Raven's Pagan Pages
Share this page with a friend!
Type In Your Name:

Type In Your E-mail:

Your Friend's E-mail:

Your Comments:

Receive copy:  

UPDATE: I have now removed my discussion pages. I have had no feed back from any visitor and I feel they are simply a waste of webspace. If you would like to discuss any tarot card or deck please feel free to post on the message board. Or email me directly. I am considering forming an egroup for discussion purposes. Please email me if you would be interested in that

Raven's Tarot Teaching Page 1

In most Tarot groups with which I have had dealings they suggest keeping a journal of daily study. When you are in the beginning phase of learning a new deck this process is invaluable. The journal can be any kind of blank notebook or a binder with blank sheets. This book can be decorated or not, this is a personal preference and you are the only one who can choose what your journal will look like. The outside is not the important part, as in most things it's what's on the inside that counts.

Once you have chosen your journal your next step is to decide which exercises you want to proceed with. One of the most useful exercises I have found is to study a card for a week. A week is a good time period to work with because it's enough time to get acquainted with the card but not too much time that you will become bored with it either. I usually start from the beginning of the deck. This varies from deck to deck but starting with the first card of the major arcana is usually a good place to get started. For instance the first deck I was giving the Little White Booklet stated the Fool as the first card of the deck so that is where I began my studies.

The first exercise to practice is to study the card and take notes on all of the symbols that stick out to you. Each of these symbols can have meaning, it is a good time to really look at the card and take into account your personal feelings on that particular card or symbol on that card. For instance: The Fool: the flower in his hand, the dog, the craggy mountain tops. All of these symbols have meaning. But if I were to note the look of his face or the pattern of the material of his tunic, these would most likely have a personal meaning. And there are times when symbols that have meaning in the traditional sense will have an entirely different meaning to you. This must all be taken into account for the card and how you will interpret it. This is why you do this exercise on the first night of your studies. (Night. Yes I did say night didn't I? I suppose it's a habit since I do all my studies before bed, I find this the best time to study because things are quiet in the house and I can devote as much of my time to it as necessary. There is also the extra bonus of dreaming about the cards when I am done and lay my head down on my pillow.)

The next night of study will continue the first exercise. Review your notes and make sure that you have included all the things that you have found that are important when YOU look at the card. Now take out your little white booklet (that's the insert that comes with your particular deck, some decks come with actual books and these can be very helpful when starting out but they are just a guide) and see what that has to say about the card. I usually write this down in my journal because I find it easier to remember things after I have written them down. You can continue this with the table of symbols and meanings in the back of this book as well. Then last but most definitely not least, your interpretation of the symbols or a general feeling you have about the card. You can create your own table of keywords to which you can refer often and brush up on when necessary.

The next exercise is developing a script or story about the card. Sometimes it is very helpful when reading cards for other people to tell the story of the card. The fool stands on mountain tops and looks as though he might fall to his death at any moment... Stories like these are very helpful in showing a person how this card relates to them and their life. Every reader's story will differ; at least I hope they do. Every person will see the card a little differently also and that is probably the most interesting thing about interpretation because it does differ. No two readings should be exactly the same. You should write a little bit of a story about the card, nothing too elaborate. Something easy to remember and something that will fit into a reading without time constraints. The major arcana are usually better for this because of the detail of the pictures of the cards. The suits minor arcana sometimes don't have pictures that you can associate freely with symbols or a story. If the suits are like this you will have to rely more on your memory and the keywords you develop for each of the pips. So instead of developing a script on the night of this exercise you should study your keywords again.
For more insights on the suits without pictures it's best to use your little white booklet or your deck's book. While this is a bit less personal it will allow you to give an interpretation. Personally, I like to find a deck with pictures even in the minor arcana. It really does allow you to give a more personal reading and it's more entertaining for those who are receiving the reading. BUT IF A DECK SPEAKS TO YOU pick that deck! Don't just pick a deck based upon the pictures! I've had a few decks over the years that only had pips on the minor arcana and the readings became very intense after I got used to the cards. My story had to develop based on the meanings in the little white booklet but it did develop. The cards eventually "spoke" to me and my meanings became very personal.

The first week's study will seem a bit monotonous because you don't have any other cards to review but taking a week for each card will be a real asset once you get started because the next night's exercise is to review your notes on all the cards that you have studied so far. Take out your deck and layout each of the cards you have studied and from memory try to remember the meaning of that card and your story of the card. After a few weeks of study you may want to give yourself more time on this particular night since there will be a lot of cards to go over.

The last night of study for the week. Do a reading for yourself, shuffle your cards and do a simple layout. Try to use your story and your meanings as best you can from memory but refer to your notes as often as necessary and use the little white booklet for the cards you have not studied yet. This exercise is one that you will continue even after you have studied for years, at least it has for me. If time allows record your readings either on paper or use a cassette tape recorder or for the techno junkies like myself keep them on disk! You should be able to measure your progress by referring to older exercises and checking your interpretations.

I believe I have kept it to five nights for the week, no one should study all the time. But if you want to practice more feel free! Review as often as you want and do practice readings for yourself and maybe even a few close friends. The more readings you do the faster you will learn the cards.

Next lesson: Layouts (coming soon)

This page is still a work in progress check back often for updates or subscribe to my mailing list to stay informed of changes.


This site is a member of WebRing. To browse visit


Click here to join All Things Tarot Webring
This site owned by Raven Blues
[ Previous 5 Sites|Skip Previous|Previous|Next|Skip Next|Next 5 Sites|Random Site|List Sites]


Thanks for visiting my page!
Please, take a moment and sign my guestbook.


Magic Magic Page Two Tarot The Runes Special Thanks Witchcraft and What it Means The Year My Artist Friends Poetry


Graphics provided by
The Design Team.
We've got designs on you!