Anything worth doing ain't always easy, baby
As with any hobby or discipline, learning takes effort.
It's easy to feel dissuaded from learning tarot. It's something of a complex system, full of symbolism, legacy, and a legendary history.
But there are numerous benefits to learning about the cards, whether your goal is to become a master reader or not.
Read on for three common reasons people hesitate to learn to read tarot.
1. Too many cards
Maria, in The Sound of Music, advised the Von Trapp family to start at the very beginning.
Many tarot books, and even ones just out of the box, seem to indicate that certain cards, the 22 Major Arcana, come first.
These cards represent key archetypes and it can feel daunting to begin with them. Instead, you may want to set aside those ornate cards with the roman numerals on them. Try this:
Break it down to the four elements. Then organize them by numbers.
You know about air, wind, water, and fire. They behave in certain ways. And you can look at how they are represented on the cards.
Numbers may require a little more mental muscle, but when you compare the same numbers across the four elements, you can begin to understand the structure within them.
2. This is another language
Yes it is!
Some of the cards depict royalty and others are obscure concepts, like Justice, Strength, and Temperance.
What if, and this may be sacrilege, you try reading with the cards that speak clearest to you first?
Correct, that's not reading tarot proper, not when you don't use the entire deck. But it's a beginning. And you can't expect fluency in a foreign language right away, so why not consider setting aside the difficult cards for a short time.
Take away the hardest cards with a solid plan to familiarize yourself with them over a set amount of time. And play with the easy cards: a reward for your dedication.
3. Too much to memorize
There is a lot to remember. But you can use apps like Galaxy Tone to help you digest one or a few cards at a time.
Tarot cards are, to many, a luxury item or sacred object. All the same, you might have found your first deck at a garage sale, thrift store, or library used book store (I heard someone found his Thoth deck in a dumpster in Denver: all 78 cards).
Tarot essentially is a deck of decorated cardboard, and I join a chorus of others when I say: put key words on your cards to help you memorize meanings.
You just might want to purchase a deck with this in mind. I would resist making too cheap of a purchase. You may wish to practice shuffling and reading your cards. Quality card stock is essential.
Trust your knowledge and any method you feel compelled to try. You already understand more than you might believe.
What are your favorite methods of learning a new skill?
There are more than one way to get a job done!
Do you like learning from books, from trial and error, from working alongside others and adapting their techniques?
What's your strategy for learning, or a tip you'd like to share when it comes to understanding tarot?
Please comment below!
Next week's blog introduces the "March Mantras Challenge" I am hosting on Instagram and throughout social media. Prizes include free tea from Happy Lucky's Teahouse and a three card tarot reading from yours truly at North Star Muse. Learn why and how the challenge is going down next week.
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Thanks for the read.
Tabitha Dial is a tarot, tea leaf reader, and creative mentor in Lexington, Kentucky. She facilitates the Create your Fate (Tarot and more) Meetup and teaches seminars at the Mystical Paranormal Fair once a month. Her poetry has appeared in articles on SpiralNature.com, in "Arcana: The Tarot Poetry Anthology", and in "Tarot in Culture" Volume Two.