This hop’s theme was proposed by Joy Vernon, asking us how we further our tarot knowledge.
Oh dear. What should I write? Of course it is important to further our knowledge of tarot but it is very difficult to define exactly how one should do it. Some people prefer books, some prefer practical teaching… so what could I write about that is useful for everyone? Let’s start with something everyone has access to, thanks to online shops.
I love reading books and time to time I find really good ones that defer from the cliche of listing card-by-card meanings with a few in-use examples. What I appreciate in a tarot book is innovation; it doesn’t have to revolutionise tarot reading, but it should provide enough food for thought, or quirky little interpretations or spreads I never thought of. A few titles I’d like to mention…
1. Academic books
- Caitlín Matthews – Untold Tarot
- Benebell Wen – Holistic Tarot
- Joav Ben Dov – The Open Reading
- Rachel Pollack – 78 Degrees of Wisdom
2. Quirky books
- Camelia Elias – Towards the Art of Reading
- Sasha Graham – 365 Tarot Spreads
- Jamima Renee – Tarot Spells
3. Fun books
- Italo Calvano – Castle of Crossed Destinies
- Theresa Reed – Tarot Coloring Book
I think forums are a great source of knowledge. There’s always someone who sees things differently than me, and their new approach can teach me more about the cards than just practicing my readings with my same-old.
TABI‘s members only forum for example is a great place to start. At a very reasonable price, it has a vast amount of threads with years and years of discussions about tarot, and a very friendly and helpfuld atmosphere. There’s monthly practice questions going back for years that you can give a go and get feedback to; there’s the Free Readers’ section (TABI offers free tarot readings to the public) where you can read real life readings – of course the querent’s name and any data that could identify them are taken out. This subforum is one of the most valuable as you don’t only have a chance to learn about card meanings and interpretations, but also about how to handle difficult readings, how to deliver an empowering and meaningful reading, and in general about how to be an authentic tarot reader. Even if you are an established reader yourself, there’s always something you can learn from others.
TABI also offers an online course that lasts about six months and gives people a good foundation to read the cards. I absolutely recommend it.
Other than that, the World Divination Association (check them out on Facebook!) offers lots of courses on divination methods from playing cards to bone reading. I am planning to attend some of those in future!
ART AND CREATIVITY
Whether you are artistic or not, doing tarot art or creative exercises teaches you a lot. You could create your own deck, or just roughly put together a concept for the Major Arcana with your favourite biscuits paired up with the cards. You could watch your favourite show on TV and think about how the characters’ personalities reflect the cards, or just attend a family pick-nick and think how your grandma is such a Queen of Swords! Whatever you do, making new associations to the cards helps you further your knowledge and understanding of the tarot.
For me, painting cards for the 1917 Tarot project was a huge step along my tarot journey. Thinking through the theme, deciding on the composition and actually painting images for the cards I have chosen was a real adventure, and I can’t recommend doing something similar enough. You could choose a card you don’t fully understand and try to paint it. I bet you’ll have it cracked by the time the paint dries on your canvas!
Well, this is it from me. I can’t wait to hear what others do to continue their education! Let’s hop on to the next blog, shall we?