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ScorpioGayle

Learning Meanings of Tarot Cards

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Posted (edited)

I am new to Tarot and am taking an online course.  Through the first parts of the course I am finding it very frustrating because I am asked to look at a card (without any prior knowledge of what that card means) and come up with what I think the card means.  Also exercises like laying all the pentacles out in order and finding a flow - again without knowing anything about the card meanings.  It seems to me that you need to learn the cards first through methods such as flash cards.  Am I wrong?  I don't see how you can find meanings in the cards without understanding what the card is depicting.  Please let me know what you think.

Edited by ScorpioGayle
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Ugh if I had to memorize flash card meanings, I would have NEVER stuck with tarot! Like,that's a perfectly valid way to learn, but it's really really not my style lol! 

 

Have you ever looked at a painting or other piece of art and just recognized something of yourself in it? That feeling of familiarity, of understanding what the artist was trying to say with the piece? I prefer decks that are like that for me! I pull a card, and the image gives me a visceral reaction. It reminds me of something or makes me feel something. Putting that feeling into words is an act of self-knowing, and exploring deep into that is how i use the cards! 

 

This means that sometimes when I see a card, what it means for me at that time might deviate from What The Card Means, traditionally speaking. But what I've found, over years and years of doing this, is that all of those personal learnings grow and expand on each other until after some time, I have this general idea of what the card means in a broad sense - and that usually aligns with what the card is meant to depict after all! 

 

I do think that this is an easy way to learn, because it's really just looking at what you see, and analyzing it. Like, there's a card that shows a group of people all beating each other with sticks - there's conflict, chaos. It's got the vibe of a bunch of middle schoolers running amuck when the teacher leaves the room. So that's an air of mischief and disobedience, too. All of that can be applied to any situation you might be asking about and give you a meaning! Maybe even a more clear and nuanced meaning than a bunch of memorized keywords, depending on what stands out to you in the card! 

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So are you saying that you don't need to understand what the suits represent - what the numerology represents in the card?  Just look at the picture and give the card any meaning that you feel from it?  Or do you need to have some kind of understanding of the basics? 

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1 hour ago, ScorpioGayle said:

So are you saying that you don't need to understand what the suits represent - what the numerology represents in the card?  Just look at the picture and give the card any meaning that you feel from it?  Or do you need to have some kind of understanding of the basics? 

For me, I like to understand the suits and numbers as well as reacting intuitively to the imagery. But whatever brings meaning to seeker is equally valid. There's no right or wrong per se. Just what it is right for you.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, ScorpioGayle said:

So are you saying that you don't need to understand what the suits represent - what the numerology represents in the card?  Just look at the picture and give the card any meaning that you feel from it?  Or do you need to have some kind of understanding of the basics? 

There are so many different ways to read :classic_smile: - there are no "Tarot police" - you do what seems like the best way for YOU!

Welcome, and enjoy the journey

 

PathWalker

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I am one of those who needed to know the traditional meaning first when I started learning the tarot.

My brain is not very visual, I used to get flustered when I tried to just describe what I see and come up with an intuitive story. It's just how I work. 

I'm finding that it took me several months (depends of course how much your work with the cards) until I was able to make up a story from a card and read more intuitively and I am getting better. I don't think it is a problem to do it this way round. Intuition is a thing you can practise.

 

Also, for me it depends on the deck a lot. Some cards overwhelm my brain by having too much on it, some stump me by having too little on it. Some decks I look at the cards and go AHAAAAA! I know exactly what you are trying to tell me, other decks fill me with emotions when I look at the cards but I can't describe these emotions for whatever reason using words and language. Strange

 

If you feel it is easier to learn the meaning of the cards first, using whatever source you find helpful, just go for it.

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Thank you Supporter - appreciate your honesty and support.  I can see how you could give up if you feel the way I do and keep trying to see something in the cards that is not apparent when first learning.  

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2 hours ago, ScorpioGayle said:

Thank you Supporter - appreciate your honesty and support.  I can see how you could give up if you feel the way I do and keep trying to see something in the cards that is not apparent when first learning.  

It takes time. I first started learning almost 25 years ago and I'm still learning. There are many people who are much newer to tarot but are more accomplished and talented readers than I am. It's all good. Over the years, my involvement with tarot rises and falls depending on many things in life. Tarot is a journey, and it is different for each traveller. Enjoy the ride!

 

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Posted (edited)

If one wants to start doing readings right away, One would have to memorize the meanings of the card to some extent. A tarot reader has to either learn the symbolic language of their cards or create one of their own with their own experiences and intuition.

 

Selecting a deck of cards that has symbolic images or titles that correlate with one's own life can spread up that intuitive process. A good foundation in Christianity makes the Rider Waite deck easy to read, back ground in classical astrology and kaballah reveals the Thoth deck, western astrology makes the Egyptian decks like the Brotherhood of Light deck readily apparent. 

 

A deck of cards that really catches the eye, could still be relatively useless....there are many of us here that have bought hundreds of decks...but still tend to use the first ones we got. 

Edited by whatsawhosit

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You will probably find that what you see in the cards by just looking at them very carefully will be surprisingly close to what "the book" has to say. But since you will have come to that trough your own thoughts, it is more likely to stick.

 

Take your time.

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Posted (edited)

Can I just second what @gregory has said. It's a wonderful way to learn and get on intimate terms with a deck. Also, I personally prefer to jettison meanings that I can't find evidence for in a card's iconography. Good luck with your studies!

Edited by devin

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Creative imagination is the key; but if you can find gravity pull between analytical & creative reverie, then Bob's yer uncle.

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Meaning of tarot cards: 

Tarot cards are rich with symbolism, You have to understand the symbols and their meanings. That will make you perfect in tarot reading. 

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Posted (edited)

Something I found in learning to read is that, although I could look at a spread and  know the meaning, I had a horrible time trying to figure out how to put it into actual words.  The reason for this is something interesting about how our brain works. The right side of the brain deals with images, sounds, etc. while the left side deals with really practical things like math and whatever other practical things. When you interpret a card spread, you're using the right side of your brain, mostly. There's a part of the brain called the corpus colossum (sp?) that's in between the brain stem and the brain tissue, and that's what your brain relies on to make this right-to-left shift in information. We don't have as strong a reliance on that part of our brain as we do the other two so we have difficulty in making the two work together at first to actually speak the words.  I know that was quite a problem with me.

Edited by Grizabella

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Crud! I don't know what I did wrong, but the word "know" was the only thing meant to be in italics. I tried to fix it and failed, so just ignore it if you can.  😛

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3 hours ago, Grizabella said:

Something I found in learning to read is that, although I could look at a spread and  know the meaning, I had a horrible time trying to figure out how to put it into actual words.  The reason for this is something interesting about how our brain works. The right side of the brain deals with images, sounds, etc. while the left side deals with really practical things like math and whatever other practical things. When you interpret a card spread, you're using the right side of your brain, mostly. There's a part of the brain called the corpus colossum (sp?) that's in between the brain stem and the brain tissue, and that's what your brain relies on to make this right-to-left shift in information. We don't have as strong a reliance on that part of our brain as we do the other two so we have difficulty in making the two work together at first to actually speak the words.  I know that was quite a problem with me.

@Grizabella I really connected with this! Thank you for sharing this thought, I've only done readings for Friends and Family (and myself) and felt perhaps my difficulties were from being too invested in their feelings but this makes perfect sense 🌹

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