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Newbies studying the Rider Waite Tarot


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I had this idea to start this thread for anyone who is brand new to Tarot and learning from the Rider Waite. If you have any insights on the Rider Waite Smith deck and/or helpful tips for reading and understanding the cards, please share them here?¬†ūüė䬆Welcome all, and here we go....

 

I love how the more I learn about this deck, the more I also learn about myself. Anyone else experiencing this? I used to feel that my logical mind was causing me to place intuitive blocks on myself. But I'm learning that isn't true at all. Turns out I'm much more intuitive than I thought I was, using it in pretty much every situation. 

Edited by Andy
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Oh yes! I also feel like when I learn about planetary or elemental associations with the cards I make connections that I wouldn't have otherwise and it's so insightful for understanding myself and the world. Learning can feel so nurturing.

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7 minutes ago, Margo said:

Oh yes! I also feel like when I learn about planetary or elemental associations with the cards I make connections that I wouldn't have otherwise and it's so insightful for understanding myself and the world. Learning can feel so nurturing.

I completely agree! ūüėä Learning is awesome!!¬†

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  • 1 month later...
Gizmocrystal

I'm a newby too! I thought I was doing well until a reading I did turned out to be wrong. I'm hoping to get some help with it when I get my 5 posts in!!

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Yep! Me!-ish. In the sense that I've started doing it for friends and so the motivation to be better and faster at it has cropped up. It wasn't there before when I was doing for myself. 

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  • 3 months later...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i a

 

I am finding that

I spend more time using the RWS because most of the free knowledge offered online is based on it. At first, I didn't even have an RWS deck. I first bought a Tarot Grand Luxe because I am an artist and the drawings on RWS were a little crude to my eye. But I am starting to see how well they work, having so many symbols in each one and the simplicity of the drawings actually makes it easier to see them. I have been using the Grand Luxe but in some cases I feel I don't get as much to go on because extra symbols, like a horse with the knight are missing, so I learn the traditional in addition to my initial feelings on the cards. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Jewel13

HI

I am looking for ways to start to learning the meanings of the cards. I saw thew newbie circle, but I think I would a disaster as I am still too reliant on Google and don't thread the cards together. I did some searching on this site, but couldn't find anything. I thought there was an area for beginners getting started, but perhaps I missed... I would appreciate some guidance. Thank you! 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/6/2020 at 7:30 AM, Jewel13 said:

HI

I am looking for ways to start to learning the meanings of the cards. I saw thew newbie circle, but I think I would a disaster as I am still too reliant on Google and don't thread the cards together. I did some searching on this site, but couldn't find anything. I thought there was an area for beginners getting started, but perhaps I missed... I would appreciate some guidance. Thank you! 

@Jewel13 I encourage you to give the Newbie's circle a try. I just did my first one and I'm still a googler and I struggle to string cards/story together.

 

Also, it's a little pedestrian but there are some tarot study decks on Quizlet. 

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and_it_spoke

I've found this helpful: In addition to reading about the general symbology of the RWS deck as 'high level' background, take time to meditate on a card. And I don't mean lock yourself in a room alone with the card. Though if that's your bag...

 

Turn over a card, do your best to remember it's meaning, then look up the meaning Then just keep the card in your head all day. Keep it next to you if possible. Think about the meaning and the image and let the associations grow. These are going to be pretty rote associations at first, but the more time you dwell on the card, you'll start making some personal associations and then larger, more complicated associations. And these associations will inform your readings, as you'll be building a mental library of ways the card can come into play or have different applied meanings.

 

It's a slower process. Not thrilling in an 'instant gratification' kind of way, but I've found it very helpful. The process seems to help link together 'textbook' reading with more 'intuitive' reading

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TarotMuse

The RWS is probably the best deck for starters the illustrations are quite easy to understand, When i first started reading with the deck many years ago I would lay all the cards out on my bed then choose one, i would write down whatever words and impressions came to mind about that card. Then I would compare my impressions with what was described in the LWB, this helped me a lot. 

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On 2/27/2020 at 12:31 AM, Gizmocrystal said:

I'm a newby too! I thought I was doing well until a reading I did turned out to be wrong. I'm hoping to get some help with it when I get my 5 posts in!!

I generally go with the preconceived notion that the cards are never wrong, perhaps our interpretation is mistaken but the cards never lie. So be assured your reading was correct, we are all here to help with possible interpretations of it. 

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TarotMuse
On 2/26/2020 at 8:31 PM, Gizmocrystal said:

I'm a newby too! I thought I was doing well until a reading I did turned out to be wrong. I'm hoping to get some help with it when I get my 5 posts in!!

