learn tarot

The Best Way to Learn the Tarot Card Meanings

The following post and video is inspired by Andy Matzner’s book Tarot for Transformation.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – a juicy Tarot secret that will help you truly understand your cards and make your readings POP!

But first, some boring backstory….

I first discovered Tarot when I was young and impatient and I immediately set about trying to learn and memorize all 78 Tarot cards.

A typical Tarot beginner move!

Not to brag or anything, but I kind of succeeded. Within a fairly short amount of time, I had a surface level grasp of what most Tarot cards represented. But I was a shitty reader and I still didn’t understand what Tarot was really all about.

Fast forward to now. I’m slowly working through Tarot for Transformation: Using the Major Arcana to Discover Your Best Self and Create a Life Worth Living by Andy Matzner.

It’s a deliciously slow process, like eating a box of chocolate caramels while stoned.

This slow process, which I’ll describe in a hot minute, allows me to stay with a card way longer than I normally would – to really climb inside it and roll around in it. And at the same time, to climb deep inside myself (which sounds a bit creepy, now that I think about it).

The more I get to know each card, the more I realize that the cards are simply there to help me get to know myself. Mind blown!

So what exactly IS this juicy Tarot secret I speak of? And how do you apply it to your readings?

The secret is this: each Tarot card is alive within you – it’s like a map of your soul. Once you understand how the themes of each card play out within you, you begin to develop a personal relationship with the Tarot. And once you come to know the Tarot intimately (seeing your self in the cards and the cards in you), the cards will open up to you and reveal their mysteries.

I’m going to take you on a little journey – we’re going to dive into The High Priestess together. Or rather, we’re going to dive into ourselves to find our inner High Priestess! Woo hoo!

Exploring the Subconscious

mystic meg tarot
Mystic Meg Tarot

In Tarot for Transformation, Andy Matzner writes that The High Priestess is associated with water, intuition, repeating cycles of change, the moon, wisdom, the subconscious and many other things. Basically, all the cool stuff.

He asks: “how can we best move between the conscious and subconscious parts of ourselves?”

So let’s start there. How indeed?

I’ll let you go first. Have you found any methods or activities that help you tap into the partially hidden realms of your mind? Take a moment to ponder.

A few years ago I was hypnotized and while I was under hypnosis, the hypnotherapist asked my higher self to come forward and answer a list of questions that I’d prepared in advance. Holy moly! My higher self said all kinds of wild stuff! The session was recorded and when I listened back to it I was blown away by the wisdom, advice and insights that I got. Who knew?!

Dream Journalling, lucid dreaming, meditative journeying and various automatic writing exercises have also helped me tap into my subconscious and unearth my inner wisdom.

Often, when The High Priestess shows up in a reading, she’s telling you to go deeper. Don’t just be content to fuddle about with surface level stuff. Go deep. The answers are within you.

Honouring Your Intuition

In Tarot for Transformation, many different methods of tapping into your intuition are suggested, along with a list of journal questions like how do you know when your intuition is communicating with you? and Describe a time when listening to your intuition changed your life.

Everyday Witch Tarot by Deborah Blake

So let’s go there. What is your relationship to your intuition like? Are you in the habit of ignoring it? Have you been making attempts to honour it or even explore it in a feet first, New Age Adventurer kind of way?

For years I tuned out my intuitive feelings like you would a pesky younger sibling. My intuition felt like an inconvenient distraction from logic, reason and the goals of the ego.

But as I got older and more desperate to find real meaning in my life, I began to re-discover my intuition. And look at me now! Blogging away about intuition like I know what I’m talking about! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The High Priestess reminds us to acknowledge our intuition because the way we treat our intuition mirrors the kind of relationship we have with our soul (our deeper, expanded self). Honouring your intuition is a great way to show yourself some love and respect.

Cycles & Rhythms

Now let’s shift gears a bit and talk about the moon, cycles and natural rhythms, which are all in the realm of The High Priestess.

Just as we aren’t really encouraged (in our current society) to honour our intuition, we are actively discouraged in following our natural rhythms and cycles. Tampon ads are the perfect example of this.

Google image search “tampon ad” (go ahead, I’ll wait for you) and you’ll see an array of women playing tennis, doing gymnastics, climbing walls, doing back flips and playing soccer alongside phrases like “my period doesn’t slow me down!” and my personal favourite “Serena SHUTS OUT mother nature’s monthly gift” (a Tampax Pearl ad featuring Serena Williams). Cold and flu medication ads pull the same shit.

But is it wise to push your body when you’re on your period? Or trying to get over a cold? The High Priestess says NO! Work with your cycles, not against them. There will be times of high energy and times of low energy. There is a time to shine and take action and and a time to rest, recharge and go inward.

