Ten Reasons Why People Find It Hard to Learn Tarot

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 2

Ten Reasons Why People

Find it Hard to Learn Tarot

And How YOU Can

Overcome ALL of Them!

A Free E-book

by Don McLeod

Copyright Notice

Copyright © 2011 by Don McLeod All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and recording, or by any information

storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author. Requests for permission are to be made through MisterTarot@yahoo.com.au

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Contents

Introduction ... 4

Reason 1 - They Think Tarot is Too Complicated ... 6

Reason 2 - They Think There are Too Many Symbols to Learn ... 9

Reason 3 - They Don't Buy the Right Deck ... 12

Reason 4 - They Have Information Overload ... 15

Reason 5 - They Think it's Too Mystical or Spooky ... 18

Reason 6 - They are Scared of Some Images ... 20

Reason 7 - They Don't Have a Learning Plan ... 23

Reason 8 - They Don‟t Trust Their Intuition ... 24

Reason 9 - They Don't Have Someone for Practice Readings ... 26

Reason 10 - They Get Scared of Their Success! ... 27

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 4

Introduction

When I start talking to people about Tarot, I often hear the same response, ‘I bought a pack of Tarot cards years ago, and I still don’t know how to use them!’ Sometimes these people have collected substantial libraries of Tarot books, but they still struggle to be effective in their readings.

After more than 25 years of reading Tarot, and after talking to many people about these cards, I‟ve come to the conclusion that there are ten main reasons why people find it difficult to learn how to use and interpret Tarot. But don‟t despair! Even though there are lots of reasons why most people struggle with the cards, there are also easy solutions for overcoming all of these problem areas.

If you are a bit unsure of your Tarot reading skills,

this book will help you turn that around and become

the experienced, wise Tarot reader that you desire to be.

But before we go any further, I‟ll quickly cover some basics about Tarot, so that you are familiar with the terminology and nature of these cards.

Modern Tarot decks contain the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana represents important issues that affect your life, such as psychological habits and influences, spiritual truths, and life lessons. These cards show the underlying forces making an impact on your personal circumstances.

The cards called the Minor Arcana deal with daily life. They reveal information about finances, family matters, romance, health, friendships, and your career. There are 56 cards in this part of the Tarot deck, and they are similar to the style of modern day playing cards. Instead of Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades, they are divided into the suits of Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. Each suit also has four Court cards: Page, Knight, Queen, and King. The remaining cards for each suit are numbered from Ace to Ten.

The suits represent aspects of life, such as emotions, business matters, communication, and vitality. They also correspond with the elements and astrological signs.

Tarot readers use their cards to discover more about themselves, and to gain a glimpse of their future. These cards can also be used to do readings for other people, so you can offer some guidance about their lives. How is this possible? When you use Tarot cards to learn more about specific problems, your subconscious is helping you to choose certain cards which provide insight about the situation.

Using Tarot cards is a way of dipping into the subconscious for answers which may not be obvious to the conscious mind. When you have done a Tarot spread about a particular

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 5 situation, your subconscious picks up clues from the symbols on the cards, and in conjunction with your intuition, gives you inspiration about future possibilities.

This process may seem „magical‟, but it‟s also real. It happens in your everyday life even though you are not aware of it. Tor Norretranders, author of The User Illusion, says that in computer terms, the human brain can only process about 20 bits per second. However, through our various senses, we perceive about 12 million bits per second!

Norretranders suggests that most of this processing is done at a subconscious level, where this information gets filtered into digestible chunks of data. The subconscious mind is a powerhouse of symbolic manipulation. Apart from transferring manageable pieces of data to the logical part of the brain to integrate and use on a functional level, the subconscious also sends symbols to the objective mind when it needs to bring non-verbal information to its awareness.

Symbols are simple images that the subconscious uses to send subtle messages to the objective consciousness. The result is a hunch, gut feeling, or instinctive impression in the back of your mind. The secret is just to allow it to happen, and to trust your intuition. Through the development of your intuition, Tarot expands your consciousness and opens the door to a world of insight.

Now it‟s your turn to be part of this journey to Tarot Mastery.Keep reading and discover how you can overcome the problem areas that stop most people from becoming great Tarot readers.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 6

Reason 1 - They Think Tarot is Too Complicated

The limiting belief that most beginners face when they start to learn Tarot is that it seems far too complicated. After all, there are 78 cards, and Tarot books often suggest that there are many meanings for each card.

Most Tarot guides also state that there are opposing meanings when a card is „reversed‟ or upside-down within a spread. And then there are all those symbols to look out for. And what about all the astrological, numerological, and Kabbalistic correspondences?

No wonder most people give up after reading just a few chapters of so-called „beginner‟s guides‟ to Tarot.

But it‟s not as hard as you might imagine!

