PDA

View Full Version : Tarot card exercises



TsukiRyoko
01-05-2009, 03:06 PM
I've had a couple of tarot decks over the years, but I still, to this day, have a hard time deciphering them. I just can't seem to remember some of the cards, and sometimes my intuition isn't strong enough to tell the meanings of them. Can anyone suggest some exercises to help better know my cards?

mariedees
01-05-2009, 09:50 PM
Hi

Check out Learntarot.com. It's a good and free course from Joan Bunning. l use it for reference a lot.

TsukiRyoko
01-05-2009, 10:48 PM
Hi

Check out Learntarot.com. It's a good and free course from Joan Bunning. l use it for reference a lot.
I'll definitely look into it :) Thanks!

eveningstar
01-06-2009, 09:02 PM
When I was learning I found it helpful to learn the minors in groups by number. All the 4s, all the 7s, etc. I put each group out and went over their meanings. Then I did them all by suit.

Once you know that 5s mean this and wands mean that, it's easier to pull the meaning of the 5 of wands out of your head.

I also found Rachel Pollack's book Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom (http://www.amazon.com/Seventy-Eight-Degrees-Wisdom-Rachel-Pollack/dp/0722535724) helpful. It's long but it's a good, informative read.

Hope that helps!

Carole
01-07-2009, 08:39 AM
Tsuki, I'm going to recommend to you what was recommended to me by my hubby a long time ago. By the way, he's the best reader I've ever met. No, I'm not biased. Ok, maybe a little. :D

Anyhoo, if you have a basic Rider Waite deck or a Universal Waite deck, I really recommend studying with that one. There are a million and one tarots out there, but a large part of them are based on the Waite system. That system is good and solid to start off with. Another reason I say this is that they both usually come with a little booklet that might not seem like anything spectacular, but is actually stuffed full of your best info on the cards.

First, just read through the book to get familiar with it. It's true that each reader will get something just a little different than another with any given card, however learning the deepest meanings of your cards is like learning the alphabet. An A is an A, no matter what font you use. Different fonts can give you different feelings, but you still have to know that an A is an A. Really the simplest exercise for this that I know of is to start at the beginning of your book and pick each card out as you go through the book. Study the card and the imagery on it. It's all there for a reason. A woman in the background, a branch, children playing, fire, stained glass windows, or any image at all--it's on the card for a reason. Learn to associate the imagery with the deepest meaning of the card. Once you are comfy with your knowledge of it, move on to the next card and so on.

This is a long process. It's definitely not something you can master in a matter of days or even weeks. But I don't really think you are one to want something the quick and easy way. I take you more for a person who wants to know the root of all of it. As you go through, you'll get to a point where those cards spark something in you. That's when you know you are developing a relationship with them. They will become your cards. Not just a deck of cards that you bought. I don't think it's best to start trying out reads until you really get a good foundation on the meanings of your cards.

Like I said, it's a very time consuming task, but it's well worth it in the end. Once you really, truly know your cards, you can do any spread at all.

I forgot to mention--My husband and I both stopped allowing anyone to touch our cards several years ago. We participated in local fairs and our standard procedure was to allow each querent to handle the cards before their read. We stopped because they took on some of everyone else's energy and that really started to have a negative impact. Treat your Tarot like you treat your toothbrush. 'Mine, and mine alone" :D

Ziljon
01-07-2009, 08:55 AM
Study the card and the imagery on it. It's all there for a reason. A woman in the background, a branch, children playing, fire, stained glass windows, or any image at all--it's on the card for a reason. Learn to associate the imagery with the deepest meaning of the card. Once you are comfy with your knowledge of it, move on to the next card and so on.

This sounds very much like how Lyra reads the alethiometer in The Golden Compass.:)

TsukiRyoko
01-07-2009, 09:59 AM
When I was learning I found it helpful to learn the minors in groups by number. All the 4s, all the 7s, etc. I put each group out and went over their meanings. Then I did them all by suit.

Once you know that 5s mean this and wands mean that, it's easier to pull the meaning of the 5 of wands out of your head.

