Learning tarot on your own can be intimidating. To root out what is most integral from walls of books and websites, stacking what is most integral and comprehensive. There’s so many layers and paths to explore from tarot and astrology to tarot and numerology that it can, to a beginner, get confusing. As a once new and determined tarot initiate, I did my time carrying around more books than a college student. Early on, I was inseparable from Joan Bunning’s “Learning the Tarot,” and used the book for about a year while reading for friends. Once that book was pressed into my brain folds, I moved onto learning different sorts of spreads and then tarot associations. There are a few key concepts that can save you time down that maze of mystery. Methods that require no memorization and will get you reading cards rather than books.
Begin with a deck that has figures doing things (like Ryder-Waite). The cards each have their own personality, energy and attitude. Let the cards speak to you. Leave pre-conceived ideas behind and pretend that you are glimpsing a paused scene from the middle of a movie. First, what kind of movie is it? There are so many ways to categorize the four suits but in this method we’ll use movie genres.
- Wands: Action
- Cups: Romance
- Swords: Horror
- Pentacles: Drama
This is a great method for spread layouts. Look at the interaction between cards. Tell the story by noting how the cards relate to one another. Where is that king facing, who is the page looking to? What is surrounding a card to give it that facial expression? Try out spreads that use card pairs. Figure out who is looking at who (or not looking) and why. How does your movie look? By taking a once over glance you can pretty well tell if the ending will be a happy one or not.