You could spend hours trying to memorise the traditional meanings of each card, but that is not necessary. Most of the meanings of the cards are obvious from the illustrations themselves. For example, look at the following cards.

These cards are from the suit of Wands. If you think that the card on the left features people having a celebration, and that the card on the right shows a man struggling to carry a bundle of sticks (wands), you have interpreted these cards correctly! If you were doing a Tarot

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 7 reading for yourself or another, you would then fit these interpretations within the context of the question asked. That wasn‟t too hard, was it?

In some of the other cards, the imagery is a bit more detailed and the meaning may not be quite as obvious. If you take your time, however, and have a closer look, you should be able to gain an understanding of the card‟s meaning. It becomes even easier when you know just a few key words relating to the suits, and these are

easy to learn too.

For example, when you know that the suit of Swords is about thoughts and their expression, it‟s easy to see that the lady in this picture is having trouble sleeping because she is worried and upset. Therefore, appropriate interpretations for this card are: fear, sorrow, and confusion. From these few examples, you can see how easy it is to decipher the meanings of the cards. You don‟t need to study them intently for years in order to be able to interpret them correctly. Through your initial response to the basic imagery of the cards, your intuition guides you to their meaning.

Learning Tarot may seem overwhelming at first, but by focusing on the basics and taking it one step at a time, the meanings of the cards will

become clear. First of all, learn which cards are the Major Arcana and which ones are the Minor Arcana. Take time to look through them and write down your immediate, instinctive feelings about them. Do the characters in the image seem happy or sad? Do they look as though they are adventurous or shy? Is the card filled with bright colours and energy, or subdued hues and serenity?

After making a few notes detailing your thoughts about the cards, pick up a Tarot book and look through the traditional meanings. See which of your interpretations match these standard interpretations.

Learning the meanings of the suits is another straightforward step. All of the cards in the suit of Cups relate to the realm of the emotions. Pentacles are the suit of finance and business. The suit of Swords is all about the mental plane—your thoughts, worries, fears and decision-making ability. Wands are cards of energy, enthusiasm, and passion. With these key words you can fine-tune your interpretations and have an immediate sense of what the card is likely to be about.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 8 The final stage to learning the cards is to look for the symbols on each card and discover how they help to refine the overall meaning of the image. For example, the card on the left is from the suit of Pentacles, so its interpretation is going to involve money or financial security.

From the symbols on the card, such as the bunches of grapes, the flowers, and the abundance of vegetation around him, it is obvious that this is a card of prosperity, not poverty.

The carvings of bulls‟ heads on the top of the throne suggest the earthy, practical nature of a materially successful business person. This card represents the individual who enjoys the lavish lifestyle and status of a monarch.

The overall impression is of wealth and opulence, and the additional symbols support this notion. In my blog www.MisterTarot.com and through my Tarot books, you will learn how to make interpretations by looking at the overall image and taking note of the symbols on the cards. I teach an intuitive method, as opposed to learning all of the meanings by rote. And you will discover the many practical and spiritually-affirming ways these cards can be used in your life.

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Reason 2 - They Think There are Too Many Symbols to Learn

I don‟t deny it—Tarot cards do have lots of symbols on them. That‟s part of their charm. That‟s what makes them so useful for divination. Having lots of symbols doesn‟t make Tarot harder to learn; it makes it easier!

The good news is that you don‟t have to learn all of the symbols that you see on each card. The important thing to remember about symbols is that you instinctively know what most of them mean. For example, gold coins represent riches, whereas clothing made from rags indicates poverty.

As mentioned in the previous chapter, there are many symbols within the images of the Tarot cards. Some are obvious, and some have been deliberately hidden by the designer of the cards. In the card on the left, you see a bitterly cold scene. The characters are without shelter or warmth. Their clothes are tattered rags and their feet are barely covered. Neither person looks healthy.

The focus of the scene is poverty and illness. In this card, the whole image is a symbol of destitution.

Compare this to the scenery in the card called The Empress (right). This card shows opulence, fertility, and the life-affirming forces of nature.

The whole card suggests abundance and beauty. In this case, extra clues are given to reinforce this interpretation. The symbol of Venus indicates that she has Goddess qualities relating to femininity, and rulership over heaven and earth.

The corn at her feet represents fecundity, fruitfulness and growth. Even the base of her sceptre is in the form of a corn cob.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 10 Usually, the symbols support each other to describe the overall theme for the card, so it‟s not necessary to learn all of them; it‟s just a matter of noticing them and gaining a feeling as to what the card is trying to tell you.

In the Major Arcana, some of the main characters are „archetypal‟ symbols. That is to say, the most obvious person shown in the image is portrayed in such a way that his/her

nature can be universally recognised and comprehended on an inner level by everyone. So, on a subconscious level you connect with this archetypal image, and your mind turns this information into „psychic‟ messages, offering the information that you seek.

