Learning to read tarot cards is not an easy task. I’ve been trying, and here’s what I’ve come to understand:
- While each card has a meaning, the meaning is still subjective. A lot of factors go into determining what a tarot spread is saying. First, you have to think about the spread in terms of how it’s responding to the question or audience. Second, you have to think about how the cards relate to one another. Third, there’s the “gut feeling” element: if you’re looking at a spread and you just feel compelled to blurt an answer that’s not presented in the cards, you have to weigh that out and decide if it’s the “right” answer or not.
- There are a lot of effing cards, okay? There are 78 cards in a tarot deck. And while every card has a couple of key words that can make reading them easier for a novice, their true meanings are often complex and sometimes conflicting. And the pictures? They’re meant to help, but it requires some contextual knowledge that takes as much study as just remembering the daggone cards. Which brings me to…
- Attempts to make it easy just make it more vague. It’s entirely possible to do one-card readings or readings using a smaller selection of cards. This can make it incredibly difficult to come up with a solid answer. Someone asking about a career change might pull Justice–a card which suggests (among other things) that the asker must prepare to make a decision and understand the cause and effect of their decisions. Well, duh! Pulling more cards might require more study and more subjectivity, but it’s also going to produce way more insights.
- Sometimes, the cards want to talk about something else. I’ve read advice from all sorts of tarot readers who say they’ve pulled readings that just didn’t make sense. While skeptics say this is a natural part of the random draw of cards, I’d argue that there’s always insight to be gleaned–even if it doesn’t directly apply to the question.
- Want a yes or no answer? HAHAHAHAHA Not gonna happen.