Is Tarot Hard To Learn?

is tarot hard to learn?

Anything worth learning takes time, effort and consistency to master.  If you approach Tarot with the right perspective, however, it can be easier to learn than you might think.

The problem most newbie and hobby readers run into is that they want to learn it by memorizing definitions and from a very “black and white” analytical type perspective.  This doesn’t work.  Tarot is very fluid and you need to learn to tap into your intuition and creative thought processes while learning it.

When I teach Tarot; I always have students start with a Tarot journal.  This is by far, the most effective way to internalize Tarot and make it a part of you, rather than some external thing with complex parts that you are always trying to sort out.

In mathematics, there are set answers and methods for solving a problem.  In other studies, thought and problem solving is more abstract and individualized.  Different approaches lead to the same result.  Think of Tarot as more fluid than rigid and you’ll have much better success with it.

If you start trying to memorize a bunch of symbols and vague “text book” type definitions of the images, without really looking at those images from your own perspective, you’ll find your readings lack substance and may lead to more questions than they answer.

You can look at 3 different Tarot books and there will be 3 different perspectives on the cards meanings – why? Because Tarot, despite having some common themes, is mostly subjective to the user.  There is no wrong answer – you are using the cards as a tool for your intuition and higher thought processes.  The answers are not on the images in the cards – they are in your mind/intuition.  That’s the part that new readers struggle to grasp.

If you open up to the idea of Tarot as a means to tap into your connection with the universal mind; it becomes much easier and definitely more meaningful.

I think most of us start out learning Tarot with the completely wrong approach.  We want to “know what the answers are”, instead of looking for the answers within and using the cards as a guide.  We put too much focus onto the cards themselves and not the messages they evoke from within.

How to Learn Tarot

The best way to learn is by doing.  Use the Tarot journaling exercises here.  After you have gone through your entire deck once or twice; then start doing readings.  It’s really as simple as that.  You don’t learn without practice and you have to keep at it.  This is one of those things, like learning to play an instrument, where practice is always needed and there is always room for improvement.

Tarot Inspiration for Positive Reinforcement

Tarot is useful for so much more than just Divination.  It can be a powerful tool to help reprogram the subconscious mind and can help you direct your energy in positive ways.   It gives you both a visual and a mental focal point and can help cue you to redirect your energy where you want it to flow.

It’s true that where our thoughts go, our energy follows.  Your emotions are a gauge to your thoughts.  We have millions of thoughts in our minds in a day, and with all that going on, it can be hard to really pay attention to what/how we are thinking.

An uncontrolled mind can be a dangerous place.  On the other hand, learning to recognize your thought patterns can help you shape them in ways that work to your benefit.

Here’s an example.  Let’s say Sally really wants to start her own business and break free from her 9-5 job that she really doesn’t find fulfilling.  Her mind may be filled with all kinds of thoughts both positive and negative.  The idea of her own business excites her, but she is quickly talked down by the doubts in her own inner dialogue.

Her mind may turn to anxiety if she fails, concern that others will ridicule her ideas, fear that she doesn’t have the skills she needs or talent, worry that giving up her day job will lead to a lack of security.  These are ALL legitimate fears – it’s very natural to fear things. It’s how our mind keeps us from doing stupid things that can actually hurt us.  Unfortunately, sometimes this protection mechanism goes into hyper-drive and we end up talking ourselves out of our dreams/goals and settling for what is comfortable instead.

Tarot Inspiration

Here’s where some positive Tarot inspiration can work to your advantage.  Let’s use Sally’s story again and help her to refocus her energy.  There are several cards that can work for this purpose.  Here’s a few off the top of my head:

Priestess:  This is an empowered woman who has great knowledge, is keenly intelligent and has a great blend of logic and intuition.  She is able to remove herself from the tangles of emotion and reach her silent center, where she can look at situations objectively.  She is independent, strong and well-balanced.

Three of Wands: This is a card of embracing the pioneering spirit.  The man sets off into the unknown wilderness, but he is not held back by fear, he is determined to enjoy the journey and reach the destination.

Eight of Pentacles:  This is the card that shows the man working diligently at his craft.  It is hard work, but it is hard work he feels connected with and enjoys, so it becomes profitable without feeling burdensome.  It can be a way to pull the mind back to doing what we enjoy and dedicating ourselves to it.

There are many other cards that of course would fit the bill.  Take a couple that apply to your situation and post them on a vision board, or in a journal with your goals (short and long-term) and when you feel like giving up or are overwhelmed, look at them and let them refocus your mind on being proactive.

