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chongjasmine

How do you remember the cards' meanings?

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I think I learned best by studying one card at a time, and linking it's meanings with things I could see in the artwork. And I did a daily draw of a single card for a long time - in fact I still do but not so much as a meaning learning exercise anymore.

I also used the Joan Bunnings free online course, but I know it's not to everyone's liking..

 

http://www.learntarot.com/

 

might be worth taking a look and see if you like that though?

 

I just love my cards so much, spending time with them is a joy - I think that helps.

 

enjoy your journey

PathWalker

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Memorise a couple of key words or symbolic meaning or colour associations (for example yellow means intellect, carefree etc), then this will usually open up a string of recalls and sentences about the card that your mind has already pollinated.

 

sometimes my mind goes totally blank ... i think it's my brains way of telling me i have to work out a whole new meaning as the structuring of the card has changed because of the question, position or surrounding cards etc, but this is all  part of learning.   

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I would definitely think of 2 or 3 keywords or themes of the card and learn to associate them with the card. But use keywords or ideas that you have worked out, not just keywords from an author's book. Study the card, read up different ideas about the card and form your own! It works so much better that way!  :thumbsup:

 

The more you use the cards, the more you will remember about each card, it gets easier with experience and use  8)

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The easiest way, I think, is simply to find a deck that speaks to your intuitively. The more connected you feel to it, and the more you enjoy spending time with it, the easier it is.

 

Aside from that, I'll second the idea of making dedicated studies of the cards, one at a time. It makes a huge difference, and is a good way of getting at least the basic message into your long-term memory.

 

Last thought: don't be afraid of developing your own meanings as you gain experience, or at least your own facets of meaning. In my limited experience, the deck does change to accommodate your understanding.

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Guest Night Shade

I don't always remember all of the cards' meanings.  Each card has such a wide variety of meaning, with countless variations on those meanings, that I think it's next to impossible to memorize all of them.  I think it's best to just look at the card, try to see, hear, or feel what it's saying to you, and then go with your first instinct.  And remember - there's nothing wrong with getting a little help from your books, especially if you're a beginner.

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How do you remember what the cards' meanings are, without referring to books?

Repetition.  You have to keep at it like when you were learning how to spell.  Just stay on it and visualize the card and the keywords in your mind.  Learn the keywords!

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Part of what I did while being mentored here was to create a keyword or phrase of my own for each card. That involved looking closely at each card, studying it's meaning from several different sources, etc. By the end of that I had a pretty good grasp on them, and working through them on other assignments helped cement them in my mind. It is repetition and study. Some cards you can easily see the meaning, others are a little more abstract, but they all tell stories so eventually you'll be able to remember easily.

And sometimes your brain comes up with something else entirely, and that's OK too. There are so many possible meanings for each card!

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I also used the Joan Bunnings free online course, but I know it's not to everyone's liking..

 

http://www.learntarot.com/

 

I learned by memorizing Joan Bunning's keywords and I still start every reading of every card by reviewing them.  I just drilled them into my memory by repetition, having Grandpa quiz me, and making charts. 

 

I also still frequently google meanings of cards to get a wider array of established interpretations.  Of course I read almost entirely online or for myself so I can do as much or as little research as I need.

 

After I joined TT&M my understanding of the cards grew exponentially.  I learn from every reading, exchange and discussion of meanings that I see in the forums.

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One by one. I do a daily card in the morning, asking what energies are surrounding me today. I use a card that is easy to read for this (e.g. the Everyday Witch or the Everyday Enchantment, I find these are the easiest for me to feel the emotions in the cards). I study the card, think about the meanings, check online (I'm another Joan Bunnings fan, but whichever site or book you prefer). I take a photo on the phone, so I can come back to it, and then over the course of the day I pay some extra attention e.g. my card for the day was a 5 or Sword: my coworker bought the last morning roll even tho he knew I wanted it and he didn't even finish eating it - is that a 5 of Sword moment or maybe more a 7?

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Tarosophy has a method to start learning Ace - 10  that requires memorizing 14 words you come up with yourself. (I've also seen it in a few other places.) Works well with decks like the RWS.

 

Lay out the minors by suit and look at the differences in the sorts of scenes shown for each. Come up with a noun for each suit that you think best describes it. For example, "connection" is just one possible example for the Cups.

 

Now lay out the four Aces. What do the pictures have in common? What do you think that symbolizes? Try to sum up the energy of the Aces as best you can with one adjective or descriptive verb.  Then do the same with the Twos, threes, etc. For example "volatile" or "polarising" for Fives. (If you get stuck, there's a page with some ideas here.)

 

Now you can put 2 words together. For example, if you were to choose "volatile" for fives and "connection" for Cups, the 5 of Cups would be "volatile connection." The 5 of Swords would be "volatile" and your keyword for Swords.

 

Does it cover everything? Not at all. But it gives you a general sense of the deck's structure that will help jog your memory about the rest. It's also a good way to get to know a deck and your own perspective on the art. You can build on that start by using the suggestions above about learning card by card. For that I second daily draws as PathWalker[/member] mentioned! As DanielJUK[/member] said, the more you use the cards, the more you remember them and the easier it will get.

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Night Shade[/member] I’m so glad you mentioned going with your instinct. As a newbie I’ve been finding it hard to sometimes agree with that the book tells me I should be seeing/ feeling. And I guess for me it feels like it’s less about what my brain knows and more about what my soul knows

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Guest Night Shade

Night Shade[/member] I’m so glad you mentioned going with your instinct. As a newbie I’ve been finding it hard to sometimes agree with that the book tells me I should be seeing/ feeling. And I guess for me it feels like it’s less about what my brain knows and more about what my soul knows

 

I totally agree, WonderingSoul[/member] .  The traditional meanings for the cards do matter, but what you see for yourself in the cards matters so much more.  Always go with your gut instinct over what you find in a book, and your readings will be that much more accurate.

