Many, many peo ple are attracted to the possibilities of self-awareness, divination and spirituality the Tarot cards offer. For those who have a strong interest but know nothing about Tarot, what do you do to get started? Most Tarot decks will come with some sort of guidebook or basic instructions but there’s a big gap between those directions and becoming adept with Tarot cards. From teaching Tarot, I recommend all beginners follow these steps to start their journey with Tarot.
- Shuffle, reorder, repeat. When you begin to read Tarot cards for yourself, you’ll have some cards that make multiple appearances – those are the cards that you’ll learn in no time flat. But what about the remaining 70 odd cards? Take your deck, shuffle it up until it is thoroughly mixed, then get it back in order. When reordering, separate the Major and Minor Arcana and order each section numerically. In the Minor Arcana, keep each suit separate for now. As you go through and divide the cards, pay close attention to the Tarot pictures and the order they fall in. Just like the Minor Arcana suits can give clues to the Tarot card meanings, their numeric value can do the same. When you’ve completed getting the entire Tarot deck in order, allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment. Then do it all again! This is a great way to become familiar with Tarot imagery.
- Pick Any Tarot Spread……as long as it’s a short one. For now, while getting a feel for the general meanings of the Tarot cards, spend your time wisely and work with a simple Tarot layout. Anything that is three cards or less will work beautifully. The idea is, at this point, to keep your readings quick and easy, aiming for general understanding rather than in depth analysis. The more readings you are able to do, the greater the exposure to a variety of Tarot cards and their meanings. Don’t worry about knowing every possible interpretation of a Tarot card right now. It’s a time for discovery, not mastery!
- Practice Makes Perfect! If you spend a little time with your Tarot cards each day, doing sample Tarot readings or just looking at the cards and trying to recall the meanings, you should be fairly comfortable within 6 weeks. It sounds boring saying that you need to practice – unfortunately, it’s true. There may be the rare person that can work with Tarot cards and instantly give incredible readings but I haven’t met them yet. Lack of practice is the most common reason for frustration with new Tarot readers. Developing skill with Tarot cards doesn’t have to involve hours of practice each day. In fact, short spurts of consistent practice will make you a better Tarot reader faster than if you have sporadic “cram” sessions. It takes a little time to see the flow between cards and learn how to interpret Tarot cards. If you put the time in, it is amazing how this tool can enrich your life.
For your first few months with the Tarot deck, follow these suggestions until you reach a point of comfort or boredom. If you’re comfortable with many of the cards, try some different Tarot layouts to expand your repertoire. If you’re bored, the same suggestion applies. Either way, your mind is letting you know you’re ready for more challenges. To deny yourself that will make your path of learning Tarot loose a lot of its sparkle.
Keep playing with the Tarot deck to improve familiarity with Tarot meanings. Draw one Tarot card every morning as a guide for your day. Ask the deck what you need to learn about and devote several days to studying the card you pull. Learning Tarot comes from having a personal relationship with your Tarot deck as well as building trust with the intuitive part of yourself. Welcome to the path of mastering Tarot! This single step is the start of an incredible journey.