I also found Rachel Pollack's book Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom (http://www.amazon.com/Seventy-Eight-Degrees-Wisdom-Rachel-Pollack/dp/0722535724) helpful. It's long but it's a good, informative read.

Hope that helps!
That's an excellent suggestion, thank you. I always get the Minor Arcana much more jumbled than the Major Arcana, so this suggestion will probably help out quite a lot. Thanks again :)

TsukiRyoko
01-07-2009, 10:04 AM
Tsuki, I'm going to recommend to you what was recommended to me by my hubby a long time ago. By the way, he's the best reader I've ever met. No, I'm not biased. Ok, maybe a little. :D

Anyhoo, if you have a basic Rider Waite deck or a Universal Waite deck, I really recommend studying with that one. There are a million and one tarots out there, but a large part of them are based on the Waite system. That system is good and solid to start off with. Another reason I say this is that they both usually come with a little booklet that might not seem like anything spectacular, but is actually stuffed full of your best info on the cards.

First, just read through the book to get familiar with it. It's true that each reader will get something just a little different than another with any given card, however learning the deepest meanings of your cards is like learning the alphabet. An A is an A, no matter what font you use. Different fonts can give you different feelings, but you still have to know that an A is an A. Really the simplest exercise for this that I know of is to start at the beginning of your book and pick each card out as you go through the book. Study the card and the imagery on it. It's all there for a reason. A woman in the background, a branch, children playing, fire, stained glass windows, or any image at all--it's on the card for a reason. Learn to associate the imagery with the deepest meaning of the card. Once you are comfy with your knowledge of it, move on to the next card and so on.

This is a long process. It's definitely not something you can master in a matter of days or even weeks. But I don't really think you are one to want something the quick and easy way. I take you more for a person who wants to know the root of all of it. As you go through, you'll get to a point where those cards spark something in you. That's when you know you are developing a relationship with them. They will become your cards. Not just a deck of cards that you bought. I don't think it's best to start trying out reads until you really get a good foundation on the meanings of your cards.

Like I said, it's a very time consuming task, but it's well worth it in the end. Once you really, truly know your cards, you can do any spread at all.

I forgot to mention--My husband and I both stopped allowing anyone to touch our cards several years ago. We participated in local fairs and our standard procedure was to allow each querent to handle the cards before their read. We stopped because they took on some of everyone else's energy and that really started to have a negative impact. Treat your Tarot like you treat your toothbrush. 'Mine, and mine alone" :D

I don't have a Waite deck. Luckily, however, I do know where to get one. I'll definitely try this suggestion out as well.

I plan on having knowledge of the Tarot with me for quite some time, so of course I'm willing to work towards it, just like I have with herbs (which, after nearly 8 years, is still an ongoing process and will be for quite some time :D). I've tried studying Tarot for a while, but they always, always, always slip my mind. Thus, I posted here and once again you quirky writers haven't failed me :)

Thanks Carole :D

Carole
01-08-2009, 03:31 AM
This sounds very much like how Lyra reads the alethiometer in The Golden Compass.:)
I really need to see that movie. :)

Carole
01-08-2009, 03:34 AM
I don't have a Waite deck. Luckily, however, I do know where to get one. I'll definitely try this suggestion out as well.

I plan on having knowledge of the Tarot with me for quite some time, so of course I'm willing to work towards it, just like I have with herbs (which, after nearly 8 years, is still an ongoing process and will be for quite some time :D). I've tried studying Tarot for a while, but they always, always, always slip my mind. Thus, I posted here and once again you quirky writers haven't failed me :)

Thanks Carole :D

They will be with you forever. You won't lose them. It's really funny how that works. We just opened a few storage boxes recently that contained old bottles of herbs and oils long forgotten. One bottle contained Aleister Crowley's recipe for Holy Oil. We opened that bottle and it took us straight back. It just smelled like magick, whether or not you spell it that way or think spelling it that way is stupid. Haha. Over time, they all just become part of who you are--your cards, your knowledge of herbs and oils, your books and everything else.

