Can anyone learn to read Tarot?

Can anyone learn to read Tarot?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~ Lao Tzu

maj02Yes. Anyone can read tarot cards. The cards themselves are simply 78 pieces of paper with images placed onto them. Each card tells a story from your perspective and allows you to receive insight into various areas of life. You don’t have to be a psychic. You simply have to have the desire and dedication to learn what each card means to you.

I started reading tarot at one of the lowest points in my life and found that through tarot I could find reflection and focus. I purchased my first deck through Amazon, and along with that, my first tarot book (Tarot Plain and Simple). I remember being overwhelmed with the thought of having to learn 78 cards. 78! And then, to know that reversed cards had different meanings. So now I was to learn 156 cards! For a person who can barely remember yesterday, that was a large feat.

However, I pushed on.

Although I, and a lot of others, will say start with one card a day, I was too excited to learn as much as I could. I went straight to reading for others, all the while continuing my studying. I consumed everything I could on the tarot and then went on to study the other layers that make up a tarot card (for me that was numerology and astrology). Believe me, if I can learn tarot, you can, too.

Tarot is both a learned skill and an art. To thoroughly learn it, you’ll need to invest time, resources, and even money towards your skill. You’ll need to practice your art, and practice it often. There are numerous communities online where you can read for others for free, and you can often get very valuable feedback. Of course, you can also read for yourself, your family, your friends, and your greater community. Just… read.

So, how to do you get started?

Get a deck

Any deck will do, however, I recommend Rider-Waite. This deck is universally known, and most training resources will use these cards as guidelines. However, many people find that they work best with a deck that speaks directly to them. For finding a deck visit the website Aeclectic.com: there you’ll find plenty of decks to choose from.

Read books, read blogs, watch videos, join courses, listen to podcasts, find community

Learn the rules and then let them go. Reading is an intuitive and personal thing, but knowing some traditional guidelines and keywords will help you in the long-term. You want to set a solid foundation so that you don’t feel completely lost and overwhelmed.

Don’t get down on yourself if you don’t see what others see in the cards. Your unique life experience will help you develop your own understanding. Someone who lost everything in a fire will see fire differently than someone who hasn’t. I’ve created a list of resources here.

Begin with one card a day and journal your thoughts

Or two, or three. Just not enough to overwhelm yourself. Study the card.

  1. What do the images provoke for you?
  2. What colors are there?
  3. Are there people? If so, what are they doing?
  4. What story does this card tell, for you?
  5. What could this card mean for you today?

Write down your thoughts and keep a journal. If you aren’t a paper kind of person, I recommend using WordPress (or any other blog system) and Evernote for all of the information you’ll find. 

Oh, the Android App Galaxy Tarot is fantastic for on-the-go learning — plus it includes a journal.

Practice with others — every day.

Reading for others will give you an understanding of how certain cards tell a story for different types of questions. It’ll also give you ample opportunity to practice reading cards, so that you don’t ask the same questions about yourself over and over.

Ready? Set. Go! Happy reading.

Journey through the tarot: The Fool

Journey through the tarot: The Fool

“With Great Risk Comes Great Reward” – Thomas Jefferson

  • thefoolhobbitName: The Fool (0)
  • Sign/Planet: Uranus (Aquarius)
  • House: 11th – groups, friendships, community, brotherhood, mankind
  • Element: Air – intellectual, communication, logic
  • Colors: blue – peace,calm,emotions; yellow – joy, intellect; white – purity
  • Numerology: 0 – new beginning
  • Initial thoughts:  new beginning, travel, journey, going out, rebirth
  • Upright: going on a new adventure; having a new start; taking a risk; innocent
  • Reversed:  foolishness, recklessness
  • Symbols: sun – hope; mountain – journey; dog – conscience
  • Character/person: Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings) – travels on a long adventure despite risks and doubts

Personal Comments:

Here we start our tarot journey at the beginning – the fool. It is within him to leave behind the past and move towards something new. Something revolutionary.

