Earlier this week, I shared some thoughts on my Instagram page about the overwhelming amount of information there is out there these days on, well, just about anything.
Tarot was not my first step into card reading: When I was
13, I spent an entire summer teaching myself how to read playing cards.
I had one book to work from, a thin paperback off the magazine rack at the grocery store.
This was before the internet. There was no YouTube channel
to teach me, no blog tutorials to follow. I couldn’t Google my questions. But
you know what? I didn’t need more than I already had in front of me:
Forced to make the most from one resource, I was able to really focus on learning about cartomancy through review, reflection, and repetition.
I got in to tarot a few years later, I did not get as far. Why? I couldn’t find an adequate resource that taught me as well as that little book on playing cards did. My local bookstore and library were not exactly abundant resources of tarot knowledge.
Things are so different now: If you’re really disciplined
and know what to focus on, you can become self-taught in all manner of
practices thanks to Google.
But like all good things, the amount of information available out there has to be approached with responsibility, discernment, and discrimination.
Often, it comes back to quality over quantity. And you have to be careful not to trick yourself into believing that all research is good research. It can feel productive to hop from one website to the next, but how far does it get you if you’re not absorbing the information, or exposing yourself to the right resources in the first place?
Busy work does not lead to progress if the quality is not there. Even though I hate the term less is more, is certainly applies here.
If you are new to something and don’t know what’s important to learn about it yet, it’s hard to determine the value of knowledge without any reference points. And any shiny object can catch your attention. But just because something is interesting doesn’t always mean it’s useful.
A big mistake I see people make when it comes to studying
tarot, astrology, or related practices is that they go WIDE instead of DEEP in
This is where discrimination becomes important: If you don’t know what you’re looking for yet, or what you need to focus on first, then how can you determine whether a piece of information is actually valuable? How do you know if it’s useful, trustworthy, or necessary?
And, perhaps most importantly: How do you know what you’re taking in is actually helping you?
Early on, you might not know what to look for and can take
conflicting or confusing information at face value.
Or see someone talking about a technique that actually has nothing to do with your own path to learning.
Or, you could be taking someone’s teachings at face value without knowing whether they are qualified to be your teacher:
Are they experienced?
Can they take you deeper with a practice, or do they keep things at a surface-level?
Would you take a class from them? If not, you might want to question how much time you spend listening to what they have to say.
Practitioners are not interchangeable, and that holds true across any industry.
No matter what you’re learning, these are questions I would encourage you to reflect on when you’re doing any kind of research online. Practitioners are not all the same, and people bring different philosophies, traditions, and levels of experience into their work.
If you want to learn anything, starting with the core basics
is usually a safe place to begin. Unfortunately, when it comes to tarot, it’s
not at all uncommon to go through phases where you feel like you have UNLEARN
bad habits or overly-complicated ideas that never really felt right in the first
Part of that is the side-effect of the blessings and curses modern technology has brought us: We have all this information at our fingertips, but it’s still up to us as individuals to determine what kind of information will nourish us.
There is nothing wrong with learning for learning’s sake, but without discrimination as to what is useful, right and trustworthy, you can end up more confused than where you started.
Start with quality over quantity and don’t worry that you are missing something by taking your time.
If you need to unlearn some unhelpful ideas when it comes to tarot, or you’ve gotten the basics down and you’re ready to layer on some new techniques that will help you deliver practical, useful readings for everyday situations, I would love for you to join me in Taking Tarot to the Next Level.
This well-loved tarot program has helped to transform students into confident tarot readers through techniques I use with my clients all year round. Get lifetime access to my time-tested methods and spend your summer going deep. Click here to see if this program is right for you.
Until next time,