In 2004, I wrote my first tarot book. It got great reviews, but you have probably never noticed it because it was a Dutch book, and you may not be fluent in it 😉. Thousands of people still learn about tarot with my book. The way I teach tarot is not the only way. I love other people’s techniques because I learn a lot about them. But I have three pet peeves that I want to discuss with beginning and advanced tarot readers.
But first, let me tell a story about my book Tarot Guide for Beginners. I knew it had been helpful to people. I never understood how helpful it was until about five years ago in 2017 (years after the publisher discontinued the book), a lady heard my name. Her eyes turned big as if she had been stung by a bee. “Jolanda Bolt?” she parroted my name after me. “Allow me to ask you a weird question, but are you THE Jolanda Bolt, who wrote the Tarot Werkboek?” When I acknowledged her, she said: “Oh my god, you changed my life!”
It was my turn to be surprised. “Changed your life?” I said, suddenly afraid I had ruined it. “Yes,” she said, “you taught me to read the cards, and my life hasn’t been the same since then!” “Oh my god, I have a fan!” I said, and we both laughed out loud. We talked for a while, and she insisted that I’d give her an autograph on a piece of paper that she could stick in her book. It was a funny situation, but it also felt terrific, knowing I had made a difference in someone’s life.
The new book to learn about tarot
In 2021, I took the book and translated it into English. I thought it would be an easy task, but I almost regretted my decision weeks later. Even though I had no one to answer to, I noticed how my view on reading tarot cards had changed over the last twenty years. I noticed I had to rewrite a lot and at first, I felt bummed about it. But then I embraced it (as I didn’t have anything else to do) and set out to finish it because I wanted to impact more lives.
On this day, June 3rd 2022, the day I write this blog, I have declared the manuscript FINISHED, and have set the publishing date on 11 August 2022! Now you can learn about tarot with me! I have big plans for future publications and transformational opportunities.
Translating and rewriting the book helped me reconnect with the beginning reader I once was. I see how I used writing to learn or at least to put a lot of feelings around tarot cards into words. I still use writing to learn. Having to translate the text I wrote twenty years ago made me aware of how overwhelming it can be to look at those seventy-eight cards. To have no clue about their meaning. It all came back to me.
Here are three important lessons about reading tarot cards I want to share with you if you are a beginning tarot reader.
Don’t memorize the meaning
When you learn about tarot and how to do a reading, many beginning tarot readers think they need to memorize the meaning of a card. Memorizing the meaning could help when you want to become more fluent and confident, but it will grow on you when you keep practicing. Who cares if you use a book? I use books sometimes! Especially when my soul and my brain aren’t aligned, which happens. Try not to have too high expectations about how you “should” read tarot cards. Make it your own, and if a tarot book is part of it… Share the title with me if it’s a good one 😜
Above that, I firmly believe that creating a great reading is also about connecting specific keywords you once wrote down in your tarot journal or that you just found in a book. You can’t remember all those keywords. It’s impossible! So use a notebook or a book, who cares? What you do with those keywords is more important. How are you creating value in your reading? What story are you telling through the cards? We human beings thrive on stories.
Your expectations about memorizing all card meanings may come from seeing someone reading the cards with ease. While it may help to know some meaning, it helps you more if you can freely associate what you think it means and build a story around that. This skill is something you learn by doing hundreds dozens of readings.
Thirdly, knowing the meaning of the cards comes in time, when you do many readings. You do that by pulling a card for yourself every day. Don’t let your expectations ruin your joy in doing a reading when you learn about tarot. Allow yourself to not have a clue and then save the day by just telling a story of what you see on the card.
Stop using big tarot spreads
This aspect is a bit of a pet peeve for me. You don’t need any big tarot spreads to do a reading. An important example of a big spread is the well-known Celtic Cross tarot spread. When I first started to learn about tarot reading, I used this spread in all my readings, even when I had a simple question. I didn’t know any other way to do a reading.
Now I know that a simple question earns a simple tarot spread. If there is one thing I want to teach you when you learn about tarot, it is that you don’t need any spreads at all. One question, one card. Learn to tell the story that is in that one card. It is enough—more than enough.
There are a gazillion tarot spreads, but I mostly use spreads with a maximum of five cards. Because I often do my personal readings in the evening, I need to stop the reading when it is bedtime and I don’t like half-finished readings. I’ve never been good at picking up a half-finished reading because it’s all about the vibes of the moment. An extensive reading only works when you can finish it in one sitting.
One card reading it is for me.
Not taking action
But the most crucial aspect that beginning AND advanced readers need to do is to take action on their reading. Most of us (me included) do a reading and leave it with that. But a reading is incomplete when you don’t do something with it.
When you look at the questions you ask, there’s often a desire behind it that we want to manifest. Manifestation only works when we manage to change the vibration of this current dimension by taking action. If you’ve ever watched water turn into ice or water turn into vapor, you know it takes time to change vibration. But in our current mindset, we think we only have to do things once to manifest our big dreams.
Manifesting takes a lot of time and a lot of energy. But we become impatient and think too hard about it. We think it back into the fourth dimension, the dimension of thoughts and emotions. By taking action we bring it into the third dimension, the dimension of the physical level. Sometimes I wish we wouldn’t have a brain to think so much. What would happen if we only knew to take action? Life would be so much easier.
If taking action is difficult, do a reading on how you can make it easier for yourself to take the action that is needed. Do you need to make your goals smaller? Easier? Simpler? Do you need different actions that you’ve been trying all the time? I’m a firm believer in radically different action. Stop thinking so much. It makes it harder…
Tarot Guide for Beginners
My book, Tarot Guide for Beginners, has been released on 11 August 2022. Your journey to learn about tarot takes off! Why don’t you subscribe to my newsletter to stay in the loop about this and future releases or readings?
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