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Tarot Reading for Beginners

Introductory Tarot Workshop

This Introductory Tarot Workshop provides students with critical memorization KEYS in learning the meanings of the 78 Cards that comprise a classic Tarot deck. All graduates of Kathleen's introductory workshop will know the,

  • Structure of the classic 78 Card Tarot deck,
  • Larger psycho/spiritual messages conveyed in the Tarot,
  • Her/story, culture, and psychology of the Tarot,
  • Connections to the writings of Carl Jung are made throughout the course along with its spiritual significance.

Introductory Tarot Course Materials ($75-$100)

There are over 500 Tarot Decks in print. For the Tarot Introductory Course you are strongly encouraged to study a deck that fits with your spiritual and philosophical background. It is likely you will own several decks before your study is completed!

Additional Materials

Organize a binder with dividers to separate the Tarot subjects in a way that makes the most sense to you. Examples of subjects for your dividers might include:
  1. Answers to course quizzes.
  2. Exercises recommended throughout the course. There are exercises included in each lesson to deepen your understanding of the cards.
  3. Personal interpretations of the cards based upon your first impressions of cards and experiences gained through reading for yourself.
  4. Recalled dreams that relate to your Tarot study.
  5. Record of personal readings.
  6. Psychic experiences.
  7. Notes on specific cards you have difficulty remembering (which may point to a hidden or denied aspect of you!)
  8. Personal growth experiences while studying and working with the Tarot.

Visconti Tarot Card Deck

Your binder will be your guide to the Tarot and the best book you'll ever own on the subject. Upon completion of your courses you will have created a record of your study and psycho-spiritual development and you'll have a record of your first client - YOU.

Sample Introductory Class

The Sacred Tarot

© Kathleen Meadows, M.A.

Tarot and the Kabbalah

No physical evidence exists to back up the claim that Tarot cards derive from the tradition of Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah. (The word means "received doctrine" and implies an oral, or secret tradition.) Yet the links appear so compelling that the connection between the two has become the main line of symbolic interpretation, as well as the basis for many of the meanings used by Tarot readers in divination. For example, the Hebrew alphabet contains 22 letters and the Major Arcana of the Tarot has 22 cards.

Kabbalists believe that God created the universe in 4 stages, and there are four worlds. The highest world is one of pure light (closest to God) and the lowest world is our ordinary, daily life. The Tarot has 4 suits in the Minor Arcana. The two Arcanas speak to different aspects of our lives. The Major Arcana addresses the big issues in our lives (similar to the highest world in the Kabbalah) and the Minor Arcana speaks to our day to day concerns similar to the "lowest" world in the Kabbalah.

Some Tarot masters will claim that the Kabbalah mystics secretly created the Tarot to be a pictorial code for their abstract ideas.

Buddhism and the Tarot

Superconsciousness is a level of consciousness that suggests we are “all one”. This universal consciousness is referred to in Buddhism, as “enlightenment”. For students interested in Zen Buddhism, the Osho Zen Tarot deck and book set is based upon the teachings of Zen related to the teachings in the Tarot. Another deck was published by Llewellyn 2004, titled, The Buddha Tarot by Robert M. Place; the author of your text The Tarot: History, Symbolism and Divination.

The Tarot and the Gnostics

Nigel Jackson made the following connection of the Tarot to the beliefs and teachings of the Gnostics, who are considered the mystical arm of Christendom.

The Legend of the Soul: Gnostic Narrative in the Tarot by Nigel Jackson, author of the Medieval Tarot, Llewellyn Publications, 2000

“The sequence of the Major Arcana in the traditional order, unfolds the Gnostic myth of the Spirit’s beginning, original, paradise state, and its fall into incarnation. The Soul, incarnated, then faces a series of ordeals along the Way of the Mysteries until final redemption and release is attained through Knowledge of the divine self. Many Gnostic elements have here constellated around the ancient drama of the Orphic Mysteries, and the Neo-Pythagorean teachings. These are the real Arcana, the “secrets” within the Tarot, encapsulating the ancestry and future destiny of the Soul, and opening a royal pathway to perfection and Godhead."

Dreams and the Tarot

Dream interpretation also has a long and erudite history within all the mystical traditions of the world. In the Bible for example, by successfully analyzing the Pharaoh’s dream, which prophesied seven years of bounty and seven years of famine, Joseph was granted freedom to return to his homeland.

There is a connection between the study of dreams and the study of the Tarot. Both studies draw us into an active process of translating images, feelings, impressions and insights from the unconscious, archetypal world to our mundane waking, conscious life. In psychological language this is a process whereby contents from the unconscious are invited to influence, and transform the conscious mind.

When we actively engage with messages received from our unconscious mind, whether through dreams, Tarot, meditation, or other spiritual practices, we make decisions which are in sync with the invisible energy forces that envelope us.

Exercises

Three Card Spread

Do this spread using ONLY your Major Arcana and journal this reading in your workbook:

(Always remember to include) Date:

Position One in the Centre is the Present.

Position Two on the Left is the Past

Position Three on the Right is the Future.

Tarot Storytelling

Randomly choose a card from your deck and begin a story based on the picture. When you reach an exciting moment, turn over the next card and continue the story from this new picture. This will help to develop your story-telling skills, learn your deck, and generate more connections to the meanings of your cards.

Personality, Soul and Year Tarot Cards

Angeles Arrien, author of The Tarot Handbook developed a system that demonstrates how the cards reveal your personality and soul. You can also use it to find the Major Arcana card for any year.

Write down your date of birth in numbers and do it in three lines, then add these numbers together vertically and their sum add together horizontally following the example below:

January 22, 1950,

1

22

1950

Add 1 + 22 + 1950 = 1973

Addl 1 + 9 + 7 + 3 = 20 Your personality card would be Judgment, now add 2 + 0 = 2, your soul card is 2 The High Priestess.

For your year card, you use the same method, except exchange the year of your birth for the year you wish to determine,

For example, (Date of Birth) January 6, (year you wish to determine) 2004

1

6

2004 Add 1 + 6 + 2004 = 2011
Now add 2 + 0 + 1 + 1 = 4 which will reveal your Tarot card for the coming year is the Emperor.

The personality card is a reflection of your expression in the outer world; your talent, gifts, resources, and how others see you. Your soul card reveals the deepest core of who you are; your true, authentic and timeless inner being.

One woman calculated her year card to be the Justice card and the night before had been her first night to sit on the Aboriginal Justice Circle when she met with her first client.

Dreamwork Exercise with the Tarot Cards

Record your dreams in the morning and record what you remember of the card’s meanings that you studied the previous day.

Paint a Tarot Card

Pick your favourite Major Arcana card and copy it onto a paper or a card. Draw it exactly the way it appears and use coloured paints, crayons or markers to colour it. Now imagine doing all 78 cards!

Study Other Tarot Decks Online

Go to Tarot sites on the Internet that depict full colour pictures of Tarot decks. Compare and contrast your chosen deck with 3 other decks.
Read Cynthia Gile’s The Tarot: History, Mystery and Lore over the next three weeks.

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