Tarot Tips for Beginners

Here are some of my tips for those of you just beginning to learn the Tarot

First I suggest reading my post, “What is the Tarot – a very brief explanation”.
Click here to learn a very brief history, about the structure of the deck, and the three schools of Tarot.

Suggested Decks

These are the decks I suggest learning with and using when you are brand new to the Tarot.

In the beginning, I would stick with the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot (RWS) from U. S. Games, Inc. or at the very least, a RWS clone. I understand the urge and desire to purchase other decks, hey I did it. But I had to put those decks aside until I really understood the cards.  When you can easily shout out three keywords, that’s when I would say you’re ready to read with RWS inspired decks. Then when you are able to know the meaning of each card, without having to look it up in a book, that’s when you’re ready to buy any deck of your choosing. I’m sure you’ll begin collecting like most of us do.

These are just my suggestions based on my experience. You can of course choose to learn with whichever deck you would like. One warning, be careful not to buy a deck that follows a different system of the corresponding elements that you use.
See Elements section below.

Here are some RWS clone decks:

  • Universal Waite – this is a recoloring of the original RWS. It has softer colors and edges (drawing). I find this one more appealing.
  • Radiant Rider-Waite – this is also a recoloring of the original RWS however, this one has much more radiant, brighter colors hence the name.
  • Universal Tarot – this is a re-illustration of the original RWS.

Here is The Fool from each deck respectively, the first from the original RWS:

rws clones2


Here are some RWS inspired decks:

  • Sharman-Caselli Tarot – sold as a set under the name, Beginner’s Guide to Tarot. This is beautiful deck and the minors are colored somewhat in accordance with their corresponding element. i.e. The Wands background is yellow.
  • Hanson-Roberts Tarot – this is an up close look at the characters and scenes in the RWS. This is soft colored deck and denotes happiness.
  • Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot – this deck is rich in color and in symbolism and the companion book is excellent.
  • Pictorial Key Tarot – This is one of my favorites. This deck is darker in color and the symbolism is almost identical.

Here is The Fool from each deck respectively. As you can see they’re all different sizes:

rws inspired2

You can find more decks at aeclectic.net. Look down the list of themes for ‘Rider Waite Clones’ and ‘Rider Waite Inspired’ and you’ll be able to see more to choose from.

At the end of this post, I list my recommended books by theme.

Apps

Apps are a great way to observe other decks and their companions books (if they have one) without having to put out the expense. Most are $3.99 (USD) and compared to $20+ it’s a deal.

The earlier Tarot apps didn’t allow you to enter your own cards to reflect your own reading (you did outside of the app) but now most of them do. The only draw back is, you can’t place them into a spread. However, I like to have Tarot apps to see other decks without having to commit and some decks have really great companion books. Such as the Wizard Tarot and the Tarot of the Vampires. I fell in love the Vampires so I eventually purchased it; sometime that will happen too.


L
earning the card meanings

Journals

journal binderEvery book and every Tarotist recommends having a journal and I do too!

I find that if I write something down I will have an easier time absorbing it and remembering it. If you are like me, I recommend keeping a journal with your notes and exercises below.

If you like to write your notes, I highly recommend getting a big binder and subject dividers. This way you can write as you please and then organize it later. If you like to type, then I would use whatever document software you currently use.

In addition, I would keep a journal to record your readings especiallly if you draw a card of the day and I would keep a separate one for spreads. I purchased a small binder for my spreads (it’s the blue one above). Again, because it was easy to organize later by number of cards and theme. I also purchased a beautiful journal and included all of the my favorite meanings and keywords, correspondences, etc. so I had my own go-to book and sort of my own Tarot grimoire if you will.

Warning: I printed out all the cards and was going to paste them in. But then I realized that 78 pieces of paper can cause the journal pages to not lay correctly and bump out quite a bit.

A great book to help you get journaling is:

Tarot Journaling: Using the Celtic Cross to Unveil Your Hidden Story by Corrine Kenner


To Buy Books or Not

While some Tarotists will say “put down the books”, I only half agree.

