After Buying a Tarot deck how do I learn?
So, I’ve got my first deck and a book or two… Now what? This article won’t cover specific lessons, but it might point you to a couple of resources (most of them free) that will help you on the journey.
Good Instructional Webpages are out there
There are several webpages with a lesson format to help you better your reading skills. The first is learntarot.com. This is Joan Bunning’s site and this lesson plan is the same one her book uses. It’s excellent, although I still think the book is worth buying. It’s more portable than my desktop computer 😉
The next webpage that’s always been a personal favorite of mine is Supertarot. This one’s specifically designed for all you Thoth lovers out there. It is a very well-designed and thorough website.
A basic overview of card meanings entitled Thirteen’s Tarot Basics is available at the Aeclectic Tarot site. It is a concise compellation of card meanings and really useful.
The Best Beginner Tarot Books
There are a couple of books I would consider must-haves for the Tarot student. Joan Bunning’s book “Learning the Tarot” is the one I bought in order to take the online Tarot class, but for a long time, it was also the book I kept close to me during readings. Joan has done a wonderful job of making the subject approachable and down to earth. The meanings she gives for the individual cards are easy to relate to real life situations. She gives tips for growing beyond her original lessons and expanding your skills.
by Trish MacGregor and Phyllis Vega is a book that I stumbled upon because a friend had another book by the same author. I love the way this book gives several different meanings for each card depending on question being asked or what situation you feel it’s addressing, whether romance, work, home, marriage, or health, this book has gotten me through many situations when I’ve been stuck on a card, only able to look at the one meaning I most often equate to the card, rather than thinking of all the possibilities. In the back of the book, you’ll find over 100 tarot spreads, just waiting to be explored.
78 Degrees of Wisdom
is the one book no serious student should be without. While I don’t consider it a beginner’s book per se… Once you’re ready to delve into a card, exploring all the symbols and their historical significance, how the card has evolved over the centuries, astrological and other associations, this is the book you will need. Rachel Pollack is one of the foremost authorities on history and symbology. She has authored many books on the Tarot, but this one (IMO) remains her most important contribution.
Mary Greer’s workbook series, beginning with, “Tarot for Yourself“, is a wonderful journey of self-exploration. Beginning with some intuition exercises and a smattering of history, Mary explores our soul cards, personality cards, and helps us to get to know ourselves better. I only have “Tarot for Yourself”, but there are two others that follow that are also highly recommended. I refer to this book over and over.
Also check out:
Online Tarot Groups
I know in the small town in which I live, there aren’t many Tarot lovers nearby. With the advent of the Internet, it is now so easy to find other people that share your interests. In most online Tarot groups, you’ll find many people that are helpful and friendly and remember how they themselves struggled in the beginning. The kind of group that I have found most helpful are groups that are relatively active, without being overwhelming in the amount of mail or posts to read, and particularly if they have active chats and a way to practice your reading skills. If you do read for yourself (and I would suggest that you do), post once in awhile to the group for feedback on readings you’ve done… or ask for additional insight when you have a particularly difficult reading… You’ll be amazed if you participate how quickly you progress.
Local Tarot Classes
Check out your local new age shops. Chances are very good that if they don’t hold classes on Tarot, they’ll know where they can be found. Make sure you check out their flyers board, if they have one… or you may even find classes at your local community college. Tarot is becoming more and more mainstream…
If Tarot is something that really speaks to you… don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel you’re getting the hang of it right away. Learning the Tarot is something that takes time and patience. I have always felt that anyone can learn to read Tarot cards, no matter how much natural ability they have or don’t have. What is most important is desire… By picking up the cards, you are giving your intuition permission to speak freely. Sometimes we suppress our feelings most of our lives and its a relearning process to open up to those feelings again.