Did you use a card spread for your reading, most beginners will try using a large spread like the Celtic cross which can be to many cards to start with. I would try and do a three card spread to give you a break down on the past, present and future. 

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  • 1 month later...

So glad this thread is here! I'm starting off with the RWS and have started with a basic "weekly spread" to try and piece together a story with the cards. I've tried doing a celtic cross with a friend helping me through it, I did ok but need much more practise because I keep looking back at what the cards mean and need to walk away from the cards before I'm able to properly put together the meaning. I want to get quicker at putting it all together without having to refer to something.

 

 

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Hello,

 

I have a question about reversals..

 

I'm quite new to the tarot world and have just started doing readings for myself and have convinced my hubby to let me practise on him too. I've started getting the hang of putting the "story" together when I do short 3 card spreads and am trying my hand at a few bigger spreads too (eg "What should I know about the week ahead"). 


What I would like to know is how important is it to incorporate these reversed cards when I'm just starting out. Someone very close to me is mentoring me and has helped me a lot but I can't seem to get the hang of reversals yet. I feel like I'm not doing the reading properly if I ignore them and want to know if anyone has any advice on the best way to incorporate their definition in my reading. Eg I just pulled a reversed King of Pentacles - how am I mean to read that? A blockage in energy with how I spend my money? Maybe spending too much?

 

Also, does anybody just ignore reversals altogether and is this ok? I often look at them and think I should just turn it over but then again it feels like I'm cheating if I do so. 

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I don't use them at all. They aren't necessary.
But the thing is, if you don't use them, you really need to take attendance (combinations with neighboring cards) into account. So the King of Pents is generally seen as stable and comfortable. But - 
KP + Fool: He's going to make a really bad decision.

Or KP + Tower, he's going to lose that security. Throw the Ace of Cups in the mix and you might be looking at looming homelessness.

I think it's easier to feel confident about those than a reversed KP. Sometimes reversals are a blockage, sometimes the card "goes bad" and means just the opposite. They're kind of vague that way. Aleister Crowley didn't use them, so if you decide against them, you're in illustrious company.
 

So either reversals or attendance will work. Of course it's totally up to you - no Tarot SWAT team is going to kick your door in if you don't do either one, obviously. ūüėČ But I think if you don't use either, the reading suffers. I can understand making it easier on yourself since you're just starting out, but you're also forming habits that might be hard to change later.¬†

Edited by katrinka
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3 hours ago, katrinka said:

So either reversals or attendance will work. Of course it's totally up to you - no Tarot SWAT team is going to kick your door in if you don't do either one, obviously. ūüėČ But I think if you don't use either, the reading suffers. I can understand making it easier on yourself since you're just starting out, but you're also forming habits that might be hard to change later.¬†

What she said! Except... there's at least one other way to include the same range of meaning as well, but it relies a lot more on intuition that may (or may not) take some time to develop...

 

While attendance is based on neighbouring cards (potentially irrespective of the positional meanings of the cards), you can make use of the information in the entire spread of positional meanings in a similar way. For me, the 'reversed' meanings are generally included with a spectrum extended from the upright meanings, and the card itself represents some part of the concept on that continuum. So Death, for example, is about change and transformation, but the opposite end of the spectrum is stagnation; a lack of expected change or a lack of needed stability fall into the middle, and if you're not using reversals then all these possibilities are theoretically on the table... even though the 'upright' meaning is what you would expect to be predominant, it may not be.

 

So, how to distinguish the 'correct' shade of meaning, without using attendance? Feel how it fits with the story told by the other cards. I tend to find that the meaning in the continuums overlap at certain points, pointing with great big shiny metaphorical arrows at how the meanings can be drawn into a coherent whole. How this works depends on the spread and its positions (it tends to work more clearly with more cards, for example!), but also on the narrative that you build up around them. Rather than being about specific combinations, you can read the cards as an entire story, with an 'atmosphere' that helps you to recognise which shade of meaning should be drawn out. For example, if the spread speaks abundantly of shiny new beginnings, then the Death card is probably going to mean transformation, and loss of the old life; if the other cards combine to speak of drudgery or boredom, then Death is more likely to be about a desire for change, or a feeling of stagnation in which we long for transformation - the other side of the same coin. How the cards come together usually depends on your intuition, though, and can't be expressed as universal guidelines.

