Wondering if you can teach yourself to read Tarot effectively?
The short answer to this question is “yes”. I believe that teaching yourself Tarot can be the best way to learn because it helps you to form a personal connection with your cards and learn to trust your own instincts.
Tarot is different than learning a language where there are set meanings and a specific way you must say things. Tarot is a language of sorts, but one that is highly subjective.
Think about it like this – what is ultimately going to be the most logical and make the most sense? Trying to memorize a bunch of definitions for each card written by someone else? Or taking time with your cards, looking at them, deciding what the stories in the cards mean to you and learning to use that to connect with your cards?
Many newbie Tarot readers attempt to learn Tarot the way you would Mathematics or a language. They want specific meanings and set answers. When they find conflicting information or different people who claim their ideas are “right” so other peoples are “wrong” it can understandably cause frustration.
Is Tarot Hard to Learn?
This depends on how you define hard. If hard means does it take a lot of time, patience, and repetitive practice? Then yes – it's hard. If hard means is it difficult to do? No – it's not. Developing a Tarot journal is very easy and the best way to get started.
If you go into Tarot immediately buying multiple books and trying to memorize everyone's interpretations it will probably be so difficult and frustrating you'll give up. If, on the other hand, you trust yourself enough to learn to use Tarot and develop your own base interpretations (which you can expand on later), then you'll find the way much easier. When something is meaningful to you, when it triggers your own memories and feelings, it will “stick” and be more enjoyable to learn than rote memorization and second guessing.
What Tarot Deck Should I Learn With?
You can learn with any deck you like, however I recommend starting with a Waite deck or one based on the more traditional deck. The reason is that there is typically more information available on those decks than more specialized or obscure decks.
Go through your deck using your Tarot journal once. After you have done that, take some time to read a book or two or look at the interpretations of others. You will often find things that expand your understanding of your cards. Other times you may read someones interpretations and they won't resonate with you and that's OK too. The point of teaching yourself Tarot is to develop your own Tarot language and then learn build upon it later on.