The Anna K Tarot

In Tarot for Transformation, there are a bunch of great journalling questions about this, like “how familiar are you with your own natural rhythms?” and “when do you typically feel most drained during the day? Most energized?”

A question I want to add is how can you better honour your natural energy cycles?

Take a moment now to ponder this. Journal about it if you want.

I’ve found it much, much easier to honour my energy cycles since I became self employed and started working from home. From ages 4 – 30ish, I was always on someone else’s schedule and feeling like I had to meet the energy demands that others placed on me. Since I became fully self employed, I’ve been in control of my own schedule and the type of work that I do, allowing me to work with my energy and cycles.

Of course there are plenty of ways to honour your cycles without quitting your day job! A really neat book on how to sync your diet and exercise to your menstrual cycle is Womancode by Alisa Vitti.

Learn about the moon phases and experiment with syncing up your activities so they correspond to the moon’s energy. For example, focus on manifestation and taking action on goals when the moon is waxing and releasing things when the moon is waning.

Is there a particular time of day when you’re most energetic? Or most creative? Plan your activities accordingly. It sounds ridiculously simple but we often overlook this sort of thing.

So now you know!

Now you know the secret to really, truly understanding your Tarot cards. Dive deep, take your time and don’t just explore each Tarot card and it’s symbols, but use your cards to explore your SELF. Use your cards to ask yourself questions and don’t be afraid to get nosy and personal (it’s just you, after all!)

If you liked this approach to exploring Tarot…

Make sure you check out Tarot for Transformation by Andy Matzner. It’s a big book with plenty of great info on each Major Arcana card, along with journalling questions, exercises and tips for diving deep. Your relationship to your cards (and your self) will never be the same!

Purchase on Amazon (my affiliate link)

Now tell me…

Did you learn anything new about The High Priestess (or your self) from doing this exercise? What was this exercise like for you? Feel free to share in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

Get Your Tarot Questions Ready!

Got questions about Tarot? I hope so!

I’ll be live on my YouTube channel on Thursday, Sept 10th @ 12 noon PDT, ready to chat Tarot with you ๐Ÿ™‚

From learning the Tarot card meanings, to feeling more confident while giving a reading, I’m here to share my knowledge, advice and Tarot tips with you โ™ฅ

The replay will be available to watch right here on my blog (see below…)

xoxo
Kate

 

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Learning Tarot

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.

Rider-Waite Tarot

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!

Rider Waite Tarot, published by US Games, Inc.

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!

Dame Darcy Tarot

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 EXERCISEย  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!

4 Secrets to Being a Fabulous Tarot Reader (Part 2)

In last weeks post, we covered intuition and connecting with your Tarot deck as ways to enhance the quality of your Tarot readings.

So now it’s time to dive a little deeper and tackle context and connecting the cards in a reading!

Secret #3: Understand that each Tarot Card has many facets and it’s meaning and message will change with it’s environment (context).

A fabulous Tarot reader knows that the cards – like people – are multidimensional.

This throws a lot of readers off because let’s face it, most of us would prefer the Tarot cards had specific, clear definitions so we could know exactly what they meant.

The fact that the Tarot card meanings are actually quite fluid can be frustrating – kind of like dating a flaky emo-guy who constantly changes his mind about how he feels about you.

Page of Cups from the Anna K Tarot – he’s not just a pretty face!

A Tarot card’s meaning is effected by the surrounding cards, the question/issue being asked about, the position in the spread and of course the readers intuition.

But don’t think about all that! – it will only confuse you and twist your brain into a frustrated Tarot mindfuck. So here’s what you do…

Instead of seeing the Tarot card meanings as things that need to be defined and memorized, see your cards as beings.

It’s a tad creepy, but stay with me…

Get a feel for each card’s essence, vibe and energy – this isn’t the same as it’s meaning.

It’s like when you meet someone new at a party: you learn their occupation (plumber) and relationship status (married five years!) which actually tells you very little about who they are. But you also get a sense of their energy/vibe, based on how you feel when you’re in their presence, which gives you more helpful information about what kind of a person they are.

When you get a sense of a Tarot card’s essence and see it as a multi-faceted being, you will have an easier time deciphering it’s message when it shows up in a variety of readings and spread positions.

Okay, I want you to look through your Tarot deck and pick out The Sun.

Dame Darcy Tarot

Got it? Now look at it. Feel into it. Get a sense of it’s energy, it’s vibe, what it’s all about.

Now, I want you to ask “what is the next step for me?” and look at The Sun. What is it telling you?

Ask “What do I need to do to improve my overall vitality and energy?”….now what does it say?

Ask “What do I need to let go of?” and see what it tells you.

Ask “how can I improve my relationships?” and see what it says.

How did it go? Did you get wildly different answers for each question? Did you get some new ideas and insights?

