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How to learn your deck?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 26 Feb 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.



pyre  26 Feb 2003 
Not sure if this is the right place :confused:, but here it goes!

I'm trying to learn how to read the cards and was wondering how you go about it.

should I just do simple readings and look up the cards meanings? This was the way I did it years ago, but the meanings didn't really stick with me.

I've read in various books about keeping a journel of readings and looking over them to see reoccurring themes. This seems to be kind of similar to what I did before.

Do any of you have a method to learning a new deck?

I'm using the Dragon tarot mainly, and occasionally the Tarot of the Cat People. 


Umbrae  26 Feb 2003 
My advice.

Begin at the beginning.

Go Slow! Unless you strive for mediocrity.

Begin with three card spreads. Begin doing three card readings (for others). Do them for-ever. Do a lot of them.

There is no need to advance to a five card spread until you have at least six months of reading under your belt.

Buy a spiral notebook. Use it as a Journal (very important). Write down every reading (both cards and your interpretation).

Only read for yourself no more than once a week.

Three card readings are versatile, and accurate. More cards do not always mean better readings (but they look good on TV).

Read old posts on this site.

http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/articles/process_introduction.html 


magpie9  26 Feb 2003 
Umbrae is right. Let the deck and your self teach you.

I'm not a book burner, but if you have tried it with books and not retained, it's because they did not speak to you.

Once you can hear the cards and your self clearly, then you can begin again with books, and see what you think of them. Remember that they are not carved in stone by the Gods, but written by people like you.

Whatever else, memorize nothing. Feel like an idiot if you need to, but give yourself the room to truly learn to read tarot.

Do Journal it all. But feel free to use a pen and a stack of journals over the years, so you can readily track your changing, growing, deepening relationship with the tarot.

Then write your own book, if you want to!

Happy Journey :) 


scheherazade  26 Feb 2003 
On www.learntarot.com is a summary of the card meanings, and for memorization aid purposes, it is quite useful. But take care to not to limit yourself to the elementary meanings there. 


HudsonGray  26 Feb 2003 
You can always do a meditation where you take one card a night & 'step into' the picture & talk with the people & creatures there to get a better idea of what the card means. Also it gives you the ability to turn aroun d& see the part of the card that the viewer DOESN'T see, the side where we look in--once you're there, the card is 360 degrees of landscape. Turn & look & explore. You'll learn a lot that way. 


pyre  27 Feb 2003 
Thanks for the advice :)

I'm not sure if I want to do reading for others.
I'm mainly interested in self awareness. Perhaps as I become more in tuned to the cards I will read for others.

Six years ago, when I first started working with the cards, I did readings for others. I enjoyed it, but after getting caught up in other things, my confidence isn't where it needs to be to read for others.

Umbrae and magpie, the idea of journels sounds good.

Scheherazade, that site looks interesting. I'll definitely look around it.

HudsonGray, another good suggestion. I love looking at the cards. 


Mojo  27 Feb 2003 
Damn, Hudson, the 1960s sure were good to you! 


VGimlet  03 Mar 2003 
When I was re-learning the cards, I made a really tiny scan of all the cards in my deck, laminated them, and then had mini cards I carried around with me for a day. Sometimes for two or three days, if I was really busy. When I had a spare moment here or there, I 'd take it out, and look at it, and sort of think about all the things it could mean.
When I was ready, the laminated card went into my tarot journal (I allowed about four pages per card - I wish I'd left more) , and I'd write about my impressions.

I don't know that I would recommend this next part for a beginner. Because I think it's better to learn using your own intuition, and THEN check out how others view them. Anyway, after I finished writing my impressions I also referred to several books on tarot, and made notes just to get more ideas, and stretch my mind a little.
I plan on doing this with a few other decks too, at some point, because it really helped me break away from the memorized meanings I'd stuck with for so long. It sounds like a lot of studying, which a lot of people wouldn't be into. I felt it was well worth it for me, though.

And, just like everyone says, lots of readings. Lots of practice. Just like playing the piano. 


cheekyminx  03 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by HudsonGray
You can always do a meditation where you take one card a night & 'step into' the picture & talk with the people & creatures there to get a better idea of what the card means. Also it gives you the ability to turn aroun d& see the part of the card that the viewer DOESN'T see, the side where we look in--once you're there, the card is 360 degrees of landscape. Turn & look & explore. You'll learn a lot that way.


Hmm, i bet this worked REALLY well in the 60's & 70's ;) Wish I were a hippy child :)

Practice makes perfect! Books are good, but so is studying the cards & using your intuition, what do you feel the card means? A lot of Tarot decks have great pictures that tell a story, but some I've seen are pretty daggy, confusing or just plain. But then again there are cards that work well for some & don't work for others.

Good luck Pyre! 


Mimers  03 Mar 2003 
Poking fun at the 60s and 70s are we?

