As the lovely and talented @MeganB mentioned, I wrote poems to help connect me to the meanings. I still use the book and this site when drawing cards but I also try to read intuitively. It’s difficult for sure but you’ll get there!
I have read a couple of books on this. When my Kobo is charged, I will look at the title and send it to you.
To work on connecting with the cards you can flip them over and quickly say what you see. Give yourself three seconds per card max. It can be as simple as “cloud”, “charging ahead” ( I am thinking of the knight of wands on that one). You can do this many times over the days/weeks. You will start to see different things.
Daily draws can help too. Pull a card in the morning, read about it, see how it shows up in your day.
Meditations to enter the card can be fun too. This works if you tend to be more visual.
You can also draw two cards out, see how they are similar, or see how they are different. Again this is a rapid draw so you don’t think too much.
Another way is to lay out each suit on its own from
Ace to King, and the major arcana from fool to the world. Pick one set and tell a story starting from the ace or the fool. The suit can give you an idea of what the topic will be, e.g pentacles- resources or money or the earning thereof.
The major arcana tend to be about the soul’s journey and the other cards are more about daily matters. There is more about the court cards but that can be delved into later.
I know tarot readers who have been reading for more than 30 years and they will still look things up just to see if there is something else that will jump out at them.
I struggled with learning the card meanings too, and even after years of study there are still a handful of cards that have me second-guessing my readings. You’re not alone!
Learning tarot is like learning a new language- it takes time and practice to build up our “vocabulary” and feel confident “speaking” it It is tempting to feel frustrated when learning, so whenever you begin to feel stuck I would recommend taking a break and then switching up your method. The coven has shared some really great resources and advice here- feel free to experiment with the options! I am sure you will find some methods that click for you.
I’m cheering you on- stick with it and keep on going! You’ll find your confidence with the cards in time
It’s a struggle for sure, there’s a lot to remember! Something that helped me is I started with Oracle cards. Those can help get you in tune with reading intuitively. It can be easy to overthink. Also, be sure to go with a deck that really resonates with you. Sometimes finding one with lots of symbolism helps. The original tarot deck, even though all of the symbolism is there, doesn’t resonate with me at all (for example). The first deck I connected with and can read well, even though I have a hard time remembering the base card meanings off the top of my head, is the Mystical Cats Tarot. I loved the art and the cat theme.
A tip when picking a deck is to look at YouTube flip throughs, to see if the images pop out at you and pull at your intuition.
For base learning of the card meanings overall, the Labyrinthos app helped me a lot. It’s on android and iOS. It’s fun for general practice.
I’ve been reading tarot cards for at least a year now and I still don’t completely remember the meanings of all the cards. My suggestion is to familiarize yourself with the Major Arcana first and then move on to the Minor Arcana. I think that’s why I struggled at first because I was trying to memorize too much at once. Biddy Tarot is a great website to go to for all things Tarot.
Retaining Tarot meanings has been a challenge for me, too. In addition to the brilliant suggestions others have made, I would like to share one thing that’s helped me, which is placing myself within the card. For whatever card you pull, imagine you are the main figure within the card, interacting with the other symbols around it. Maybe just be an observer who watches the cards “main character” interact with what is around them. It’s a little like a visualization within the card.
@MeganB… it’s not stealing if you tell me about it
I have a journal that I can have made into different sizes (A4, A5, Etc…) to put into other planner types of holders. I have been using that for additional draws. It starts with 1 card & then goes to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & Celtic Cross. Then included is a blank lined page for your interpretations or notes on the reading.
I haven’t started using it again because I am only back to 3 cards at the most but it also gives you different options for what each card could be read as for the different amounts of cards in the readings. I had one last year (the same journal printed & put into my binder), but then… my life imploded & I moved away from Tarot for a long while. So to restart I had another one printed up after starting with the one card draw.
I’m really trying to read them intuitively, sometimes I am right on the money other times I’m like, where did that come from… so I am learning the suits over again. I know Cups is emotions/water… but the rest I can’t recall off the top of my head
When I realized there were correspondences, I got so excited. I love correspondences. One short cut as you are learning that I use is to use any elemental and astrology knowledge you have for the Court cards and the Minor Arcana. So they are all associated with one of the elements and they carry the strengths, feelings and challenges of those elements. If you are familiar with astrology, then you probably know that (generally speaking!) Air signs (swords) are associated with mental powers (Gemini, Aquarius, Libra), water signs (Cups) are associated with emotions (Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio), Earth signs (Pentacles) are associated with the tangible things in life, love and wealth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) and fire signs (Wands) are associated with passion, energy and conflict (Aries, Leo, Saggitarius). If you forget which is what (at least on the Rider Waite deck) there are clues for each element. So, if that is all you knew, if you saw a spread with a lot of water in it, you’d know it was about the feels! The Major Arcana have signs/elements, too, but they are not always as obvious, at least, from the art. Then you can go to the numbers - e.g., when I see a 2 I guess there is a decision or a partnership or pair of something. See the number chat from heuristictarot.tumblr.com (below)
It’s like you are hanging out in my space… correspondences & I get along swimmingly!
I did remember Cups being water/emotions… but I think that’s because I’m a Scorpio Sun & it was easy to remember & a lot of times with my main deck… those cups have imagery of water either flowing in, out or around the “cups” or “cauldrons” as it is with that particular deck.
I am going to borrow? Save? I’m not sure but those images are now on my computer in the tarot section of the BOS folder I have
Thank you so much @mary25 I’m going to copy the other things into my folder too & of course give you credit for the information being presented
That sounds like a good idea Again – I need to implement something like that lol I get so behind and caught up in life stuff that I forget to do my own readings. Heck, I even forgot to do my monthly reading for September and it’s already the 15th!
@mary25 – Those are handy little charts and tools to remember the cards! Don’t mind me, I’m going to save that to put in my own Book of Shadows lol
@mary25… just in case… your handy little charts may be saved by others, thank you for providing them to the coven! As always credit will be given to where we got them
@MeganB… listen there are days that I don’t get to my own readings. Take for example yesterday & so far this morning I have managed to do the collective readings for the coven. I think I will be doing my tarot later today, because I’m waiting to hear back from my husband about applying the sticker to the dump truck. He just has to bring the truck into his bay so I can do it & I have to find my level & smoother to apply it. So actually I should probably get downstairs & rummage through all the new places my crafting things ended up & have been moved around to… I love my kids, I love my kids, I love my kids…