This area of the IvyRose Holistic website includes around 100 pages of information about the tarot, including pages about each individual tarot card in a standard deck - so it's a great place to start learning about tarot.
Here are some general tips about learning more about tarot cards and tarot reading:
Studying Tarot in a Class or with a Teacher
It may not be necessary to study the tarot alone.
Some tarot readers offer classes as well as personal readings in order to pass on their knowledge to others in a more flexible and personal way than could be achieved by writing a book or website.
Advantages of learning the tarot as part of a small group include the personal guidance of the tutor, meeting the other students - learning from them, and also everyone having the possibility to do practice readings on relative strangers, and also to receive mini-reading themselves as part of the class exercises. It can also be fun to learn together.
Selecting a Tarot Deck
Most tarot readers have one tarot deck, or at least one main or preferred tarot deck. However, beginners may enjoy trying a range of different decks to experiment with which one feels right for him/herself personally. We have heard one recommendation that is is good luck to receive your tarot deck as an unconditional gift. Nevertheless, the decks can vary considerably and it is important to use one whose images and energies are not only comfortable, but also attractive to the reader.
If you receive a reading from someone whose tarot deck appeals to you then ask him or her about it. This website feature a range of decks in the tarot decks section and on pages about the individual tarot cards.
Familiarization with the cards
There are 78 Cards in a standard tarot deck: 22 cards of the Major Arcana (picture cards) plus 4 suits of 14 cards each. Memorising the meanings of the cards can be simplified in many ways:
- In the correct (numerical) order, the 22 cards of the Major Arcana tell a story.
This is called "The Fool's Journey", and by remembering the story, it is much easier to recall the order and significance of each of the cards involved.
- Each of the suits has some characteristics common to all of the cards in the suit, for example each suit has a theme (emotions, material/physical, mental capabilities/intellect, personal growth/career), is associated with an element (earth, air, fire or water), and with a season (spring, summer, autumn, or winter).
- Each of the numbers and Court Cards (Page, Knight, Queen and King) in the Minor Arcana have some characteristics in common.
- Many tarot decks, and certainly the most popular modern decks are highly illustrated so that after first learning the symbolism incorporated into a card, the information is simply there to see when the card is encountered in the future.
- Where there is ambiguity about the meaning of a card, the meaning in a particular situation may be clarified by the position of the card in the spread, and by the cards that appear around it.
There are also a range of games and techniques for increasing one's familiarity with the cards of the tarot deck - for example, by taking out a card at random each day and studying at reflecting on that one card during that day.
Reading Books about the Tarot
There are many varied and interesting books about the tarot. Reading around a subject is usually a great way to support other forms of learning - but do remember that reading the tarot is a practical skill.
It's possible to become an expert on, for example, the known history of the tarot, yet lack sufficient familiarity with the cards and sensitivity to their subtle meanings to read a spread. IvyRose features a range of books and packs of books plus tarot decks in the tarot books section.
As with many learning tasks, practice brings further learning, insight, improvement, and confidence. Anyone who is really motivated to learn a particular skill will also be keen to practise and use it.
However, in the case of learning the tarot, some forms of practise are better than others. For example, it is not recommended to attempt reading after reading - especially if you are both the sitter (seeker) and the reader, and are using the same spread and/or focusing on the same situation. It is far better to gain more varied experience by doing regular readings for other people. The less well you know the sitter - or at least the situation or issue he/she chooses to focus on, the better. There are several reasons for this - with obvious benefits. For example, working with other unfamiliar sitters is more challenging, more objective, and may result in the learner tarot reader gaining more confidence than when reading for himself or herself.