Thursday, March 31, 2016

Step One for Geeks

If you're tuning in, I've been covering two alternate approaches to learning tarot card meetings.  Last time, I laid out an approach for people interested in an intuitive approach.  Today, I'm presenting an approach for people who are pumped up about the structure of trumps, suits, and court cards!

Step One for Geeks

You finally found a deck that meets your specifications: It's legible, cheap and not ugly. Let's get with the reading already, geez!

I'm right there with you, friend.  For you, we are skipping the meditation step.  But that doesn't mean you still don't spend some time with your deck!  Before diving right into definitions, go through the deck and make two decks based on your instinct: is this a friendly card or a mean card?  Don't worry too much about what that means (I'm asking you to tap into your Mystic side here a bit), just toss them suckers into piles based on your gut response.  Do this once a day for a couple days.  Try to pay attention to whether or not some cards "change sides," depending on your mood.

But you won't be spending too much time on this; after all, you have chosen the Geek path (we are legion).  No, you're gonna make a CHART.  With CATEGORIES.  You will also be going to the library and picking out a book on tarot that resonates with you (or take a Closer Look with me!).  For the Geek approach, I like the "Tarot Dictionary and Compendium" by Jana Riley because it offers many different interpretations, but be careful not to be overwhelmed by it.

Here's part of the first chart I ever made as an example.
For your chart, you are going to create four columns, one for each suit.  Your rows will be the numbered cards, Ace through King/Queen.  Each cell in the chart corresponds to a card, and you are going to pick a couple key words (no more than three!) for each card.  Maybe that doesn't seem like a rich enough reading of each card.  Too bad; you picked the Geek path!  I'm kidding; though three key words may not seem like enough, once you start putting cards together in readings, the complexity will emerge.

For trump cards, you'll be putting them in their numbered order and creating a story that helps you remember their meanings; it's not as tidy as a chart, but it gives you a mnemonic to help you memorize them.

As you start to memorize meanings and read simple spreads, you may find that particular cards are really hard for you to remember, or that you are consistently trying to assign them a different meaning.  Don't fight too hard.  It's totally reasonable to flavor some of the card meanings with your own personal interpretation!

I hope that between these two Step Ones, you find an approach that feels manageable but fun.  Whether your a Mystic or a Geek or something else, these strategies should get you started!

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