This is all too true in each of our own stories. Phases and situations come to an end, and we are moved, sometimes forced, to go a new direction. We have fears, yet, the anticipation of something new and novel pushes us forward.

In one of the chapters of my life, I lived as a military spouse. We moved a few times, and none without their own trials. Each time was a risk, an adventure, and a myriad of emotions. Everything was new. Everyone was new. And here I was — for the most part — all alone.

For every time in our life, we had a beginning. It was up to you to rise up to the challenge or let it defeat you. The fool in our journey is no different. Rather than allowing for defeat, he opened up his soul and allowed it to grow, develop, and flourish.

The next time you open a new chapter in your life, how will you let it affect you?

Description of The Fool (Rider-Waite Tarot)

The Fool card shows a man about to walking towards the edge of a cliff. He carries with him a small hobo bag, indicating his need to carry little, and leaving much behind. Behind him is a small white fooldog — his conscious and those reminding him to turn away. The sun shines brightly above, in white, a color of purity and clearness. He carries with him a white rose, a symbol of purity and growth. He gently holds it, showing tenderness and understanding beyond his age. The sky is an exuberant yellow bringing about feelings of happiness and thought. In the backgrounds are mountain peaks showing that there is still much of a journey that needs to be done.

Waite’s description

With light step, as if earth and its trammels had little power to restrain him, a young man in gorgeous vestments pauses at the brink of a precipice among the great heights of the world; he surveys the blue distance before him-its expanse of sky rather than the prospect below. His act of eager walking is still indicated, though he is stationary at the given moment; his dog is still bounding. The edge which opens on the depth has no terror; it is as if angels were waiting to uphold him, if it came about that he leaped from the height. His countenance is full of intelligence and expectant dream. He has a rose in one hand and in the other a costly wand, from which depends over his right shoulder a wallet curiously embroidered. He is a prince of the other world on his travels through this one-all amidst the morning glory, in the keen air. The sun, which shines behind him, knows whence he came, whither he is going, and how he will return by another path after many days. He is the spirit in search of experience. Many symbols of the Instituted Mysteries are summarized in this card, which reverses, under high warrants, all the confusions that have preceded it.

 

Activity

  • Write down five things that you’ve always wanted to do, but have never done. Make sure these are major things. Moving away, started a business,  changed careers, going back to, wrote a book, college, etc.
  • Pick one of those things and write down the reasons you’ve never done what you’ve wanted.
  • What’s stopping you? What’s holding you back? What can you change so that those things can’t hold you back any longer.
  • Set a plan of action to make what you wanted to do a reality.
  • Begin today with your new journey. Start a journal so you can come back and review your enthusiasm.
  • Don’t listen to the little dog in the card! He’s trying to be one who holds you back. Know that you can do it. Create small steps and create rewards for each milestone.
  • In your tarot journal: What does it feel like to take a risk? What does it feel like to have a new beginning? How do you identify now with the fool?

Journal prompt(s)

  • When was the last time you allowed yourself to take a major life-changing risk? What was the outcome?
  • What do you think of the quote “With Great Risk Comes Great Reward”? Do you allow yourself to take risks?
Changing your negative thinking to positive thinking

Changing your negative thinking to positive thinking

Changing your negative thinking to positive thinkingLoving and caring for others stems from loving and caring for yourself. Hateful words and thoughts that you have can be projected upon others, hurt relationships due to your own lack of self-love, or completely tear you down. Think about what you are saying to others before, during, and after you say something.  Think about what you are saying to yourself and change it for the positive.

This is easy to say, and hard to do. I struggle with my own self-confidence and self-esteem. I struggle with negative thoughts. So, believe me when I say, it’s an uphill battle.

But, there are things you can do, to counter the negative speak you give yourself. I’m not a mental health practitioner, so if you need help beyond this, please seek it. These are just some of the things I do, that help me, and that I can recommend.

