Hello, I'm new at tarot reading, and don't want to just dive right in to trying to get people to let me do readings on them (although, I would love to) until I get my sea legs, so to speak. I wanted to know what ways are there to practice with them when you don't have other people to do readings on? Do you just do full spreads on yourself? Do you pick a few cards every day just to meditate on their meaning? Do you read and try to memorize meanings by the book? Do you journal what meanings the cards may initially have to you? What is your favorite method? What do you find works for you? What have you found doesn't work so well? Have you encountered any adverse affects from doing anything, and you'd like to let me know? Thanks!
While doing divination for yourself can be excellent practice, your own desired results may interfere with a reading. Just be aware of that, and learn to read the cards objectively.
But yes: the best way to learn tarot, in my opinion, besides just study, is working with the tarot!
I have a couple methods I use for a quick reading, and more often than not I use either a 'what to expect tomorrow' reading or 'what should I have learned today' type reading. I will also use a modified Celtic Cross -- still with ten cards but with a slightly different layout, thanks to somone on YouTube for the advice.
Speaking of YouTube, it's a great place to start with learning. Tarot Oracle has a brief course on tarot divination, and there are others. Some people teach a story for the Major Arcana, called the Fool's Journey. This story can be considerably different depending on your source! There's a version on the Sacred Texts site which uses a differing order as well.
So find different books, videos, web sites (learntarot.com is a good one) and broaden your view. Ultimately, find what works best for you.
The stories told on both of those sights were interesting. I feel like they were both written for different purposes. The first one actually reminded me of a deep rooted nostalgia I frequently feel, especially in nature. The second though seemed more like a glossary, and just a dictionary with a little extra fluff. I liked them both for what they are though.
Is there a version you put more stock in than the rest? Are these treated like like actual things to have happened, or fictional stories with a higher purpose than just entertainment? Does it vary from person to person? Does anyone else want to chime in with their favorite versions?
The Fool's Journey is most certainly fictional. It's an allegory about -- depending on the source -- the meanings of the cards or even the journey to enlightenment through ritual magic.
The tarot, from the thread of the Rider Waite deck as for popular designs, is a pictorial representation of a dydtem of magic, though many will simply use it for divination. Each card has correspondences to numerology, astrology, elements, mystical meanings to their associated Hebrew letters, direct symbolism on the card, and the RWS deck is also known for having 'blinds' or misinformation to hide, obscure, or even omit information meant to be included in a Golden Dawn based tarot deck.
Information was obscured because the people who made the deck were sworn to preserve secrets of the Golden Dawn. Much still remains, such as the sephiroht on the veil behind The Empress, represented ting the Tree of Life in a specific aspect in study towards initiation, and much more. Some changes are subtle, such as changing the quantity of specific marks on some cards. Some things are more obscured, changed, or even removed.
Well that's going in the file for interesting things that I need to look in to on a day where I can focus, and really dig in to it. Thank you Prsona for being so helpful in what you've shared. You've given me some really great points to use as starting points to understand all of this better. This should keep my thoughts occupied for quite a substantial time.