Can anyone REad Trot CArds_
I have been reading cards for more than 15 years now and it seems very natural and easy but it is a common worry even after you have bought your first deck to wonder if you can actually read the cards.
Of course, anyone can learn to read the cards!
I think it is actually easier to read cards than ever before.
Since the Rider-Waite deck came out with standardized interpretations of each card, there has been a proliferation of Waite inspired decks that cover nearly every interest under the sun!
And once you have a deck that isn’t boring or intimidating but actually interesting to you there are all sorts of places to find information about it.
Some unusual places to learn more about your cards:
Books that accompany your deck
Actual readers (apprenticeship)
It is a modern age and the super secret gnostic meanings of the cards and their symbols are no longer kept to certain initiates.
That was really the gift of the Rider-Waite deck.
By standardizing the concepts of the major and minor arcana each deck is a unique interpretation by each artist, but they each refer back to the core concept that resonates to a universal experience that we can all relate to.
I personally love a good book. But YouTube is becoming a better resource for Tarot Cards every day. I personally wouldn’t go straight there to learn the meaning of each card but there are a ton of readers who use different decks and have different presentation skills.
It is a great place to see how other people interpret different cards and what tarot spreads they use.
I personally have a YouTube channel that does Tarot spreads for each Zodiac Sign.
It is an interesting discipline to read for a group of people not in the room with you. It makes the emphasis on the cards much more important and it really hones your presentation skills to keep things moving and make an engaging video that people will watch all the way through.
Not all readers online are perfect or amazing or talented but their personality really starts to shine through and even if you see someone who reads whom you don’t agree with you can still learn something from them, even if its what not to do.
When deciding who to follow, try to find readers who show the cards they are looking at. Some people just pull cards an use them as a jumping off point for their intuition and some people have really studied their craft and their decks but still may have a different emotional reaction or look at certain cards with a different shade than you may bring to it.
There are some great sites to learn anything you want online. Udemy.com has several courses and honestly you might have to take a few to really get a comprehensive view but its a marathon not a sprint.
If Tarot is your new hobby you will in all likely-hood enjoy it for many years to come so why not invest some time up front in really understanding the history and structure of your cards so you can get the most out of the experience.
Books That Accompany Your Deck
It sounds trite but every deck comes with a book that accompanies the deck and that is not an accident. It is a valuable resource.
Each guide book describes each card in the deck on one page and gives an interpretation of the card on the facing page (Usually.)
The descriptions of the cards may be the most valuable part of the book, and it easy to skip over but it’s a great insight as to what the artist and the author thought were important.
It is a great exercise to sit with your cards and pick one at random read the description in the book and really look at your cards to see if you can see all the element they describe.
Chances are you will see small subtle details you missed before.
I love to put on some meditative music and read the description and imagine the card as 3-d reality. I imagine the card as life-size and visualize myself walking into the scene.
I try to absorb my surroundings, what time is it in the card. What is the temperature in the environment of the card?
Is there a breeze as I look over the port with the merchant in the two of wands. (Probably so if you see sailboats at full sail)
Can you feel the sun on your skin or a fire at your back as you chat with the hierophant?
Then I have a conversation with the main character in the card and maybe pet the cat that accompanies them.
Each card is there for a reason and each character has a message for you.
Can you relate to the scene or think of a time in your life where you experienced something similar.
Really anchor that scene and that message in your own emotions and you will never have to refer back to the lexicon to see what a certain card meant.
As my grandmother used the tell me, Its your imagination; take it out and play with it.
This is not for everyone and it’s kind of an old school solution, but many of the most talented readers I have ever seen were taught by an aunt or a Grandmother.
This is still a great option.
If you don’t have a grandmother with the sight though consider reaching out to someone in your community who reads tarot for a living.
Be respectful. I would start by getting a reading from them and see if they are really reading the cards or cold reading you. Point to certain cards and ask them the meaning. If they can name it off the the top of their head but their description is non traditional ask them how they came to that conclusion.
They should be able to articulate a story about the card or a symbol they are keying on in the card for your reading.
If they just want to play on your fears and get you to come back for more readings or to spend more money – blaze a trail out of there.
But if they are authentic and compassionate and know their cards backwards and forwards they may love the opportunity to pass a little knowledge into the community.
Remember this is how they make a living so don’t expect them to make a local competitor for free. This is an energy exchange.
I think tarot on some level is related to Shamanism.
Shamanic practices appear on every continent and eventually in every culture.
Shamanism also works with the large archetypes and universal truths that Tarot dances through so elegantly.
If you would like to know more about that or have an amazing experience for yourself I recommend your check out shamanism.org
It is based on the work of Michael Harner and they always put on top quality workshops.
I used to have a college professor who said, “The person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with a theory.” When you go and have a workshop experience and interact with other like minded people it cements things in your soul that your will never get out of a book.
Many local bookshops do seminars and workshops so be sure to check out your local resources as well.
Most importantly, dive into you cards and have fun. You have started an amazing journey of self discovery and the world is waiting to see what treasures you will uncover.