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The Joy of Learning Tarot

Author: Christiane Hayes

After decades of being regarded as part of dubious occult practices, Tarot is now becoming more mainstream and available for everyone to experience and learn. Decks and books are widely available from most bookstores, New Age shops and on the internet. Numerous websites offer information on Tarot and message boards, where like-minded people can meet and exchange ideas. It has never been easier to learn the Tarot.

If you are interested in learning the Tarot, you can rest assured that you do not need to be ‘psychic’ or possess a ‘special gift’ to be able to read the cards. All you need is the enthusiasm and perseverance to keep practicing. Your skills and knowledge will be reflected in the efforts you put into your studies.

Before you start, however, consider why you want to learn the Tarot. Most people at first are interested in the fortune-telling aspect of Tarot, as the ability to predict the future offers excitement and perhaps even a feeling of power over those, who ask you for a reading. You need to be aware though that the Tarot cannot make any predictions, as the future is not pre-determined. However, it is possible to establish future possibilities or a trend by analyzing a situation’s past and present.

Most of all, the Tarot offers a tremendous potential to better understand yourself. By examining problems or issues with the cards, a more informed decision can be made on how to proceed. Learning the Tarot to get to know yourself is a rewarding and enlightening experience.

The beginner soon realizes that learning the cards can be a daunting task. Memorizing the many different meanings of 78 cards doesn’t seem to be an easy undertaking. But there are ways of learning the Tarot more easily and efficiently. Most Tarot students nowadays learn to read the cards with the help of books or mentors; the latter will save time and money. Check out your local area for courses or look on the internet for contacts; The Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI) has a list of professional readers, who also offer tuition not only in their local areas but also online.

My top tips for learning the Tarot more efficiently:

• Choose a beginner’s deck, such as the Rider-Waite or Sharman-Caselli deck. Don’t be tempted by the Star Wars or Flower Fairy Tarot deck; you need cards that offer plenty of archetypal symbolism and meaning, so you can develop your intuition.

• Don’t try and memorize card meanings from books. Instead, try looking at each card and figure out the meaning for yourself. The cards need to speak to you. Relate each card to an experience or phase in your life; this will help you to remember its meanings more easily.

• If you need to buy a beginner’s book, choose one that provides plenty of exercises to help you learn the Tarot more intuitively. A good example is Mary K. Greer’s 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card.

• Find yourself a friend to learn Tarot with or a mentor. Sometimes it is hard to get motivated on your own. A mentor will also help you to focus by guiding you with individual exercises and reading material, so you can achieve your goal more quickly.

• Be realistic on how much time you can devote to your studies; Tarot cannot be learned from one day to the next, although it offers insight and guidance the moment you start. Your accuracy will improve in time.

• Have fun! This is very important. Don’t put yourself under pressure. If you cannot invest much time, use the cards for meditation purposes or just reflect on them informally. Pick a daily or a weekly card and see how its image reflects the events occurring during the day or week.

Overall, learning Tarot offers possibilities way beyond fortune-telling. According to Gerd Ziegler, it is the Mirror of the Soul. It reveals your true personality and offers opportunities for self-realization and discovery. May your Tarot journey be filled with pleasant and enlightening surprises!

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About the Author:

Christiane Hayes has been studying and reading the Tarot since the early 1980s. With a background in teaching, she specializes in offering workshops and private tuition in Leeds (United Kingdom) and online. Find out more about her and the services she offers on her website

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