Welcome to the Language of Tarot
Thank you for taking the leap into what I hope will be an eight-week journey of joyful learning and self-discovery!
The purpose of this course is to approach the tarot the same way that we would approach any language-- as a dynamic and fluid method of communication which can be interpreted and expressed in a unique and personal way by all who choose to engage with it.
My role as a teacher is to share what I know about tarot from my years of study and practice, and to break down the symbolic layers of each card as clearly and thoroughly as possible. It is then up to you to decide which explanations and interpretations you wish to incorporate into your practice. Some of these may strongly resonate with you, and others may not at all. You may find that you begin with my interpretation of a card, but that with time and practice your feelings change so that it gradually takes on a meaning and message that is personal to you. This is tarot.
Every aspect of a tarot card has meaning and intention behind it. Everything from the number at the top of the card to the details of the illustration is placed that way to tell a story through symbolism. To build your confidence and fluency as tarot reader, you will want to understand as much of this symbolism as possible so that you have many layers of meaning to interpret within each card. The symbols themselves may be unknown to you, or they may take on their own unique significance which is purely your own individual interpretation. This is part of what it means to build your own tarot practice. You decide what the cards mean to you, and it is not for me or anyone else to tell you what is right, wrong, fact, or fiction. The only authority of your tarot practice is YOU.
At the end of the day, tarot exists simply as a mirror with which we can examine ourselves. The system itself is a reflection of our systems in society. The names and illustrations of the cards, a reflection of our cultural values. So, too, is the story that you tell with the cards, a reflection of you. Your history, personality, philosophy, and experience will all feed into what a tarot card reflects back to you. This is why I can never teach you what a tarot card means. I can only tell you what it means to me, and hold space for you to find out what it means to you.
If you take nothing else from this 8-week course, let it be this:
The tarot has no meaning or significance except that which you choose to give it.
The tarot is a language of thoughts, feelings, memories, and associations, and when we understand this language we learn how to speak to our unconscious and connect with ourselves in a new way. The cards themselves have no power of their own. They cannot see the future, or tell us what to do, or reveal the unknown or unknowable. They are simply a tool that we can use to connect with ourselves and, in so doing, to remind us of what we know in our hearts already.
The cards can offer you a different perspective. They can uncover what’s been suppressed, or help you tap into your subconscious and intuitive knowledge... but they have no meaning and no power until you decide to interact with them, and whatever they tell you is in fact a message from you to yourself. By choosing to engage with the cards, you begin a conversation with Self. The cards are a tool and a vehicle for that conversation, but the significance and impact of the information conveyed is for you to determine. The cards' only true function is as an access point back into yourself.
Their power is your power, their wisdom is your wisdom, and their magic is your magic.
As we work our way through the deck and build up experience and understanding with the cards, remember that this is all a tool for you to use in the way that best suits you. There are no authorities, no gatekeepers, no stupid questions, and no wrong answers. There is only what is true for you, in the here and now. So take what works, and leave the rest. Your practice is a blank canvas for you to fill and build off of as you wish. I am honored to be able to share this process with you, and I thank you for trusting me as your guide through this powerful and intimate journey.
Throughout the curriculum, you are invited to share as much or as little as you like of this process with me and the other participants. You may find that you benefit from exchanging experiences or discoveries as you move through the material, but you are equally welcome to keep your experience private, if you wish. The course content will be released over eight weeks, but it is for you to determine the pace that is right for you to work through it. You have lifetime access to these pages and can take as much time as you need to process the material every step of the way.
All study and practice exercises are to be done privately in your own time and at your own pace. With that said, we are all on this learning journey together and the best source of knowledge we have is each other. If you feel compelled to share any of what you discover in your studies with the rest of the group, you are encouraged to do so in the comments section throughout the course. I know that I would personally love to hear what each of you has gained from these practices, and I’m sure the other students would benefit from your experience, as well. Of course, if you prefer to keep your experiences private, that is fully honored and respected, as well. This class is an opportunity for you to develop your own practice and what you discover in that work is for you and you alone.
And now, without further ado, let's get started at last and begin with Week One: The Fool's Journey.