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How do you understand the Tarot?

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  • How do you understand the Tarot?

    I've been using the tarot for years and years for myself with some degree of adequacy although I have always had to refer to a book. My friends and family wish me to give them readings but I'm embarrassed to. No matter how hard I try and even study, I can never interpret the cards on my own. I can never remember any meaning. Could anyone give me a little guidance on this matter because I KNOW the meanings don't come from a book but from the symbolism of the cards. How can I understand them more fundamentally?
    "So it goes."

  • #2
    i think the best way to understand the cards is to journey through them.

    take yourself on a meditation through each individual card, maybe one a day, maybe less frequently.
    go inside the image and walk around the landscape. talk to the characters. don't be afarid to accept a gift from them if it's offered.
    look behind the trees, feel the wind and smell the grass.
    in this way you will form a connection to the cards that you could never aquire from a book of keywords. and each time you do this, you might take away something more.

    it's best to do it in sequence too. start with the Fool and work up. that way you understand his journey in the first person, and can live the progression.
    the second time i did this, i started from the Universe and worked back to the Fool, just to change my perspective.
    and i'd recommend that you keep a journal of the trip.

    the minors are a little tougher, as in most decks they are not as visual. but a good in depth meditation on the elemental/numerological correspondences works really well here.

    anyway, that's my suggestion. it worked wonders for me when i was trying to 'crack the code' (so to speak).
    good luck!
    some people are like slinkies -
    not good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when they are pushed downs the stairs.

    True enlightenment comes from discovering principles which challenge your spiritual view, not from inventing principles to confirm it.


    • #3
      That's an excellent method for learning your cards. I do that with new decks as a way of getting to know them better. With the minors, I like to look at the card and write a story about it. This works best if the deck has illustrated pips.
      Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege to do so also. - Voltaire


      • #4
        I have been very lucky.

        I received my tarot deck without a book and as they are VERY simplistic in image, I thought I would NEVER be able to read them. I put them away and one day I pulled them out (I have no idea what gave me the urge) and I could read them... (Guess it was my time).
        "I'm a foodaholic and I'm on the road to recovery."
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        • #5
          What I do when I'm reading is #1, sit on the book. #2. when you lay out a spread, read card by card then when you are done doing that, go back and reading it as a story and weave it all together. When I'm reading, I look at the card and see what in the picture draws my eye. Then I ask myself what that item means or suggests to me. For example: if the veil behind the High priestess (or moon in somecase with the cloud cover)would suggest to me that there are subconscious issues...hidden problems or answers (depending on the focus of the reading), maybe the person is "hiding" behind something, or has issues that he/she is suppressing that should be dealt with. (this is just off the top of my head....a veil in another reading may bring about diffent thoughts it may bring erotic and sensual feelings to mind. So it's all about what you are feeling and sensing in the moment.) Then I would tie it into the focus of the reading. Whether it's about money, relationships, whatever, tie it in. Hiding funds? Hiding a Lover? Suppressing feelings of anger or going behind someone's back. These are all possibilities pending on you in the moment you see the card and what draws you.

          When you are doing readings for yourself, talk. Even if it's all babbling and makes you feel stupid doing of thought talking sometimes gets you where you need to be mentally.



          • #6
            Just Do It!

            Hi, Dagda!

            The best way to do it is to just go out and do it!

            Look- It is not as though magickally on some bright day that 'suddenly' you will be able to read the cards, Get this idea out of your head. We all learned to crawl before we could walk. We did not sit on the floor in our diapers saying "When I can stand and do a ballet arabesque, then I will get up from the floor, not before."

            How often do you read? Do it more often.

            Commit yourself to doing two readings a week for 30 days. Record them in a journal. On the last week of the month, do three readings. Try to do them on the same days if this helps.

            Month number two: Do two readings a week for two weeks; do three readings a week for 2 weeks. Write them down. review the first month's journals.

            Month number three: do three readings a week for four weeks. Write very single one of them down. Go back and review the previous two months' worth of journals and see if you are reading better. Do you have more depth to your readings? Did you look up fewer and fewer cards? Did you look up any cards at all?

            Make a committment to yourself and stick to it. It is like saying ' I want to be a concert pianist, but I don't have access to a piano, can only practice one night a month, and I need a beginner book to play because I don't know all the notes unless I look at my hands.'

            Yes, I am being a little harsh here. I began public readings because I was 'pushed' into doing a reading I did not really want to do, had a deck I did not like, and had no books to reference to. I did the reading anyway and found out I was holding myself back. I teach classes and wrote a book on it, eventually.

            Stop holding yourself back.
            "I'm NOT making this up, you know!" -- Tarotbear <):-)

            Off his buns and on a roll.....


            • #7
              Re: How do you understand the Tarot?

              Originally posted by Rory
              ...My friends and family wish me to give them readings but I'm embarrassed to.
              You can always ask for volunteers here if you want someone to practice on.
              Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege to do so also. - Voltaire


              • #8
                I took a brief workshop years ago and learned so much in 45 minutes. The lecturer taught that reading goes far beyond the book meanings and recommended reading by using your intuition to interpret the colors and the action taking place in the images.
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                • #9
                  I just wanted to say thanks. Alot of this advice is really quite helpful. I know I've got the knack for divination in me somewhere, not to mention that it runs in the family, so I'll just keep working on it.
                  "So it goes."