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 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!