Should Tarot be self taught?
Is an intuitive approach the best way to go?
Yesterday I received two comments on my web site. Essentially they both stated that approaching Tarot intuitively is better than learning from books or from a teacher.
Ryosuke’ s comment is too long for me to post here.
She writes that she started studying Tarot when she was only eight years old. She states that at that age it was hard for her to understand what the esoteric/ spiritual books written by adults were saying. So, she began interpreting what she saw in the illustrations.
She wrote :”I had the advantage of not being poisoned by traditional meanings early in the learning process.”
She suggests you should go with your own observations of the illustrations first, then the observations of others and finally all the books you can find.
She goes on to explain that any image can be a Tarot card and that everyone’s interpretation of the card will be different, because every person will interpret it according to his/ her own life experience.
Ryosuke unfortunately has had a sad childhood that has left her with a dark vision of life. In her own words, she expects everyone to want to hurt her.
As a reader she says she is better able to help her clients by asking them what they see in a card, rather than what she sees.
She writes that she does not have to read based on traditional meanings alone and that Tarot should always be self taught.
First, I would like to thank Ryosuke for sharing her view with me.
Second, I would like to tell her that I am sorry for the sadness and abuse she endured.
I hope she is working on it with a therapist, because expecting everyone to want to hurt her is not healthy. It must make her life very stressful.
Third. Personally I feel that a reader needs to be emotionally balanced and grounded to do a good job.
I even discourage clients to come to me when they are extremely upset. I suggest they wait a few days to calm down a bit. Clear up their minds and their intentions.
Should Tarot always be self taught?
To an extent it usually is.
Even if you take classes, you will spend a lot of time alone working with the cards. Many readers will also spend a lot of time reading Tarot books and trying to figure out what works for them. I don’t interpret the cards based only on traditional meanings. I believe most readers combine what they know about the card in front of them, with the image they see and what stands out for them at that moment. They also consider the question, the position of the cards, the surrounding cards and what comes intuitively to them.
There is nothing wrong in asking clients what they see in the cards. You get a lot of insight out of that and many readers use that approach. Of course, not all clients want to do that, so the reader has two options.
1) Be clear with potential clients about her/ his reading style.
2) Be able to read the cards without that much input from the clients.
The second point is why I believe there is merit in learning the meaning of symbols, how the elements work and interact and Numerology. In other words,
Tarot contains a lot of wisdom. The cards addresses all experiences we may have. Some people may be able to tune in without much effort, but most need help.
Also, I believe that by approaching Tarot with solid knowledge and not only intuitively, it is easier to stay detached and unbiased with our interpretation.
Thank you Ryosuke for your thought provoking comment.
I will address the other reader comment separately.