Dear Tarot Student
Don’t Try to Be Good at Tarot
So often new and intermediate tarot students tell me they worry that they aren’t any good at tarot. I tell them they are missing the point.
It is true that at a particular level of tarot study and practice we want to tap into intuitive and interpretive talent. It’s also true that at the professional level you need to be good or go home.
Yet, I firmly believe that the study of tarot is beneficial to everyone. When I was a child in Sunday School we didn’t worry if we were good at Bible study. We learned the parables and discussed their meanings, and from that we grew. Tarot is the same way.
When we study tarot, the focus on card memorization can be daunting and discouraging. Some tarotists never memorize keywords, classic interpretations or archetypes. Gifted professional intuitives often use tarot as a prop, or as a focal point for inspiration, without ever knowing any traditions of tarot interpretation. I believe they aren’t technically tarot readers and are missing the wisdom of the tarot, but they get the job done.
Some students enjoy flashcard-style memorization and have a knack for it. Others don’t. Yet, tarot study doesn’t have to include a focus on tarot memorization, and, for many of us, probably shouldn’t.
Tarot study has a personal and spiritual value above and beyond building our skill at reading for others or predicting the future.
Each tarot card teaches a spiritual lesson. When we study tarot, those lessons inform our lives and hasten our healing. As a result of that process, we learn the meanings of the cards without really trying.
If you are frustrated with your tarot practice, you may be trying too hard to divine, and not hard enough to learn the lessons of the cards. If you are too focused on memorization without understanding the lessons and applying those lessons to your life, you are missing the point entirely.
In the beginning of your tarot practice, worry less about whether you are good at tarot, and worry more about discovering how tarot is good for you.