When I first started, I felt overwhelmed and lost. I needed a starting point to build from and that’s exactly what Tarot books did for me. I bought a bunch of books because I wanted to see their different points of view for each card, which I found very interesting. I then practiced the following exercise once every two weeks to once a month. Do what works for you and depending how often your schedule allows you to study will depend on how often you’ll do this exercise.

This is an intuitive exercise:

Go through each card, in chronological order, and either write down or speak* out loud, a few keywords for each card solely based on the card’s imagery.

You can always start with just one or two keywords and then build from there. I’ve seen others suggest to do this quickly and I understand why they say that. But in my opinion, in the very beginning, you should take your time and really study each card. However, when you begin to get more comfortable, you should then give yourself no more than 10 – 20 seconds for each card.

Overtime, it’s fun to compare the results for each exercise. It’s rewarding to see your progress.

*If you are speaking the keywords out loud, I recommend recording your answers, so you can compare them.

Now the half I do agree with regarding putting the books down.

Learning the Tarot is not about memorizing other Tarotist’s interpretations. Yes, you can take a few keywords from their list or my list (in pages) and use them as a springboard to eventually create your own meanings and what works for you. This will happen through practicing the exercise above, other exercises suggested below and in books, and practicing reading. Through readings you will learn how the cards meld together and position will affect the card’s interpretation as well as combinations with the other cards in the reading. This is going to take time, so be patient with yourself and the process. Eventually it’ll all fit together like a perfect puzzle.

majors vs minos

When I first began learning about the Tarot, I read numerous times to start with the Minors or Pip cards first because the Majors were too difficult. I completely disagree with this.

I actually found it easier to learn the Majors first because the Minors consisted of fours separate suits/elements and numbers to learn. In addition, the Majors represent well known archetypal energies, as well as relatable milestones or stages of development we all experience in our life. However, this is not to say the Majors are easy because they are not; they are quite complex. I’m just saying I wouldn’t cast them aside in the beginning, like many suggest. But this is ultimately your decision; we all learn differently.

Now the Court cards…they’re a different story. The Courts are arguably the most difficult cards in the deck. If you feel frustrated by the Royals, you are not alone. I used to think it was just me and it wasn’t. Even seasoned readers still get stumped by the Court cards. I would begin by learning them as people or energies and as ranks from the Page through the King; stages of development. Pages have a child-like energy and are students; Knights are adolescents and are now taking what they learned, taking it to the next level y acting on them and experiencing life;  Queens have mastered their suit but they represent internalizing their experiences; Kings have mastered their suit but they represent externalizing their experiences. In addition, Pages and Queens are receptive and Knights and Kings are assertive.

The Courts can be read many different ways and that’s one of the reasons they’re so difficult.

This is how I generally read them (along with the information above)*:

  • Pages can represent beginnings, news or a message
  • Knights can represent a quest.
  • Queens and Kings only as people, personality/traits, or energies.

 

*This is something you’ll have to decide for yourself. Again, practicing with them in readings will help you to figure out what they mean to you and what seems to be common amongst the readings when they show up. Below is a great exercise I created to help you learn the Courts called Tinder for the Court Cards.

I also recommend getting the following two books on the Court Cards and the other two are also very good with the Courts:

  • The Tarot Court Cards by Kate Warwick-Smith
  • Understanding the Tarot Court by Tom Little, Mary K. Greer
  • Going Beyond the Little White Book by Liz Worth
  • Tarot 101 by Kim Huggens


Exercises

exercises

I highly recommend Tarot exercises to help you learn the card meanings and more importantly, to create your own meanings, that work for you.

Symbolism

One of the exercises that helped me more than any other, was to go through each card, pick out all the symbols, and research them. I’m not going to lie, this did take some time; it took me a little over a month. But in the end, I had such a better understanding of each card.

As an intuitive reader, the symbolism guides me when I’m reading therefore, understanding the traditional meaning behind these objects was unbelievably helpful. In addition, I was shocked at how much Christian symbolism and iconography lies within the Tarot; I find it highly ironic. However, just because this was beneficial to me, not all Tarot readers use symbolism and of course, the Tarot de Marseille pip card offers absolutely zero symbolism. So, you have to figure out what works for you. But if you feel that gaining knowledge what these objects Waite decided to use mean, then I highly recommend doing this.

