Learning to Read Tarot & Self Study
If you are wanting to learn tarot, we have some tips on how to make it fun and exploratory and not like a boring math class. Of course, you know how you learn best so feel free to do what makes most sense to you.
Things you will need:
- A Tarot deck you connect with
- A notebook and pen
- Google or a Tarot book (we LOVE
This process will be ongoing, so be patient and make your expectation just to enjoy the process of learning and to connect with your intuition.
We recommend taking notes on the basic structure of a tarot deck in the first couple pages of the notebook. You will want to cover:
Numerology – each suit has Ace-10. It is important for you to know the energy that each number carries as it will help you interpret the card. Check out our post here for numerology.
Court Cards - What energies do the Seekers (Page), Conquerors (Knights), Sovereigns (Queens) and Rulers (Kings) hold? Find out more in this post.
Major Arcana - The first 22 cards of the deck are called the Major Arcana and are often referred to as The Fool's Journey. The first card is The Fool, and every card provides a lesson, teacher or archetype to aid The Fool in their journey. Read more about the Major Arcana in our post here.
Self Study Work
So set aside 30 min to an hour and each day of study. You will pick 1-3 cards to work on each study session, and these can be chosen randomly, intuitively or in order.
Dedicate a page or two to each card, putting the name of the card at the top.
Then take the first card and notice what you notice. What’s your immediate feeling when you look at it?
Then look a bit closer, what sorts of imagery do you see in the deck? Write those down. So for example, if you are using our deck, you may see a clock…write down “clock” and then also what it means to you. Do this for everything you see.
Write down your general interpretation of the card, and how all the pieces connect to one another. Sometimes as we intuitively learn, we will be reminded of a memory we have, this is our higher awareness putting the situation in terms we already know. So if you pull Two of Cups, you may remember a time where you partnered with a friend to do a project and it went so beautifully and you worked so well together. This is Two of Cups energy! Your intuition will always use what your conscious mind has available to it so you can understand. Don’t feel silly no matter what comes up.
After you feel complete, look up the card in the booklet, book or google and write down some key takeaways.
Hopefully they are similar but if they aren’t, that’s ok! This is a learning process. Even being way off is helpful because in noticing how you interpreted things differently than the intention, it teaches you how to see things in a new perspective.
For example, I went to an art museum yesterday and I was struck by the early work of Julie Mehretu. When I looked at the first 2 pieces I saw the Apocalypse. But when I read her description it was far less intense, focused on the passing of time and change, the intersections of different power structures and their impact on the world around them. I saw how my personal wounds greatly affected by ability to see her work…and even knowing the intention it was difficult for me to see! But as I continued through the collection, I tried to drop what I knew and I began seeing the work with new eyes.
Be kind to yourself as you learn Tarot and know that even readers who have been doing this for years still learn new things! As you continue to work with the cards, you can continue adding to your page of notes on them.
Also know that whatever you “set” as the meaning for an aspect of the card…that is now the meaning to you. It will override the booklet and even the traditional structure. This will bring a new layer to your readings, allowing you to see many facets in a single card beyond the traditional meaning.
Learning a new skill is always a special time – it really only happens once. Sometimes we want to rush the process and be established fast, but it is always so fun to look back on the beginning...when we didn’t know what to expect or how it would create change within us. Be grateful for this moment.