Books vs. No books


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Books vs. No books


Okay...


So I've been looking around a lot at how people learn Tarot. There are people who think that books are a waste of time and people who think books are essential, there are people who think LWBs are a waste of time while some other books are okay...there are all sorts of opinions about using books vs not using books...Memorizing meanings to the cards from research vs using only your intuition as you guide...etc.

First off I mut say the reason I'm posting this is because of something I remember Umbrae posting. It was in the thread about gypsies and how we need to try to get the word out that gypsies are not the only ones who read Tarot...yada yada....ANYWAY....

Umbrae said "There can be times when Regular Joe walk by and espy us with our Tarot Cards – and Regular Joe doesn’t see the years of work we put into our craft, he don’t see us staying awake reading Qabalistic tomes until dawn, learning decks, learning reading..."

Then he also said "We are not (by and large) cold readers – we actually learn to read the cards! You’ve got to grasp this – this alone puts us at a minority!"

Okay...so my question...What does it mean to "learn" to read the cards if we are encouraged to not use meanings in books and rely solely on our intuition? What kind of books DO we read if we are worried they will influence out intuitive flashes and interfere with our reading? Surely reading Qabalistic tomes will influence our readings, even if he books aren't about Tarot specifically. Many Tarot decks include Qabalistic symbols and themes. If I turn over a card that has a tree on it shaped like the Tree of Life, wouldn't all the research done on this pop into your head and mess up your intuition? If I research Alchemy because I like to read with the Alchemical Tarot, wouldn't doing that kind of be similar to memorizing card meanings, since anything I learn about alchemy will from then on effect the way I interpret the symbols I see on my cards? "Oh that alchemical symbol was used by the alchemists to represent lizards" Before I studied I didn't know that and interpreted it my own way, now that I have studied, I will have a harder time doing that.

So....what do we do? Are we so protective of out precious intuition that we try to avoid learning anything ever written about Tarot? Do we rely solely on research?

I suspect that the answer lies (as usual in these cases) in the middle. I think a healthy dose of scholarship and actually reading the cards for yourself and others is the best way. A Middle Way. Buddha would approve.
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Well, firstly, book doesn't equal book.

There is a huge difference in learning about esoteric, metaphysical, occult and even philosophical systems and cosmology vs. taking a beginner's list of pre-defined meanings and quote from them.

The former is a life-long study (at least for me) deepening the understanding of the universe's inner workings and universal patterns, the latter a cane that should be discarded as soon as possible.

On a lighter note, I can't see anything wrong with using a beginner's book to break down all the complexities into bites one can actually swallow and digest.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aulruna
Well, firstly, book doesn't equal book.

There is a huge difference in learning about esoteric, metaphysical, occult and even philosophical systems and cosmology vs. taking a beginner's list of pre-defined meanings and quote from them.

The former is a life-long study (at least for me) deepening the understanding of the universe's inner workings and universal patterns, the latter a cane that should be discarded as soon as possible.

On a lighter note, I can't see anything wrong with using a beginner's book to break down all the complexities into bites one can actually swallow and digest.
You said it Sista!
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Yeah, what she said Besides, it doesn't have to be an either or thing. Where does your intuition come from? More importantly, what does it feed on? The lizard may trigger something relevant to the reading. What is that something? I could be something you experienced as a child, something you saw in national geographic last week, or something you read in an alchemy book. And you still need 'intuition' to know which of all these is relevant here and now for the reading. For me doing research means giving my intuition more to draw on.
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How about doing both. The meanings in the beginner's book are the underpinings that inspiriation needs to get moving. Learning about colors and symbols and ... whatever, gives the subconsious mind more words to use.

Also, if I want to get deeper into a card, I'll look at what other people say the card means. Sometimes I get surprises that just hit me as being so right but most of the time I'm just confirming what I already figure out for myself.

I'm doing the 21 Ways Study here at Aeclectic and some of the ways are things I already did and/or do, and some of them are things I never thought of doing. Reading someone else's card meanings was one of those ways.
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We do rely mainly on intuition when reading the cards.

But on the other hand, books tend to increase our vocabulary, which in turn allows us to explain symbols, meanings etc. in more than just one way and makes it easier for the people we meet and do readings for to understand us, no matter what life-path they are on.

I see it as a way of learning to speak from different angles.
If I were to do a reading for someone who is in a completely different lifesituation than any I've ever been in, it helps me to put it into useful words if I have some understanding for the situation the sitter is in.
If I were to just speak from my own experience - which does not necessarily contain whatever that particular sitter has been through - I may not make any sense to him/her even when the reading itself is spot on.

Reading books deepens our understanding of the cards, the symbology, the colors, the numerology etc.
Reading books increases our vocabulary and communication-skills.
Reading books give us basic information about a lot of thing that will come in handy in our readings.

Ofcourse books alone can't do it all. We also need to read the cards and practice, practice, practice. And ofcourse listen to our intuition.
But having a larger vocabulary will help us translate the messages our intuition bring up and makes it easier for us to let the sitters know what the message is.
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I choose both Books and No books.

Books can increase our knowledge also can develop our skill and grammar. A book is just a guide that will inspire us to learn. Like me because of some books about Tarot I was inspired by its history thats why I bought some tarot cards and books to help me out. Each books have different understanding and different content but this can help us. More books more knowledge.

If we don't have any books we will having hard time study it but you can make deeper meanings about the card and also thats why other people pursue studying tarot cards. Also need patience. Thanks for reading and maybe this can help.
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The book is just a starting point, but without it, or a class on the tarot, it's very difficult to grasp the complexity of the cards. Reading is like any other occupation, really. You learn the basics and then practice. The more readings you do, the less you will rely on a book for interpretation and, actually, the less you will rely on the cards themselves. They will serve as a guide, but your intuition will give you the rest.
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HearthCricket  HearthCricket is offline
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I think people are describing it well. When first starting out, or working with a specifically themed deck, books are very helpful. They give you a nice foundation to start from and let you know the common pattern of say, a RW based deck or a Thoth deck. And yes, books vary from useless to fabulous. But books can eventually become a crutch. If you do a reading and spend all your time looking up the meanings in a LWB or even the larger book, you aren't really "reading" anymore. You are just repeating. At some point you have to leave it behind, and only peek now and again to refresh things, and learn to bond with your cards, their images, the stories they relate to you, your own intuition, how they blend together, side by side, etc. You have to let go of that crutch.

It is sort of like taking a class. During the semester you have the reading material, you study, you look things up, you write papers, you research. But when the final exam comes around, you put those aside and work on your own. A teacher doesn't want a copy of what everyone else says written down on paper. They want you to put yourself into it...your own views and opinions. Your final exam is when you let go of the books and read from the heart, without any crib notes or reliance other than your intuition and the knowledge you have gained through experience. Hope that helps!
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HearthCricket is spot on! The most difficult thing for a tarot novice to do is let go of the book. It was very difficult for me, but I just recruited family members and friends, even my dog, to practice readings on without the book before I did any for strangers. It took awhile, but the more readings I did, the more confident I became with the info I was getting, not from the cards, but from my intuition. Good luck!
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