The Emperor is a good example of an archetypal image. He is the father figure—a strict authoritarian with a firm attitude and a stern face.

On the armrests and top of the throne are the sculpted heads of rams—these are masculine symbols of virility, reinforcing the manly, dominating nature of this card. In the everyday world, the card called The Emperor is reflected in positions such as the high ranking executive of a large corporation, or perhaps a judge, or a police officer. All of these are Emperors of their own worlds, especially if they are forceful, serious people who like to get the job done with minimal fuss.

The Emperor is seen as the archetypal image of the father figure, because the quality of leadership and organisational ability, along with characteristics like vigour and strength, seem appropriate (and feel obvious) when you look at this card. You don‟t need a book of symbols to tell you that rams are figures of masculinity. You don‟t need a reference book to tell you that the crown on his head symbolises a position of authority and lordly, imposing characteristics. It‟s obvious that his stone throne is the opposite of the Empress‟s voluptuous lounge, and that this represents a harsh nature—as opposed to her soft, comforting personality.

Most of these symbols are obvious clues which impact upon your mind when you look at this card. However, you may not register some of the understated parts of the imagery that

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 11 support this archetypal construct. For example, most of his suit of armour is hidden beneath his robe; nevertheless, subliminal messages such as the armour help to build the overall picture of the universally recognised protector.

When learning Tarot, the symbols are important, but you don‟t need to get hung up on whether you consciously notice all of them. Symbols are used in Tarot as a way of bringing subtle awareness to the nature of the card. As time goes on, you‟ll find symbols that you hadn‟t noticed before, and you will see how they support the focus of the image as a whole.

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Reason 3 - They Don't Buy the Right Deck

When I bought my first deck of Tarot cards, I unwittingly bought a pack called the Marty Yeager Tarot. I had no knowledge of Tarot, and didn‟t realise how much of a difference there was between decks.

The Yeager Tarot has some beautiful images throughout the Major Arcana, but the Minor Arcana is not fully illustrated. Below left is an example from the suit of Cups. On its right is the same card from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck.1 The Yeager deck is called a non-standard pack, because it is not fully based on the complete set of Rider-Waite cards. The Minor Arcana has Court Cards, but the numbered cards are depicted only as fixed images of the appropriate number of items, for example: two cups, or four wands. Only the Major Arcana images are similar to the Rider-Waite deck.

When you look at the cards below, ask yourself which one suggests interpretations such as friendship, partnership, or romance? Learning the meanings of the cards from the little booklet that comes with a non-standard Tarot deck is possible, but for most people it is a struggle because the picture does not match the wording given as its interpretation.

Yeager Meditation Deck Rider-Waite Tarot

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The Rider-Waite deck is sometimes described as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, in order to acknowledge the artist. Rider was the publishing company, A. E. Waite was the designer, and Pamela Colman-Smith was the artist.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 13 The Ten of Cups is another example of how the non-illustrated Minor Arcana of the Yeager Tarot limits a person‟s ability to make good interpretations. In the Rider-Waite card shown below on the right, it‟s easy to see the traditional meanings of a happy family, or a joyful time, whereas the card lower left just shows ten cups floating in space.

Because of its popularity, the Rider-Waite Tarot is now seen as the „standard‟ style of modern Tarot decks. Many of the new styles of Tarot are heavily based on this pack. When you are first learning to use Tarot cards, it is recommended that you purchase the Rider-Waite deck. Most Tarot books—especially beginner‟s guides—describe Tarot imagery based upon this deck. Most interpretations of the cards given in books and on websites relate to the pictures on this pack.

Although the designs on the Rider-Waite pack look a bit simplistic compared to some of the newer versions, such as the colourful Universal-Waite deck, and the aptly named

Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot cards, there are good reasons for buying the basic deck.

When new versions of the Rider-Waite decks are created, the outlines are hand copied by artists before being coloured. Because of this, mistakes creep in. Some of the subtle, yet significant, imagery has been deleted or significantly changed in later versions of the Rider-Waite Tarot, and sometimes this can cause confusion during a card‟s interpretation.

For example, in the original version of the Temperance card, on top of the angel‟s gown, and written in Hebrew from right to left, is the divine name, Yod He Vav He. In newer versions of

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 14 the Tarot, such as the Universal-Waite deck, those words have simply become folds at the top of the white gown.

In the interpretation booklet that comes with this newer deck, it is stated that the angel represents, “Moderation. Temperance. Patience. Accomplishment through self-control and frugality. Accommodation. Harmony. The mixing or bringing together into perfect union. Management. Fusion. Adjustment. Good influence. Consolidation. Successful combination.” If you were able to see the Yod He Vav He words on the gown, you would realise that the angel is more than these simplistic qualities and in your interpretation of this card you might see this angel as a divine messenger bringing light into consciousness.