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Night Shade[/member] I’m so glad you mentioned going with your instinct. As a newbie I’ve been finding it hard to sometimes agree with that the book tells me I should be seeing/ feeling. And I guess for me it feels like it’s less about what my brain knows and more about what my soul knows

 

 

Books are handy when you first start out they give one a grounding.  But your intuition and instinct are the way to go. What is important is how a card makes you feel, what is it saying to YOU. 

Reading tarot is a combination of knowledge learnt and an inner knowing, an intuition on a spiritual level.  So don't be worried about other peoples meanings, always go with your own meanings as well.

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A good first step is on YouTube. TarotOracle has a great course. Teaches you to just look at the cards, no memorizing. Then once you understand that expand on it with memorizing meanings numerology, astrology etc.

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Time and practice. As with anything I'm learning, it's all about time and practice.

 

For me, the easiest system to pick up was the TdM, probably because of the lack of scenes. It's systematic and logical, inasmuch as tarot reading can be; rather than reading a detailed picture on each card, you are reading the numbers and suits and so on.

 

With scenic decks in the RWS tradition, it has helped me to stick with just a few decks for reading purposes (rather than reading with many different decks from my collection). That way, I come to have specific associations with each card rather than retraining my brain each time (as characters from one deck to the next may be dressed in different colors, looking in different directions, and so on).

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Guest D76

For me, in each new spread-scenario, the same card can mean something else/different.

I do not believe that cards can have universal meaning. Especially pip cards. It's impossible.

 

Just a collaboration of few cards, or, just single card, - works as a trigger to activate intuition and we can "read."

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Guest D76

In my limited experience, the deck does change to accommodate your understanding.

:thumbsup:

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For me, in each new spread-scenario, the same card can mean something else/different.

I do not believe that cards can have universal meaning. Especially pip cards. It's impossible.

 

Just a collaboration of few cards, or, just single card, - works as a trigger to activate intuition and we can "read."

 

 

Yes in full agreement with this

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For me, in each new spread-scenario, the same card can mean something else/different.

I do not believe that cards can have universal meaning. Especially pip cards. It's impossible.

 

Just a collaboration of few cards, or, just single card, - works as a trigger to activate intuition and we can "read."

 

Yes in full agreement with this

 

To me a card has a core meaning, an area of life that's its domain. How it shows up in readings can vary a lot based on context (question, spread, other cards), but it still has to do with that area of our experiences. For example the 9 of Cups covers issues of emotional fulfillment. It can be anywhere from happiness to smugness at being happier than others to an unwillingness to deal with unpleasant necessities because they don't make us happy. And more... But its core meaning of emotional fulfillment doesn't change for me.

 

I don't know if that means I read differently than you do (fine, of course!) or if you're expressing something similar when you say a card changes from reading to reading. I suspect the former, since with things like Enrique Enriquez's approach to the TdM, there is no core meaning. I spent a few months in a TdM study group on AT that worked like that, and I enjoyed the creativity but not the readings I got when I did it (which is on me, not the method), so I ended up with the Thoth, which is of course very different, in that there are core meanings to learn. I'm all for people finding the way to read that works best for them.

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Yes l agree cards do have a core meaning, but sometimes that does not always come in to play when you read intuitively.  It can though become a great mixture of all aspects which makes reading the cards interesting and fresh.

 

The TdM's  are another matter that's where l agreed with D76. l am not so good at reading them  :bugeyed:

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Posted (edited)
On 2/8/2019 at 10:18 PM, Raven said:

A good first step is on YouTube. TarotOracle has a great course. Teaches you to just look at the cards, no memorizing. Then once you understand that expand on it with memorizing meanings numerology, astrology etc.

I second this course.  I am going through it now,  pausing every few moments to take notes and it has been very clarifying.  

 

 

My apologies.  I am using Ben Lucas' course, which is funny and has a really simple way to learn basic card meanings (simple for me) 

Edited by Halcyon

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While I tend to only do intuitive readings these days, I still spent many years studying the traditional meanings. I actually compiled my own handwritten tarot book some years ago. It has two pages of information for every card. The first page contains quotes from esoteric texts and also has all the symbolism analyzed. The second page has my favorite keywords for upright/reversed and shadow meanings (that’s a concept I came up with myself, out of experience, and it was mainly utilized for readings without reversals). I put the whole thing in a binder and printed out RWS illustrations for each of the cards that I decorated the pages with (and that really helped me to remember the traditional depictions too). I used 5 tabs (majors + the four suits), so it’s very straightforward and easy to navigate. I still reference it at times, especially for the esoteric symbols and quotes, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. But it took a long time to make. I compiled quotes and meanings in notebooks for many years until I finally dedicated myself to create this binder. It then took me several weeks to transcribe everything. So what I’m saying is that it took me a long time of study and repetition before I had it all in my head. These days I’m allowing my mind to roam free and that feels great, but I don’t think I would be at this place if I had skipped all those years of studies. Things unfolded in a very organic way. 

 

(I was going to take a better pic but got too lazy)

 

6DBCD20F-60DB-4734-A369-4B565A1194B1.jpeg

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@Raggydoll, that sounds so creative and fun! (Unfortunately I can’t see the picture you posted.)

 

———

For me, learning the Major Arcana has been pretty straight-forward. The minor; there are lots of cards where I’m still learning. Aside from having looked at the cards, I’ve found that for me, nothing beats a powerful spread in remembering the individual cards. (And since I got here, I think that that works better when reading for others, than when reading for myself.)

 

So, just to research the cards as I go along, and remember them in the context of the various spreads.

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