The tarot is made up of 78 cards, with each card having multiple meanings and interpretations. Aside from the individual meanings, there are also symbols, numerology, and astrological signs that are associated with each card.
As a beginner, it can seem daunting to have to learn all of this at once. I wanted to take some time to share my method for studying tarot cards individually, along with some tips for retaining this information.
Make sure to check back because I am planning a Diving Into Tarot series here on the blog, where I will ‘dive in’ to a specific tarot card and share some insight into what I’ve learned from my studies over the years.
Every card has multiple meanings, symbols and interpretations. Once you’ve learned a little bit about tarot and the various cards, I recommend you take some time to look at each card individually. Even though I’ve practiced tarot for several years, I still like to go back and get reacquainted with each card on a deeper level.
My method is fairly simple, but that’s why it works so well for me. I basically interview each card separately. First I take the card I want to study (or the same card from different tarot decks) and grab my tarot journal. You can use a blank piece of paper if you don’t have a journal, or a computer if you’d prefer to stay digital.
I look at the card closely for some time and ask myself a few questions:
- What are the first keywords/meanings that come to mind?
- What symbols, colors, images stick out? Why do you think this is? Is there anything you’ve noticed for the first time? Anything you think of differently now?
- What energy do you pick up on when you first look upon the card? Do your feelings change when you look at the same card in a different deck?
- How would you interpret this card for life? Career? Love?
I like to first answer the questions without reaching for one of my tarot books or cheat sheets. After I’ve written down some of my initial thoughts, I’ll then grab one of my tarot books, cheat sheets or I’ll look up information online and then I’ll go back and flesh out some of my answers.
Why It Works
I find that this method works well because it forces me to focus on each card individually and really dissect it. I especially like to do this with cards whose meanings are a bit more complicated, or card meanings I have difficulty remembering quickly.
It helps to refresh my memory, which is crucial with tarot because it relies so much on memorization and recall. By having to write down the meanings, my thoughts and how I would interpret it in a general reading, I help my brain make the connection between the card and the interpretation.
When I do this I feel more connected to my deck on the whole as well, which is a bonus. I hope you’ll give my method a try, even if it’s with just one card that is giving you a bit of trouble or you want to understand better. With time, you’ll become more acquainted with your tarot deck, and a better tarot reader overall.