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Learning the Tarot by Joan Bunning and The Rider Tarot Deck

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 12 Apr 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.

johnpalm  12 Apr 2003 
Learning the Tarot by Joan Bunning and The Rider Tarot Deck

I am trying to learn how to read tarot cards. Today I picked The Three of Wards card but the book Learning the Tarot by Joan Bunning and the instructions that come with the Edier Tarot deck dont have the same details for the card?

Which one is right?

Hows the best way to learn?

Is this a good book?

Is this a goood deck??

please email me back at if you can help in any way.


truthsayer  12 Apr 2003 
i don't want to blow your mind but neither joan's book or the little white book right. however, neither are they wrong! the best way to learn the tarot is to trust your intuition. there are literally hundreds of books on the market about tarot. all of them carry a piece of the truth for the writer of that book. it could be something you agree with or disagree with. tarot has no fixed answers. some people here say burn the little white books and don't buy the others. i say yes, definitely learn to read by intuition. many people here keep a tarot journal where they write down personals impressions of the cards. after getting a personal insight, they might look the card up in the book and jot something about that definition.


by the way, learning the tarot by joan bunning is one of my favorite tarot books. another good one is "tarot for yourself" by mary k. greer. explore this site. we have lots of information in the archives on your question if you care to dig for some old threads. a version of your question is frequently asked here. 

johnpalm  12 Apr 2003 
Should I look at the image on the card and make my own meaning>? 

truthsayer  12 Apr 2003 
yes, tarot is a very creative tool. the symbols on the cards are to lead you in a general direction but you must find your own way. tarot is a journey not a destination. 

Umbrae  12 Apr 2003 
Tell ya what to do...

In the upper left corner of this page, are the words Aeclectic Tarot…Click on them.

You will be taken to the main page.

Now, to the right of the words Aeclectic Tarot, are five Icons – the center one is text. Click on it.

Thirteen’s Basics is wonderful. I highly recommend them.

There is also “The Process”, the author may be a tad ‘off’ but there is some good stuff there.

Keep that book around, I have a copy…you see there is this table that lost a portion of its leg…so to keep it from wobbling… 

Mimers  12 Apr 2003 
Hi John!

You have gotten some good advise here. I am fairly new. I have been learning Tarot for about 9 months.

Here is what I am glad I did:

I kept a journal from day one with MY interpretations, thoughts, feelings, observations, etc about each of the Major Arcana. Leave room to go back and add things, because you will as time goes by notice or feel more things as time goes by.

Spent a little time everyday with one card.

Didn't attempt to do readings at all for a few months, after I had a good basic understanding of the cards.

Used some of Mary Greer's great ideas from her book 'Tarot For Yourself' to explore the cards and their meanings.

Here is what I wish I didn't do:

Bought too many decks. Try to stick with one deck until you are comfortable. I find trying to learn Tarot on different decks confusing. Stick to one until you feel comfortable and then explore other decks.

Bought too many books. They are all different as many have stated in this thread and if you buy too many you will just get confused. Stick with one book for reference. I don't have Joan Bunning's book, but I have heard nothing but good things about it.

Worried too much. What if I'm wrong??? What if I am way off? But the book says something entirely different! you get the gist.

Hope this helps.


galadrial  12 Apr 2003 
I've read several books (including Joan's) and own several decks with their accompanying books, so there are a lot of different "book meanings" floating around in my subconcious. However, when I actually read a card, say the Moon, how I interpret it will completely depend on my intuition of it's meaning to my present situation. I may be struck by it literally-"oh, the full moon tonight is what's influencing my mood", or, a book defintion may suddenly click (doesn't matter which book, it will just suddenly strike you as ''right" for your situation), or I may see it as an indicator that, say, the vivid dreams I'm having or the unconcious fears surfacing in a situation, deserve closer attention. Finding your own way of relating to the energy unique to each card is what is important; being bound by definitions is not. I've found some books (including Joan's, and Mary K. Greer's, as well) helpful in doing that; to others they just get in the way. I totally concur in keeping a journal of your own impressions- I did that while I used Joan's book, using her key words as a spark for my intuition, a jumping off point, and letting my own impressions dominate. So, whatever works to spark your intuition is valid- a particular symbol from the card, a key word from a book, a coincidence in your life ("that Hermit reminds me of ___, maybe I should ask him..."). The tarot is fabulously versatile and full of surprises. If it were just about learning meanings from a book, I'm sure most of us would have been bored to tears long before now and not have kept using it for years! Stay curious and open and explore:-) 

The Learning the Tarot by Joan Bunning and The Rider Tarot Deck thread was originally posted on 12 Apr 2003 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

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