When students approach me for personal tarot mentoring, they tell me about how hard they find it to remember all the card meanings.
They have been trying to develop their tarot skills and knowledge for ages with only little progress, and now they are wondering, if there is an easier way to learn card meanings than memorising keywords from books.
At this stage I advise them to put their tarot books back on a shelf and start from scratch.
During our first session I show them how to connect with the tarot on an intuitive level by exploring the details of each image.
We are looking at symbolism (less complicated than it sounds), the whole scene, feelings and emotions generated, and last but not least the student’s own life experiences reflected in the cards.
During the session I encourage the student to open their mind and tap into their unconscious and imagination.
It’s always fantastic to see, when a student suddenly ‘gets it’, like a switch being turned on in the brain.
I am hoping for a miracle, and perhaps The Star is an early indication that this will happen.
Sometimes cards make sense much later.
2. A card that doesn’t seem to make sense can also ask you to look at a situation from a different perspective.
For example, you draw The Sun for the week ahead, but during that week you lose your job.
Surely you should have drawn the Tower or any such negative card to prepare you for what’s coming, but no.
Instead, The Sun may want to tell you that what’s happened may well be a blessing in disguise. It may also suggest that you should take time out and enjoy life despite what’s happened, and now isn’t a good time to feel sorry for yourself.
3. The Tarot (or any Oracle deck) wants to make you think and go deeper.
Forget about drawing the obvious cards and getting clear answers. If it was that easy, there wouldn’t be any personal development and growth.
On reflection during and after the week has passed, you can reassess how to apply the positive aspects of the card to what has happened. You can also explore, what the card is asking you to avoid or improve.
Draw a card for the next week and see how your story continues. After a while, you may notice a pattern, repeating messages or even things falling into place.
And to do this effectively it’s so important to record your readings, so you can look back and learn to read the hidden messages of the cards.
Nothing is as difficult and frustrating as trying to memorise Tarot card meanings from a book.
Since 2006, Tarot students from all over the world have worked with me to discover a better – easier – method to connect with the cards.
If you are just starting to learn the Tarot or find it hard to remember card meanings, here are my tried and tested powerful ways to connect with the Tarot without ever having to look at a book again:
1. Choose a Tarot deck that speaks to you
The best beginner’s Tarot deck is one, where all cards are fully illustrated, each image tells you a story and you find the artwork appealing.
The most famous and popular Tarot deck of all, the Rider Waite Smith (RWS), is one I do recommend, but you may prefer the Sharman-Caselli deck, which has been specifically designed with the Tarot novice in mind.
On the image here on the right you can see both decks together with the Crystal Tarot, on which the Minor Arcana cards are illustrated with just the symbol of the suits.
Which images do you find easier to connect with? And what different stories do they tell?
2. Describe the images
Yes, this requires you to actually LOOK at the image carefully and explore the scene. Give me your first impression: is it positive, neutral or negative?
Then tell me why. What do you see? What is happening?
Go into more detail. Are there any people in the card? What are they doing? How do they look?
Notice their body language. What is the landscape like? Can you see buildings, plants, animals?
Some cards are easier to read than others. Don’t be disheartened, if you draw a blank with some of them. You will learn to read them in time. Build your confidence by focusing on the easy cards first.
3. Be the person in the card
This is a fun yet insightful way to connect with the cards. Imitate the posture of the person in a card.
Stand with open arms just like the Fool, sit like the High Priestess, kneel like the woman in the Star image – will you take it as far as being naked?
You can personify the Hanged Man by doing a headstand, perhaps against a tree, or if that is too strenuous for you, lie down and lean your legs upright against a wall or a tree.
Replicate as much of the image as you can.
For example, stand by a field and look at the crops just like in the Seven of Pentacles. What goes through your mind? Harvest? Hard work? Reaping rewards? Sowing new seeds and a new cycle?
How do these postures make you feel?
Close your eyes and imagine the landscape of the card surrounding you. How does it affect your mood, dreams, ideas or imagination?
4. Connect each card with your own life experiences
The archetypal images of the Tarot live in all of us. For example, we have all been a Fool more than once in our lives, but that doesn’t necessarily mean in a bad way
The Fool suggests amongst other things new beginnings. This is how some of my students associate the Fool with events in their lives:
“My first day at school. I can remember being so excited.”
“When I went backpacking to South America. I was naive when I started but so much wiser when I came back.”
“My first marriage. We were too young.”
“Starting my business. I didn’t have a clue, just jumped in, and it was quite a learning curve. But I loved it.”