TsukiRyoko
01-08-2009, 08:13 AM
Over time, they all just become part of who you are--your cards, your knowledge of herbs and oils, your books and everything else.
I know it definitely has with herbs, let me tell you! I can't even enjoy looking at a dandelion anymore without the word "Diuretic and good on salads!" popping up in my head :D But, I'd have it no other way.

Actually, speaking of herbs, my family seems to finally be taking my standpoint on things. Everyone's getting sick this year and, seeing as I'm the only one who has gotten sick and was able to shrug it off in a day or two when everyone else is suffering for a while, they decided to *finally* try my herbal remedies. How surprised they were to see that they worked! I may be really young, but I still have almost 7 years of pretty heavy herb studies under my belt, and I'm so glad that my family is starting to appreciate that. I'm no longer the weird girl with the room full of dried plants anymore, I'm now the alternative healer who everyone comes to when they're sick (which is a MUCH better title, IMO).

Carole
01-08-2009, 06:29 PM
I'm no longer the weird girl with the room full of dried plants anymore, I'm now the alternative healer who everyone comes to when they're sick (which is a MUCH better title, IMO).
That's awesome. I still get mixed reviews, but the fact that I haven't been sick in two years does make some ask me how. Of course I give them my spiel about what to take and how to take it. They all still get sick and say it didn't work for them. I ask them how they took it, but they say that after the first dose, they didn't feel any better so they stopped taking it. ARGH!!! I can't make any of them understand that the herbs I recommend aren't like Nyquil--they don't mask symptoms. They make the cold go away instead, (or prevent them altogether if taken all season) which in my opinion is infinitely better. Maybe some day they'll get it, but for the time being they think I am just lucky.

TsukiRyoko
01-08-2009, 10:54 PM
That's awesome. I still get mixed reviews, but the fact that I haven't been sick in two years does make some ask me how. Of course I give them my spiel about what to take and how to take it. They all still get sick and say it didn't work for them. I ask them how they took it, but they say that after the first dose, they didn't feel any better so they stopped taking it. ARGH!!! I can't make any of them understand that the herbs I recommend aren't like Nyquil--they don't mask symptoms. They make the cold go away instead, (or prevent them altogether if taken all season) which in my opinion is infinitely better. Maybe some day they'll get it, but for the time being they think I am just lucky.
I know, this irks me too! I can say, "This will get rid of that nasty sinus infection," and they think I said, "Here's your wonder miracle herb that'll clear your nose and make yuor headache go away right now!" I've tried to exaplin that herbs heal in a more natural way, and may help your body to build a resisitance to whatever the ailment is, and of course I get the world's most vacant stare in return :(

Branwyn
01-09-2009, 01:34 AM
Hi Ya'll!

I agree with Carole about the tarot. I started doing readings again, working some fairs.

My first deck was Morgan Greer. Love that deck and now that my eyes are shot, they're so easy to see!

wyntermoon
01-09-2009, 02:00 AM
Great thread and advice! My family and friends now see my "hobby" of herbal salves as something to brag about - a bit different from the "huh?" looks I received when I started. Nothing like a little Black Walnut salve to save the day!

I'm picking up the cards again with regularity lately, I agree that the Rider-Waite is excellent for a working deck. My other are just for fun, in fact Santa brought me the Housewives Tarot (http://housewivestarot.com) for xmas. :D

Carole
01-09-2009, 07:59 PM
I know, this irks me too! I can say, "This will get rid of that nasty sinus infection," and they think I said, "Here's your wonder miracle herb that'll clear your nose and make yuor headache go away right now!" I've tried to exaplin that herbs heal in a more natural way, and may help your body to build a resisitance to whatever the ailment is, and of course I get the world's most vacant stare in return :(

Yes!!! I think everyone is so dependent on immediate relief that they don't care how much longer the cold/flu/infection/etc will take to get rid of. But at least my husband is coming around. He was terribly sick just before Christmas. He'd been out of town for a while, and i could see the signs of it beginning to move to his lungs. That always means bronchitis is on its way. But when he got home, I began dosing him up day and night. In two days, he was all better. :D The yuckiest part is that I accidentally used his toothbrush while he was sick (ours look the same) but I still didn't get sick. Unfortunately, most of my family still believes that if it doesn't come in a little brown bottle with a pharmacy label it won't work.