This is just one example of how significant changes have accidentally crept into the designs of the cards over the last century. When reading about a card‟s interpretation, it is easy to be confused if the description doesn‟t match the style of Tarot cards that you are using.

Original outline drawings for Rider-Waite deck Universal-Waite version

Tarot now has diverse genres, with various themes ranging from Egyptian (Ancient Egyptian Tarot Deck) to Vampires (Gothic Tarot of Vampires). Most of these newer decks are based on the Rider-Waite pack. Novelty decks are also common. The Ferret Tarot and the Housewives Tarot are two good examples of the humorous decks now available.

Another independent, non-standard form of Tarot is the oracle deck. Oracle cards are rarely based on the Rider-Waite designs and often have a different number of cards to the 78 standard images. As with Tarot, oracle decks are used for divination or meditation, but that is their only link to mainstream Tarot. Oracle cards have a wide range of themes—from angels to zodiac signs.

A standard pack of Rider-Waite cards is the best starting point when learning how to read Tarot. Most books on this subject refer to its iconic imagery. After gaining a „feel‟ for divination, you can then use any form of Tarot cards or oracle cards for your readings.

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Reason 4 - They Have Information Overload

Most Tarot enthusiasts start their training by purchasing a pack of cards and reading a Tarot book. Then they buy another book and read that too. Afterwards, when they compare notes, they find that each book has a different approach and probably gives slightly different meanings to the cards.

Assuming that both books are based on the same style of cards, such as the Rider-Waite deck, the learner is now confused. They say to themselves, „Which approach should I take?‟ So they buy another book to see which way to proceed. And they find that this latest book leads them on a new journey, and looks at Tarot from yet another point of view.

Tarot websites can provide another unwelcome distraction. People spend hours poring over the information available online, and then getting sidetracked by Tarot forums, blogs, and the plethora of data available from all sorts of self-titled „experts‟.

If a new Tarot deck is bought so they can compare designs, then they really become baffled! The new set of cards may have less than the standard 78 cards—or more. In the Major Arcana sequence, the card Justice may be called card 8, instead of card 11.2 Or the deck may not be categorised into Major Arcana and Minor Arcana sections. The variations are endless.

Why isn‟t there a standard guideline for Tarot?

Why do so many authors disagree on the same topic?

Reading Tarot cards is an art in itself. There are no fixed meanings for the cards; the interpretation of each image is based on the reader‟s intuitive response to the symbols on the cards. Therefore, each author brings their unique vision to the process of reading and interpreting the cards.

In the mind of the beginner, confusion can then become amplified if they start taking into account some of Tarot‟s affiliated disciplines. Fields such as astrology, numerology and the Kabbalah are often linked to Tarot. Trying to master all of these subjects at once is impossible. Don‟t get caught up in all of this. You will have plenty of time later to explore these optional extras.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 16 To become proficient in Tarot, it‟s best for beginners to focus on one book and one deck3. This is the key that will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed by the huge amount of information available these days.

Amongst the hundreds of Tarot books on the shelves of metaphysical bookshops, how do you find the right book to start you off? This is obviously an extremely important part of the learning process. Choosing the wrong book can seriously hinder the learning process. On my website www.MisterTarot.com, you‟ll find lots of reviews for recently published Tarot

books. Reputable authors such as Mary K. Greer, Rachel Pollack, and Paul Fenton-Smith have written many fine books suitable for beginners and professional readers. Check there first for a series of unbiased reviews of good Tarot books.

One of my main recommendations was first printed in 1980. The title is Seventy-Eight

Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack. Because of its innovative style and the quality of its

content, for decades it has rightly been called the bible of Tarot reading.

On that same website you will also find an e-book written by me. Real Tarot is a comprehensive volume of information that teaches the basics of Tarot, before bringing you to a deeper understanding of the meanings of the cards.

After buying your first book, take your time absorbing the lessons and working your way through the exercises suggested. Learn the basics, and try doing a few of the spreads suggested by the author before buying more books. After gaining a rudimentary ability in Tarot card reading, then move on to the next book and absorb that information. Fit these new ideas around the concepts you learnt in the first Tarot guide.

If you discover a differing opinion about a particular method or concept, allow your comprehension of Tarot

to evolve and broaden, rather than hastily discarding the

information found originally.

The main way to avoid information overload is just to make a start! Grab a book and start reading. Over-thinking all the options will leave you stranded and confused. As coaching professionals like to point out, making a decision and taking that first step towards your goal is how you avoid analysis paralysis.

It‟s also beneficial to take your time learning about the cards. Don‟t expect to be a knowledgeable, professional reader in only a few weeks. Cramming information will not make you into an expert—discovering the nature of the cards, practicing Tarot techniques, and having a commitment to a learning plan is the key to becoming a Tarot Master.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 17 Attempting too much in a short period of time is also a recipe for becoming disillusioned with the learning process. Being slow and thorough, and taking one small step at a time, is the answer to Tarot proficiency.

