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Ix Chel 
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Join Date: 31 May 2014
Location: Somewhere behind a Tarot book in the Netherlands.
Posts: 48
Tarot and education level

I have met a person who studies the Tarot for a long time. She had a strong opinion about Tarot, what I do not share. She said that Tarot only can be understood, studied and practised by people, with a higher education background. In her opinion you cannot start studying the cards, if you do not have a high degree, because it will be useless.

In my opinion passion is the most important thing to learn it. So I was wondering is there a link between Tarot and education level? And what do you think from her opinion?
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Join Date: 01 Mar 2017
Location: with the saints and the liars, sitting by the fire
Posts: 688

Purest BS and absolutely unnecessary gatekeeping. There are definitely paths you can take in tarot that require extensive amount of research (the Thoth/Golden Dawn, for example), but anybody who can read an LWB or who has a patient teacher can pick up a deck and be quite successful at reading the cards. Many uninitiated people stereotypically associate tarot with fortune telling gypsies, for goodness sake. Does she think they went to university?

Sorry for the outburst, that's just an amazingly snotty view of a hobby more or less anyone can pick up if they have any sort of intuition or ability to tell a story.

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blocked opportunities are paths you shouldn't be taking. the world standing in your way can be a blessing.
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Charlie Brown 
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Join Date: 29 Apr 2017
Location: San Diego, USA
Posts: 46

I have a PhD and that sounds like garbage to me.
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Join Date: 09 May 2014
Location: Teesside England
Posts: 308

You need intuition not academia. A lot of highly educated people have no common sense let alone intuition xx
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Tea&Temperance's Avatar
Join Date: 07 Feb 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 25

Like you said, its a hobby that anyone can study and practice. You don't need a fancy piece of paper to be able use your intuition.
Now is she referring to a uni degree in anything or like tarot education courses?
I understand that further studies into tarot may deepen your understanding but you don't need formal education to learn something if you've got the internets
Personal experience and one to one mentoring can work just as well.
Doesn't she understand that not everyone can get "high degrees" because of their financial situation? Those fancy pieces of paper cost a lot of time and moolah.
Seems a bit conceited to insist that practicing tarot is useless for anyone below her personal educational standard.
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Join Date: 19 Jan 2012
Location: Middle of the USA under a tree :)
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Definitely not! I don't even think you would have to know how to read words to be a good tarot reader...if you had a mentor and some practice. A picture is worth a thousand words, and intuition probably a million.

On those lines though, I wonder if there is any statistical correlation between education levels and tarot use, personally I don't think there would be, I think it would be pretty even across all education levels...might make an interesting poll. Also wonder if urban vs rural or other types of things would have any correlation, not cause and effect, just correlation (like living in an urban area might expose you to more occult shops, etc.)

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Join Date: 04 Oct 2015
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5

I would generally agree as well - you can certainly get plenty out of the tarot without higher education. Everyone will draw upon their own set of knowledge when using the tarot, and I don't think anyone is missing anything by not having a fancy piece of paper to point to.

That being said (as someone who is currently sitting next to two fancy pieces of papers, and who is working towards her Phd) I do think it is possible to draw links between academic theory and tarot. Philosophy is an especially fruitful field for connection, though my own work with communication theory has helped me gleamed some insights into the possible nature of intuition and magic. I love blogging about this type of thing, but it's certainly not everyone cup of tea, and I certainly don't think that it's the only way to approach the tarot!
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Join Date: 15 May 2017
Location: South America
Posts: 10

Hmmm. That's a tricky question. I would say that one does not need an university degree to be a tarot reader, but one does need a lot of knowledge in order to be a GOOD tarot reader. This knowledge is not necessarily linked to university or a higher degree, but in my humble opinion, only reading the LWB is so not enough - there is alchemy, astrology, esoteric symbolism, numerology and etc; you do not pick that up from the LWB or a few online courses. Having said that, I think anyone can learn the basics... just my two cents.
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Join Date: 17 Apr 2017
Location: Texas, United States
Posts: 22

I have a masters degree and I know many people who have been to college. Having a degree is pretty much a requirement at my company. I can tell you that having a degree has no bearing on your intellectual comprehension. The Tarot can be learned by anyone. That is an incredibly stupid statement made by someone who is trying to inflate their sense of self. They are probably a very insecure person and are attempting to deflect that onto other people.

What you contemplate, you touch. What you enter into in imagination, you make yourself one with. – Dion Fortune
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Join Date: 23 Oct 2015
Location: Manila, Philippines
Posts: 1,362

Well, I think we have a near universal consensus here. I believe that most people who are open to it can definitely understand, practice, and study the Tarot regardless of their educational attainments.

If I may tho, I will just try to provide a certain perspective on what your friend said. I think that maybe your friend is just putting a premium in her way of studying the Tarot. A few people like exploring the esoteric, historic, mythic, psychological etc aspects of the Tarot, and I guess she is one of those. Some Tarot tomes are packed with dense arcana, references to these deities and those goddesses and that Eastern mythological hero, or to various Jungian concepts or philosophical beliefs, or some obscure historical footnotes, etc that most people without a classical education might be hard put to follow without cross-referencing many books or resources. It might require a certain intellectual bent, or at least a strong natural curiosity and a deep willingness to explore cavernous and sometimes abstract concepts in order to compensate for any knowledge one might lack, in order to fully savor the banquet of erudite Tarot wisdom that is open to anyone, really, who wants to embark on such an exciting intellectual journey.

And to be honest, I'm one of those people. I love reading and learning new things and this bookish, scholarly approach satisfies me to the core like few things can. But what your friend didn't acknowledge is that there are many other equally valid paths to acquire enlightenment with the Tarot. Some others prefer an intuitive versus a scholastic approach to the Tarot, prefering to meditate on the images, to come to a true, deep understanding of what the various symbols mean to them, to put upon these pictures the full brunt of all their experiences and hopes and therefore inspire a powerful rapport with the cards themselves. Who is to say that this is not just as effective a path? There are many great Tarot readers who learned their craft from the collective wisdom of generations of their ancestors, and who did not need to open any book to prove themselves. There are many purely intuitive readers who give very accurate readings too.

What your friend said was rather snobbish really, and a tad uninformed. So I guess the thing is, pursue the approach that appeals to you best. It's a spectrum anyway - most straddle a middle ground tho they do lean a certain way. Do as thou wilt.

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