At the end of this post, I will list books on symbolism that I used. Also, I would purchase the Giant Rider-Waite cards (see directly below) so that you can really see even the littlest detail in all the cards.

By the way – while doing this exercise, I had discovered the Zodiac signs on the bedspread in the Nine of Swords after having and looking at the deck for a couple of months. I was pretty surprised that I never noticed it. I guarantee you too will see things you never saw before!


Giant Waite Flash Cards Exercise

If you can afford to purchase the Giant Rider-Waite, I strongly recommend it. First,Giante Waite compared to smaller it’s easier to see the images and small details. Second, it’s large enough for you to put large labels on the back and enough room to add another label on the bottom, for learning reversals*.What are the labels for you ask? To turn these cards into flash cards.

Purchase 2×4 or even 3×4 labels. Then write down all the information you would like to learn regarding each card and place them on the back. I stuck with just the keywords and phrases, but you can add as much information as you can fit such as astrological or Kabbalah correspondences.

FYI – don’t bother with removable labels. I tried that, but after one month, they were no longer removable; they were permanent.

Giant Waite my labelsIf you cannot afford it, or you simply don’t want to ruin the back of the cards like I did, you can always create your own flash cards the old-fashion way on index cards or, the modern way online. There are apps such as Quizlet and Brainscape where you can create your own flashcards or you may get lucky that someone else already made them and they’re well done.

I know what you’re thinking – I just said that you shouldn’t memorize the cards. However, I did say you can take a couple of keywords from other readers and create your own. This is what you should list on the labels. Some of theirs and some of your own and then use these flash cards to quiz yourself.

*Side note: I do not yet read reversals. But I know that there are so many ways to read them. If you are gung ho to learn them, I would at least wait until you can easily call out keywords for each card upright first. Think about it – you have 78 cards to learn and if you want to learn reversals too, that another 78 to learn. You may want to rethink it and not overwhelm yourself.


Additional Exercises

There are many other exercise to choose from that can also help to learn the card meanings.

Here’s a list of some of the exercises I offer here:

Here’s one of the exercises in the Quickies list. This can really help you learn how to meld the card meanings together.

Building a Sentence or Two:

Separate the Majors, the Minors, and Courts from each other.
Draw one card from each group.

The Court card will be the character, the Minor card will act as the ‘topic’ or ‘theme’, and the Major card will act as the ‘affect’ or ‘conflict’.

Here’s an example:

Queen of Cups, Temperance, and Six of Pentacles.

Mary is a compassionate, generous woman and she enjoys doing charity work, but lately she’s been overdoing it. She needs to moderate her time and energy, and focus on herself for a bit.

Queen of Cups: Mary is a compassionate, generous woman (character)
Six of Pentacles: charity work (topic)
Temperance: overdoing it and needing to moderate (affect)

Forums

I suggest joining Tarot forums. Some are free while others you must be a member however, the annual fee is usual minimal $10 – $25 (USD).

Here’s a free one I highly recommend:

Tarotforum.net (the community side of Aeclectic.net)

There are so many subforums and you can ask other member questions and they will reply. I believe this is the largest around. In addition, after 25 posts, you will then be allowed to use the Reading Exchange where you can offer doing reading for other members for feedback. It’s a great way to practice readings and learn from them.

Note: As of July 18, 2017, the Tarot Forum has closed after 25 years. The forum and Solandia, who ran it, will truly be missed.

Here’s a forum with a paid membership that I recommend:

Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI)*

My favorite subforum is the monthly practice question where you can post your practice reading for feedback. They too have a reading exchange and a section where you can post your readings for help. In addition, they occasionally offer free courses to follow. Their a smaller group but everyone is so friendly, warm, and welcoming and willing to help when they can.

*Although there is one free section called Garden Party but I prefer access to the full forum.


Elements/Suits
Element symbols with names color

Above are the symbols of the four classic elements.