‘Whatever you can do,

or dream you can do,

begin it.

Boldness has genius,

power, and magic in it!’

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Reason 5 - They Think it's Too Mystical or Spooky

Tarot has a reputation. If you mention the word Tarot amongst friends or work colleagues, you will undoubtedly get some worried looks. People are often afraid of things they don‟t understand. Hollywood movies and television shows have made matters worse by their sensationalist portrayal of Tarot readers, and a gruesome depiction of what happens to those who dare to dabble with the occult.

It may surprise and amuse you to learn that at one time Tarot was described as The Devil’s Picturebook. Seventeenth century moralists considered the Court cards to be representations of pagan gods. They felt that those who used any form of playing cards were, in their minds, worshipping false idols. It is ironic, then, to realise that the first Tarot card designs included Christian principles in the illustrations, and they were simply used for a card game.

One main reason why people feel uncomfortable around Tarot cards is they assume that if you tell the future with the cards, then that prophecy must come true. People forget that the future is not fixed. We have free will to intervene and make changes to our circumstances. An experienced Tarot reader can help you to be aware of possible outcomes in the future. If you don‟t like the cards that turn up in a reading, a reader can provide guidance to help you to rearrange that future.

In a reading you are being given the most likely outcome, based on your thoughts and actions at that point in time. You are free to accept this outcome, or make decisions

as to how to create a different future.

The other main reason why people fear Tarot cards is that they are worried they will be told when they are going to die. This is not the role of Tarot cards, or reputable Tarot readers. The aim of a good Tarot reader is to support and guide the client in positive, meaningful directions. Associating dire predictions of doom with Tarot is a result of cheap fiction, a lack of understanding of Tarot‟s true purpose, and irrational fears.

Tarot cards are as harmless as normal playing cards.

Uninformed people also like to tell horror stories of entities, or bad energies, being attached to Tarot cards. Malevolent beings that supposedly dwell within the cards are thought to be able to affect the person doing the readings or the individual having a Tarot reading. This is purely a superstitious notion of non-existent, supernatural influence.

At the other end of the spectrum, some people regard Tarot with a sense of awe and wonder! Many authors have tried to capitalise on this blind devotion by writing books glorifying the cards as a mystical and magical predictive tool. There are many mystical symbols on the cards, such as the rose, and stars, and the lion, but these signs are simply there to provide an

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 19 easier interpretation of the card. These mystical symbols will not automatically transport you into a vague, altered state of consciousness without your consent.

Tarot is full of symbols, but they are not as obscure or strange as you might imagine. You don‟t have to be an occultist or a psychic to use Tarot. You don‟t have to be a mystic to understand the cards, and Tarot, in itself, won‟t turn you into a mystical person.

Despite the fact that Tarot isn‟t too mystical, it is often stated that Tarot has spiritual connections—this is because you can use the illustrations on Tarot cards for meditation and contemplation. The images of the Major Arcana can be seen as a journey of spiritual evolution, but this is an extension of Tarot usage.

You don‟t need to learn the esoteric side of Tarot.

If you only want to use Tarot to look at future possibilities, then you don‟t have to look at its spiritual side at all! Like the extra functions found on a mobile phone, you can search for those options if you want to expand upon its standard usage, or you can simply avail yourself of its basic form.

There is no need to fear Tarot cards. Tarot is about developing your intuition and tapping into your hidden potential to learn more about yourself and the possibilities around you. It‟s about personal awareness, the choices you make in life, and the results of those decisions.

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Reason 6 - They are Scared of Some Images

Most of the pictures on Tarot cards are lovely! They show empowering qualities such as confidence, spiritual wisdom, serenity, and love. These images are filled with light, colour and vitality, reflecting positive messages from the cards. However, there are a few images that may seem frightening to some people.

Unfortunately, in order to create sensationalism, films and television shows have focused on a few of the cards that are illustrated in a graphic manner. Death, The Devil, and The Tower are the main ones featuring scenes that some may find disturbing.

Because the media have attributed frightening results to these cards, people tend to be unsettled when these images turn up in a Tarot spread.

But they are not as bad as you think. First observations do not necessarily give a full appreciation for the meanings of these cards. Tarot cards are symbolic representations of all aspects of life, including some of the darker themes, such as endings, temptations, and chaotic disturbance to your normal routines.

Keep in mind that you need endings to have opportunities for a new start. You have to experience temptation in order to feel righteous. There is a feeling of chaos whenever unworkable or unreasonable circumstances finally break down.

