Memorizing Card Meanings

Morgeinne

I am relatively new to the Tarot; I have, of course, known about it for years, but just started working with cards around a year ago (with Legend: the Arthurian Tarot) and got my second deck about 5 or 6 months ago (Dragon Tarot.) I like both my decks, but Legend more because I've been working with it longer and am more familiar with it.

Anyway, I have had good results in most all my readings, for myself and for my close family and a couple of friends (usually just for myself) but I cannot seem to remember ALL of the card meanings! I could easily memorize the Major Arcana, but does anyone have any good memorization tips and tricks for the Minor or Major Arcanas? Thanks!

-Morgeinne
 

joya250

memorization... I have found it sometimes to be a double-edged sword. I find myself getting hung up on the "catch phrase" I associate with the card... and then just draw a blank when I have to expand on it, and how it ties in to the other cards in the spread.

BUT, memorization can also be very helpful... and can be a starting point to delving deeping into the card meanings.

what worked best for me was to get a book that very simply broke the card up - giving me a "catch phrase" and then bullets points for it's meaning. (the book I always reccommend is Tarot Awareness: Exploring the Spiritual Path, by Stephen Walter Sterling.) I do not have either of the decks you are working with, but I assume you could find a book(s) that talk specifically about each deck -- though a more general book would work just as well. (you prob. already have a million books... but I just had to put that out there. sorry!)

Another thing that I've heard helps... is observation, more than memorization.... look at the objects in each card... where is the placement of the item (wands, cups, swords, pents)? ... how are the people in the card interacting with it? You can pick up a lot from that.... and all you have to know is what the four different suits represent. Another thing that helps too is numerology (i.e. one - beginning, two - balance, etc.) ..... as well as astrology.... I don't know if your cards have the astrological signs on them... but if so, then, for example, you can see that the 2 of swords is the Moon in Libra... and if you have a basic understanding of astrology, then you can pretty much figure out whats going on. (though now that I think of it, this might require even more memorization....)

As for remembering court cards.... simply memorize their elemental correspondenses. This really helps for me. As you know Kings = fire, Queens = water, Knights = air, and Pages = earth.... so then, it's simply a matter of seeing how they relate in each suit. For example, the Knight of Wands is Air in Fire.... so, what would that tell you about the personality of the card?

oh, I've also heard people say sleeping with the deck under their pillow at night helps them learn the cards better. I dunno. Never worked for me, but heck, why not try it?

anyhoo -- the best advice I can give is just keep studying... and make your goal LEARNING the cards and UNDERSTANDING them, not just memorizing them. This way, you'll not have to worry about forgetting the meanings. and don't get discouraged! I've been studying them almost the same amount of time as you...

good luck! :) - joya
 

Umbrae

1). Meanings can change depending on lots of things...They ain't carved in stone.
2). Basics. Get a note-book. Write down what the cards mean to YOU. Then look at the book(s).
3). Work with your note-book.
4). Sleep with your cards/carry them in your briefcase/purse.
5). Sometimes when you do a reading a completely new twist will appear for a card. Write it down.
6). Have fun. It is all about the joy?
Welcome...It is good to meet you!
 

Morgeinne

Thanks for the replies :) I am doing a little remedial crash course in astrology now, I used to study it but it's been awhile since I've actually sat down and connected with some good astrology studying :) Brings back memories. I also took a couple of your suggestions, Umbrae - the notebook, for one, since there are so many different perspectives on each card based on the sign and planet it's related to, etc. etc. Also, thanks for the welcome :) You're all so helpful! I know I'm going to love it here.
 

blumoon

Quote:
As for remembering court cards.... simply memorize their elemental correspondenses. This really helps for me. As you know Kings = fire, Queens = water, Knights = air, and Pages = earth.... so then, it's simply a matter of seeing how they relate in each suit. For example, the Knight of Wands is Air in Fire.... so, what would that tell you about the personality of the card?

hmmm i learnt them in a different order;
pages = air
knights = fire
queens = water
kings = earth

:)
 

Geenius at Wrok

When it comes to memorization, nothing has ever worked as well for me as flash cards. Which is great for tarot, because the cards are already cards! Each day, take a manageable number of cards?say, 15 or 20?and go through them one by one guessing their meanings, then looking them up to see whether you were right. When you've gone through all of them, shuffle them and start again. Repeat until you've gone through the whole stack once without getting any wrong. Then shuffle the day's stack back into the deck and draw another 15 or 20 the next day without regard to duplication of the previous day's cards. There are 78 cards in the deck; if you're doing 20 cards a day, repeat this memorization process until you've gone four straight days without getting any wrong on the first pass. Then go buy yourself ice cream.

Another thing to do?and you can incorporate this into the previous method, like when you misguess a card?is to take the list of keywords for a particular card and look for a visual cue on the card to remind you of each one. For example, on the five of cups, the spilled cup says "loss"; the hung head says "regret"; the black cloak says "bereavement."
 

Kiama

Quote:Originally posted by Geenius at Wrok
When it comes to memorization, nothing has ever worked as well for me as flash cards. Which is great for tarot, because the cards are already cards! Each day, take a manageable number of cards?say, 15 or 20?and go through them one by one guessing their meanings, then looking them up to see whether you were right. When you've gone through all of them, shuffle them and start again. Repeat until you've gone through the whole stack once without getting any wrong. Then shuffle the day's stack back into the deck and draw another 15 or 20 the next day without regard to duplication of the previous day's cards. There are 78 cards in the deck; if you're doing 20 cards a day, repeat this memorization process until you've gone four straight days without getting any wrong on the first pass. Then go buy yourself ice cream.

Another thing to do?and you can incorporate this into the previous method, like when you misguess a card?is to take the list of keywords for a particular card and look for a visual cue on the card to remind you of each one. For example, on the five of cups , the spilled cup says "loss"; the hung head says "regret"; the black cloak says "bereavement."

Geenius, this is excellent! Think I'll be trying this myself this week! Might also help me with my revision for my exams... THANKYOU!!!!!! :* :* :* :*

Kiama
 

Morgeinne

Again, thanks all :) I'm drawing on everyone's wisdom now, I have a notebook that I'm using, with a page for each card (the Tarot Basics by Thirteen help A LOT with that, lol). Then, once I do each card and some of the related astrology, I'm going to try the flashcards. As it is, I'm almost done with the major arcana, then I'll play flash with those and add on them as I go. You're all so helpful! The flashcard idea is absolutely wonderful lol.
 

Kellinator

Something that's helping me learn the cards is just the decks I have. The Rohrig has a key word on each card, and the Art Nouveau arranges the Minor Arcana in a storyline.

But really, IMHO the best thing is just practice ;)

Geenius' flashcards are a great idea!!
 

Lion-O

Quote:Originally posted by Morgeinne
but does anyone have any good memorization tips and tricks for the Minor or Major Arcanas?
Hi !
Well, at first it can be a bit tricky to learn I guess but practice makes perfect.. In the mean time it may help if you also study the cards from time to time (say one suite at a time) and while doing so try to grasp the meaning of the picture. After that look up the card and keep doing this every now and then. When everything goes right you'll learn to interpret the picture rather then to memorize meanings; and once you've done that I think you can use any Tarot deck without a booklet.