There are so many cards, so many spreads, and so many uses for tarot. It’s overwhelming to tackle them all at once.
So, we’re going to simplify things and make it easy on ourselves. I’ll will show you five simple tips that will make learning the tarot card meanings easy and fun. Check out this video, or keep reading below…
There’s no right way or wrong way to read the cards, just like there’s no right way or wrong way to learn them. There’s only YOUR way.
And I’m going to help you make YOUR way simple and easy. But there are three important things you’ll want to remember first.
Rule One for Learning the Meaning of Tarot Cards
You’ve heard me say it before, but there’s no right way or wrong way to do this. There’s only the way that works for you. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t work, just try something else.
Patience will be key. Your tarot journey is a life-long adventure. There will be times when you use your cards every day. There will be times when the cards sit on a shelf for months at a time.
When you have the energy and interest, do a little bit every single day. It all adds up. This is about the journey, not the destination, anyway, so make every single day of the journey as enjoyable as possible.
So be easy on yourself and be patient. If you keep at it and never ever give up, you will be guaranteed success.
Rule Two for Learning the Meaning of Tarot Cards
Trying to memorize the card meanings is boring, difficult, and takes too long. It doesn’t really work anyway, because you’re likely to forget the meanings quickly.
Trying to read the cards using only your intuition and the images on the cards is possible, but incredibly limiting. One of the best things about tarot is that it’ll call you out when you’re taking shortcuts or behaving at less than your best.
If you read using only your intuition, you’re missing out on so much that the tarot can offer.
So my solution is to throw everything at it. Why limit yourself? Use your intuition WITH the symbols and images on the cards AND the patterns behind their meanings AND the stories that hold it all together.
Rule Three for Learning the Meaning of Tarot Cards
Make it as easy as possible on yourself. This means cheating and using any and every trick you can find to help you learn and remember the card meanings. This is the best way to building your confidence.
Specific ways you can cheat include using a printed tarot cheat sheet, using flashcards, or even using a tarot deck that has the keywords and tarot card meanings printed right on the cards.
If you want to start with a (totally free!) Tarot Cheat Sheet, just enter your email right here and I’ll send you one right away:
Those are the three key things to remember as you learn the cards. Now, let’s move on to the specific, easy, and fun action steps you can take.
Tip One: Take Daily Action
Draw one card each day, and use that card to direct your energy for the day. Find examples throughout your day of how that card is speaking to you.
I like to keep a deck of cards near my coffee pot, because I spend a few good minutes there every morning, while I wait for my morning crack to brew. I also like to rubber band my Daily Card to the back of my phone using a hair tie, so I’m looking at it a zillion times throughout the day.
It’s important to keep tarot top of mind, and these simple hacks can help you learn the tarot card meanings in no time.
Tip Two: Use a Journal
Use a journal (like The Simple Tarot Journal) to record your Daily Draw, every tarot spread you pull, and to write stories about the cards.
The Daily Draw is pretty obvious. You pull one card a day, and journal about it. Then, the next day, you see how that card played out in the previous day’s events.
Recording every tarot spread you pull is super valuable, because it helps you to see preferences and patterns in your readings. Plus, you can often understand a reading better with distance and hindsight than you can in the moment.
Recording your growth is super motivating!
And if you’re a writer or journaler – and I know many of us are – use your tarot cards to write stories. Lay out the Minor Arcana, the Ace through the Tens from a suit, and write a story about the progression.
Write a story using the Major Arcana as the plot of the Hero’s Journey.
Think of experiences and people from your life, and tie them to each card. This is very powerful, especially if you write it down. Humans remember stories – it’s one of the best memory tools we have!
Tip Three: Make It Easy
Create an “ugly” deck of flashcards. This is basically a deck with training wheels on it. This is such a simple tips for learning the meaning of tarot cards.
When I first started learning how to read tarot, I got a used copy of the classic Rider-Waite-Smith deck and used a black sharpie to write the tarot card meanings and keywords on the face of each of the cards. It looked atrocious, but it was my favorite deck for awhile because I could feel my tarot reading confidence grow every time I used it.
A much prettier version is The Simple Tarot Deck, which has the card meanings and keywords right on the cards.
You could also make a deck of flashcards, writing the tarot card meanings on the BACKS of the cards, and quizzing yourself when you stand in line or have a few extra minutes to yourself.
Tip Four: Make It Fun
Combine tarot with your favorite hobbies. Did you know there are tarot knitting patterns? And tarot card coloring books? And my favorite – tarot planners.
I”m a planner geek, and I use tiny tarot stickers that perfectly fit my Hobonichi planner to record my Daily Draw.
But if you want something that combines coloring books, tarot, and planners, check out the incredible Tarot Journal from Coloring Book of Shadows. I can’t even – it’s so awesome.
No matter what your hobby, there will be a way you can integrate the tarot cards into it.
What would The Empress grow in her garden? Grow those things.
What music would The Star sing or play? Make that music, or create a playlist.
What exercise would The High Priestess do? Move your body in that way.
Tip Five: Involve Others
Don’t try to learn in isolation. Tarot is a participatory activity. While you don’t ever have to read for other people if you don’t want to, it’s so much more enjoyable to share your experiences with others.
Join a few of the tarot Facebook Groups out there to see where your people hang out. Be sure to check out The Simple Tarot’s group – we’re awesome and we’re sharing our tarot knowledge and our experience every single day.
So, find a tarot buddy to study with. They will have different connections to each card, and their insight will increase the diversity of your card knowledge.
Plus, you can support each other as you learn, and a loving friend is the perfect audience to practice reading for, if you want to try reading for others.
Putting it all together
So, those are my top five tips for learning the meaning of your tarot cards. I hope you found this post helpful.
Don’t forget to download your totally free printable PDF tarot cheat sheet, and if you have any questions at all – or want to share some more tarot learning tips of your own – drop a note in our private Facebook Group. I’d love to hear from you!