The cards shown above represent change, fear, and disorder—sometimes coming about in dramatic fashion. But the Death card does not necessarily mean physical death.4 The Devil

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When the Death card turns up in a spread, it doesn‟t represent the physical death of an individual, unless it‟s within a rare combination of particular cards.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 21 card certainly does not mean the mythic creature called Satan. And The Tower card does not mean that you are going to be struck by lightning!

You don‟t need to be scared if these cards turn up in a spread.

When these cards appear in a reading, their message is truly one of significance. An incredible shift relating to lifestyle or awareness is imminent. They are powerful cards because they suggest major life lessons are about to be experienced. They look daunting, and to be honest, they represent issues or situations that are likely to be uncomfortable at first. Importantly, they also indicate situations that cannot remain as they are.

Like an infected tooth that needs to be pulled from your mouth so that healing may begin, these cards show circumstances that have to be dealt with ruthlessly and completely, so that you can move forward and bring about transformation in your life.

Looking deeper within each of these cards, you will see hints of the positive energies that will eventually come about after the initial shock of their disruptive energy wears off. Underlying their sinister exterior, they each contain noteworthy symbols that reveal uplifting qualities.

In the Death card, the water in the background is the flow of life, and beyond this, the „sun of immortality‟5

is setting behind the gates of death.

The Devil looks like a monstrous beast, but he is like Prometheus, the God of Greek mythology who brought the gift of fire to mankind. The Devil holds a flaming torch which brings enlightenment to difficult situations.

In the image of The Tower there are more flames, a lightning bolt, and lots of yellow yods which fall to the ground alongside an unfortunate couple. Yod is the first letter in the name of the Hebrew God. In Tarot they are seen as spiritual blessings. Yods show that regardless of how chaotic and destructive a situation may seem, support from a higher source and from the deepest reserves of your inner strength is available to you. They indicate that better things are sure to arrive after the initial time of disorder has settled.

The lightning flash is destructive, but it is also illuminating! It demolishes this unrealistic tower of egotism. It‟s a bolt of enlightenment in the darkness of false beliefs.

The tower in this card represents an untenable situation, one that was going to fall apart eventually. Its gift is that the changes happen swiftly. If you focus on the crumbling framework of the old situation, it will seem like a destructive process. The lesson here is to look at the new opportunities that this demolition brings to your life.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 22 The gray clouds show that this is a time of sadness, but those yellow yods mean it is not as bad as it seems. This period of change is going to be tumultuous, but it needed to happen to shake you from your fantasy world.

When this card turns up in a reading, be aware of the yods, not just the collapsing tower. These symbols ask you to summon belief in your own abilities and to combine it with universal forces to forge ahead and stand tall upon the rubble of your old life.

In the Minor Arcana, there are illustrations of family life, work opportunities, choices to be made, romance to be found, and adventures to be undertaken. Amongst these beautiful images, there are a few distressing scenes too. Once again, these pictures do not necessarily mean horrible circumstances are waiting around the corner. At first glance, they may seem intimidating, but when you are doing a Tarot reading, you are not just looking at just one card; you are taking into account all of the images in a spread. You take note of the various combinations of cards to determine the full extent of a situation.

Tarot readers look at card combinations within a layout.

A depressing scene on one card is often tempered by the surrounding images, showing that awkward circumstances are short-lived.

Sometimes the conjunction of helpful cards indicates that while a problem seems dreadful, it‟s not as unfortunate as the client believes.

Some Tarot cards appear to have disturbing images on them, but on closer inspection, and in the light of understanding of all the factors, they can simply be seen as challenges which must be overcome in order to gain true balance in life.

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Reason 7 - They Don't Have a Learning Plan

Most new students of Tarot are keen and passionate about this subject at first. The colours and vibrancy of the cards draw them in. They find the cards to be a mysterious, intriguing, daring adventure into the unknown. They love the concept of being able to tap into the universal consciousness for insight and personal growth, and they are excited about the idea of being able to foresee the future.

Unfortunately, it‟s easy to lose this spark of enthusiasm when faced with the seemingly monumental amount of information they feel they must absorb before starting to use the cards.

Most people forget much of what they read, but remember most of what they actively do. Therefore, having a learning plan is important. It can make an apparently insurmountable mass of information possible to overcome, because it breaks it down into manageable chunks of ideas and tasks. By setting yourself easy targets, the objective of learning Tarot becomes realistic and results are easier to achieve.

Reading books about Tarot can stimulate the mind. Taking the cards into your hands and doing some practical exercises will fill you with

enthusiasm and a much greater understanding of Tarot.

Interaction with the cards in the form of hands-on activities and practical exercises opens the

mind and produces a personal connection with the Tarot images. A multifaceted approach that also includes meditations and visualizations helps you to enlarge upon the standard meanings of the cards. Following a structured learning plan of this type brings about a highly meaningful learning experience.