In order to have a complete and thorough understanding what the four suits in the Minors represent, it is necessary to learn the four classic elements inside and out.

Click here to read my page about the elements. I begin with a brief history, development, and how they are associated with the suits. It is a long, comprehensive look at the four elements.

These are how the suits in the Minor Arcana correspond to each element:

  • Wands are associated with Fire*
  • Cups are associated with Water
  • Swords are associated with Air*
  • Pentacles are associate with Earth

*Note: Arthur Waite transposed Air and Fire – The Golden Dawn corresponded Air with Wands and Fire with Swords. Waite switched them probably due to his oath of secrecy. It’s surmised that he only changed those two because Cups and Coins (Pentacles) wouldn’t have made sense; they were too obvious.

There are current decks that do follow the Golden Dawn associations especially Wiccan decks. I can see arguments on both sides however, this is the way I learned Fire and Air, so I have continued with it. It all comes down to your personal preference. There is no right and wrong – follow the associations that work best for you.

When you are an absolute beginner in Tarot, you may find yourself having a hard time remembering which suit corresponds with which element.

Here’s my tips for remembering:

  • Wands – think of a flame on a wand/tree branch, that would light your path in a dark place and how a spark creates fire. What can your spark create?
  • Cups – think of fluid (or water) overflowing from a cup and how emotions can too.
  • Swords – think of how words from breath, can cut both ways like a double-edge sword.
  • Coins/Pentacles – think of money which can offer stability and foundations, just like earth or soil can and the resources and nourishment they offer.

In addition, I recommend the following books:

  • Earth, Water, Fire, & Air by Cait Johnson
  • The Way of Four: Create Elemental Balance in Your Life by Deborah Lipp

Deborah Lipp goes through the qualities of the elements, elements in nature, elements in us, in daily life, and a section on magic. There are exercises for some of the chapters.

I highly recommend the Four Elements in Life and Tarot self-study course created by Teresa Michelson, which is designed to be used with Lipp’s book.


Numerology

Numerology1

The number cards in the Minor Arcana (Pips) along with the Major Arcana have been associated with the meanings of numbers – Numerology or with the meaning of the Ten Sephiroth in the Tree of Life.

Numerology is the ancient study of the significance of numbers, originally dating back 2,500 years ago and used by ancient civilizations in Babylon, China, India and Greece.

When you hear the word ‘numerology’ in Tarot, it could be referring to different studies of numbers throughout history. These correspondences can be Pythagorean, Chaldean, Kabbalistic, or maybe even your own combination of all three. Each number is associated with a stage of development through the numbers 1-9 and some Tarotists will also use the number 10.

Along with each number, sequences and noting how many of each number shows up is another way to add Numerology to your readings. Adding additional layers to your reading can help you go deeper and consider other facets or aspects of the situation.

Click here to read my full analysis on Numerology.


Readings and Spreads

fan. with watermarkJPG

Start reading right away. I cannot express this enough. I waited until I felt like I knew the cards well enough before I began to perform readings, even for myself and that was a huge mistake. Learn from my mistake and don’t do what I did. Take the leap off the cliff like the Fool and have faith in yourself!

I suggest beginning with a weekly one card readings. I also recommend purchasing a display stand. I got one at Amazon for $6 (USD). Place your weekly card on this stand so you can see it all week long.

I’m sure you have heard about drawing one card a day, referred to as the ‘card of the day’ (COTD) because it’s very popular. But in my opinion, it can be overwhelming in the beginning to learn a different card everyday especially if you have a busy life. I believe that it’s best to take a whole week to absorb the meaning and to get to know all about the card. Yes, this means it will take you 78 weeks to go through each card. But, I’m going to warn you now, learning the Tarot is going to take time. But, If you think you can handle more, then go for it.

Once you know the cards pretty well, then I would say drawing a COTD is an excellent way get in daily Tarot practice. You should also reflect on your cards at the end of the day and journal about it. Write how it did or did not reflect your day. I would also be aware of the suits you’re drawing and how often. Listen to this message. You may even want to use different color pens for each suit and Majors so it’s easier to distinguish at just a glance.

