There are several systems that claim to teach you tarot in a day. I’ve never tried any of them so cannot comment on their efficiency. However, I am a firm believer that an in-depth knowledge of the tarot – the kind that means you can offer useful and uplifting readings to friends and clients – takes time and dedication to acquire.
Once you have decided to learn tarot, you need to choose a method. Will you sign up for a course, read a few books or learn as you go? It is perfectly feasible to save yourself some money by designing your own tarot study curriculum.
Here, we’ll focus on three ways that you can teach yourself the basics of tarot cards.
What You Need to Teach Yourself Tarot
You need a traditional Rider-Waite or similar deck and a good tarot book that lists out all the basic meanings of each card. My recommendation would be Power Tarot by Trish MacGregor and Phyllis Vega, as it gives meanings for the cards as they apply to the most common aspects of life: general, work, romance, finances, health, spirituality and (self) empowerment. The book also contains over 100 practice spreads.
You’ll also need a journal or folder in which to record your impressions of cards, traditional meanings and your readings.
Set a Tarot Study Schedule
Let’s say you can spare an hour a day to study tarot, you might divide it into three parts of approximately 20 minutes:
- In-depth examination of one card
- One or Two-card reading
Of course, you can adjust your schedule to suit your own circumstances; this is simply a suggestion.
Using a Tarot Journal
Draw a random card each morning and keep it in mind as you go about your day. Later, when you come to your journal, write about how the energies of the card reflected in the day’s events, feelings and interactions. Spend around 15 – 20 minutes on this exercise. Don’t worry about producing a perfect piece of writing; it’s more important to get your impressions down quickly.
Examining a Card in Detail
Choose a card. Look at it carefully. What is your immediate emotional reaction to the card? Write down how it makes you feel. Is your impression happy, sad, positive or negative? Then note every detail on the card. It’s surprising how much you miss until you do this. Are there birds in the sky, clouds? Are the trees being bent by a breeze? What sort of clothes are the figures (if there are any) wearing? Write it all down. Once you have done that, examine your feelings about the card again. Have they changed at all? Take as long as you need to on this exercise – it will stand you in good stead.
Carry out a one or two-card reading, either for yourself or for an event that is happening in the news. Refer to your book for the card meanings and see if you can link them with the circumstances. Again, take a real hard look at the card. Be still and pay attention to your intuition. A good tarot reading consists of a mixture of knowledge and gut feeling. Write a brief summary of your reading and don’t forget to date it. Check back after a few weeks to see how accurate your reading was.
Further Methods of Deepening Your Tarot Experience
Give Free Online Tarot Readings
When you feel confident, you might think about registering on a site that will give you the opportunity to give free readings. The American Tarot Association is one such organization.
Have your book to hand; you’ll be doing these by email, so you won’t be under any pressure to give a perfect reading right off the bat. Start by reading the question carefully. Do you understand clearly what they are asking? Choose a deck and shuffle it. Focus on the name of the person and their question. Draw the card. Give a brief description of the card in your own words.
In the next paragraph write out your interpretation of the card and how you feel it relates to their question. I find that offering the traditional meaning of the card first and then overlaying it with my intuitive feeling often produces a very accurate reading. Offer any advice that the card offers. Wish them well and sign off. If you can do a few of these a week, you’ll be well on the way to becoming a proficient reader. Don’t forget to ask for your own reading from the networks – that will help you a lot.
Learn the Basics of Numerology
To further your studies, learn basic numerology and see how it applies to tarot. You will find that even just a little study in this area will enhance your understanding and improve your tarot readings.
Read for Your Friends
Reading cards for your friends is a good way of cementing your knowledge of the card meanings and their relationship to other cards. Keep the spreads to three cards maximum. Warn your friends beforehand that this is a self-teaching exercise and you can’t guarantee the accuracy of your readings. Also explain that this is just for fun, thus negating the appearance of any of the darker cards.
Giving good, well-received tarot readings depends as much on your empathy toward your clients as it does on knowledge and intuition, so consider undertaking a class in counseling or effective communication. You must know when to say what you see and when to hold back.
In conclusion, I hope you have found some ideas here for your tarot reading adventure. Spending time to learn tarot is time spent learning about life, other people… and yourself. Good luck on your journey.
“Tarot Card Meanings.” At Aeclectic Tarot.
“The Basic Meaning of Numbers in Numerology.” Psychicsuniverse.com.
“How to Be Tactful: Responding With Diplomacy and Grace.” How to Be Tactful.