Active participation gives you the opportunity to gain knowledge about Tarot through a balance of analytical and intuitive means. It also helps you to learn more about yourself and your relationship to the cards.

On the MisterTarot.com website, you can find a series of exercises to help you learn Tarot more effectively. It‟s in the form of an e-book called the Real Tarot Workbook. It‟s the companion volume of Real Tarot, but it can be used independently if desired.

The workbook contains simple steps for fast development of your Tarot reading skills.

The Workbook is your call to action. Use this Workbook as your learning plan. It‟s the best way to ensure success as a Tarot reader.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 24

Reason 8 - They Don‟t Trust Their Intuition

It takes a huge leap of faith to trust your inner self. Since childhood, we have heard phrases like I’ll believe it when I see it! In school, we are told to use reason and logic in order to work out a problem. Not all of the answers can be discovered this way.

Intuition is that niggling thought at the back of your mind while you are trying desperately to find the solution to a problem. It‟s the hunch that turns out to be right, despite being the least likely possibility from a rational point of view.

Intuition is what Tarot readers use when they look at the cards laid out before them in a spread. It‟s those fleeting thoughts or feelings that gently move in and out of their consciousness as they focus on the cards. A good Tarot reader will grasp those concepts and put them into words and try to explain the ephemeral messages they are given.

Unfortunately, it sometimes seems easier to play it safe and ignore these clues. It can be daunting to blurt out, “I see that you‟ve made plans to live in Kazakhstan!” But if this is what we see, hear, or feel somewhere deep in our being, then this is what we must say.

Intuition is an incredible resource, an amazing tool that is underused in modern times. You don‟t need to wait until you have Tarot cards in front of you in order to start using it. This innate ability presents itself every day—you just have to learn how to be aware of its presence.

“Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain,

but simply points the way.”

- Florence Scovel Shinn (author)

In your daily life, you probably come across situations that simply don‟t make sense. These occasions are an ideal opportunity to allow your mind to link with random patterns and offer intuitive solutions. Some people are naturally aware of their intuition and they make use of it constantly. That‟s a great talent to have, and it‟s one that you, too, can nurture. The first step towards this state of mind is to acknowledge that information coming from your intuition is just as valid as data from your other senses.

It‟s also important to realise that your intuition will have a hard time getting through to your mind when you are fully focused, stressed, or when your brain is overly active. People‟s minds are often more active than a jungle full of monkeys at feeding time! To give your intuition an opportunity to break through to your conscious mind, you have to give it access. This means that you have to know how to make the objective part of your brain passive and still. Meditation is the key.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 25 Each day, take the time for some quiet attunement. Even ten minutes a day will be enough. You don‟t need to focus on anything—you don‟t even need to chant Om. Just relax and allow your mind to be at peace. After a month or so, you‟ll notice a big difference in your ability to seek that quiet space within the mind, and you‟ll start to look forward to your meditation time.

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” Albert Einstein

When you are doing a Tarot reading and an intuitive flash arrives at the forefront of your mind, don‟t ignoring it; let it to come to the surface. Act on it. Let it loose. Don‟t be afraid to give voice to your intuition. Ask your client what they think the intuitive message means. If they don‟t see the connection between their life and what you are trying to describe, you can always fall back on the standard interpretations of the cards instead.

“Intuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem

to the answer.”

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 26

Reason 9 - They Don't Have Someone for Practice Readings

After you‟ve discovered the meanings of the cards, what do you do next? It‟s time to put your knowledge to the test. It‟s time to do some readings. This is where some people‟s progress comes to an end. They think they know how to use the cards, but they don‟t have anyone to do readings for.

For religious reasons, or if they are superstitious, family members may be scared of Tarot and won‟t want to have their cards read. Friends may not like the idea of revealing their personal lives to you through the cards. Or maybe you don‟t want family and friends to know of your latest interest! Regardless of the reasons, it‟s important to do some practice readings, so that you can fine-tune your ideas about the cards‟ interpretations.

Here are a few ideas to give your Tarot-reading skills a kick start.

If you don‟t feel comfortable doing readings for others, or if you don‟t have that opportunity just yet, why not do readings for yourself? At first you might find it difficult to be objective about your situation. Sometimes a person feels that their hope for a favourable outcome can distort the actual meanings of the cards.

One way to avoid colouring the interpretation of a Tarot spread is to stick with the standard meanings of each card. Using this method means you won‟t be giving full rein to your intuition, but at least you can test your knowledge of the basic key wording associated with each card.

Keep in mind that you can still do readings for others, even if they are not in front of you. You might decide to do a reading about a friend‟s workplace issues, or their latest romance. Of course, it would be unethical to discuss the results of your reading with that person—after all, they did not give consent for you to look into their future. However, after some time has passed, through general conversations with them, you should be able to ascertain whether your predictions about their life have come true.

