Sunday, February 6, 2011

What to do if you "just don't connect with a Tarot deck"

I recently saw a post on a metaphysical social networking site. A beginner at the Tarot was having problems connecting with the Rider Waite (and don;t we all at first). She posted her problem asking what to do. She was immediately greeted with suggestions that she simply buy more decks and ignore the ones that she did not understand immediately.

My head almost exploded.

While I am all for mindless consumerism and the collection of divination decks, and other oracles, I am simply fed up with the impatience and complete lack of actual study so many readers try to get by with these days. Then there are the uninformed opinions based on countless superstitions and lies spread by earlier generations. All of this must end, as these do nothing more than publicly boast one's ignorance and give the impression that the Tarot is a sham.

Here is what you do if you cannot connect with the Tarot. Buy a book. Buy my book. By any well-designed Tarot instruction manual. Eileen Conolly made a set of three several years ago that are quite nice.There are several very-well-written books on the Tarot available today and hundreds of crappy ones. There are thousands of Tarot teachers and free and paid lessons online of varying quality. LEARN.

Study and practice. There are no shortcuts (unless you consider high-quality Tarot instruction to be a shortcut as it saves you years of trying this and that).

I hear, and read, almost every week people complaining that they have tried off and on to learn the Tarot for years, or that they gave up after getting frustrated. Most of the time these valid complaints come with the statement that they own several decks. They spend years buying decks instead of learning to read the ones they have. This is something so many people do (and complain about) that it needs to be addressed. Too many people are taught BAD INFORMATION about the Tarot even before they get a chance to learn what it is all about. This leads them to believe they must be "gifted" their deck (someone has to give you one of their own free will, without you asking or hinting--LIE!) or that they have to buy 5-6 decks to find the one that speaks to them. (LIE! The deck that speaks to you is the one thats peaks to you after you have learned how to read the tarot proficiently with a "starter deck.")

Deck-shopping is like bed-hopping. It can be fun but it leaves you empty and feeling used inside if you are not getting real value from each (deck) you spend time with. If you are having trouble learning the Tarot a new deck won;t magically make it all better. You may find a deck more attuned to your sensitivities (your personal outlook on life) but you still have to learn how to know th meanings of each card right side up, reversed, upside down, flipped out of the deck, and what it means when you cat stand on it (and your cat will). There is NO substitution for practice and the lessons of experience or we would have computers do readings for us.

If you cannot connect with a deck get a new teacher (or book), not a new deck. New decks are trinkets, toys, party favors, or tools for the job--one you know how to read at all. Collecting decks is fun but shopping is not a method of study. If you need help ask. I am always available at the student forums at and we have practice areas and interesting discussions. But you can also look locally and see if there is a teacher in your area. Not everyone who teaches the Tarot is a teacher, or any good. Teachers are like mechanics. Your best bet is to find a good one and stick to them like glue, but while you are shopping around (for a teacher or a mechanic) be willing to try out a few and ask for references, look at the reviews their students give, and maybe even get a reading (or repair) from them--which you should pay for--and tip if appropriate.

Okay, shameless plug: here is my book. yes, it is guaranteed. I do not write trash. The book works--but so do thousands of teachers all over the world. Find a good one and learn the Tarot.

Don't believe me. Check it out for yourself. Read the reviews. Flip through it. Study and practice. It is worth the effort.


  1. Great Post! I bought a few decks before I finally settled in with the Mystic Dreamer deck. I tried to study on my own but in the end I signed up with a friend for personal lessons. I encourage anyone who is interested not to shy away taking lessons as there are some great teachers out there who love to spread the love of tarot. :)

  2. I only work and had one tarot deck, but i got mini size one a year ago .