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Learning Tarot: Don’t forget to LOOK at the card

When you’re learning Tarot (which is a lifetime pursuit, by the way) it is important to read all you can, to study many different sources, to suck in as much information as you can about the many layers of each card.

Also, it is important to open up to your intuition, to see how the card resonates with you, what feelings or memories it sparks.

But, in the midst of all this, don’t forget to really LOOK at the card.

It sounds funny, but sometimes I think we can get so excited about the symbolism and esoteric aspects of the cards, or we get caught up in trying to remember what a particular book said about the meaning of the card, that we forget to stop, take a breath, and just look at what is going on the scene before us.

Tarot cards have so many layers of meaning, and sometimes the best or most accurate one is the most literal. I’ve laughed out loud at some of the pragmatic and practical messages the cards have sent my way.

The next time you pull a card of the day, or do a reading for yourself, before you launch into an interpretation, give yourself a moment to take a breath, and just look at that card with an open mind.

Ask yourself: do you see anything that literally matches your situation or the activities of the day ahead?

Ask yourself: does the scene suggest any concrete action steps you can take?

These kind of messages from the cards can be extremely useful and beneficial if we allow ourselves to see them.

Here are a few examples that have come up for me or clients of mine:

Six of Cups: reaching out to a friend for help

Ten of Wands: having a sore back or a back injury

Seven of Pentacles: Time to do some gardening and yard work

Four of Swords: The advice was to start a meditation practice (which they just had)

Ten of Swords: Going for acupuncture

Justice: Having to go to court, starting a course that has to do with the law

Eight of Pentacles: the person is an artisan, they craft their own jewellery or make physical objects

Four of Wands: attending a wedding

Three of Cups: having a night out with friends

Emperor: Preparing for a visit from your father or grandfather

This applies to the Court Cards as well. Of course, most of the time the Court Cards are representing us, or some aspect of our personality, but sometimes you look at that card you know EXACTLY who that is and why they are showing up in your spread.

The cards are wonderful at giving us deep, universal, and personal messages that inspire reflection and growth, but they can also be very practical and pragmatic, and show their sense of humor.

I’m sure you have experienced this literal side of the cards, please share your examples in the comments.

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