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Reader Q&A: How do I commit the Tarot card meanings to memory?

By July 8, 2011 March 2nd, 2020

blog-20110708-reader-qa-how-do-i-commit-the-tarot-card-meanings-to-memoryIntroducing “Reader Q&A”

I love getting questions from my visitors and blog subscribers because it means that I can help others to learn to read Tarot cards and can share the experience and wisdom of the Tarot. Rather than just having a one-on-one email exchanges, I am going to start posting YOUR Tarot questions, along with my answers.

If you have a burning Tarot-related question, contact me and I will aim to answer your questions via my Tarot blog. It might not be straight away, but I will aim to at least get back to you personally via email.

Today's Reader Question: How do I commit the Tarot card meanings to memory?

Ok, to kick it off, here's the first question from Nina…

“I just started tarot reading. I'm currently working to commit the card meanings to memory, but I have difficulties in interpreting the cards. Is that uncommon and do you have any tips on interpreting cards in general and what the cards truly mean among the many meanings of each card?”

Answer…

Firstly, it took me a long time before I was able to commit the Tarot card meanings to memory. So, don't worry, you're not alone! Think about it… there are 78 Tarot cards, each with completely different meanings and interpretations. Not only that, depending which book you read or what type of Tarot reading you're doing (e.g. a relationship spread or a career spread), the meanings for the same Tarot card can be different. So, starting out as a beginner and learning the 78 Tarot card meanings can indeed be a daunting task and it is very normal for it to take several months, if not years, to commit each Tarot card meaning to memory.

But, you have got to start somewhere!!! So let's break it down…

Start with a specific Suit or the Major Arcana

It is much easier to start with a smaller group of cards than ALL 78 Tarot cards. So, select a Suit (or the Major Arcana) to work with. (In fact, I recommend starting with a Suit, as the Major Arcana is highly complex and detailed once you get into it.) Then, you're working with just 14 Tarot cards rather than 78, and mastery of those Tarot cards will come much faster and give you the confidence boost you need!

Create Tarot card keyword cheatsheets

In April, I wrote a blog post about how to turbo-charge your Tarot readings, using Tarot card keyword cheatsheets. I'm not going to regurgitate the whole post here, but what I will say is that cheatsheets offer an extremely helpful way for memorising the Tarot card meanings. You can work with an existing list of Tarot card keywords, or create your own. Personally, I recommend creating your own as it facilitates the learning process.

Once you have your cheatsheet, print it off, laminate it and stick it up somewhere prominent at home or at work. Every day, run through each Tarot card and each set of keywords, to help commit those meanings to memory. While it won't give you an in-depth understanding of each card, it will at least get you started with a couple of helpful keywords up your sleeve.

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Write a Tarot journal

Keeping your own Tarot journal is an excellent way to bring the Tarot cards to life and to personalise the Tarot card meanings. Again, here's a blog post I wrote about writing your own Tarot journal which will help get you started.

You may be interested in the Tarot Card Meanings Companion Workbook which I designed as a comprehensive learning tool. It is a Tarot Journal that can either be printed and used as a hard copy, or that can be editted and saved on your computer as a soft copy. It is a fantastic resource for Tarot students to create their own guide to the Tarot cards.

A Tarot journal is a bigger commitment, but this method will help you to develop a much more in-depth understanding of the cards.

Read, read, read

Even after 15 years of reading Tarot, I still learn something new from reading various Tarot books. There are some great Tarot books out there – here are just a few:

The lowdown…

At the end of the day, I think there are two key steps to committing the Tarot card meanings to memory. First, it is about committing the keywords to memory, then second, (and this is what will make you a truly ‘good' Tarot reader) it is about bringing those Tarot card meanings to life by personalising them and understanding them at a much more in-depth level.

Good luck with your Tarot studies, Nina! And thanks for sharing your Tarot question!

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