Study Methods of Enhancing the Understanding of Tarot Cards
From flash cards to games, there are many methods beginning students, and advanced card readers can use to improve their tarot reading skills.
A young tarot student is faced with many challenges in learning to accurately read the major and minor arcane. For most students that study tarot reading, they start learning to read the cards only to become frustrated and give up long before they’ve reached any level of proficiency. A beginning reader doesn’t have to become frustrated, though.
When a starting tarot student buckles down and follows an outline of instruction, seriously applies themselves and works consistently with the cards they will be able to perform an accurate tarot reading typically within two months.
A student of the cards is going to need to gather a few materials and tools for their study.
The Notebook – A Study Tool for Tarot Reading
The student would be wise to have a journal specifically dedicated to their education. This journal can serve three purposes.
The first purpose is to record and take notes on the various meanings of the cards. A tarot reader would do well to appoint one page, front and back, to each card. Each page should contain information on the card that is of particular importance. This would include the name of the card, keyword meanings for the card in the upright position, keyword meanings for the card in the reversed or inverted position, and major card combinations that are used in a tarot reading.
Detailed meanings, numerological correspondences, and astrological correspondences can also be added when the student has progressed to a more advanced level.
The following is an example of a tarot card interpretation for Temperance:
Upright Keywords: Good health and balance in life.
Reversed Keywords: Health is not okay, and there is unbalance in life.
Card Combinations: Reversed with the Devil Card there is an addiction; Reversed with 10 of Wands there is back pain.
Of course, it’s expected that the student’s notebook will contain far more information. The point is, by writing information down, a student can more effectively commit it to memory. Additionally, it’s nice to have a good reference source to return to that is composed purely of the student’s own energy.
The second use for a tarot student’s notebook involves keeping notes of any tarot reading they perform. Explaining to a client/setter/querent that the student is new and just learning should be the first thing a student does when they sit down to read someone’s cards. The second thing they should do is ask if it would be okay to take notes of and record the session.
After permission is received, the student can then record in their notebook the cards as they appear in the Tarot layout as well as any questions that are asked. Problems that students have with that particular tarot session can also be recorded.
When the student performs further study they can then use the recorded tarot reading to see what information they may have forgotten to mention to the client and what mistakes if any, they may have made while reading the cards. Additionally, a tarot teacher will love the notebook as it will allow them time to go over real-life card layouts and readings with the student.
Finally, this journal could contain written tarot insights. To do this, a card is selected, and its meaning and significance are contemplated. A student takes a look at the card and the images and symbols within the card and after meditating for a period of time — (usually, no more than ten minutes) — the person will write down their own perceptions and perspectives on what they see within that tarot card. This helps tremendously with the storytelling aspect that all great tarot readers eventually develop.
Tarot Flashcards Improves Memory of the Tarot Cards
To create tarot flashcards, a student will need index cards, glue, a spare tarot deck, and a pen.
Each card is taken from the extra deck and glued to an index card so that the image is facing outward. On the back of the index card ONE keyword, the keyword that the student considers the most important for that tarot card is written for both the upright and reversed position.
Once the student has flashcards they can drill themselves, or even better, have a friend drill them on the meanings of the cards.
Tarot Games Help with the Study of Tarot Reading
Playing games almost always helps a student to more effectively remember tarot card meanings. Here are three games to help with tarot card recollection:
Story Time – Draw three tarot cards. Using those three cards along with the meanings of those three cards, the student tells a story that has a beginning (card one), middle (card two), and end (last card).
People Finder – A student, through the course of the day, makes an attempt to label anyone they interact with as one of the court cards. Optionally, a tarot teacher or a friend can describe a person from their life and have the student attempt to assign the appropriate court card to them.
What’s it about? – The student performs a standard Celtic Cross tarot spread for a TV show episode before watching the show. The tarot spread is recorded along with the interpretations of the cards. After the TV program, the student (alone or with a tarot teacher) attempts to see how accurate the reading was and where mistakes could have been made.
Learning Tarot Reading Requires Dedication and Fun
A person only truly learns when they are having fun. However, a certain degree of commitment is required. Just as if the Tarot student were again in college or high school, a particular time must be set aside to study and practice card reading.
The study gives the mind the necessary tools to work with during practice. Tarot reading practice takes those essential tools and applies them to improve comprehension. Without both the study and practice, it’s highly unlikely that a student of the tarot will ever achieve the proficiency of which they are capable of obtaining.