Learning Tarot can be a bit of a shitshow. So many books and decks to choose from, so much to learn and so little time. It’s no wonder most students of the Tarot get overwhelmed and give up.
When I look back at when I was first learning Tarot, I made SO MANY MISTAKES. In the end it didn’t really matter – I learned Tarot eventually, but if I’d known these 3 things, I think I would have had an easier time of it.
MISTAKE #1: Starting with the Major Arcana
Most Tarot books start off by discussing the Major Arcana and most Tarot students try to learn the Majors first, before moving onto the minors.
This is what I did (initially) and I wish I hadn’t.
The Majors represent the soul’s journey. They’re deep, esoteric and can sometimes be confusing and tricky to understand. Each Tarot card has many layers to it but this is especially true for the Major Arcana cards.
The Minor Arcana are much easier to relate to. They depict scenes of day to day life and you can usually figure out what the Minors are about just by looking at them.
Starting with the Majors is like trying to read Tolstoy when your nine. You’re bound to get discouraged and end up thinking “this is hard. I’m an idiot. Maybe I can’t learn Tarot after all.”
To be honest, I still have NO IDEA what the Justice card even means! And I’ve been reading for a good 10 years.
Most people are able to understand the Minors without much Tarot experience and I recommend studying them first. This will boost your confidence and get you all juiced up to tackle the Majors once you’re ready.
MISTAKE #2: Trying to learn Tarot fast
We all want to figure shit out quickly. The idea of spending YEARS learning something is just not sexy. But learning Tarot takes time.
So if you truly desire to know and understand the Tarot, don’t be in a big rush. Instead, buckle up for a long and thrilling ride!
See the act of learning Tarot as an adventurous journey as opposed to an impressive task that needs to be completed. This will help you savor the experience of learning Tarot, because it truly is something to be savored!
Tarot is not some external thing that can be mastered like cupcake baking, pole dancing or carpentry. Learning Tarot requires you to journey into your self – it is more of an internal process than an external one.
For example, it’s not enough to just memorize the cards so that the next time you look at The Emperor you think Emperor = authority and stubborness.
What does The Emperor mean to you? How are you like him? Who does he remind you of? What do you love/hate about him? How does this card show up in your life? Answering these questions will help you truly understand this card but it will also help you understand your self better.
MISTAKE #3: Trying to memorize the card meanings
Memorization isn’t learning. It’s the opposite of learning, similar to brainwashing. If memorization is the cornerstone of your Tarot study then you will end up being a cold, robotic reader!
The most important way to learn about something is to experience it and Tarot cards beg to be experienced!
The High Priestess murmurs come closer and let me tell you my secrets, NOT put a label on me and remember it.
Meditate on the images and symbols, journal about the cards, and most importantly DO THIS EXERCISE to dive deep and really explore your cards.
Once you explore and experience the cards you will truly understand them, which is way more valuable than superficial memorization. Here are my 7 tips for learning the card meanings (without boring memorization!)
Over to you!
What mistakes did you make when you were first learning Tarot? Tell me in the comments below!