In the meantime, begin with one or two card spreads and work you’re way up to three and four. I would avoid the urge to do the Celtic Cross for now. It takes some time getting used to molding the card meanings, not only to the querent’s question (or yours), but also to the card position as well as the suit’s associations.

For example:

1) If the Querent asked a question concerning romance but you draw a Pentacles card, you’ll need to learn how to interpret that suit and card for romance versus resources, finances, and health, or at the very least how to meld the two.

2) How a card’s interpretation differs in a ‘challenge’ position versus an ‘opportunity’ position.

This brings me to my next tip…You don’t have to use spreads.

Yep, you do not have to read using a spread. You can read ‘freestyle’, without spread positions or titles.

The Pro – reading like this pushes you to use your intuition and allows the cards to speak for themselves. I enjoy reading this way, especially for myself.

The Con – you’re not being pushed to learn how to adapt and adjust the meaning based on the positions and question.

Therefore, I suggest doing both.


Suggested Spreads

One card spreads

card 1Possible position titles:

  • Situation
  • What to expect
  • What do you want/desire
  • What do you need to know
  • What’s the next step
  • Advice
  • Outcome


Two
card spreads

2 card spread

You can create 42 ‘two card’ spreads combining of any of the above (one card) possible position titles.

Here are some others possible position titles::

  • Choice A – Choice B
  • Yes – No
  • Today – Tomorrow
  • Conflict – Solution
  • Self – Family
  • Self – Friend(s)
  • Desire – Challenge/Obstacle
  • Action – Reaction
  • Past – Future
  • Present – Future
  • Work – Home
  • Love – Advice
  • Situation – Energy
  • Today AM – Today Pm
  • Week – Weekend

I think you get the idea. You can easily customize one to four card spreads depending on the situation and/or the question.


Three card spreads

3 card spread

You can take any of the above and add either ‘advice’ or ‘outcome’ and turn them into a three card spread.

Here are some of the most popular 3 card spreads:

  • Past – Present – Future
  • Mind – Body – Spirit
  • Mind – Heart – Spirit
  • Mind – Heart – Advice or Outcome
  • Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow
  • Opportunity – Challenge – Advice or Outcome
  • Decision 1 – Decision 2 – Advice or Outcome
  • Greatest Strength – Greatest Weakness – Advice
  • Yes – No – Maybe

Click here to read my page on Spreads where I offer everything you need to know about spreads; shuffling methods, ways to draw a card, one through seven card spreads, classic spreads and how to customize a spread.


Books I Recommend

I just want to say there are so many great books out there and I couldn’t possibly list all the books I like so this is just a handful.

Total Learning:

Tarot 101 by Kim Huggens

tarot 101Kim Huggens does not teach the Major Arcana cards in chronological order. Instead she separates them into archetypes and themes which is brilliant! At the end of each section, she offers optional homework and recommended further reading. For every Major she gives a general interpretation, common symbols and their meaning, keywords, an example of the archetype in film or literature, card as a person, followed by exercises and questions for journaling. She has section devoted just to the Courts, each Minor has a short meaning and she includes spreads, how to do a reading, dealing with difficult questions, tips and tricks, and the next step.

This is a thorough course that is well thought out and well written.

The Complete Tarot Reader by Teresa C. Michelson

complete tarot readerTeresa Michelson is the Tarotist who offers the self-study Elements Course I suggested to you above. She is a great teacher and her book does not disappoint. This is great book to begin with; it was actually one of my first. She touches upon almost every aspect of the Tarot. Each chapter begins with study goals and each section (within a chapter) ends with exercises. It would be difficult for me to list all that she offers because it’s would be too long. Although she discussed reading techniques, the one thing she doesn’t go over is spreads.

The Easiest Way to Learn Tarot – Ever! by Dusty White

easiest way to learn tarotThis book is chockfull of amazing exercises. They get you to pick up the cards immediately, really look at them, and as a result, learn them and learn them well. I love Dusty White’s no nonsense, straight to the point attitude plus he’s funny. He keeps everything fun and light. This is amazing book for beginners.

