I have already talked about easy ways to learn how to read tarot cards in a previous post. I discussed imagery and how it is key in understanding the meanings of the cards on a personal level. It was only today however that it first dawned on me that you technically don’t have to learn the meanings of the cards at all! in fact you could technically read tarot cards without ever having looked up a card.

I learned to read tarot cards by learning all of the meanings of the Rider Waite deck and then looking at the imagery and adding to the meaning in my own little way. I’d make notes about what each card meant to me personally, but it was still based on the meanings which I had learned about from reading articles and books on the subject. It is only now that I realise it might not have been necessary to research it so much. I don’t regret doing it, and I will continue to read more and more about the tarot, I love it! however it might not really be important to learn the meanings from someone else, even if they’re a lot more experienced than you are.

The reason for coming to this conclusion was that my new tarot deck arrived today. All of my previous decks had followed the same imagery and symbolism of the Rider Waite deck, and this new one does to a certain extent but there are some huge differences too. I’m talking about the Light Visions tarot deck. It is a stunning deck with lots of little details, they’re beautiful!

I am still in the learning process of understanding and getting to know each card in this new and exciting deck. It was while I was studying them that I came across the ‘six of swords’ and thought, hang on a minute! this card is giving off a different vibe from the ‘six of swords’ in my other decks. In the Rider Waite deck, the’six of swords’ shows a man rowing a boat with a woman and child on board, there’s six swords in the boat and it looks like it’s being weighed down slightly by the weight of the swords. The boat is travelling from rough waters to calmer waters which indicates the end of troubled times. The weight of the swords could mean that negativity from the troubled past will travel with them to the calmer waters and that even though the bad times are over, they may still suffer mentally from what has happened. In the Light Visions tarot, the ‘six of swords’ depicts some butterflies flying from one side of a bridge to the other. The bridge is made out of swords and the trees bend in the direction of the other side of the bridge. I realised that I’d have to assign a new meaning to this card. In a way it has a more positive meaning. It is similar to the traditional meaning but I think it implies that the butterflies are going to smoothly cross the bridge of swords (the obstacle) and emerge on the other side in tact and without anything negative attached to them.

My Light Visions Tarot deck

For many other tarot readers and enthusiasts, it might not be an unusual thing to assign new meanings to cards that don’t fit in with the traditional view. There are so many tarot decks that look nothing like the Rider Waite deck. There are endless meanings to each and every card and a lot of tarot readers know this.

As I mentioned in my other post about learning the tarot, looking at the imagery on each card and figuring out what it means to you and how you feel about it is the best way to go. I often see in the description of some tarot decks that it is not recommended for a novice tarot reader. Whenever you see this, it basically means the deck is nothing like the Rider Waite deck. One of the main reasons the Rider Waite deck is classed as a deck for beginners is because most online guides are based on that deck.

I have come to the conclusion that someone who has never even seen a tarot card could buy any deck they fancied and still become a good tarot reader using this simple method; writing your own tarot guide book! When you first get your tarot deck, look at every card and write down what you see and feel about each card. Once you have an emotion attached to a card, it becomes more memorable. If you think back to your earliest memories when you were a child, all of them will have an emotion attached to it, that’s why you remember it. No one says ‘On the 21st May I have a memory of walking from my bedroom to the living room’ and that’s because most people have walked from their bedroom to the living room plenty of times, it has no emotion behind it, it is a trivial thing. Humans remember things better when it means something to them. By attaching your own thoughts and feelings to the cards, you’ll start remembering what they mean to you very quickly.

What you’ve got to remember is that your higher self or universal energy doesn’t care what some guy believes the meaning of a card is, unless he’s the guy reading the tarot at that point in time. When you’re conducting a reading, your higher self knows what you think of each card, so when you ask a question, it knows which card will best represent the answer you’re looking for. You could even give a negative card like ‘The Tower’ a positive meaning and you’re higher self would understand that and use it in the way you intend.

A few weeks ago, I was doing a reading for someone and she asked me if her mother was behind a lot of the recent events in her life, she told me that if it is her mum, the ‘high priestess’ would come out because in her mind the ‘high priestess’ represents her mother. I asked her to pick the card as I knew that her higher self needed to be in charge of this reading and sure enough, the first card to come out was the ‘High Priestess’ This goes to show you that you can attach anything you want to a tarot card. They can represent people in your life, memories you have, emotions you have experienced and even films you’ve watched. I know a few tarot readers who associate certain cards with certain scenes in films they’ve seen as it helps them to form a bond with the card.

