Sunday, August 7, 2016

So you want to learn to read the Tarot

It's easy!

Yeah, no. It's not easy. There are 78 cards with different yet nuanced meanings. We have majors and minors. We have pips and aces and courts. We have right side up and, often, reversed. It's not easy, but it's definitely possible.

First, pick up a decent, in depth book of card meanings. Something basic and modern like Rachel Pollack's The New Tarot Handbook.

Most decks come with a small book of interpretations, a 'little white book' or LWB. Some decks come with a more detailed book that you an actually put on your book shelf. There will be a few spreads as well.

In the end, you should have at least two books to use and compare.

Pick a spread and start reading.

Don't get too hung up on what spread to use. If you are up for a real learning challenge start with the Celtic Cross. (I did, and I turned out just fine.) But otherwise a 5-card Horseshoe Spread or 7-Card Rainbow spread are perfectly good.

As you start to interpret each card using your books, write down your findings in a notebook. You should have some way of recording what you've learned about the cards individually as well as the spread or reading that you are doing.

Just as important as the knowledge you glean from your books is what you learn from your own intuition. What is the card saying to you at this moment, in its position in the spread? Write these down too. Date and cite your notes.

Your first few readings may not make any sense to you. Fear not!

As you read the cards, find more books, authors, and mentors, and let your intuition develop, your readings will begin to have meaning.

You will learn to read the Tarot.

PS. This is not the last word on learning the card!

Friday, July 29, 2016


Something has got into me and it seems I am going to zombiefy this blog. There won't be any zombies, although I do mention an old zombie movie in an older post. It is just being raised up from the dead.

What brings me back is a little project I embarked on a few weeks ago. I typed up all the notes from my Tarot notebook. It took me about two and a half weeks to go through everything and make it coherent.

This is the notebook of card meanings and interpretations that I've been keeping over the years. One thing I did that I'm really glad of; cite my sources! If something came from a book, I jotted down the name of the book. (Here is a list of some of my faves.) If it came from my own brain, I noted it.

 A couple of revelations happened as I worked on this project. First, I was surprised at how much trouble I had pushing through the Swords. Secondly, my notes on most of the majors were pretty in depth and had a lot of my own insights.

Once I recover from this little exercise, I may comb through my notebooks of readings to see if there is anything worth gleaning.