Tarot Vocabulary

After you’ve taken the time to go through your deck (hopefully more than once), the next step is to build your tarot vocabulary. I always start with the little white book (LWB) that comes with a deck. It gives me the bare bones description that the creator gives the cards. I go through the deck with the card in one hand and the LWB in the other. I read the description and look at the card, seeing how well my initial impression messes with the LWB meaning. I don’t let one overshadow the other, rather I synthesis them both. In some readings my meaning will come out and in others the book.

After you have gone through the LWB, take a look at the companion book the creator wrote for the deck (if there is one). The book is going to go into more detail on the meaning and symbolism, if it is a themed deck how the theme relates to the cards themselves. I first started with Legends; the Arthurian Tarot and I knew Arthurian mythology, but it was important for me to understand the choices behind the images. (The companion book is A Keeper of Words by Anna-Marie Ferguson, 2003) The creator’s books is going to give you a peak into their mind, letting you see what they wanted you to see.

After you have focused on a deck specific vocabulary, check out general books and other books for themed decks. Regardless of what book you read or what deck the book is written for, seeing how other people interpret the cards will help you understand what the cards are trying to tell you as you read. I’m a huge fan of reading everything, regardless of what deck it is for (even if I don’t have the deck).

Building your vocabulary, you gain an understanding of the nuances of the cards. Whether you buy more than one deck or collect hundreds, your understanding of the cards and their meanings will grow as you understand the different ways that one card can be read. Different people have different styles and meanings, whether these styles and meanings work for you or not having an idea how other people read improves your own readings.

Check back for the second part on “Blogs, Vlogs, & Podcasts”.


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