Card Meanings:

The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meaning by Brigit Esselmont (Biddy Tarot)

ultimate guide biddyIf you can only buy one book and you want the reversed meaning too, this is it. Brigit Esselmont of well known Biddy Tarot, has finally put this ebook into print. This book’s main focus is the card meanings. Each card begins with a few keywords, a few related quotes, and a full description. Then she gives a detailed general meaning followed by career, work, and finances, then personality types, relationships and love, spirituality, health and well-being, and a few combinations. Then she gives a detailed reversed meaning (general only) along with a few combinations again. The price is twice as much as the others and I must admit, the print is quite light, but this really can be your ‘go to’ book and you won’t need any other.

Tarot Plain and Simple by Anthony Louis

tarot plain and simpleThis book does go beyond just the card interpretations, but not as much as Tarot 101 (above). Anthony Louis begins with some history, followed by spreads and how to use them and some example readings. He then focuses on the cards. He offers one of the longest list of keywords and phrases than any book I have. It is then followed by ‘situation and advice’ and the card as a person. He also offers the same information for the reversed meaning. He has an Appendix on astrology and numerology.

Going Beyond the Little White Book by Liz Worth

beyond the little white bookThis is a new book and one of the best books out there especially for beginners. This book is all about the card interpretations (upright only). Liz Worth offers the intention of the card, the mantra, a detailed general meaning including if it appears in a ‘challenge’ position, career and relationship interpretation, as well as a list of questions to considers when that card appears.

The Ultimate Guide to Tarot by Liz Dean

ultimateThis is a fantastic book for beginners. Liz Dean begins with a few layouts and classic spread and then focuses only on the cards. Each card includes a list of all their correspondences; the Majors obviously list more. Each card (Minors too) has a section called ‘Understanding the ___”. The Majors include a brief notation on the astrological and Kabbala association followed by the upright meaning which includes: general, home, relationships, career and money. Then the reversed meaning, the wisdom message, all the symbols and what they represent, card’s reflection (other similar cards) and then a spread based on that card. The Minors have the upright and the reversed meaning.

Tarot Dictionary and Compendum by Jana Riley

tarot dictionaryThis is a great book if you like to see other Tarot reader’s interpretations. Jana Riley gives you very brief meanings from fourteen to fifteen different Tarotists including Crowley and Waite, and Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollock. She then has a full section on archetypes in the Majors, including usual correspondences including related Rune stones, color, chakra, crystals, plants. She then ends the book with a few spread and how tarot works.

Spreads:

Tarot Spreads by Barbara Moore

tarot spreadsWhat I love about this book is it goes beyond listing 89 spreads. Barbara Moore writes an introduction for each spread, gives an explanation what each position represents, and offer variations for some spreads. The chapters are as follows: the basics, design principles, how to modify a spread, how to create your own, techniques to add to any spread, and how to do a 78 card reading and the book ends with three appendixes: A – old spreads; B – Elemental Dignities; C – Significators.

Complete Book of Tarot Spreads by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fiebig

complete spreadsThis is such a wonderful book offering 122 spreads. They briefly go over many issues such as the basics, personality and year cards, theme cards, reading for yourself, techniques, and more. The spreads are categorized for every day, tendencies and perspectives, relaxation exercises, concentration and composure, searching and finding, decisions, partnerships and relationships, life journey, preview/overview, major layouts, and finally departures. The book ends with Tarot and Astrology.

The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Spreads by Liz Dean

ultimate spreadsThis book has eleven full chapters. The first two chapters are about preparing for a reading and seven essential spreads. The next nine offer spreads categorized by theme: love, money, health, decisions, spirituality, creativity, techniques, spreads inspired by modern teachers and last but not least, occultists. Each spread has tips and some have sample readings. The appendices include brief interpretations for each card, both upright and reversed, and a quick reference to symbols.

