When I first started learning tarot, it was a little overwhelming.
I mean, I had a book of 78-card meanings that I had to memorize, forwards and backwards, upside down and right side up (literally), and I could barely remember what ONE card was. It sucked.
I got a deck from my roommate, the Enchanted World Tarot, and just was dumbstruck.
What does all this crap mean?
There's a meditation DVD and book?! But how do I meditate the right way?
Why are there swords stabbing this man?!
I started researching, looking around for the best ways to memorize the tarot and maybe even (maybe one day) read them intuitively.
The best advice I found? Start a tarot journal.
The rules were simple:
Every day when I did my daily draw, I was to first look at the card and find the meaning on my own. Only after I did that could I look up the answer.
Sounds easy enough. So, I pulled out my deck, sat down, drew a card, and stared at it.
And stared. And stared... And stared....
What the hell am I supposed to be looking at?
I didn't understand the process, even though it's one of the best ways you can memorize your tarot deck. So, with this guide, I'm going to go through and help you not be a dork, like me, and just stare at the card waiting for something to happen.
your first impressions
What do you first notice about the card?
Do you find yourself staring at a particular image on the card? Maybe a rock or a horse or the sky?
Write it down. What does that image remind you of?
Does the Knight of Cups look like someone you know?
Does the bright sky in The Sun make you think of a particular day?
Write it down!
Look up the meaning
Go online to Biddy Tarot or look in the book that came with your deck.
What does this author say it means? What keywords are typically given for this card, reversed and right-side up?
Write them down!
compare to your first impressions
Wait a minute, the King of Wands is supposed to be warm and inviting. Why do I think he's a creeper? Did I do this wrong?
No, you didn't. Get out of your head!
Your first impressions of the card were your intuitive feelings about it. We each associate different things with different cards, so some will have meanings that don't mesh up with anything we find in a book or online.
There's nothing wrong with this! You read the card just fine! This just means the card has a different association for you.
Like the King of Swords in the Witches Tarot deck will always look like a scumbag to me.
write down your thoughts
Do this! Even if you only have time for a few words.
Reflect a bit on why you have a different association with a card than the book meaning does.
What in it looks different to you? Or draws you in?
This will help you not only remember the card but recall it's meanings more easily during a reading
keep your notes in a safe place
Some people like to take notes on their daily tarot pulls in their Book of Shadows or Grimoire.
Some use just a regular notebook.
Personally, I was so busy and away from my magical notebook that I put a section in my bullet journal. Yes, bullet journal. And it was awesome.
Having all the keywords here, personal and looked up, was incredibly handy. I feel so much more comfortable reading intuitively with a basic, Rider-Waite style deck now than I did a couple of years ago.
As I've created a daily intuitive practice, I've started to grow this natural ability of mine. Especially has I talked to more and more people everyday about their lives and issues, this mental muscle is flexing and strengthening. It's super awesome; I've been using my gift, along with palm and tarot readings as a tool, to helps others around the world with their lives.
Want a divorce but have no clue how to start emotionally?
Don't know why he hasn't called?
Wondering if you should quit your job?
Need to find your ex from high school?
Does your dead father have messages for you?
I've helped and every person has done better for themselves in the process. And I want to help those like me, who didn't know where the hell to start, with reading tarot intuitively.
My first step is with a handy dandy place to pull all the information you can absorb about tarot and put it in one spot.
There's a simple symbolism and nature about every card that makes the meaning so easy to see, even without the book. But at the same time your interpretation can be SO different than John, Jigglehammer, and Schmidt that's down the block.
But with a tarot journal as your system, it totally works.