Well, I too grew up in that era and I too meditate and 'go into' the card. I have talked to them and asked them what they were here to teach me. This gave me a great insite into the cards.

I did read a lot of books at first, but wish I had waited until I had a chance to get my own first impressions first. So I am with many others when I say don't read any books at first. Even the ones that may come with the deck.

The best thing I did was start some journals. I keep one for readings and one for notes on the cards or whatever else I learn. This has been a great tool. I find myself going back to them often to see what I have written about certain cards. I also like to look back at my readings and compare what my impressions were to what actually came to be.

The other thing I would suggest is do a lot of readings. Try for others in your circle of family and friends too. It is different when you read for others.

Then buy some books.

Hope this helps

Mimers 


cheekyminx  03 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mimers
Poking fun at the 60s and 70s are we?


No way!! I actually wish I did grow up in the 60's & 70's....but it just wasn't meant to be :( God damnit!!! *sigh* 


Lee  03 Mar 2003 
I'm puzzled by the suggestion that there's something sixties-ish about meditating on a card by entering the picture. This is a well-established technique for creating a personal relationship with the cards. I have several Tarot books which recommend this technique, and none of them were written in the '60s or '70s, but rather in the '80s and '90s.

-- Lee :) 


Aoife  03 Mar 2003 
I suspect Minx alludes to the use of mind-altering substances... Imho one was more likely to end up with indigestion from eating the card, believing it to be a piece of cosmic toast, than one was to gain any enlightenment.

And of course there were very real risks, not least that one could end up with a card missing from the deck - both physically and metaphorically speaking. 


Sulis  03 Mar 2003 
Well, whatever the decade I`m for the hippy approach every time. Meditation is definately the way to go.

Love and light

Crystalmynx xx 


HudsonGray  03 Mar 2003 
Ah, Mojo, I missed that post about the 60's. No, the 60's weren't all that great for me, I was 5 years old at the time. Just starting Kindergarden & spent half that year in the hospital with rheumatic fever & strep throat! Gave me a permanent heart murmur but i actually survived when they thought I was a gonner.

No, I got that 'into the card' suggestion from a 90's book about learning the tarot better. Other readers recommended it for learning also, so I guess it's a tried & true way to learn. Once you get in the card, your mind makes all these associations & presents them to you in a way your conscious can connect to--so yes some of it can get pretty bizaar.

As for drugs, I only ate ONE funny brownie in my life, I don't smoke or shoot, so I guess I missed out on all the other mind altering stuff (but that funny brownie was enough to make me eat a full supper, and 3 large ice cream sundaes with the works before my friends stopped me--I can see where the 'munchies' come from! Man did food taste good! I wish hospitals WOULD use it for their chemo patients). 


Mimers  03 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee
I'm puzzled by the suggestion that there's something sixties-ish about meditating on a card by entering the picture-- Lee :)


Lee,

You dont remember all the teenagers meditating in the park when you were a kid? Or were you one of them?

: )

Mimers

By the way, I got the idea from the Tarot for Yourself book by Mary K Greer. 


jlbvt  09 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Aoife
I suspect Minx alludes to the use of mind-altering substances... Imho one was more likely to end up with indigestion from eating the card, believing it to be a piece of cosmic toast, than one was to gain any enlightenment.

And of course there were very real risks, not least that one could end up with a card missing from the deck - both physically and metaphorically speaking.
Eve, you are a natural comedian! Do you write any books? Cause I think you would make a great writer.

As to the "enlightening substances" I think it is not only rather hit or miss, but also very limiting. Your own unfettered imagination combined with meditation is ultimately the best way to go. As Eve says, you may end up missing a card from your deck! ;) 


Vita-morte  12 Mar 2003 
Thanks for the suggestion Hudson...I plan on trying it as soon as I get the chance! 


Icestorm  13 Mar 2003 
Ive been learning the Ancient Egyptian tarot by looking at every aspect of each card, reading both the description and definition in the book, AND closing my eyes and then reconstructing the card in my mind.

I find it a very useful, though time consuming, technique :-] 


HudsonGray  13 Mar 2003 
"I find it a very useful, though time consuming, technique."

Yep, some things need to be. Instant gratification or instant memorization isn't what's needed on some things. The more time you take, the deeper in the meaning goes. Let yourself take all the time you need.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. 


sunflowr  14 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mimers
Lee,

You dont remember all the teenagers meditating in the park when you were a kid? Or were you one of them?

: )

Mimers

By the way, I got the idea from the Tarot for Yourself book by Mary K Greer.


If you watch the movie "Woodstock" carefully, you can see all the kids meditateing on their tarot cards. ;)

I was lucky and I did get to grow up in the 60's and 70's. What a GREAT time! :) But no I never did enter any tarot cards. ;) My "mind altering" experiences were mostly limited to watching the Flying Nun fly!!! 


The How to learn your deck? thread was originally posted on 26 Feb 2003 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

 
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