Reading:

Tarot Prediction & Divination by Susyn Blair-Hunt

tarot predictionIn her introduction, Susyn Blair-Hunt explains how each card has three different messages: divinatory, therapeutic, and spiritual and then the book is is divided into three sections – Beginner Readings, Intermediate Readings, Advanced Readings. The Beginner reading start with more generalized spreads and reading. The Intermediate begin to show you how to use question-specific spreads, and Advanced Readings explores metaphysical topics. Included are: 15 Spreads, card keywords, card combinations and timing.

Tarot Reading Explained by James Ricklef

tarot reading explainedWhile James Ricklef begin the first with a brief overview of the basics such as numerological and elemental associations then he offers 21 three card reading samples and then one Celtic Cross reading. In the appendices and the next 101 pages, he goes over each card with a comment, advice, and an affirmation.
Note: This is the most current rendition of his first book, KnightHawk’s Tarot Reading and Tarot Tells the Tale. This is the third iteration of this book.

Special Areas:

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Mary K. Greer:

21 waysThis is meant to be used with a card (or cards) that you are having difficulty with. She gives you literally twenty-one exercises to do in order to discover everything there is to learn about the card so you create your own card meaning. Some include: writing a story, metaphor, symbols, drawing, myth and archetypes.  In the Appendix she also goes over elemental dignities

Tarot for Yourself: A Workbook for Personal Transformation by Mary K. Greer:

tarot for yourselfThis is a multifaceted book. Yes, Mary Greer offers extensive keyword for both upright and reversed cards but this is not the reason to purchase this book. In her first section, she goes explains how to calculate your Tarot Profile and lifetime cards including your personality card, hidden factor card, year card, and more. She offers exercises and meditations to learn the cards and my favorite is ‘Entering the card’. This book is packed with information on how to perform a reading, spreads, metaphysical subjects like chakras, and crystals, and so much more.

Who Are You in the Tarot by Mary K. Greer

who you are in the tarotThis book explains in deep detail what each of the lifetime cards in your Tarot Profile mean (from Tarot for Yourself above) and further writing on what she calls ‘Tarot Constellations’ which express nine major principles underlying our metaphysical makeup. She matches each of lifetime card to the corresponding Tarot card and merges the two brilliantly. This book is a must if you enjoy calculating lifetime cards for yourself and/or your clients.
Note: This book is a revision of Tarot Constellations.

History:

If you enjoy learning about the history and origins of the Tarot, these two will suit your needs:

The Tarot History, Symbolism, and Divination by Robert M. Place
Mystical Origins of the Tarot by Paul Huson

Symbols:

Tarot Specific:

The Secret Language of Tarot by Wald Amberstone, Ruth Ann Amberstone

The Amberstones dedicated full section to common symbols found in the Tarot cards such as, pillars, mountains, clouds, and rivers.

The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot by Johannes Fiebig, Evelin Burger

This book gives ten symbols for each card and an explanation.

General and Esoteric:

This is the full lists of the books I used to research the symbols and I used the internet. If you do not have access to a library, I suggest purchasing the first one by J.E. Cirlot.

  • A Dictionary of Symbols (Dover Occult) 2nd ed. Edition by J. E. Cirlot
  • The Book of Psychic Symbols: Interpreting Intuitive Messages by Melanie Barnum
  • Signs & Symbols by Kathryn Wilkinson
  • The Book Of Symbols: Reflections On Archetypal Images by Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS)
  • Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols: The Ultimate A-Z Guide from Alchemy to the Zodiac by Adele Nozedar
  • The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects by Barbara G. Walker
  • Signs, Symbols & Omens: An Illustrated Guide to Magical & Spiritual Symbolism by Raymond Buckland
  • An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols by J. C. Cooper
  • The Continuum Encyclopedia of Symbols by Udo Becker
  • The Secret Language of Symbols: A Visual Key to Symbols Their Meanings
    by David Fontana
  • The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols by Jean Chevalier (Author), Alain Gheerbrant (Author), John Buchanan-Brown (translator)



The Tarot Pages used in the featured image is from the Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti © 2004 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved, used by permission.

The Giant Rider-Waite Tarot and the Rider-Waite Tarot used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902.  c. U.S. Games Systems, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Rider-Waite is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems.

Note: the Courts information has been revised June 7, 2017

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