Hi there my innately curious MultiPassionate, I am thrilled to share the wonderful world of Tarot with you! Each week I will post a lesson, with the first lesson series milestone being able to read Tarot for yourself. It is a wonderful tool to help you piece together your Life Design. We are going to have a lot of fun. SQUEEE!
What you will need
A Tarot deck. I recommend starting with the Rider-Waite deck. It is the most commonly used deck, and it is what I will reference in these lessons. However, if you already have a different deck, use it. No need to run out and buy another one.
How to get the most from these lessons
- You probably received a book or instruction sheet with your Tarot deck. For the entire time you are working through this workshop I want you to put it away. Out of sight, out of mind. My approach to learning Tarot is a common sense one. I am going to show you how to read the Tarot all by yourself, without the aid of any predefined card meanings. When you are done, by all means haul out the instructions again to supplement your readings. But for now, hide them.
- Start a Tarot Journal. It can be a paper journal or electronic one. I am partial to paper myself, because I can scribble and draw pictures along with words. However, it is entirely up to you which format you use. You will be using this journal during the lessons, and I encourage you to keep using it afterwards.
- Definitely do the assignments. They are not time consuming, and the only way to learn to read Tarot is to jump in and do it.
- Play with your cards, play with your cards, play some more with your cards!
A little bit of Tarot background
There is an air of mystery surrounding Tarot cards, but in fact their origins are quite mundane. Tarot was simply a game of cards. Tarot started to be referenced around 1440 in the form of a card game named Triumph. Beautiful artistic decks of cards were designed for the nobles to play a game similar to bridge. The decks contained four suits numbered one through ten, and court cards of queen, king, knight, page.
Sound familiar? Our modern decks have four suits numbered one through ten plus the jack, queen and king.
The game of Triumph was also played with twenty-two symbolic cards that were the trump cards. These cards, however, were not standardized until the late 15th century by card makers in Marseilles, France.
It truly is as mundane as that. The use of Tarot for divination did not occur for another three hundred years. At that point, symbols started to appear on the cards as mnemonics and communication tools for spiritual groups and secret sects and societies.
In the 19th century, occultist Eliphas Levi linked the Hebrew system of mysticism, Kabbalah, with the Tarot. This was the tipping point for Tarot going more main stream. A further push occurred in the 19th and 20th century when groups such as The Theosophical Society, The Hermetic Order of the Gold Dawn, The Rosicurcians, and the Church of Light solidified Tarot as a spiritual tool.
North America was a tad slower to pick up Tarot, and it did not become common place until the 1960s when spiritual enlightenment became du jour.
The reason for Tarot’s popularity across different languages and cultures is the fact that it is visual. The symbols used are archetypal, based on global mythology. No longer used as a trump card game, Tarot has become a much employed tool for spiritual growth and development.
Okay! Let’s jump right in!
- Shuffle your cards. Don’t worry about how. We will talk about that in another lesson.
- Select a card. Again, don’t worry about how you select one. Just pull a card from the deck.
- Looking at the card, capture any words, thoughts, images, sounds, feelings that come to mind.
- Now write down what you think this card means. Resist the temptation to look up the meaning of the card. There are no wrong answers!
- If you want to, continue this exercise with more cards.
As mentioned, I always recommend starting with the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, but pretty soon you will want to get another deck, and then another. They are kind of addictive that way.
But, how do you select new decks? There are hundreds out there. The challenge with purchasing decks is they come in sealed packages, so other than a single image on the front cover, you really don’t know if the images will resonate with you.
One tip is to search an online store, like Amazon, for different decks. See what jumps out at you, then do a Google image search to see if someone has posted more cards from that deck.
If you are lucky, some bricks and mortar New Age stores have sample decks for you to flip through.
Ultimately, it boils down to “I think this deck will resonate with me.” If it doesn’t, you can always resell the deck through eBay or Kijiji, or find a friend who loves the deck.
At worst, you have spent under $20 for a deck that ends up collecting dust. Or, it may end up resonating with you later on.
Questions and Sharing
If you have any questions about this lesson, or want to share your experiences with it, please comment below. Your comment will go into moderation — it’s the only way I can control the irritating spam — but I will endeavour to approve it and comment back as timely as possible.
Be sure to check in next week for Lesson Two. In the meantime …
Stay curious, my lovely!
Our Life. Our Passions. Our Way.