Secret #4: See the Connections between Tarot Cards in a Spread

One of the biggest gripes I hear from my audience is that they have no problem reading a Tarot card on its own, but when it comes to doing a big Tarot spread, they find it hard to link the cards together to weave a “big picture” and tell a story.

Telling a story with the cards is an art form. But it’s a skill that can be learned!

When you make connections between the cards in a reading, it can feel like you are translating a thrilling letter or solving a mystery message that’s just for you.

Think of a Tarot reading (or Tarot spread) as being like a letter. Each Tarot card is like a sentence in that letter. Each sentence means something, but all the sentences together give you a deeper, more meaningful message.

Look at the 3 cards below and see each card as being a sentence in a letter…

Crystal Visions Tarot

What does this letter say to you? Don’t think too hard about this, just go with it – make something up!

I read these 3 cards as saying you are in creative mode right now (The Empress) but you need to make sure you stay focused and intentional about what you intend to create (The Magician) so that you create something that is emotionally fulfilling and the start of something special (Ace of Cups).

Of course, there are probably a million different ways to read these cards, that is just one possibility!

8 Questions Your Tarot Cards Have for YOU!

Ever notice how you’re always asking your Tarot deck questions, but it never asks you anything? You must feel like such a Nosy Nellie sometimes!

Well, that’s about to change…

In the past I’ve written posts like 20 Questions to Ask Your Tarot Cards Tonight! and how to interview your Tarot deck to get to know it better.

But did you know that your Tarot cards actually have SO MANY questions for you? Yes, you.

You may have been looking at your Tarot cards for answers, but your cards have been trying to ask you questions….the kind of questions that, if answered, lead to those answers! So it’s high time you started paying attention…

Okay, let’s get down to business.

Step One: Pick a Card

Shuffle your deck and draw a card. That’s right, just draw a card but don’t ask a question.

Step Two: Question Time!

Now it’s time to hear the questions that this Tarot card is asking you. You may want to jot down your impressions on a bit of paper if that helps you process it and remember.

The first question is this:

1. How do I make you feel?

Take a moment to really gaze at your card. It may illicit feelings of relief, stress, confusion or joy or maybe you feel nothing at all. Just notice it.

2. What do you notice the most? What keeps drawing your attention?

The thing that draws your attention is the symbol you want to focus on first.

3. What does that symbol represent?

Just be literal here, don’t get all college kid fancy. In the card I drew for this exercise (7 of wands from the Heart and Hands Tarot) I see a fist clenching over a club. To me, that represents holding onto something, grasping, tightly holding, gripping, wielding a stick.

Heart and Hands Tarot by Liz Blackbird
Heart and Hands Tarot by Liz Blackbird

4. What’s the overall theme of this symbol?

For me, the theme of the gripping fist is holding onto something in a desperate, defensive way or defending something.

5. Are you doing this in your own life? Where? How?

It could be something your doing that is holding you back or it could be something you need to start doing in order to move forward.

With the 7 of Swords, I’m asking myself what am I holding onto so tightly? Do I need to let go of anything? What am I defending? Should I be standing up for myself more?

6. How does this affect your life? Is it positive, negative, neutral? Both or all?

For me, the tendency to hold onto things for a long time (like my plastic hooker boots from 1999 and ancient Cosmo mags) can stifle my energy. Yet the ability to defend myself and stand up for my rights is a good thing.

7. Is this a quality you should invite more of? Less of?

In my case, I may want to invite more of the assertive, passionate energy of the 7 of Wands but less of the gripping fear.

Step Three: Putting it Together

8. Moving forward, what are you going to do differently as a result of theseย  insights?

I plan to make a list of what I want to let go of, but also a list of what is important to me – what I feel is worth fighting for. Hopefully this will give me some clarity on what I need to focus on as I move forward with projects, work and relationships.

This last step allows you to put what you’ve learned about yourself into action in your daily life. Don’t skip this powerful step! It’s how you allow Tarot to work magic in your life.

Letting your cards ask YOU the questions allows you to experience the Tarot in a deeper, more personal way. A cards initial meaning may not really make sense to you at first, but if you do some inquiry and answer the above questions, I guarantee you will have an AHA! moment and any confusion will melt away.

Over to you!

What card did you draw for this exercise? What insights did you get from it? Feel free to share in the comments below!!!!

“I Don’t Play Games” = B.S.

VeronicaHappy Friday! Let me introduce you to my evil twin sister, Veronica. She lives to smear her bitchy attitude all over your mind and dish out her best advice. When she isn’t busy seducing everyone, day drinking in her backyard and doing nude kung fu, that is.

the high priestess
Housewives Tarot

While trolling online dating sites for young men last night, I kept seeing phrases like I don’t want to play games or no games, please.

