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.

Discovering who you are in the tarot

Discovering who you are in the tarot

rwhmI’m often told by people that they don’t relate to their sun sign (or, horoscope sign). Especially my sister. I tell her that the sun sign is not the full person, and couldn’t ever even claim to be so. Everyone is different and has a unique persona to them. Each sign plays a distinct place in who they are, along with many other different parts of astrology.

Even so, the sun sign is the most important part of who a person is in astrology. It represents that person’s very essence — their core. And, even if you cannot see those things in yourself, believe me, others can.

In tarot, we can use the major cards to help a person identify with their “sun sign” of the tarot — their birth card. There are other cards that can help identify the full person, but this is most like the sign sign of astrology.

This card can help speak to your identity, your strengths, your weakness, and your life path. It is you in your rawest form.

Although there are many different ways to calculate your birth card, I’ve picked one that I have found to be very simple, and extremely accurate. To calculate your birth card simply add up your birth month plus your birth day plus your birth year.

If your number is larger than 22 (the Fool, 0, is 22 here), you would reduce that to the next number.

For example, if you were born on January 18th, of 1972 you would add:

0 + 1 + 1 + 8 + 1 + 9 + 7 + 2 = 29 = 2 + 9 = 11

Once you’ve calculated your number, visit Wikipedia to find your card, and more information about that card.

In the above example, the person’s birth card would be major 11, Justice.

If you want a dual card reading, you can also reduce that number down, giving you two birth cards — Justice and The High Priestess. In this case, they would complement and adverse one another.

That’s it! Have fun. Oh, and leave who you are in the comments, I would love to know more about you!

* Want to have all of this done for you? My price is low, and includes how your own sun sign relates to your birth card.

Strength :: Loss of a pet

Strength :: Loss of a pet

strength Yesterday was difficult. I experienced the loss of my cat. He was only nine, but his heart gave out. He would always run up to the door when I got home, and he always slept right beside me. We couldn’t get him to the clinic in time, and his ending -– although quick – was  very difficult. I sat beside him the entire time, but he was in his kennel. I can only hope that he knew how much I loved him and cherished him.

The strength card is very important to me in this situation. The obvious being that the woman on this card is being very gentle with one of the most ferocious beasts on the planet. This animal being a relative of my own cat.

The woman in the picture exhibits an understanding, patience, and compassion in the same way many pet owners feel of their pets.

If you’ve lost a pet that you’ve had for many years, you know the pain that can be experienced. You know the heartache that endures. But, just like my previous post on death, our circles of life go from beginning to ending.

Unfortunately for me and my cat, it was his ending.

If animals are there in the afterlife, I’m sure he is chasing after many tasty mice.

R.I.P, dear Meko.

☮Peace & Love ♥ ~ Tia

Trapped :: Eight of Swords

Trapped :: Eight of Swords

swords08Each card in the tarot tells a story.

Each card.

You can pick up the eight of cups, and remember a situation, or the situation of another.

You can pick up one of the major arcana — such as strength — and see a figure in your life as a representative.

For me, the past couple of years has brought about the eight of swords. Now, this isn’t a card of joy. This is a card of bondage, struggle, and difficulty. Feeling powerless. Outcast. Alone.

In the past two years, it was difficult for me to see the light ahead. I went through a divorce, my mother suffered a stroke, I was rejected from a graduate program, I had the hardest time at my job yet, and my life was turned upside down. At one point, I was a military wife and financially stable. However, I suffered from bipolar, and my husband was an alcoholic (with multiple relapses and rehabs). He did too much, and was quickly discharged from the military. My world was shaken. The tower card was much more than a symbol to me, and became my life for the next few years.

But, life changes. The wind shifts, and our paths move forward. Without pain, how can we experience and know joy?

My life is now much less like the eight of swords, but my mental health still makes me feel trapped.  Things are better. Meditation, exercise, and even therapy (which an extreme introvert as myself hates), are my pathways to recovery.

What are you going through? Where have you experienced the eight of swords in your life? What are you doing to fight that feeling? What are you doing to move forward?