 

Hope that makes sense! It might sound a bit abstract, but the cards are, after all, a tool for accessing our intuition... and going down a much more intuitive route is a perfectly valid way of reading. As katrinka says, how you develop your reading skills may fix your habits for the future... so be open to what works for you at the start, and experiment! I firmly believe that how the cards fall will adapt itself to your own reading style, as drawing them is part of the process... you just need to find and develop the methods that work for you personally.  :smiley:

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23 hours ago, katrinka said:

I don't use them at all. They aren't necessary.
But the thing is, if you don't use them, you really need to take attendance (combinations with neighboring cards) into account. So the King of Pents is generally seen as stable and comfortable. But - 
KP + Fool: He's going to make a really bad decision.

Or KP + Tower, he's going to lose that security. Throw the Ace of Cups in the mix and you might be looking at looming homelessness.

I think it's easier to feel confident about those than a reversed KP. Sometimes reversals are a blockage, sometimes the card "goes bad" and means just the opposite. They're kind of vague that way. Aleister Crowley didn't use them, so if you decide against them, you're in illustrious company.
 

So either reversals or attendance will work. Of course it's totally up to you - no Tarot SWAT team is going to kick your door in if you don't do either one, obviously. ūüėČ But I think if you don't use either, the reading suffers. I can understand making it easier on yourself since you're just starting out, but you're also forming habits that might be hard to change later.¬†

 

Wow, thank you for the input! Yes I try to do the attendance when I do my readings, that's how I've been trying to put together the "story". It's good to know not everyone uses RX, my friend mentoring me says the same, I guess I just see others doing it and think I should be doing the same. 

 

My King of Pents was drawn with the Empress and Page of Cups but when I¬†saw the King reversed I got nervous as to how to read it.. So I took the energy as good strong energy working towards the creation of something I've been working towards. I looked into his card a bit more and drew three more cards that then solidify that (if that's the correct reading¬†ūüėÖ)¬†

 

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19 hours ago, Wanderer said:

What she said! Except... there's at least one other way to include the same range of meaning as well, but it relies a lot more on intuition that may (or may not) take some time to develop...

 

While attendance is based on neighbouring cards (potentially irrespective of the positional meanings of the cards), you can make use of the information in the entire spread of positional meanings in a similar way. For me, the 'reversed' meanings are generally included with a spectrum extended from the upright meanings, and the card itself represents some part of the concept on that continuum. So Death, for example, is about change and transformation, but the opposite end of the spectrum is stagnation; a lack of expected change or a lack of needed stability fall into the middle, and if you're not using reversals then all these possibilities are theoretically on the table... even though the 'upright' meaning is what you would expect to be predominant, it may not be.

 

So, how to distinguish the 'correct' shade of meaning, without using attendance? Feel how it fits with the story told by the other cards. I tend to find that the meaning in the continuums overlap at certain points, pointing with great big shiny metaphorical arrows at how the meanings can be drawn into a coherent whole. How this works depends on the spread and its positions (it tends to work more clearly with more cards, for example!), but also on the narrative that you build up around them. Rather than being about specific combinations, you can read the cards as an entire story, with an 'atmosphere' that helps you to recognise which shade of meaning should be drawn out. For example, if the spread speaks abundantly of shiny new beginnings, then the Death card is probably going to mean transformation, and loss of the old life; if the other cards combine to speak of drudgery or boredom, then Death is more likely to be about a desire for change, or a feeling of stagnation in which we long for transformation - the other side of the same coin. How the cards come together usually depends on your intuition, though, and can't be expressed as universal guidelines.

 

Hope that makes sense! It might sound a bit abstract, but the cards are, after all, a tool for accessing our intuition... and going down a much more intuitive route is a perfectly valid way of reading. As katrinka says, how you develop your reading skills may fix your habits for the future... so be open to what works for you at the start, and experiment! I firmly believe that how the cards fall will adapt itself to your own reading style, as drawing them is part of the process... you just need to find and develop the methods that work for you personally.  :smiley:

 

Thank you, that's great advice!

 

I've been trying to put the story together everytime I do I reading for myself and so far it works out ok. I try to look at the neighbouring cards in the spread and then go with what they all feel like together rather than piecing together the cards separately. I'm getting a lot better at drawing on what the story telling me as a whole and it seems to flow well. And now¬†that¬† I know¬†attendance is fine on its own makes me feel much more comfortable¬†ūüėĄ¬†I see what you're saying with understanding where on the spectrum the meaning sits, and I just need to practise more and see how it all feels.¬†

 

I think I need to venture out and start reading for others to gain more confidence and what works well for meūüėÄ

 

Thank you again!

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