Tarot is simple. But like all simple things, it is easily misunderstood. And once something is misunderstood, it becomes complicated. And once something becomes complicated, it becomes difficult. And once something is difficult, it becomes frustrating, serious, and filled with effort.
To do truly great Tarot readings, you have to keep things simple. And when something is simple, it becomes easy. And once something is easy, it becomes fun, enjoyable and effortless.
So, how do you go from complicated to simple?
Before I get into it, I already know what some of you are thinking.
“That’s so obvious.”
“Come on Doug, I’m a serious student of Tarot and this is insulting.”
But before you go hitting the back button, I can guarantee that this will improve your Tarot readings.
Here’s the thing. I know a lot of people get hooked on learning the symbolism of each card, the divinatory meanings of each card, the Numerology of each card, the Astrological associations of each card, the Alchemy involved with certain cards, the Occult significance of each card and the the Elements, but tell me this; isn’t that making it all a little … complicated?
Each card is a single personality
The Tower is the Tower. It is not a collection of interesting symbols or abstract Occult, Numerological and Astrological principles. It is a thing in its own right. It’s the Tower. It’s as simple as that.
Each card is a complete personality. It is a single force – not a collection of separate and disjointed symbols that go together in a disjointed way. Tarot is simple because each card represents a single Idea.
The Two of Cups is a single idea. It’s a simple and elegant representation of Love. The Emperor represents the idea of Authority and the Moon represents the idea of “hiddenness”.
The point is, each card represents one thing. Sure, it’s interesting to read about the individual components of each card, but that still doesn’t take away from the fact that each card is a single personality that does one thing only.
Learn what that one thing is and start doing great Tarot readings
The major problem, from what I can see, is that people complicate Tarot. I’ve seen people that try and force a divinatory meaning onto a reading that just didn’t make any sense. I’ve seen people do the same thing with a Numerology, Astrology or Alchemical meaning.
So much effort is expended in forcing these meanings onto the cards that the actual card itself is forgotten. The Temperance card is no longer the idea of “moderation”, now it’s an alchemical process that they absolutely must apply to this Tarot reading … even though it doesn’t fit. Suddenly, people have made things complicated.
Doing great Tarot readings is about letting things be what they are. The 3 of Swords is sorrow – that’s it. It’s a simple and elegant Idea. Respect that.
That doesn’t mean that it lacks substance. It’s just that each card is an idea. One. It’s not two or three or four different ideas. That would be complicated. It is one single idea.
First, let me say that I would encourage you to get to know your Tarot deck intimately. Find out what personality is in each card. Don’t just accept my understanding, or even what the creator of the Deck thinks – this is all about your relationship with Tarot.
Okay, now that I’ve got that out the way, lets say that we agree that the Emperor represents Authority and the 2 of Cups represents Love.
Paired together, the story these two cards tell is: “Yes, this man does love you and yes, he does need to control you and the relationship.”
The point I’m making is that once you have worked out what each card represents, reading Tarot cards is easy. It may not seem like it, but doing something this simple will unlock much of the Tarot’s ability to communicate with you.