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A Beginner's Guide to Tarot: Take Control of Your Life with Cards

by Boran GÖHER

Ever since they were re-popularized around the beginning of the 19th century, Tarot divination has been a popular concept both in public life and popular media. You yourself have probably seen a Tarot divination scene in a TV show or a Tarot deck in a store. If that is your only exposure to Tarot cards, you might think that they seem kind of confusing. This appears to be a general phenomenon where people believe Tarot cards are more complex than they actually are. However, they are not difficult to grasp once you get to know the basics. And once you get the hang of it, you can start using your knowledge in order to attune your way of living to your spiritual energy and begin turning a new page in your life, or you could also use it to impress potential partners or whatever.

Now, many people will start learning about the subject by reading what the cards represent, their most common interpretations, the lore behind each card, and so on. While this might seem like the obvious approach, I would not recommend it. First of all, that is a lot of information to take in at once; you will most likely either get burnt out or forget half of what you have learned in a week. Second, that way of learning simply goes against the spirit of the Tarot. Mysticism is not Science; it doesn’t depend on memorization but rather an intuitive understanding. You must grasp the meaning of cards by gradually building familiarity, not by simply reading upon them.

My advice would be to instead first come in contact with Tarot readings by getting a reading from someone else. This is the easier way to get acquainted with the Tarot; since you will start by relating the cards to your own life, it will be much easier for you to gain familiarity with the deck. It is also good to have an idea of how the reading should proceed. However, finding a suitable medium can be challenging, and a reading can sometimes cost a hefty price. Recently, online services for Tarot readings have become both more popular and more affordable, so they are also an option, but you can also opt for an automatic reading and phase out the medium altogether. This is sub-optimal, as the best seancés will result from a personal understanding between the medium and customer, but automatic readings are always available and generally free.

Some websites offer services like free daily tarot readings that can help you familiarize yourself with the concept. If you end up wanting more, you can try to get an audience with an actual medium later. Whenever you notice that the readings start to feel familiar instead of something completely new, you should pick up a deck of cards if you are still interested. Picking a deck can be a daunting task for a beginner since there are hundreds of different decks. Most of these are based on one of the standard decks, though, so you can just pick a standard deck and go from there. My personal advice would be to pick a deck based on the Rider-Waite deck, which is the most popular base and a good starting point for beginners. I further recommend that you get a deck that comes with a manual that you can refer to when you need further information on a given card.

With a good deck and manual on one hand and familiarity with the readings on the other, you are now ready to make your first forays into the vast world of Tarot card readings. I suggest you start by doing readings where you pull a small number of cards from the deck; many readings are possible with Tarot cards, but these are the simplest. You can try to give your own daily reading off one card now, or perhaps you can do the past-present-future reading with three cards. After getting a bit of experience, you can start doing more complicated readings or readings on friends. Have fun!

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