I urge every tarot reader who buys a new deck or newbie who gets their first deck to write their own little guide book. I’m aware that most tarot readers write down notes about certain cards and attach their own individual meanings, but my message here is that if you choose to only write your own guide book instead of looking up the meanings of each card, you won’t go far wrong.

17 thoughts

  1. I have never had my own deck… I have a girlfriend who does tarot… but you make it sound so fun and interesting and I wanna learn lol … I will have to look at the decks and try this!!! I’m sooo on board!!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. What is best for beginner? Can either repost a post you have done that I may have missed? Or do one on what be best for beginners? Easy deck possible lol ✌️… but not a sucky one

        Definitely would love to try!!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. The rider waite deck is often classed as the starter deck. A lot of tarot readers start with that one. Lots of tarot readers stay with that one, you don’t really need to have loads of decks. Anyway it’s a good idea for a post, thank you. I’ll write that up soon 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Lol yeah before I locked up – I grabbed them, shuffled really fast – drew 5 cards and pretended I knew what I was doing because I was googling every card lol … I think I can make it a positive spin lol – they seemed like happy cards? Lol

        Is a tarot deck… but it is from Spirit Halloween lol …

        When I came into work this morning they were propped on a shelf 😮 … bonus!!!

        But I was busy I didn’t really get a chance to really check it out … but is sooo cool!!! Maybe I will have down time tmrw 🤨🙏

        Liked by 3 people

      4. That’s so cool that you stumbled across some tarot cards. I’m glad you got a positive reading and there’s nothing wrong with checking out the meanings online 😊

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Two observations – the High Priestess (look at AE Waite’s esoteric writings in the card) can perfectly well stand for a mother, or rather, *the* mother. So I’d wonder whether your querent needs to ask herself what kind of mother she actually is thinking about.
    In terms of your post, I agree and I don’t. I think every reader ultimately does exactly what you suggest, whether they set it out in the form of a guide or not. But what would someone who only ever looked at the imagery on one deck (especially a modern one) be missing if they don’t engage with the meanings, structure , philosophy, history and traditions of the last 800 years or (give or take a century)? Wouldn’t they be a bit like a herbalist who only ever went by their own experience and refused to read the books written by other herbalists? I think such a person could be very good at divining but (ironically) they’d be denying themselves everything that the creator of the Light Visions deck was able to draw on.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I should have maybe gone into detail but basically the querent hates her mother so I just thought it was an odd card to have represent her., but yes you make a good point.
      I agree that someone who doesn’t read about the history, philosophy and traditions is missing out and therefore might not be the most experienced tarot reader, but my point is that not everyone needs to be that kind of reader. If you’re the kind of person who wants to consult the tarot for answers every now and then, then the method I’m talking about might be all they really need. For divination purposes, you don’t necessarily need to know anything more than your own intuition and interpretations.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so glad there are readers out there encouraging personal interpretation right from the start. Good on you.
    When I started 25 years ago, I had to slog through a lot of uptight teachers: THIS deck is the correct one, all others are false prophets; You must spin around three times and say “Ooga-booga” under a full moon covered in fresh cream butter or you won’t be a true reader; Never read for yourself. All horseshite.
    Today, I use whatever tools I FEEL like using to gather information. The only rule I follow is to make sure I am in a good place before I begin. I read for myself daily. Never been wrong yet. (I’m not always smart enough to listen to the information I receive but it’s never been wrong!)
    Relish your skills!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words!

      I completely agree that you should find your own way and learn what works for you. There are a lot of people who say you can’t do readings for yourself but like you, I do readings for myself nearly every day. For some people it might not work but it doesn’t mean it won’t work for others.

      I’m glad to hear that you’re getting the most out of the tarot without listening to ‘uptight teachers’ 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed your break down of the six of swords imagery in the two decks. The feel of both are similar, but the images conjure a slightly different vibe, don’t they. I particularly like the butterfly detail – mirroring both the floating boat and, like the couple in the boat (who have become parents), they have become butterflies from caterpillars.

    You have an ace blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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