All these statements are short, but they tell you so much more.
By linking the cards to your life, you will find it much easier to remember their meanings, because you connect them to feelings, lessons and advice you have experienced.
5. Start A Journal
When you start exploring your Tarot deck, make notes of your observations and new discoveries about the cards. Writing things down helps your memory, too.
Be a Fool today and start your Tarot Journal by downloading my Tarot freebies.
You can add your own pages as you continue to work with the cards, and over time you will create a unique Tarot reference book full of your personal wisdom and inspiration.
By signing up to my mailing list, you will also receive more freebies in the future and learn about exciting new journalling products available soon!
6. Play with the cards every day
Even if it’s only for five or ten minutes, spending time with your cards every day will help you learn the cards more quickly.
Pull a card on an evening and make a note of it. How does it reflect the events of the day you’ve had? Or what message does it offer you for the following day?
Even if you cannot think of anything, at least you are looking at the card, begin to memorise its image and associate it with its name. Soon you can picture the images in your head without having to look at them, e.g. you will know by heart what the Six of Wands looks like.
7. Card meanings can be found in the Name
The names of the Major Arcana images all trigger some associations you have stored in your head. Quite often, Tarot novices are not aware of them. They see the name written on the card but don’t take it further.
One of my students couldn’t make sense of the Hermit. So I asked: “What is a Hermit? What does a Hermit do?”
Her answer: “It’s someone, who lives on his own. Far away from civilisation.”
We have then talked about the archetypal Hermit personality, and how it fits into our modern lives and in readings.
So, what does an Emperor do? Well, I suppose he rules and makes decisions. And what does Justice mean? It makes me think about the law, and how we associate it with objectivity, truth and fairness.
As you can see, the names of the cards already tell you a lot about their meanings, so they are worthwhile exploring further.
Find your own favourite inspirational quotes for each card and record them in your journal. I started doing that a few years ago, and in the process began creating my Tarot of Quotes.
Last but not least, if you still feel stuck connecting with the cards, consider booking a brainstorming session with me via Skype. It’s great to talk, and you will already notice the benefits after just one call.
Or check out my transformational Discovery Tarot course, with me as your personal guide and mentor along your tarot journey.
Are you already receiving payment for your Tarot readings, but not familiar with astrological correspondences in the Tarot?
Would you like to learn how to apply Astrology to your readings offering your clients more refined and specific interpretations?
Would you like to extend the services you offer such as astrological personality profiles together with your Tarot readings?
Add value to your services by investing in yourself to learn a new skill, and rest assured you will get a return on your investment.
Astrology is very popular, and used professionally combined with Tarot has great potential for you to earn more money.
Because you will be working with me on a 1-2-1 basis rather than in an online group environment, I can adjust the course according to your current level of knowledge and reading experience. I’m flexible and respond to my students’ individual needs. I want you to succeed and earn the money back you invest in this course with the new skills you will have learned.
Yesterday I posted on my Tarot Journal blog about how important it is at this time (and any other time for that matter) to nurture anddevelop a healthy relationship with yourself. This includes spending time with people, who value and support you in your life, emotionally and spiritually.
Raise your self-worth and confidence by doing the things you love and learn new skills. When you feel comfortable in your own skin, you can be a beacon of light for others.
If you are in the process of learning Tarot, and you have surrounded yourself with books and other self-study materials trying to make sense of the cards and spreads, then you may be wondering, when it will finally “click” and you can do readings with confidence without having to refer to a book.
At this point you should ask yourself, why you want to learn Tarot. Is it for self-exploration? Learning about the mysteries of the cards and empower yourself with that hidden knowledge? Or would you like to earn some extra money by giving Tarot readings to the public?
If your answer is “yes” to at least one of these suggestions, then consider learning from my experience: I rediscovered Tarot in 2001 after a break from it for 15 years. I failed at my first attempt in the early 1980s (was trying to learn on my own with limited resources), but this time I stuck with it thanks to a wealth of information on the internet. However, again I studied mostly by myself, and it took me quite a while to get the hang of it.
I realise today that I wasted time NOT to invest in Tarot lessons and mentoring sooner. That was a big mistake.
If you are thinking of starting your own Tarot business, then time is even more of the essence, especially if your finances are limited to keep you going until you earn an income. You need support to help you gain the skills and confidence you need to be successful and avoid mistakes that could jeopardise your business venture.
Learning with an experienced Tarot Mentor on a personal level will accelerate your comprehension of Tarot and take you quickly to where you want to be, and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune!