Learning the cards

Discussions On How We Use Cards For Divination
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CharlotteK
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Learning the cards

Post by CharlotteK » 09 Dec 2017, 10:27

I thought this was an interesting blog post on the advice many beginners are given to pull a card a day.

What tips for beginners do you have on useful and not so useful methods and techniques for learning to read cards?

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fractalgranny
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Re: Learning the cards

Post by fractalgranny » 09 Dec 2017, 11:08

CharlotteK wrote:
09 Dec 2017, 10:27
I thought this was an interesting blog post on the advice many beginners are given to pull a card a day.

What tips for beginners do you have on useful and not so useful methods and techniques for learning to read cards?
Very intelligently written, and I love the idea that tarot is a language, which you use for communication. Having taught languages myself, I know that memorizing vocabulary rarely helps. Knowing that language is learned best in a context where everyone speaks that language, it would mean that a forum like ours is the best context in which to learn. On the other hand, tarot is not like any other spoken language. It is more an art-language. Whereas in English, when I say "cat" there is a certain agreement as to what that means, in tarot, when I say e.g. "Page of Wands" there will be much less agreement. Anyway, I think her advice is good.

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Nemia
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Re: Learning the cards

Post by Nemia » 10 Dec 2017, 18:06

Well, I'm not so sure. I think context comes after a while. People have different learning styles. Some go from details to the whole picture, others from the whole picture to detail. Many people go back and forth between the whole and its parts. Thinking with an open mind about one card can be really helpful.

Obviously, tarot is a visual language. And visual language differs from verbal. Verbal communication needs a basic linear timeline, i.e. you hear one word after the other - if it's too much together, it doesn't make sense any more. Visual communication can work like music, as an accord of sensual impressions - you see colours, composition, movement, depth and motifs all together at once, can't and don't have to separate them.

And these visual clues are present in ONE card as clearly as in three or twenty.

I'd say go for what you like. Sorry to be so vanilla. Dogmas are not helpful, whether it's The Pure Tradition of One Card per Day or the Revolutionary Card Interactions per Day Innovation.

Most people mix approaches anyway, find it difficult to stick to a one card regimen, do readings, study spreads etc. And it seems to work well, just look at the many people who practice tarot :-)

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theFeeLion
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Re: Learning the cards

Post by theFeeLion » 11 Dec 2017, 01:27

Nemia wrote:
10 Dec 2017, 18:06
Well, I'm not so sure. I think context comes after a while. People have different learning styles. Some go from details to the whole picture, others from the whole picture to detail. Many people go back and forth between the whole and its parts. Thinking with an open mind about one card can be really helpful.

Obviously, tarot is a visual language. And visual language differs from verbal. Verbal communication needs a basic linear timeline, i.e. you hear one word after the other - if it's too much together, it doesn't make sense any more. Visual communication can work like music, as an accord of sensual impressions - you see colours, composition, movement, depth and motifs all together at once, can't and don't have to separate them.

And these visual clues are present in ONE card as clearly as in three or twenty.

I'd say go for what you like. Sorry to be so vanilla. Dogmas are not helpful, whether it's The Pure Tradition of One Card per Day or the Revolutionary Card Interactions per Day Innovation.

Most people mix approaches anyway, find it difficult to stick to a one card regimen, do readings, study spreads etc. And it seems to work well, just look at the many people who practice tarot :-)
I would have to agree with you Nemia. Although in saying that, I have to admit that having more cards in a reading helped me to see the links between cards, and helped me to tease out the meaning of the reading a little easier. It's getting easier for me now to use smaller spreads because I had the help of the bigger spreads earlier on. Now that I think about it though... I do have a tendency to jump in both feet first just to see if I can swim lol
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with faeries and talk to the moon. - Unknown

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CharlotteK
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Re: Learning the cards

Post by CharlotteK » 11 Dec 2017, 03:14

I really like the one card a day approach but I have a good grounding in what the cards could mean in the context of what's going on in my life. As a complete beginner I think it's difficult to look at a card in the morning and learn from it before anything has happened, for all the reasons the article suggests. I like the suggestion she makes to draw the card in the evening and think about it retrospectively against the days events. That feels like quite a useful and practical approach to developing meanings.

I remember setting out all the Major Arcana in three rows and going through the Fool's Journey from Joan Bunning's book a few times.

I still struggle with court cards so I think I might spend a bit of time grouping them all into families in North/South/East/West positions and thinking about their qualities and connections.

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Re: Learning the cards

Post by Barleywine » 15 Dec 2017, 05:53

I agree with Jenna 100%. A single card exhibits no movement or direction, which is what "context" is all about. I want to see where my day is likely "go," not simply its ambiance. I stopped doing single-card pulls years ago, and now like a minimum of three cards for a daily reading, although I have daily spreads that use five cards broken down into sub-sets for different focus areas (physical, emotional, mental--spiritual). I also find reading cards in small combinations to be a more useful learning tool for beginners because it brings in the concept of reinforcing and conflicting energies; nothing exists in a vacuum.

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theFeeLion
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Re: Learning the cards

Post by theFeeLion » 15 Dec 2017, 07:51

When it comes to a single card for the day I like to pull one at the start of the day and then review it at the end. That way I have a much better idea of what the card was reinforcotto say rather than trying to impose my own view of what it could be
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with faeries and talk to the moon. - Unknown

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Charlie Brown
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Re: Learning the cards

Post by Charlie Brown » 15 Dec 2017, 12:09

I completely agree with Fee with the caveat that I never really did the one-card thing very much.

I'm actually thinking about starting a card a day because 1) I want to reconsider the majors 2) I have a particular new deck coming that I think might be worth going through card-by-card.
Charlie Brown
—“I’ve developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at a time.”

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siovale
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Re: Learning the cards

Post by siovale » 05 Jan 2018, 11:49

Barleywine wrote:
15 Dec 2017, 05:53
I agree with Jenna 100%. A single card exhibits no movement or direction, which is what "context" is all about. I want to see where my day is likely "go," not simply its ambiance. I stopped doing single-card pulls years ago, and now like a minimum of three cards for a daily reading, although I have daily spreads that use five cards broken down into sub-sets for different focus areas (physical, emotional, mental--spiritual). I also find reading cards in small combinations to be a more useful learning tool for beginners because it brings in the concept of reinforcing and conflicting energies; nothing exists in a vacuum.
What are some of your favourite three card spreads, if I may ask? Thank you.

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Barleywine
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Re: Learning the cards

Post by Barleywine » 05 Jan 2018, 16:03

siovale wrote:
05 Jan 2018, 11:49
Barleywine wrote:
15 Dec 2017, 05:53
I agree with Jenna 100%. A single card exhibits no movement or direction, which is what "context" is all about. I want to see where my day is likely "go," not simply its ambiance. I stopped doing single-card pulls years ago, and now like a minimum of three cards for a daily reading, although I have daily spreads that use five cards broken down into sub-sets for different focus areas (physical, emotional, mental--spiritual). I also find reading cards in small combinations to be a more useful learning tool for beginners because it brings in the concept of reinforcing and conflicting energies; nothing exists in a vacuum.
What are some of your favourite three card spreads, if I may ask? Thank you.
I like the triangle layout that has no beginning and end points; in reading it, I focus on the most significant (usually the highest-ranking) card in the spread and treat the others as modifiers. Also, I just finished reading Robert Place's tarot history book, and I like his approach to the three card line: he has several variations in which different positions serve as the focus and the energy moves either toward or away from the center.

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