☮Peace & Love ♥ ~ Tia

Exploring Death

Exploring Death

It is better to spend one day contemplating the birth and death of all things than a hundred years never contemplating beginnings and endings. ~ Gautama Buddha

Yesterday was memorial day in the US. Memorial day brings about reverence and memory of the soldiers that gave their lives fighting for land, freedom, and life.

My family spent their day like many others – barbecuing, going to the lake, and spending time together. They celebrated life, forgoing the actual meaning of the day.

That’s not entirely bad, but it seems that we can get so wrapped up in ourselves, we forget others.

Or, we remember them once a year.

Or, we place them on a pedestal, with no real acknowledgment, or remembrance of the life that once graced our world.

So many people I know have such a misunderstanding of the dead and dying. I must admit, I do too. Superstitions, unknowing, and a general air of fear flows through each of us.

So, what did I do with my day yesterday? I went biking at the lake.

Then, I spent some time in one of the most spiritual, humbling, and peaceful places I know – the cemetery.

I placed flowers on the graves of those who served, and had long been forgotten. I spoke their name, and thanked their spirits – those souls who once lived and forever matter.

I walked past the graves of babies, many of whom weren’t given a chance to do much in the world – except try to exist.

I pondered death.

A few weeks from now, I start what will indubitably be a life-long volunteer position in hospice. Which position? Vigil. I’ll be beside the bed of a soul who has less than 72 hours of life, with no one else around. My secondary position will be that of being with an elderly person who is alone. A person who may or may not have family, and is alone.

I hate being alone.

I can’t image how it would feel if I were alone and my family were around.

So, why the death card? Because, like our dead and dying in our culture (and others), death isn’t a horrible thing. I mean, of course, there will always be a time for grieving. That’s expected. But, with death comes life, hope, and continuity. That isn’t to say that what or who has died should be forgotten, but that the memory should continue to be there – for better or for worse. Furthermore, as in the cases of our elderly, their dying gives us a chance to spend time to get to know them better (if we haven’t already), learn from wisdom, and see them off to the place that we believe in for the afterlife.

The death card itself is typically not a card of actual death. Rather, it is a card of an ending. In a relationship? It probably isn’t good for you right now. Looking for a relationship? Well, maybe the looking is coming to an end. Constantly thinking of the past? Well, now, you can move on.

Perhaps when we see death, be it the tarot, or in life, we can see it as a closing to a chapter. Death is hard. Death of a loved one is even harder. Denial and grief have always been difficult for me, but I’ve always made an effort to remember the person, and celebrate what was there.

We all come into the world alone; we all leave the world just the same.

Cherish, honor, and respect the living, and the dead.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,
A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,
A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Experiencing the Ace of Cups

Experiencing the Ace of Cups

Have you ever had someone around you who just made you bubble up with emotion? I don’t mean negative, but positive, happy emotions. Someone who completely gets you, is there for you, and makes you feel loved by just being around.

Now, I’ve been once married, and divorced. Prior to marriage, I had many different romantic relationships, and friends.

I’ve been involved in religion since birth, and have explored many different paths.

But, no one quite made me feel, wanted. Loved. Cherished. (No, not even myself a great majority of the time.)

About a year and a half ago, I went through a serious depression due to what seemed like my life falling apart. It was at that time that one of my coworkers and I became really good friends. Same personalities (INFJ), astrological signs that were made for friendship, and a common interest in things that I had yet to have an interest in with others (nature, music, activism).

Since then, my feelings towards him have grown tremendously. He is like my big brother, and definitely a kindred spirit. He is definitely one of the soul mates life has given me.

Upon study of my cards, one that jumped out at me was the ace of cups.

What an amazing card of joy, emotion, and happiness (when upright, of course). It explains exactly how I feel when I’m around my friend. Overwhelmed with emotion.

How powerful would it be if we could apply that to everyone in our life?

Then, I began to think of the loving-kindness meditation, Mettā.  This meditation practice encourages us to meditate on various people in our lives, and sentient beings. It’s powerful.

Your love of the world overflows, just like the cup. It is a gift to others, from you, from the heavens.

Now, imagine how wonderful it could be if everyone could apply this feeling to everyone they meet.

What a wonderful world this would be.

☮Peace & Love ♥ ~ Tia