Carole
01-09-2009, 08:00 PM
Great thread and advice! My family and friends now see my "hobby" of herbal salves as something to brag about - a bit different from the "huh?" looks I received when I started. Nothing like a little Black Walnut salve to save the day!

I'm picking up the cards again with regularity lately, I agree that the Rider-Waite is excellent for a working deck. My other are just for fun, in fact Santa brought me the Housewives Tarot (http://housewivestarot.com) for xmas. :D

Black walnut salve--do tell!

DeleyanLee
01-09-2009, 08:10 PM
I've had a couple of tarot decks over the years, but I still, to this day, have a hard time deciphering them. I just can't seem to remember some of the cards, and sometimes my intuition isn't strong enough to tell the meanings of them. Can anyone suggest some exercises to help better know my cards?

Play solitaire with them. Seriously. Any game of solitaire you enjoy. When a card catches your attention, take a few moments and see what you get from it and then look it up. Do this until you gain a good sense of the cards. It also allows you to get used to handling and shuffling them. I've always been of the opinion that you get more out of the cards when you're friends with them and it's not just a work arrangement.

Branwyn
01-09-2009, 08:53 PM
Play solitaire with them. Seriously. Any game of solitaire you enjoy. When a card catches your attention, take a few moments and see what you get from it and then look it up. Do this until you gain a good sense of the cards. It also allows you to get used to handling and shuffling them. I've always been of the opinion that you get more out of the cards when you're friends with them and it's not just a work arrangement.

When I get a new deck I sleep with them. Ha! Under the pillow. There are some beautiful decks out there.

I've gotten to the point where I use the cards as a jumping off point and then just read--not necessarily the 'by the book' interpretation. Does anyone have the Herbal Tarot? (I think that's what it's called)
I swear by echinacea when I feel the sniffles coming.

TsukiRyoko
01-09-2009, 11:50 PM
Yes!!! I think everyone is so dependent on immediate relief that they don't care how much longer the cold/flu/infection/etc will take to get rid of. But at least my husband is coming around. He was terribly sick just before Christmas. He'd been out of town for a while, and i could see the signs of it beginning to move to his lungs. That always means bronchitis is on its way. But when he got home, I began dosing him up day and night. In two days, he was all better. :D The yuckiest part is that I accidentally used his toothbrush while he was sick (ours look the same) but I still didn't get sick. Unfortunately, most of my family still believes that if it doesn't come in a little brown bottle with a pharmacy label it won't work.
My boyfriend has a bit of a sinus infection and a minor case of swollen glands right now. He asked me to make him,some herbal tea, I said it was no problem and I cooked him up a batch and gave it to him. Then I found out that he drank the tea, popped a double dose of cold and allergy medicine, a double dose of Tylenol, some cough syrup, and used so much sore throat spray that the bottle was gone in two days. I almost beat him over the head! I told him that, even if the herbal medication doesn't give him the immediate relief he wanted, that he needs to be patient and even if the herbs aren't for him, to only stick to ONE MEDICINE! He's a perfect example of, "Fix me now! Fix me now!" I had to sit him down with a couple of books and explain to him how taking so many medication is bad for him, and how they can cancel each other out, produce bad effects, not to mentions COMPLETELY trash his liver later on. He's kind of coming around, but the last two days I've stayed with him I've had to knock a couple of bottles out of his hand.

Also, he doesn't seem to understand the words "rest" or "recuperate". As we speak, he's starting a 12-16 hour shift for the day, in which he'll be constantly moving around and exerting himself in a building with extremely poor ventilation that's packed with over 300 people during flu season when his immune system's down. Yeah, that's a GREAT idea. I tried to talk him out of work, and he just shrugged it off saying, "if I feel sick, I'll just pop two Stackers and some cold medicine! I'll be fine!" :(

TsukiRyoko
01-10-2009, 12:01 AM
I swear by echinacea when I feel the sniffles coming.
Use a chest plaster. As crazy as it sounds, I swear this'll pull the bad stuff out of you. At least for me, this recipe works from a slight sign of the sniffles to bronchitis to even an aching back. It's a recipe I got from my great grandmother and modified slightly.

