Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to Learn the Tarot -- (The easy way)

Learning the Tarot should be fun, not a mind-numbing chore of memorization the meanings and inferences of 78 cards. The first thing you need to know about the Tarot is that tens years of practice and study will lead you to the point where the Tarot surprised you with new information just as surely as it does when you begin learning it. In other words, you don't have to worry about learning it all at once, mastering every nuance and "hidden meaning." You do have to start somewhere though, and try not to cram your head so full of detached facts, figures, and philosophies that you end up confused, overwhelmed, or bored.

The Tarot did not Spring forth fully formed, like Aphrodite did from Jupiter's (loosely a.k.a. Zeus) thigh. It evolved over centuries as more and more uses were developed for it. First, it was an interesting game. Later, it became a fun fortune telling device. Still later, modern mystery schools built lesson plans around it, to teach ancient knowledge. Today, a growing number of psychologists use its unique beautiful visual symbolism to help patients. So your journey of learning the Tarot does not need to encompass every minute detail of its existence. You do need to decide (at least for the present) what the Tarot means to you, and what you want to do with it (for now).

Some of you will gravitate immediately to an esoteric study of the images, seeking to learn the writings of scholars long dead, while others will look for magical uses of the Tarot, and still others will have fun meeting people at parties by giving fun and lively readings. There is no one right way to approach the Tarot. You have to look at these scraps of paper with pictures on them as what they mean to you, and you have to allow yourself to enjoy the experience of learning more about them--in the areas that interest you. Nothing else matters.

So, with that out of the way, we will be covering various ways of interacting with the Tarot here, interspersed with various possible meanings for the cards themselves. I say various possible meanings, as the Tarot is highly subjective, and there will always be arguments and debates over what each card means and how much emphasis to place on numerology versus Kabbalistic influence, astrology, color assignment, and a host of other subtle influences on meaning. The one, true, correct meaning is the one that works for you right now. Is if works, it is correct. If it does not, then you need a new meaning.

Okay, enough preaching, next time I promise we will be 100% into the lessons.


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