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Shadow Wolf 
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Join Date: 26 Nov 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 686
memorizing cards

I've heard a few people say that they memorize the cards.
I've only been doing readings for myself and a few close friends
who have asked me for a reading. I'm just starting to memorize some of the cards just because of the frequency with which they come up.

Now here's the question: I've found that even among the so-called "classical decks" meanings of cards can vary. If I were to memorize, for example, the Celtic Tarot, would it be acceptable
to look at the guide book for further clarification when using another "classical deck" where the meaning might vary slightly
or is it preferable to go on intuition.

I mean of course in a formal reading, where the querent may not be someone you know. I was just wondering...........
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Old 30-11-2002     Top   #1
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Go on intuition...

Sure, you can check the guide books for clarification. It's probably not a good thing to charge someone for a reading if you're not familar with the deck, though.

I have a suggestion. Instead of spending time and energy memorizing someone else's interpretations to the cards, why not just get familar with the cards yourself?

You'll see meditation mentioned here at Aeclectic and in most books on Tarot often. This is not a mystic proposition. The idea is to spend a day thinking about a particular card, looking at it over and over, allowing its "meaning" to soak in.

Check it out: You probably didn't really know how to properly use a tv remote the first time you picked one up. You could work out most of the major functions, volume, channels, etc. right away. As time went on though, you might have had to really look at the thing and do some thinking to get those other functions down. Now you can program the vcr, set the clock on both the tv and the vcr and get the program guide all from your sofa with the it. I'm guessing you didn't memorize the instructions that came with the remote to learn how to use it.

Just suggesting you look at Tarot the same way. Take your time, forget about doing it the "correct" way and get to know the cards, one at a time. If you stay with Tarot long, even if you decide to memorize, you're going to find yourself doing this anyway.

Learning to let the cards speak is a lot like raising children. It's a great way to get all kinds of advise. Finally though, I'm going to have to just jump in and learn how I'm going to do it.

Hope this helps.


"The greatest wisdom is to make the enjoyment of the present the supreme object of life because it is the only reality, all else being the play of thought." - Schopenhauer
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Old 01-12-2002     Top   #2
Shadow Wolf 
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It helped a lot, thanks........................

I'm already starting to form my own 'feelings' about certain cards.

It sounds like fun as well.

Thanks for the suggestion !!!!!!!
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Old 01-12-2002     Top   #3
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Join Date: 03 Apr 2002
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Also you have feelings about the cards..Write them down in your own tarot journal..From my card will not mean teh same in every depends on questions...position etc...Go by your intuition! For me the 3 of wands has bout 4 or 5 different ways to look it at..I am sure more..i just go by what the card is telling me for that reading.
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Old 01-12-2002     Top   #4
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Meditation can be excellent on the cards. I did this with the majors & will never look at the Death card the same way after that! What you do is relax, read the interpretation for the card, sit with it in front of you & really LOOK at it, memorize it.

Then close your eyes, relax & step into the card, visualizing yourself inside the picture. Turn around 360 degrees, look EVERYWHERE even the hidden side not seen. Talk to the people in the card. Talk to the animals in the card. Walk around. Get all you can out of what you see & hear, it'll surprise you with unexpected things.

Let your mind do free association with the pictures and meanings, it'll set the meanings in so much stronger for you to remember.
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Old 01-12-2002     Top   #5
Join Date: 07 Oct 2002
Location: Texas
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check out the cards

I didn't really memorize the cards as much as look at the cards for symbolism if I can't tell the meaning off the top of my head. Often times I find something new after I look at it closely. I'm very new at the tarot, but have been getting pretty accurate reading by doing this. It also saves on time spent reading meanings and money spent buying books.


But the path was written in the omens, and there was no way I could go wrong. ~The Alchemist

To realize one's destiny is a person's only real obligation. ~The Alchemist
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Old 01-12-2002     Top   #6
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I'm resurrecting this old thread as I have some different thoughts on this.

(By the way, special thanks to firemaiden for making that amazing and awesome index for this forum which enabled me to find this thread. I helped make the Tarot Decks index so I know how tedious and laborious it is, but I didn't do nearly the work firemaiden did on this one in Using Tarot Cards. It must have taken her forever!)

It seems to me that even for an experienced reader, memorizing a list of keywords could be a good thing, because it might help avoid a problem which I would think would befall all readers at some point, which is that one tends to read a card in the same way or same few ways every time.

If one were to memorize a list of keywords which included two or three keywords for each card which encompass a good variety of meanings for that card, then when you look at a card in a spread, you can recite those keywords (to yourself!) and have a larger vocabulary of meanings to choose from.

What do you all think? I've been looking at different author's keywords, and it seems to me that Joan Bunning's fit the bill nicely.

-- Lee
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Old 27-02-2004     Top   #7
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I was thinking also just memorize a key word for each card & key words will speed up your intuition because you will have to do the work on your own.
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Old 27-02-2004     Top   #8
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Here's links to Joan Bunning's keywords.



Numbered cards:

For some of her keywords, you may need to consult her book or the card descriptions on her site to see where she's coming from.

-- Lee
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Old 27-02-2004     Top   #9
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Thanks for posting!
Gives some new ideas.
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Old 27-02-2004     Top   #10
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