UNDERSTANDING THE TAROT

A QUESTION REGARDING THE TAROT:
I was pleasantly surprised to receive this question on my Facebook.
Good morning Mrs. Monica, aside the wonderful interview that you posted, something else came to mind. I read a few blogs and stuff based on how to read tarot, its all based on the four elements which all have different representations and you use numerology also at least that's what little I understood. Now my question is, how do you follow the message behind the cards? Is it just something that you put into your own words based on what the cards show you or does every card have like there own specific biography? I have been thinking about that lately and have been quite curious on that subject. Like how did you learn to read? How long did it take you to perform a perfect reading even though I know not everything comes out true.

TAROT BEING BASED ON THE FOUR ELEMENTS:
Fire: Suit of Wands. Passion, work, conflict with others in the area of work and in a physical level. It is the energy that inspires us to take on new projects and to defend our ideals in those projects.

Zodiac: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Time of Day: Noon
Time Span: Days

Air: Suit of Swords. The mind, intellect, and reasoning. This suit is the most aggressive in appearance. Usually it can denote problems in clashing with someone else's personality, distance from each other, break ups or accidents. It is the suit that can stand for "No" depending on the meaning of the card, and will weigh upon the reader the most. It stands for blocked energy, events slowing to a stop, and serious [legal] problems with others. It can also denote strategical thinking.

Zodiac: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Time of Day: Sunrise
Time Span: Months

Water: Suit of Cups. Stands for love, flowing emotions, intensity of feelings at its best. In the shadow side it can show alcoholism, drunkenness, drug abuse, and delusional reality. Feelings can blind people when it comes to making important decisions, but they can also propel people to achieve amazing things. This suit reminds about the importance of reconnecting to the higher self to understand where feelings come from, and what they can do if suppressed.

Zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Time of Day: Sunset
Time Span: Weeks

Earth: Suit of Coins / Pentacles. Denotes material gain, economy, finances, money, companies, power, food, luxury, and poverty,

Zodiac: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Time of Day: Midnight
Time Span: Years


HOW TO FOLLOW THE MESSAGE BEHIND THE CARDS:
The best way to do this is intuitively, but knowing the general context of the suits helps. The correspondences that can be traced amongst the different suits will denote unions or clashes. First you need to understand the dialogue of the particular deck you are reading with. Whether you already know the standard meanings or you have just pulled the set out of its shrink wrap, you should have picked a style that appeals to you. The pictures will be narrating events, and if you understand the cultural context behind the illustration, you will find that you can pull string stories together with ease. If you don't love the illustrations on your tarot deck, you are less likely to want to read with it, no matter how accurate it is.

As your tarot collections grows, you will notice that the meanings shift a little according to the vision of the artist. Usually the general symbols are present, with a few added ones from the theme of the tarot. This is something to be aware of as you purchase and get to know new tarot decks. You might be reading for yourself and recognize your pet in a card, or a symbol that reminds you of somebody else. Be intuitive!

By stringing the meanings of the cards in a sequence, you will be amazed at how easily the story unfolds before you and the person you are reading for.

HOW I LEARNED TO READ:
Trial and error, as with everything else. I learned through feverish study. I love the tarot and I talk about it all the time. Sometimes I fear that my friends will complain their ears are bleeding, but they haven't thus far! The best way for me to understand the dialogue of the tarot was to pick one deck to stick with, and that deck ended up being the Vertigo Tarot by Dave McKean. I struggled with what the cards were trying to say until I familiarized myself with the intention the artist had for the deck. Once I understood the overall tone that my cards were conveying to me, I had a much better time reading with the deck. It took me a long time to understand that this deck whispers rather than scream.

When I really got it is when I started to read professionally. I didn't know anything about the other person, which forced me to use my intuition whenever I needed clues. My tarot deck was telling me everything I needed to know, I just needed to look carefully! I still compare and contrast the manner in which my cards convey their messages, and find little nuggets of information that I had previously missed. Learning the tarot is always a work in progress.

HOW LONG IT TAKES TO UNDERSTAND TAROT:

Generally it will take anywhere from a couple of months to a few years. If you are familiar with reading pictures without words already, it will be a much easier task. I find that Art Historians could be wonderful tarot readers because they have a master understanding of symbolism in paintings and architecture, which proves to be an effective way to read tarot. There are hundreds of books on how selected individuals read the tarot, but in the end the most important impression is your own. You won't have the skilled Barbara Moore agreeing over your shoulder or suggesting other meanings for a card that turns up in a reading. You can buy her books and gain a very thorough understanding of how she views the world of tarot, but if you block out your own intuition, your readings won't make much sense to you. Barbara Moore has a thorough understanding of the tarot through years of practice. She boils years of study into simple guidelines for your readings, and can be a really rockin' teacher if you are open to her writing.

It took me a few years to put down the books and focus solely on what I got from the cards. At first I didn't understand why Swords had to be the suit of air. I didn't get why the Major Arcana held such importance in a reading. After years of study, I am comfortable with the correspondences behind the suits and the Major Arcana. I find that it enhances readings and that it makes my experience with the tarot much more wholesome.

I love the tarot!
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