Tarot readers and teachers are often asked, "What is the best way to learn tarot?" All teachers have an opinion, which is generally reflected in their teaching style. What is probably a better question to ask is: How do you best learn? There are various theories about different learning styles and this article will just touch on a few, and I imagine most people are combination learners. So look through the possibilities below. Pick the ones that sound the most interesting to you and dive in.
The Visual Learner
Then regroup them by number or rank, such as The Magician and the Aces, the High Priestess and the twos, and so on. Look at the similarities and differences in order to learn a deeper layer of nuance.
To take this even further, compare the same cards from different decks. The cards mean so much that any single image cannot present all the facets. My book Tarot for Beginners helps illustrate this approach.
To help enhance your retention of information, create diagrams, draw comic strips, make posters, or develop a power point. These activities can help you refine your understanding and give you visuals that you can refer to in your mind's eye as you work with the cards. Tarot lends itself well to art journaling and would suit any visual learner's style.
The Aural Learner
Another avenue to explore are podcasts and radio show archives (such as can be found on Blog Talk Radio).
To help enhance your retention of information, write jingles or rhymes or create a mnemonic device.
The Verbal Learner
Journaling is also useful for the verbal learner.
Another way you can enhance your learning is by teaching—not teaching professionally (if you are a beginner), but many people do learn by teaching. Find a buddy who is interested (perhaps an aural learner) and explain things to them as you learn them or join a meet up or local tarot group and offer to lead a meeting. If you don't have a buddy handy, write out your own instruction books…knowing that they are exercises and not final products.
The Logical Learner
To enhance your retention, journal or make posters or mind maps of your compare/contrast studies as well as your observations from the activities from the visual learner section. These help you see the patterns in tarot, which is something the logical brain loves.
The Social Learner
One way for social learners to reinforce their knowledge is to play games. One common game at conferences is for everyone to have a card taped to their back. You get to ask yes or no questions until you determine what card is on your back. Another idea is to give everyone a court card (that they don't show anyone else). Then draw three cards from the rest of the deck (without court cards in it) to create a scene. Every interacts improv-style as their court card character.
Tarot Face to Face by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin has other activities that can used in a social setting, as does Tarot Diva by Sasha Graham.
The Solitary Learner
However, not all solitary learners are scholars, nor do they want to be. Any of the other methods (except social) can be used and enjoyed by solitaries. Books that might appeal to the non-logical solitaries are Mary K. Greer's 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Mary K. Greer, a book that takes you through twenty-one different ways to consider a single card, or Psychic Tarot by Nancy Antenucci, that explores the cards in a more intuitive way.
Solitary learners can enhance their learning in many fun ways. Journaling, of course, if a natural fit. Writing book or deck reviews is a great exercise, if done right. Rather than simply a record of your opinion, make the first step to understand the creator or author's purpose, their thesis, if you will, and then outline their supporting material. Understand what they are trying to accomplish and how they are accomplishing it. Then critique how well they achieved their goal. What could they have done differently or better? What did they do that was great and why?
Jump In and Do It
Barbara Moore (Saint Paul, MN) has studied and read tarot since the early 1990s. She wrote the bestselling Tarot for Beginners and more than a dozen other books, and she has contributed to many bestselling tarot kits, ...