You know what? I call bullshit.

Would a cat enjoy it if you threw a dead bird at its feet? Of course not. It wants to hunt, to play, to sink it’s teeth into something warm, pounding and alive!

When it comes to romance, not playing games is like being a dead bird. And no one wants to f*ck a dead bird, trust me.

But it got me thinking….everyone’s all like just be real, man and yeah! authenticity! and you know what? I don’t think that’s what anyone actually wants. Mystery is hot.

We’re on this earth to play games, to throw ourselves headfirst into the drama and to pretend we are something we are not – it’s the whole point of life!

So this weekend, don’t hold back. Play those games! Keep secrets! Flirt with inappropriate people! And watch your life become your very own reality TV show – when you’ve got your own drama, you won’t need shitty TV.

 

 

Best of 2015: My top 10 Tarot Blog Posts!

As 2015 comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on everything that sucked about this past year (I can’t help it! I just do stuff like that!). But you know what didn’t suck in 2015? The 10 Tarot blog posts below…..

I’ve sifted through all my Tarot blog posts over the past year to find the ones I think you’ll enjoy the most, because even if you’ve been reading my Tarot blog religiously, I know you probably missed a couple!

Quiz: How Psychic Are You?

Take my saucy quiz and find out just how psychic you really are!

Warning: this is a fun one and will make you realize how much you miss those Seventeen magazine quizzes!

Read it here

Quiz: How Psychic Are You?

 


My Top 10 Tarot Decks

It was hard to come up with this list, believe me! Leaving some decks off this list made me feel like I was abandoning my less loved children...an unsettling sensation, indeed. Beware! This list may induce an Amazon deck ordering frenzy...

See my list

My Top 10 Tarot Decks


 

How to Read the Same Tarot Card in Different Decks

If you've ever wondered if the meanings of the Tarot cards change depending on what kind of Tarot deck you're using, here is your answer!

tarot video

How to Read the Same Tarot Card in Different Decks

 


 

20 Questions to Ask Your Tarot Cards Tonight!

Well, the title says it all so I won't natter on about it, but this was one of my absolute faves! Bust out your Tarot journal before doing this one, 'cause you're gonna need it!

20 Questions to Ask Your Tarot Cards Tonight

 


 

The Most Rebellious Way to Read Tarot....EVER!

Since you're an "outside the box" kind of person, why would you read Tarot any differently? Here's a Tarot exercise that will appeal to the rebel in you....

Read it!

The Most Rebellious Way to Read Tarot….EVER!

 


 

Tarot Game!

Looking for a way to rope your friends and family into a card game? Here it is! Put your Tarot cards to good use in this fun, fresh Tarot game that EVERYONE can play...

Tarot Game!

 


 

The Tarot Court Cards in Bed

Here's a fun little series that managed to offend a handful of readers. Will it offend you? There's only one way to find out.....read it!
I promise you'll never look at Court Cards the same way again.

Druidcraft Tarot

The Tarot Court Cards….In Bed! Part 4: The Kings


 

Why the Court Cards are so Darn Hard to Read

Here's another post about those pesky Court Cards....but this one isn't quite as dirty as the one above (at least I don't think it is). There's even a free worksheet that you can print out and go to town on!

Why the Court Cards are so darn hard to read (and what you can do about it)

 


 

Tarot Card Combinations Exercise!

Here's a fun one to try with your Tarot cards. Please ignore my reference to my Tarot book being out in June - I lied. I'm still writing that sucker!

Tarot Card Combinations Exercise!

 


 

How to Connect with Your Tarot Deck...Part 2

If you got a new Tarot (or Oracle) deck for Christmas, you absolutely MUST try this exercise with it! It will totally change the way you relate to your cards...in a really, really good way.

How to Connect with Your Tarot Deck….Part 2

 


Free Webinar: Getting Started with Tarot

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be buying yourself a new Tarot deck for Christmas! Whether it’s your first deck or your 100th, I know you’ll be wanting some fun exercises to try with your cards. Look no further!

Here is a free Tarot webinar that I did one year ago….and I’m “re-gifting” it to you today ๐Ÿ˜‰ Since it was a webinar that you had to register for, I never shared it publicly, so there’s a good chance you haven’t seen it yet. The only downside is you won’t be able to see the “chatroom” that I keep referring to throughout since that was only available to the live attendees. Meh, who needs chatrooms anyway?

In this webinar, I cover 5 hot Tarot topics:

  • How to choose a Tarot deck
  • Clearing your deck
  • How to connect with your Tarot deck
  • The best ways to learn Tarot
  • Making your own Tarot journal

When you’re finished watching the webinar, leave a comment and let me know how you liked it ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a wonderful Christmas!
Hugs,
Kate
The Daily Tarot Girl