  1. Replace negative with positive: This tends to be difficult for me, but it works for so many others. When you begin thinking something negative replace that thought with something positive.Example 1: Instead of thinking you can’t do something; know, visualize, and say that you can. Go into it knowing that you’ve got it under control.
    1. Example 2: When you think hurtful thoughts about yourself such as “I’m so ugly”, replace that thought with something positive: “I’m so funny”.
  2. From the past? Find the funny aspect of it.: When you start ruminating on things that happened in the past, and those things cause negative thoughts, try to think of the funny aspect of it. Laughter is a strong medicine.
    1. Example: I went to the bar last week and had quite a few drinks. The next day I started replaying what happened and started feeling sword09sashamed, and mostly, like I made myself look really silly. Instead of continuing those thoughts I began thinking about the good things of the night, and some of the silly things I did that looking back on, were really funny. After doing some laughing, all was well. The negative thoughts were gone. Now when I think of that night I’m met with laughter instead of being upset with myself.
  3. Journal – Keeping a journal will help you identify the things that cause your negative thoughts, and help you prevent in entering those situations. And, in the case of the second journal listed, those negative thoughts will fade away as quickly as they came.
    1. Use a daily journal.
    2. Use a gratitude journal: This is something you can either write on throughout the day (as soon as something positive happens) or that you can save for the night. In that case, here are some prompts that will help bring out the positive of the day. I highly recommend using something digital, such as an app. Remember to go back to this journal when your thoughts take a turn for the worse.
      1. one thing you like about today
      2. one thing you like about yourself today
      3. one thing you were grateful for today
    3. Cognitive journal: This was recommended to me by a therapist, and has been one of the most instrumental things in changing my thoughts. Based on the therapy technique, dialectical behavior therapy, you change your thought patterns by reviewing the issue and getting to the root of the problem. When you start having a negative thought, you have the opportunity to find why, and to change that into a positive thought.  In this case it is a CBT Thought Record such as this example. However, I use an Android app that lets me create the records on my phone as soon as they happen.
  4. Be in the present: This one helps, but, for me, it’s fleeting unless I can find something to redirect my attention towards. In this case you’ll want to focus on the present moment. Are you cold or hot? What sounds are around you? How does your body feel? Focus not on the internal, but placing your focus on the external.
  5. Use positive affirmations: Yes, daily. Tell yourself as soon as you wakeup how beautiful, intelligent, and amazing you are. Tell yourself before bed how you were amazing today. Tell yourself you matter… that you’re important. Keep telling yourself these things. Like a certain organization says: “fake it till you make it.” Tell yourself those things, force yourself to believe them, and eventually, those thoughts will help to trump the negative.

Tarot Spreads for negative thinking

So, how does tarot come into play here? In this case, you’d want to either read for yourself or find a tarot reader you trust. This can get deeply emotional, even with what seems to be so few cards.

20160323_2144482

  • If you are replaying something from the past
    • What can I learn from this
    • what other perspective can I see from this
    • what can I do to move forward
  • If you are projecting something into the future
    • what can I do to prepare
    • what can I do to focus on the now
    • what are my strengths
  • Current negative thoughts
    • what is the core issue
    • how can I move past the superficial issue
    • what can I learn from this situation

What are your thoughts? How do you handle having positive thoughts?

Finding relationship closure and moving on

Finding relationship closure and moving on

Finding relationship closure and moving on

sword03sIt’s been five years since my divorce.

I stayed with him for better or worse and he left me for, well, that’s a story for its own time. There were many factors that led to our relationship becoming toxic and in the end, we left without much reconciliation. It wasn’t until years after our divorce that I could look back at things and not feel immense pain. At that time finding relationship closure seemed close to impossible.

Wanting closure is understandable. However, attaining it may not always be the best or easiest thing to do. This is especially true when we end a relationship without the ability to see or hear from the other person. Instead, we cling on. We pursue them, press them, and sometimes even follow them around various avenues (such as social media). Ultimately we are hurt again and still questioning why.