Another option is to do free online readings for strangers. www.aeclectic.net/Tarot is a useful

website for this. See their forum section, where you can post and receive readings from other Tarot beginners and experts. Reading for someone online isn‟t as much fun as being able to get immediate feedback from a supportive person sitting opposite you, but it‟s much better than doing a reading for someone who isn‟t really interested in having a reading done. And far better than not doing readings at all!

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 27

Reason 10 - They Get Scared of Their Success!

When you start doing Tarot readings, it won‟t take long until you are amazed by the number of successful predictions you are making.

By doing readings for yourself about your job, your relationship, and your finances, you will soon be able to gauge whether your interpretations of the cards are on the right track. There is also one other area worth doing a reading about—check with the Tarot cards for information about any unsuspecting events that you should be aware of. This is one of the major strengths of the Tarot—you can discover potential problems and possible bonuses that are coming your way.

Make sure you choose short timeframes for your readings so that you can judge the accuracy of your interpretations. Don‟t be too upset if your predictions don‟t exactly match

reality at first—this is a stage when you are learning about the subtleties of the cards‟ meanings.

When doing your readings, if you made notes about the layout of the cards, return to them after the timeframe has ended. Look again at the cards that came up. Think about your interpretation and discover why you chose those meanings. Then work out what you should have noticed in the symbols so you improve your interpretations next time.

Getting predictions correct is exciting, but it can also frighten some people. „Where did that information come from?‟ they ask themselves.

This is the time to remember that Tarot is a simple process of using your intuition. Keep in mind that the cards themselves are not magical. Your ability as a Tarot reader to still your mind and connect with the symbols of the cards has given you an opportunity to gain a glimpse of future possibilities. It‟s not a gift bestowed by supernatural elements; it‟s a talent that can be developed even further. If you remember this and make the effort to do regular Tarot readings, you‟ll have even more success.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 28

Resources

Knowing how to use Tarot is empowering. The results from Tarot are amazing. Now, using the resources shown below, the process of learning Tarot is easier than it‟s ever been!

Imagine being able to make the right choices every time. When you are able to consult the Tarot you will discover the best option between two or more choices. For example,

If I apply for that new job, will it be worthwhile? Is this school going to be good for my children? If I move house, will it be a good change? Will this business be a good investment?

Consulting your Tarot cards will give clear guidance to help you make those decisions. You can consult the Tarot cards about many other areas too.

Will my financial situation improve in the near future? What does my partner really think of me?

What is the possibility of a new romance this year?

Situations like these immediately become easy to determine with the help of a Tarot reading.

Using Tarot to discover outcomes from various choices can be life changing.

Tarot as a meditation experience is enriching to the soul, and it can lead you along an inspirational path of spiritual growth. Tarot can also be used for very mundane purposes, such as deciding which car to purchase, or working out which holiday package will suit you best.

The ability to make crystal clear decisions is available to you as a Tarot reader.

It‟s time to put aside your doubts, pick up your cards, and formulate a learning plan so that you, too,

can enjoy the benefits of personal insight and an awareness of what the future may bring.

On the website www.MisterTarot.com, you will find a large range of information and insight into the world of Tarot. Its articles and posts detail the historical background of the cards, Tarot‟s role in meditation techniques, ideas for spreads, and their use in everyday situations. The website also contains a range of books for beginners and experts. They have been designed to help you discover the most effective ways to begin your own incredible journey into the Tarot.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 29 The e-book Real Tarot teaches the fundamentals

of Tarot in an easy to understand fashion.  It‟s easy to read.

 It‟s practical.

 It‟s a serious look at Tarot.

Contains useful tips for beginners

and experienced users of the cards.

It is available here for only $9.99 (AUD)

The Real Tarot Workbook has step-by-step guidance for discovering how to read Tarot cards.

 This Workbook is your Learning Plan.  It includes visualizations, hands-on

activities, and practical exercises.

 There are 140 pages of Tarot expertise

waiting to be unlocked by your mind.

 Follow its simple steps to Tarot Mastery. It is available here for only $9.99 (AUD)

The Tarot Training Newsletter includes the following...  Articles on Tarot cards and spreads.

 Further instructions on the use of Tarot.  A section detailing the interpretations of

„difficult‟ cards.

 Listings of Tarot-related events being held

around the world.

 Each edition will have a special feature

focusing on one special card.

Four editions are published each year. They are sent direct to your Inbox via email.

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Ten Reasons Why People Find it Hard to Learn Tarot 30 A. E. Waite, the designer of the modern Tarot deck, wrote The

Pictorial Key to the Tarot in 1910. This is not a beginner‟s

guide. It‟s suitable only for serious students of Tarot symbolism.

 This e-book is for those who want to learn more about the

metaphysical symbols placed in the imagery of each card.

It is available here for only $4.99 (AUD)

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References

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