Take one small-medium onion, chop it up, throw it in a saucepan. Then, pour on a bit of honey (about 1/4 of a cup to start) and turn it on low heat. Let it simmer until the onions start producing their own juice, add at least a teaspoon of horseradish to the pot, and add honey as you feel needed. (At this point, it makes an excellent, if a little weird tasting cough syrup that helps mucus production and throat tingles). Then, add some mustard, dried works best but prepared mustard will do, and some spirit of camphor or camphor block chips. Now, spread it on a warm piece of flannel and slap it on your chest (for bronchitis, a cold, pneumonia, etc), back (also bronchitis, cold, pneumonia, and if you feel like a sinus infection or something is moving into your lungs and chest, etc), or throat (for sore throats, swollen glands, head colds, and sinus drainage, etc). Leave on for 15-25 minutes. Oh, and be sure to rub olive oil on the area before you use the plaster, expecially if you have sensitive skin, and if it causes a bad reaction, remove it whenever necessary or do a test area first on the crook of your elbow. Slightly skin reddening is normal, but never force yourself into being uncomfortable.

In my experience, this remedy works great, both against colds, flus, etc, and in preventing them.

EDIT-
Also, you could always just strap a cut onion, cut side against skin, to your foot (or swollen glands on the neck and under the arms). Seriously. It works well, particularly against fevers.

Carole
01-10-2009, 05:19 PM
I tried to talk him out of work, and he just shrugged it off saying, "if I feel sick, I'll just pop two Stackers and some cold medicine! I'll be fine!" :(

omg, is it possible that your boyfriend and my husband are brothers? Then again, my husband would have washed the two stackers down with a SoBe No Fear or Red Bull.

TsukiRyoko
01-10-2009, 08:53 PM
omg, is it possible that your boyfriend and my husband are brothers? Then again, my husband would have washed the two stackers down with a SoBe No Fear or Red Bull.
Holy crap, they could be brothers! My boyfriend just recently got out of the habit (thanks to lots of stomping and hair pulling on my end) of downing his sleeping pills with a beer. Ughhh, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.

Cath
01-11-2009, 03:11 AM
When I get a new deck I sleep with them. Ha! Under the pillow. There are some beautiful decks out there.

I've gotten to the point where I use the cards as a jumping off point and then just read--not necessarily the 'by the book' interpretation. Does anyone have the Herbal Tarot? (I think that's what it's called)\

This one? http://tarot.com/tarot/decks/index.php?deckID=84&cardID=0 (http://tarot.com/tarot/decks/index.php?deckID=84&cardID=0)

Branwyn
01-11-2009, 04:32 AM
Yeah, that's the one.
My most recent is the Gilded Tarot (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.tarottotes.com/images/gilded2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.tarottotes.com/item.asp%3Fiid%3D1102&usg=__NeswoFpwnv-0jHImZlYRzO4IJMg=&h=348&w=313&sz=42&hl=en&start=31&um=1&tbnid=swttDZukoJ7kPM:&tbnh=120&tbnw=108&prev=/images%3Fq%3DTarot%2Bdecks%26start%3D20%26ndsp%3D2 0%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN). I think it's so beautiful, though I haven't connected with it, yet.

Carole
01-12-2009, 08:16 PM
Holy crap, they could be brothers! My boyfriend just recently got out of the habit (thanks to lots of stomping and hair pulling on my end) of downing his sleeping pills with a beer. Ughhh, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.
Mr. Vagabond washes his Ambien down with a margarita sometimes. That always gives me a warm fuzzy.

Willow_way
01-13-2009, 04:55 AM
Carole

I didn't quote you but I think you have given the soundest advice I have read. It takes time. I ask my inner guide to lead me. The cards are just a tool, to keep me focused, but the cards do have meaning. And knowing that meaning helps me to understand my guide.

