Following on from our look at starting to deepen our understanding, I felt that it would be good to talk about the types of tools or resources we can use to achieve this. I am a firm believer that learning the tarot is as much about the personal journey as it is about anything else. For that reason, I’m going to try to keep this brief but hopefully still achieve something suitable for signposting. Last week we talked about preparing to take the next step, but what are your options? Is it just about growing your intuition, or there is more to it? Let’s take a look, together.
Now for me, and I’d imagine a large number of people, the first thing that comes to mind when I think research is, ‘hitting the books’. Although with the internet, books may not be the first place you look anymore, I have put it here, as the first guide to Tarot you’re likely to have is your card’s accompanying booklet. Some more elaborate Tarot decks even have expanded books sold separately; these are intended to help you delve deeper into the creator’s designs and intended symbolism.
Having some books as reference materials is a great place to start if you’re like me, and love the feeling of a tangible book in your hands. For those who want books but don’t have space, you can get a large selection of them as e-books. I’d suggest reading through the free samples and seeing if the author’s style is for you. We will all find our fit in the end, so it’s worth taking your time here. See what people recommend, but most of all, trust your intuition.
Which leads me nicely onto the next main source of research I’d expect all of my readers have available. In more recent years I have found the web to be a fantastic place to find information on many things, and my spirituality has been no exception.
There are a plethora of sites out there offering information on how to learn the cards, places selling readings, decks and even books. One of the most unlikely places I have found to be a gold mine is actually Pinterest. I currently have a board where I have been collating a lot of pins not just on tarot but on numerology, astrology and various other topics.
For me, the internet has a dual-use; firstly you can use it to find things that you need or want – Have your heart set on a specific deck? There will be a store selling it. Want to find your own copy of a book you found in your library? You’ll be able to find it online with a bit of clever searching – Or, if you prefer, you can just use the various web pages as your learning tools.
Facade – Previously mentioned but I can not sing the praises of this site enough. Please bear in mind site has been around since the early 1990s, it is very retro in style. Push past the initial intimidating first impression and it can be a fantastic resource.
Labyrinthos – They sell a few decks and have apps to help with learning as well. Click the link to view their cheat sheet for all 78 cards.
Pinterest board for Spirituality including tarot, astrology and more.
Journals and Cheat sheets
I couldn’t talk about resources without taking a bit of time to discuss the types of tools you can make for yourself. Doing the research and practise is all well and good, but we also need to apply what we’ve learnt. The idea of a Tarot Journal is something I’ve touched on before and there are a lot out there aimed at the novice reader, with a singular focus on daily single-card draws or three-card readings. Personally, I feel there is a gap in the market for something more suited to an intermediate or advanced reader who simply wants to record their readings. However, I digress. I am new to the idea of such a book, but I feel that it is a great idea.
When I was starting out, my only option would have been an exercise book. Ideally with square paper but those were hard to come by. These days it’s much easier to find pads with all sorts of paper in them and even so-called reusable notebooks as well. If you’re like me and like to be able to track your progress, then a journal would be a wonderful tool. You can look back on readings where you may not have been completely sure of the message and revisit them with hindsight. As long as you don’t get too bogged down with ‘I should have done this’ thoughts, it can be a useful way to keep building on your knowledge.
The other thing that I want to briefly touch on this week is a ‘cheat sheet’ as a way to help with learning the meanings of the cards. If you always refer to the booklet you run the risk of sounding rather mechanical, and with 78 cards, each with upright and reversed meanings, it can be a momentous task to remember all of the meanings.
So instead, a tip I have seen again and again in my research for this blog, is to condense the card meanings into several keywords. This greatly reduces the amount of information you have to remember; think of it like making flashcards when prepping for an exam. You use it for key information only and eventually, you’ll remember the things that are associated with it as well.
Hopefully, this gives you some ideas for starting your own research, and I am hoping to go spend more time on these myself. In particular, the journals and cheat sheets; as they are, admittedly, new to me and I’m considering creating my own.
As always I want to thank you for joining me, and hope to see you next week.