Tarot Reflections the Ten of Pentacles

tarot lesson ten of pentacles

This card is a great one for building new opportunities and focusing on potential. This is a feel good card :). The man and woman meet in the middle of the village symbolizing unity. Around them dogs play and an old man sits watching, children run about. It shows how people coming together in the spirit of community and lifting one another up are a great blessing.

Often it seems as a society we have lost a lot of our openness. This card reminds us that all sorts of benefits come from connecting with others – even those with whom we may have differences of opinion etc. All kinds make the world go round and cooperation is always better than conflict.

The Ten of Pentacles/Coins

When the ten of pentacles comes up it talks about prosperity and abundance.  This card says it’s a great time to come together with others in the spirit of cooperation – which leads to growth and better opportunities for everyone involved.

This card also speaks of taking time to focus on what matters – enjoy time with your family or take a few moments to call on a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. This is a very social card – so take time today to value your connections with others. No need to be a lone wolf – today you may find someone who has just the answer you have been looking for.

This card also speaks of responsibilities towards community and being a good neighbor. Look for ways in which you can contribute something of value to society. Those positive actions bless and reward others and uplift the whole group. Charity and kindness also have a way of returning blessings and support to us in our own times of need.

Tarot For Yourself

tarot for yourself

Learning to read Tarot for yourself can be a frustrating experience if you approach it wrong. However, if you have a truly open mind and want to expand your thought process or get to the heart of a matter; learning to do tarot for yourself can enrich your life in new ways.

First things first; you need to have an honest understanding of your own motivations.  Are you really looking for deeper insight? or are you merely wanting to hear what you want to hear? Are you asking to empower yourself or out of fear of loss or failure etc.? A quick way to discern your true motivations is evaluating your thoughts and feelings when you approach the Tarot.

Signs you may be using Tarot at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons are:

  • You are experiencing extreme feelings of anxiety
  • You are in denial about something and sense that, but want affirmation anyway
  • You feel compelled to ask the same thing over and over again in different ways
  • You aren’t taking time to take some deep breaths and detach from the emotion of the situation before drawing your cards.
  • The current course of events is not going as you wanted and you are feeling resentful, hurt or distrustful.

We all experience these things from time to time and it’s natural, but it’s not ideal for getting a true and accurate reading on a situation.

If you are going to do a reading for yourself, always do it when you are in a relaxed frame of mind.  Many people find that meditation first clears the mind of “racing thoughts” and anxiety.  Physical exercise until you are tired is another great way to release stress and anxiety that may block your objectivity.

When you are doing a reading for yourself, take a moment to take a few deep breaths and as you exhale, focus on releasing expectations (positive or negative) and focus on truth and insight.

Next, ask a clear and concise question.  Avoid “ever” questions for example.  Will I ever get the job I want? is a rather defeating question.  “ever” is a long time and remember you ultimately determine the course of your life path through your own choices.  Instead focus on a more empowered question like “Give me insight into how to land the (specific job) within the next (specific time).”

As a general rule I try to keep readings focused on the near future a few months to six months ideally, sometimes up to a year, but beyond that things can get really fuzzy.

Quick Tips for Great Self Tarot Readings

  • Clear the mind and calm the emotions
  • Take a few deep breaths, release expectations
  • Ask clear, concise questions
  • Stick to a short time frame
  • Use active and not passive questions  – “what can I do” vs “will I ever”


Tarot Reflections The Knight of Swords

tarot inspiration knight of swords

tarot inspiration knight of swordsThis is an action card! Whenever a Knight appears in a spread it indicates sudden changes are about to occur. They bring with them a sense of unpredictability and excitement. Knights often speak of blessings in disguise or opportunities that come in from out of the blue.  It’s important to be open to all possibilities.

The Knight of Swords reminds us to cut away all that isn’t serving our highest good so that new opportunities have room to enter.  What’s holding you back? Bad habits, procrastination, negative mindsets? Whatever it is that keeps you from embracing positive change with enthusiasm; this is the time to take swift action to correct those tendencies.

Knights also speak of the need to avoid overreacting or jumping the gun. A good time to think before speaking, this Knight cautions against being overly headstrong or impatient. Sometimes when we react, rather than plan our actions carefully, we end up sabotaging ourselves and creating more problems that could have been avoided.

This Knight also brings a message of “get moving” to the procrastinator in us. Avoidance and procrastination are often the results of “fight or flight” response.  You may be procrastinating, not due to laziness, but due to actual unacknowledged fears. There’s no time like the present to catch up with all that stuff we’ve been avoiding.  Acknowledge the real reason for delays and it will make it easier to start moving again.