people will quickly picture an old lady sitting behind a crystal ball, dramatically pulling some battered cards out of the mysterious deck of 78. For anybody who is genuinely interested however, no broomstick or headscarf is required, it’s quite easy to pick up some tarot cards, or buy some Tarot cards online, and give it a go for yourself. It’s likely that initially it’s not going to be as immersing doing it yourself as it would be consulting a professional Tarot reader, though everyone has to start somewhere. The trouble starts to arise however when you try to do the analysing of the cards yourself as it can be tricky if you don’t know yet what all of the cards mean, this is where a lot of people give up. There is a cure for that however, as lots of beginners start out reading the cards with either a mentor, or with the use of Tarot card books.
Creating or colouring your own Tarot cards
I knew that Tarot was my life’s purpose. I set out to create my own deck to really absorb the symbols & meanings, based on the classic Rider Waite imagery, using photographic collage effects & photos not only of myself, but many friends from along my journey. Obviously this is a huge & time consuming choice. An easier option is to obtain a deck of Tarot cards that have only the outlines for you to colour in yourself as you absorb the meanings.
For a lot of people, trying to learn something new can be difficult or challenging, this can especially true when you are considering trying to learn how to read Tarot cards, as there are so many symbols, colours & upright & reversed positions to consider in the spread, ( if you are going to use reversals). One of main blocks for learners is the fact that Tarot cards are always associated with the fantastical and the telling of people’s futures, the majority of people find it difficult to release themselves to something so mystical or exciting. Tarot reading isn’t solely about telling the future however, as it can also be used to help individuals learn more about what’s going on in their lives in the present, as well as past, even to the point of helping them figure out problems and issues of going on in their daily lives. When you consider the fact that we are living in a day and age when the New Age movement is on the rise and information is freely flowing, it only makes sense that people would try to seek help from the Universe for any type of situation they’re going through, or to help them to make a particular decision.
Tarot for self realisation
As interesting as giving readings for others is, that’s not where the true potential of Tarot reading lies, as the most effective part of the system deals with self-realisation. For the majority of people who get into Tarot it is with the idea that they are going to learn their future, or have their fortune read, not to go on a journey into themselves. Though in my experience this is the place it always leads, down the Royal Road of Tarot, through the Major Arcana & to what is known as the Fool’s Journey. Each Major archetype or greater seceret, enables us to look inside & challenge aspects of ourselves on our journey to self discovery.
Don’t give Up !
The majority of people who start out trying to learn how to read Tarot cards generally give up simply because of the fact that there are so many different meanings to all of the different combinations of cards in relation to how they are pulled out of the deck and placed on the table. Many people who are proficient in Tarot however would tell you that there’s really nothing to reading the cards or figuring out their meaning, it shouldn’t take any work at all. The majority of people drawn to the Tarot find it to be quite an enjoyable and rewarding experience that can give life-long benefits. If you want to know the official meaning of the cards, then you can easily read up on the subject by buying yourself a Tarot card reading guide, but when it comes to learning the true meaning of these cards, you’re going to have to pay attention to how it affects you and what it means to you personally. I have found time and again that the best Tarot readers are people who have some understanding of the official meanings, and then weave these in with their own personal intuitive impressions.
For example, if you pull a card of the deck and it suggests to you that you’re going to experience a career change for the positive, regardless of whether or not the chosen Tarot card actually “officially” means that, that’s what it means to you in that moment, and you should layer that belief in to your interpretation.
Daily Tarot Journal
One of my favourite suggested ways that an individual can go about learning how to read Tarot cards is to pick a card out of the deck each day and see if you can figure out its meaning, perhaps documenting their experience in a personal Tarot journal. This will allow you to become familiar with the deck, and once you do begin to get familiar, you can always go to the official guide and see if you are close on what the official meanings are supposed to be, though your personal interpretations are what will always bring your readings to life.
When you start a daily Tarot journey, pull a card out of the deck and focus on the image and let your mind wander, your brain fully absorb it. Keep in mind that it really doesn’t matter how close you are to what the card is actually supposed to mean. The most important part is whether or not you’re going to be able to able to remember what the card meant to you the first time you saw it the next time you pull it in the deck. Eventually these memorisation and familiarity exercises will help you to gain a better understanding of the cards. If you stick to it, it shouldn’t take you any longer than a month to build up an association with the cards and effectively translate what they’re trying to tell you. Initially always remember that reading Tarot cards should be viewed as an exciting game that will allow you to get to know yourself better, and give you some insight on how you can react to situations in your life. When you initially think of it as a game, you’ll be able have a good time with it whether you’re by yourself, or with some friends.
I know many people who have expanded their enjoyment of their world by deciding to absorb the myriad images of the Tarot. As a hobby, a belief system or even a career, it is as valid as any other & I wish you many exciting, illuminating encounters with these magical images …
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