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Best learning technique for Tarot?

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bogiesan  bogiesan is offline
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Originally Posted by biddy9 View Post
What is the one learning technique that has helped you the most to learn Tarot? For example, was it learning the keywords for the cards, understanding more about the symbolism, learning to use your intuition, finding some great Tarot books, etc.? What made reading Tarot really easy for you? I think, for me, it was using a Tarot journal and drawing a card for each day. I really saw the cards open up and start to become much more 'real'.
After 40 years, the most interesting and helpful practice for me occurred to me just recently: I unwrapped my vintage W-S, took an empty pocket notebook off the shelf (like a Moleskine or ecosystems or Rhodia webbie) and picked up a reshly inked fountain pen.
Empty page.
Pick a card.
Write down what it says to me right now. Not what I think I remember what any book ever said it was supposed to say.

I've done this exercise several times and now I have a reasonable start on my internal tarot language. I've created my own links between the cards, my own stories, my own little movies of what's going on in each scene Pamela Colman Smith has frozen. I'm not concerned with what Mr Waite told her to draw.

Just yesterday, I happened across "The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor" by Wilma Carroll in a used book store here in Boise ID. I had never seen this book befor and picked it up for a song. Basically, Carroll wants you to avoid using any and all preconceptions about your cards and create a journal of what you see and what you hear. Her maxim, throughout her interesting book, is "Say what you see."

Your mileage will vary, of course.
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When I assist someone in learning how to read cards I teach them how I was taught. Don't know if it's the BEST(the best is what works for you) but it has worked for me. Since I read playing cards decades before getting my first tarot deck we learn the minors first. First are the suits, learn the energy behind them, then the numbers. Next comes the Royal Family. With the Majors I like the idea of separating them into different areas of physie. Cards 1-7 Consciousness Cards(outer concerns of Life) 8-14 Subconscious(search inward-who are we?) Cards 15-21 Superconscious (development of spiritual awareness-goal of enlightenment). I got this out of a book but I cannot come up with the name of it (sorry menopause ) I also go over symbols and what they mean to you. Everyone reads and sees the cards differently. AFter 40+ years I am still learning, always excitied when I read of a new idea or someone elses perspective.

Enjoy your journey!!
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Girl Archer  Girl Archer is offline
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Hi B,

Allow me to contribute my two cents here. When I first started it was mostly looking at youtube videos from satugustafson, tarot 101 and many other readers. Some of them combined a mix of keywords plus symbolism but for me, given that I am more of a visuals oriented person I love the colors, symbols and the tiny details. Like the salamander on the King of Wands... Which could also explain my leanings towards bright, mad and abstract decks. Or the dark and brooding decks.

Moving on, after the tarot vids it was websites that were a little more detailed.. Like learntarot and biddytarot... Then of course good old AT FORUM that has been such a huge help. And the best thing is that this is an interactive exchange so you make mistakes aplenty but also learn.

Keywords and books in my opinion are rather limiting because they stuck in my mind for a long time and I could not enjoy the beauty of other decks simply because the RWS and its meanings were so compelling and refused to leave my mind. So, I think the best way is to honestly engage yourself with the cards as much as you can... Talk with them, play with them and read them. Doing readings will really improve your tarot knowledge. And of course if you want to go real deep there are always historic books and forums where you can explore its origin and growth through the centuries...

I think I might have rambled too much... Oops anyway you have fun discovering yourself on the Tarot Journey!
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I haven't read all the other posts, but just wanted to say that the best learning technique for Tarot is whatever works for you. Everyone has the one way of learning that anything that works best for them and that's what you should go with. Nobody else can say for you what works the best. Your own mind knows what it is and will function in the best way for you if you just trust it and go with it.
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Thanks for all your great responses! Very helpful :-)

Everyone has different learning styles, so there are always many "one best ways", huh?!
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I don't know if there is a 'best technique' for learning tarot - is there 'Rosetta Stone for Tarot'? We would probably teach Tarot the same way we learned it, or improving the way we learned it if the teaching didn't work/click.

I admit - I have taught Tarot in the past and I teach the way I wrote my book (or vice versa), so in essence, if you take my class I am teaching you 'my system.' I feel that I have gone beyond 'my system' in the intervening years, and taught all sorts of 'derivations' as I went along - but I was still teaching 'my system.' However, 12,000+ copies of my book sold tells me it must work somehow on some level for at least 12,000 people!

But would it be the 'best learning technique' for you?

Remember, George Bernard Shaw wrote: 'Those that can - do. Those that can't - teach. Those that can't do either - teach Tarot." {Or was that Woody Allen ... ?}
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Originally Posted by biddy9 View Post
Thanks for all your great responses! Very helpful :-)

Everyone has different learning styles, so there are always many "one best ways", huh?!
Tarot is about forging that connection with that which sends the answers (whatever you believe that is). And about intuition. The path to connect to those things is an inward one. and the best path inward varies from person to person.

Also since there ate so many ways to read, and the way that is best for person also varies from person to one can tell anyone which way is "best" for them. You have to feel that from inside you.

Thats how I see it anyway.

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I've recently thought of this technique for teaching new students.
Pick a topic/situation and draw the cards that would best show that to you.
Divorce - Death,Two of Cups,Ten of Swords
An Affair - 7 of Swords, 3 of Cups x, Lovers, 2 of Cups

Just as an example. So that way the student sees the combinations that mean specific things to him or her.
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MaineGirl117  MaineGirl117 is offline
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I started off buying a deck and a few beginners books. I also used many websites for alternative interpretations on the cards. When I got familiar with 'boxed' meanings, I began to expand my thoughts and ideas. Daily draws (3-4 cards) with a 24 hours time limit gave instant feedback on real-world applications of the cards. From that process I learned a great deal on the interplay between cards.

I've met, and have been drawn to several people on AT whose reading style really resonates with me. I usually try to read their postings when I come across them. I've also sent them PM's asking how they got a specific interpretation, and have learned a lot from that too! Plus, you begin to pick up better suggestions for reference materials. I really love researching symbolism and mythology, so I follow a story through internet resources and take what I can from that.

I think it's really important to connect well with your deck to. It took me a while to find a deck I really *love* and can't put down! That helps to learn
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Learning the symbolism, and a little bit about "history" was really helpful when using a RWS type deck. Especially with the court cards and the majors.
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