Thursday, January 10, 2008

Welcome to Tarot 101!

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I'm not a tarot expert. I am not a gifted psychic. I am self-taught at tarot and thought it would be fun to share with you how I learned tarot. There are much better teachers and tarot readers out there, but I think this is a good place for a beginner to get his or her feet wet. I've tried to create a very safe space for new readers who, like me, don't deal well with overly critical, know-it-all teachers who have no patience for those of us who need to learn at our own pace.

Speaking of patience, I have no patience for the history of tarot. There are hundreds of resources, probably thousands, that can give you that kind of information. If you want to know the history of tarot and how it came to be, you've come to the wrong place. If you want a practical, no-nonsense (well, maybe a little nonsense) introduction to using the tarot in your life, then you have found that place.

A lot of my suggestions, ideas, and theories fly in the face of what some tarot experts believe is right. And I may be dead wrong about a lot of things. But what is most important to me when learning tarot is demystification and the idea that there is no absolute truth about how the tarot should be used. Just because someone with certs out the wazoo says a thing is true, that is no reason to believe them. Test what you are told, don't swallow someone else's truth until you've seen it work for you as well and, even then, accept that truth as your truth, not THE truth. It's when we workers of these alternative tools for living and self-development start to believe that we know THE truth that we become downright dangerous.

I have few guidelines in my work and even fewer rules.

Consistent shuffling style
Knowing in advance what my spread is going to be
Do what works and set aside what doesn't--no matter how much someone else insists that what doesn't work for me must work for me.
Be open to new or different ideas about the tarot
Try those things that didn't work for me before every now and again. After all, as we learn and grow, things we didn't or couldn't understand before may eventually come to work quite well for us.
If what you're doing isn't working, then change it.
Remember that the tarot does not speak truth, per se. It may offer insight, guidance, perspective, and sometimes very clear revelation, but its answers are never to be perceived as TRUTH. Even when those answers prove to be true later on down the road. Its answer are to be factored into our plans and decisions, but not to be that on which we base our decisions. Like any good oracle, the tarot, in my experience, has a tendency to reveal to me or those I'm reading for what I/they need to know right now, not necessarily what is true.

Do no harm.
Carefully research every tarot deck I want before purchasing it.
There is no such thing as too many tarot decks.


Stephanie said...

Hey Genie! I asked the cards to ell me how I can attain a boyfriend and got the 10 of Pentacles. I asked the cards again to tell me what meaning the 10 of pentacles had for ne to attain a bf and recieved the 8 of wands.

I used the Rider Waite Deck. Could you give me insight on what it means? I have a hard time reading

Tarot Reader said...

Yeah, reading for yourself sucks. My impression from these two very positive cards is first, that you need to remember that even alone you are in a happy place and life is good. It's this very confidence and feeling of general contentment that makes you attractive. I think women put too much on men by expecting our partners to make us happy. Be happy, and live as if your life is complete (it IS complete, even when it doesn't feel like it). This very attitude will make your life seem warm, welcoming, and wonderful. This is what makes you a magnet for a partner. The Eight of Wands suggests now is a good time to initiate contact with men--don't be afraid to ask them out or pursue them. According to the Eight of Wands, NOW is the time to put yourself out there.

Stephanie said...

Thanks!! I really appreciate your interpretation!!

Rick said...

I need a tarot mentor badly. Trying to learn about arcana is pretty difficult to do on my own..

Tarot Reader said...

Rick, if I can help you at all I am happy to.

My email is in my profile if you'd like to contact me that way.

The first thing to know about the arcana is that the minors (numbered similar to a poker deck with pages and knights instead of jacks) generally have to do with every day life and the majors (numbered from 0 to 22) tend to be about destiny/karma/forces outside ourselves. This isn't written in stone, of course, it's just a guideline.

What deck are you using?

Tarot Reader said...

Rick, here's my profile page, it's not so easy to find on the blog:

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