But the problem here is that you do not have enough words for the task.
Your one card pull for such a nebulous and wide-ranging question will often cause more befuddlement than actual help.
I find that this popular learning mechanic about as useful as an Ikea build box missing a baggie of those ‘z screws’ which now renders most of your efforts useless. This method does not have enough tools for the task at hand.
Tarot is a language.
Just as in learning a new language, the goal of a tarot beginner is to do 3 things:
Just like learning any language the best practice is to memorize simple grammar and vocabulary together to communicate easy sentences which are immediately usable.
When I studied Chinese, I learned to make easy sentences the first day, “Wo shi Mei Guo Ren” word for word that means “I am an American person.” It doesn’t make sense to just learn “Wo” or “shi” in a vacuum or to learn that there are literally 50 meanings for the word, “shi” just yet.
In order to learn effectively, we have to apply it immediately to a framework we are constructing with a reason for communication.
Tarot is no different.
There is a lot here and a lot to ponder. I might feel a little overwhelmed and confused.
Which of all of this could it mean? Is it talking about me, or someone else? Will I have a clairvoyant message? Is this who I am? Is this who I am supposed to be?
I was on alert for my message to be revealed to me, trying to figure what, or who, or how the card related to me.
So we have run into the first problem, the lack of context. Asking “How will my day go?” and pulling just one card for the whole huge range of what that question could possibly be is only amplifying the confusion we wish to eliminate.
The One Card Confusion Can Cause Frustration and Misinterpretation
1. We have a greater tendency to project what we think the card will mean because it is so wide-ranging and nebulous. In effect, we are stacking the deck towards results we unconsciously want rather than being objective about the process. Tarot becomes a mirror to your own thoughts in this case which is helpful (very helpful) but may not effectively help a very beginner 101 learners.
2. We are not using tarot as a way to effectively communicate. So my day that the Queen of Cups included was a day of seeing clients, having roofers come to my house and leave estimates and finally a trip to the ER to break a migraine. I had quite a day! Was the Queen of Cups me as a reader? Was the Queen of Cups the nurse who gave me the shots? Was the Queen of cups one of my clients? Who knows? But most importantly, did it really communicate anything to me that was useful from the perspective that I needed to know something?
I suggest you flip it.
Pull your one card in the evening, asking it about the past you already know than the future you don’t.
“What do you want to tell me about my day?”
Allowing the cards to retroactively discuss something you have context is helpful.
Going back to my Queen of Cups day, I was able to see how she literally permeated my everything: from my work as a clairvoyant to others, to the healing I advocated for and received from another, and how self-care healing, compassion and getting earnest advice from roofing companies all fit within the context.
Instead of looking for that one thing, I was able to expand my point of reference and learn tarot without the confusion of no context. I saw all the ways this Queen can speak to me. From a learning process this is helpful but if you are like me, you want to be slanging them cards on the asap.
And I am about to show you how in the next installation.
But in the meantime, reverse engineer your card of the day pulls… and do let me know what you think.
4/14/2020 11:49:43 am
Yes! Jenna, as always, you are right on target with this post! I address many of these issues in a post I wrote a few months ago on developing a daily tarot practice, in which I wanted to counter the current idea of a card a day. https://joyvernon.com/blog/daily-tarot-practice/. Back when I was writing my post, I discussed the card-a-day origins with my boyfriend, who is also a tarot reader. Both of us being over fifty, we didn't learn that card-a-day thing. We were trying to figure out where it came from. The bf pointed out that the BOTA materials recommend meditating on a card every day, but the same card every day while you are studying all the materials that go with it. Do you know where the card-a-day advice comes from? I've been really curious. Also, I always use the metaphor of learning a language when I teach beginning tarot. You and I seem to think a lot alike!
4/21/2020 10:09:22 am
Yes, I agree. There are a lot of standard things that are taught that don't work, don't help, confuse the issue, etc. Sorting through it all and getting rid of the ineffective techniques and replacing them with new ways of thinking and reading is so important.
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M.S. in Organizational Psychology and Leadership