by Emma Sunerton-Burl
People often ask me how to go about learning to read the tarot. There are many decks available and often these have very comprehensive books along with them. This is one way to go about learning the traditional meanings of your deck, or the meanings the authors intended, however there is another way to use the cards. This involves stretching your intuitive muscles, learning to trust the little nudges your inner voice directs to you, often through your imagination.
To learn your deck you can take each card and travel into it allowing the deck image to trigger within you stories and journeys that bring with them messages for your own inner development as well as for your learning of what the card can mean and say in a reading. I believe if you allow to let your deck talk to you, then the learning you gain in your own life will be invaluable and the practice in trusting your intuition and understanding your own symbols will transform your ability to read the cards for others even with cards you havn't travelled into. After a while of doing these specific journeys for yourself, you will find you can look at a card and travel within it, asking for its meaning, whilst doing a reading without elaborate visualisations and meditation, thus gaining a way to hear your own intuitive voice and knowing, as it relates to anothers question.
I will outline the way to go into a card at first for your own development and the understanding of a card.
So take your deck of cards - having chosen one that you just like and are drawn to, and find the first card, 0 the Fool, Look at it closely and make a note of anything that comes to your mind just looking at it - the bits you like and the bits you don't and why. When you have studied the card for a few mins and feel you can roughly remember the image you are ready to begin the meditation. Don't feel you need to remember the card in detail, anything you forget is part of the intuition, you will see the images you need to. Try to leave your judging mind behind and be open to experience whatever is there, there isn't a right or wrong image to have, there is only your image.
Then get yourself in to a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and as you breath out allow yourself to let go of tension thoughts and worries, just breath them out - for the time being you only need to focus inwards. Then imagine brilliant white light coming from the center of the earth up into your feet, slowly coming into your legs, hips, back, stomach, chest and shoulders down your arms into your finger tips and then up into your head so you are filled with light. Take your time over this allow yourself to name each part of you as the light comes into it, see the light as a supportive and gental peaceful energy that slowly fills you. Then imagine a star up in the sky sending you the most beautiful light that enters your head and fills you body slowly until it reaches your toes. Again speak each part of your body to yourself as it fills it slowly and feel the loving healing energy that comes to you from this starlight.
Once you are filled with light from both star and ground, imagine a staircase in front of you going upwards and walk up the stairs, getting lighter in weight as you do. At the top see the card in front of you as a doorway, go through the door into the card. Notice how you feel in the card - the temperature, the weather, the emotional feel of the card. Look around and see what images are there, and see them moving, being and doing what they do. As you take in the scene allow it to develop into a story, unfolding into whatever it does. You can walk up to any object, person or animal and ask it/them to tell you what its meaning is in the card and what message it might have for you.
Allow yourself to go to the places you are drawn to in the card and explore them. Ask questions when you don't understand or want to know something and allow the answer to come to you. You may feel like you are making it all up and its just your imagination - do not worry about this - just take things as they are without judgement when you return from the journey you can discern what you wish to take and what you wish to leave.
When you have journeyed enough thank the characters in the card and see a doorway of light in front of you as you walk through this doorway you find yourself at the top of the stairs, which you walk down - feeling heavier and heavier as you do. When you reach the bottom see yourself in a bubble of golden light and then slowly bring your attention back to the room.
It is good to record your journey straight away - either by drawing or writing or both so you have a record of how the journey went and any message that were gioven to you. Once done you can leave it and come back a read it a few days or a week later and see how what you received had relevance in your life. Doing a card a week is enough or even one a month to give each card a chance to work with you in a personal way. You may find after a visualisation such as this things come to you while relaxing, or about to fall alseep at night or in your dreams - make a note of anything that comes to you in this way. A picture will be building of the scope of your card as well as of what you need to be focusing on in your life at the time.
There is a more detailed account of the light visualisation on my website and I welcome any comments on this article or the visualisations you do following this method, just send them in an email
Also on my website I offer a free sign up to 'card of the month' where you can receive the full journeys I have completed into one of my decks the 'Sacred Circle' each month by email.
About the Author
I have been using the tarot for 18 years, developing my psychic and intuitive faculties along the way. I am an endorsed member of the Tarot Association of the British Isles. I offer tarot readings, face to face in North Wales also telephone, email and distance readings. See my website for further details.
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