Why do we constantly hang on to or chase the things that aren’t healthy for us, that hurt us, or that we simply no longer need? We attach to the unhealthy and the unhealthy clings right back to us. We start to question ourselves: what did I do wrong? What could I have done? What can I do now?

You have to let go. You have to move forward. You have to move on.

Easier said than done, right? Here are five ways to work towards that goal:

maj12s  Visualization: See things as you need to. With visualizing the actual event of closure, you place your mind in a spot to believe that it has actually happened. You see things differently. A common thing to do is the visualization act of cutting cords. Cords are a symbolic link between you and another person. The one that worked the best for me was to imagine I was in front of a bridge, with my ex on the other side. We walked and met at the center of the bridge. I then told him of my pain and why I was hurt. He replied in a manner that I would best respond to. We had our closure. We had our time to face one another, even if he wasn’t really there. Instead of completely cutting the cords, in this situation, I simply allowed them to fall off and diminish on their own. Think of the cord as the umbilical cord that ties a baby to its mother. There is a strong tie between the two and it is only when that cord is no longer there that the child is able to fully survive without the physical attachment. With that said, the stronger form of visualization would be to visualize the cord and cut it off entirely. Blunt force.
maj09s  Meditation: In the beautiful and transforming world of meditation is the act of Metta meditation. This type of meditation is also known as loving-kindness: it’s something you do to create, cultivate, and maintain the feeling of love towards all others. It’s a powerful meditation . Instead of focusing on being in the now, you focus on the person or group to whom you are directing strong feelings of love. One way to do this is to begin your meditation, and then going from 1 to 5, you’ll say focused thoughts. With starting at the top (being you) you create a strong and whole feeling of love that you can bring down — even to that most challenging person. Doing this meditation helps bring closure by letting the person go: you’ll wish them well, bring the focus back on love, and you’ll love yourself more. The meditation can be whatever words guide you, but are generally along the lines listed below:

  1. Start with yourself: May I be happy. May I have good health.  May I be safe. May I have peace.
  2. Follow with those closest to you: May my friends be happy. May my friends have good health.  May my friends be safe. May my friends have peace.
  3. Next acquaintances: May my neighbors be happy. May my neighbors have good health.  May my neighbors be safe. May my neighbors have peace.
  4. Next strangers: May those I don’t know be happy. May those I don’t know have good health.  May those I don’t know be safe. May those I don’t know have peace.
  5. Next, and the hardest, someone who challenges you, drives you crazy, or who has/is hurting you: May my ex be happy. May my ex have good health. May my ex be safe. May my ex have peace.
  6. Finally, send that love to the world: May all beings be happy. May all beings have good health.
cups11s Write a letter: Journaling and writing can be extremely therapeutic. They help you understand, dive into, and deal with your innermost thoughts and concerns. One thing I did was write a full letter to my ex. I detailed how much I missed him, how hurt I was that he left, and shared some memories of the past. I had every intent on sending that letter to him but didn’t realize how much it would help me just to get those words on paper. It was much like talking to someone and sharing with them, without giving away too much or burdening them with the details. One thing that some people do is to get the paper on hard copy, take it to the fire, and let it disappear. With that, you can visualize the pain being burned away.
cups03s  Support network: Having someone you can talk to is critical. This can be a counselor, a group of friends, or even, your tarot card reader. You should never feel as if you are a burden. Your pain is real, and it is something that you shouldn’t have to endure alone. No man is an island, right? I had only a few people who I can really say were my support network, but they were (and are) invaluable.
cups05s  Cry: As my relationship was ending I fell into grief, depression, and deep sadness. I went to a counselor and we discussed many different ways to overcome my hurt. One of the biggest and most important things she told me to do was cry. We all try to be so strong at times, and, of course, bottling things up isn’t the best idea. Holding everything in can lead to more heartache, physical pain, and undue stress. My counselor gave me the permission to cry. Now, don’t get me wrong. I cry for everything. I cry for those really sad dog commercials. I cry when someone is excited that they’ve won something. And, I cry for every_single_Disney_movie. However, my counselor recommended that I set a time each day where I allow myself to cry over my relationship. Just like the five stages of loss, I was suffering from a huge loss in my life and needed to allow myself time to recover.
maj08s Time: Ultimately it will take time. It took two years for me to fully let go, and another two until I could completely look back without any nagging pain or heartache. When you invest so much in someone, you are tied to them in ways that no one can quite understand. Since you are suffering a great loss, it takes time for that wound to heal. You have to allow yourself time to forgive your ex, forgive yourself, re-learn to love yourself, and to put the focus on you. It sucks. But, it’s what we all have to do.