Willow_way
01-13-2009, 05:07 AM
we were at a local festival about 4 years ago. When we first got there we went to the screened in porch where some musicians were playing. While we sat there there was an elderly man and woman and they kept looking at us. When they finished playing the man sat down next to Al and the womans sat down next to me. She began telling me about a concoction that she uses. It's made with the hull of the black walnut while it is still green. You peel the hull off the nut and put it in a quart of water with a vitamin c capsule You wait about a week, and start drinking it right from the jar. A couple of swallows two or three times a day. She said it cured all manner of things including yeast infections to sour throat. Ifound a skin cancer on my wrist ltwo years ago. I took the hulls out of the water and ground them in a food processor and added them to vasaline. I put this on the spot every time I thought of it, ( it sat on my end table). In two weeks the spot was gone and hasn't come back. But you have to keep the salve in the refrigerator, my turned moldy and I had to make more.

Disa
03-09-2009, 02:17 AM
I've had a couple of tarot decks over the years, but I still, to this day, have a hard time deciphering them. I just can't seem to remember some of the cards, and sometimes my intuition isn't strong enough to tell the meanings of them. Can anyone suggest some exercises to help better know my cards?

I heard about an exercise once where you pretend you are walking through a forest and you come upon a house, you knock on the door, then pull a card to represent the person who may or may not open the door. (Perhaps they are outside looking off in to the distance of a vast ocean, or working outside harvesting pentacles)

Once you pull the card, see what message they have for you. How are you received? Are they happy to see you? Do they invite you into their home or garden? Do they offer you some of their bounty or are they themselves in such dire straits they have nothing to share? Are they rigid and rude and try to send you away? Write down your impressions of each person behind the door.. What colors surround them? What smells are present? What sounds can you hear?Are there any animals in the card? What purpose do they serve? Do you know a person in your life who you can associate with the person in this card? Have you lived through a situation yourself that is similar to what is depicted in the card? What message is there for you?

Making personal associations to each card is supposedly one of the best ways to learn. Write it all down. (If you check the book afterwards, you'll probably find that a lot of the associations you made are also in the book. )

You can also "step into the card" and become a part of the scene.

I've been reading Corrine Kenner's Tarot for Writers. It appeals to my love for tarot, as well as my love for writing. I wish this book had been out when I started learning tarot.

As far as decks go, the Rider Waite decks don't resonate with me, however, the Druidcraft, based on the Rider Waite structure appeals much more to my pagan side, since all the cards with Christian-type labels have been replaced with something more pagan friendly.

D~

indiriverflow
03-09-2009, 04:28 AM
I've had a couple of tarot decks over the years, but I still, to this day, have a hard time deciphering them. I just can't seem to remember some of the cards, and sometimes my intuition isn't strong enough to tell the meanings of them. Can anyone suggest some exercises to help better know my cards?

Here are a few of my favorite Tarot-related suggestions.

First, for a light treatment, read the Tarot series by Piers Anthony. It is science fiction, but extremely well researched, and he manages to cover the heritage of Tarot extremely well.

For advanced reading, Garden of Pomegranates by Israel Regardie.

Secondly, consider the rationale of Tarot. The four suits correspond to the classical elements. The trumps represent the "paths" of consciousness. The Major Arcana (non-suit cards) represent stages in development of the psyche.

Interpreting the cards as individual signals yields little information. The spread as a whole must be considered.

I do NOT recommend the Rider Waite deck. It is the most common deck, in both senses of the term. Nearly any deck which appeals to you would provide a better sense of symbolism. Crowley's deck is one of the most beautiful, despite his personal reputation. I use the Goddess deck to reflect my spiritual bent.

Finally, I recommend an interactive two-person spread/game of my own innovation...I call it Half-Deck Shuffle Tarot Card Poker. The purpose is to generate a reading for the mutual interaction. It is a combination of seven-card no peek, go fish, and the basic seven card spread.

It is described in Chapter 5 of my latest book, Blues 4 Kali, if you want to learn how to play it, you can see how it plays from the scene there.