maj15sRelationships are inevitable; so, too, is heartbreak.

But, when it comes along, you’ll have to suffer through it and move forward. The next person will come and you definitely don’t want to carry your pain from your previous relationship on to your new one.

But, when it comes along, you’ll have to suffer through it and move forward. The next person will come and you definitely don’t want to carry your pain from your previous relationship on to your new one.

Many times we don’t need to go into the “big talk”. It leads to less closure, more questions, and more grief. For the most part, you’ll have to find a way to let go, release the pain, and find a way to self-heal. Don’t allow a relationship to be more than it should. If someone no longer wants you in their life, let them go. There are too many people who love you and want you in their life.

Tarot spread for finding relationship closure

Still hurting from a past relationship? Read about finding closure and moving on. ‪#‎breakup‬ ‪#‎heartbreak‬ ‪#‎closure‬ http://wp.me/p453vm-kO

Use this spread to get down to the root of the issue and to find out the best way to move on. Study your results. Meditate on them. Once you’ve got them — trust them. Let them guide you, and let go of what you need. Move forward… don’t look back. 

  1. What can I learn from this relationship?
  2. How can I put the focus back on me?
  3. How can I move forward from this relationship?
  4. What’s stopping me from moving forward from this relationship?
  5. How can I best let go of this relationship?

How have you gotten relationship closure from someone who was no longer around?

Astrological insights: Catching waves with Cancer – The Crab

Astrological insights: Catching waves with Cancer – The Crab

  • Catching waves with the sun sign, Cancer -- the crabDates: June 21 to July 22
  • Symbol: ♋ The Crab ♋
  • Planet: The Moon
  • House: 4th house – family, home, ancestry, roots
  • Element: Water – emotions, intuition
  • Quality: Cardinal – initiative, creator
  • Receptive, reactive, focus on the emotional and material world
  • Corresponding tarot card: The chariot
  • Keywords: I Feel
  • Positive traits: Nurturing, Intuitive, Devoted, Loving, Creative
  • Negative traits:  Moody, Oversensitive, Overprotective
  • Best love matches: Pisces, Scorpio
  • Difficult love matches: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Cancer & the tarot

chariot-thoth-deck

chariot-thoth-deck

Cancers are gentle souls who like most being in a place where they feel safe, secure, and happy. Those they let into their originally shy shell, become protected and loved for life. It is difficult to upset the crab from within, but they will snap at anyone who tries to hurt those whom they hold close. The crab is a very caring individual, but can get a little too overprotective. Overall, this is someone who is great to have around if you need someone who can show you genuine love, empathy, and concern. On the shadow side, this is someone who can tend to get quite … crabby.

In tarot, the crab is represented by the major arcana, The Chariot. The Chariot carries a strong warrior who isn’t seen traveling far from his home. He carries with him strong armor, and will defend that what is his. He is sturdy, devoted, and willing to go the extra mile for those he loves.  He isn’t the best decision maker, as he can sometimes be torn too far in two directions, but one created, he stands by his decision.

Ride on, dearest crabs!