6 Great Things We Learned From The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need
Interested in tarot reading, but don't know where to start? We think The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need is an awesome resource.
The new book by Skye Alexander and Mary Shannon isn't just a great introduction to the spiritual practice, with detailed information on the meanings of the cards and the most popular spreads, but it's also packed with useful information even seasoned readers might not know. We were given a review copy of the book, and we learned a lot in the process of reading it. Here are some of the things we picked up along the way.
(The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need via Simon & Schuster)
Use Your Friends to Learn the Cards
When you're a beginner, learning the meanings of the 78 tarot cards from scratch can seem quite the task. Just reading the descriptions and trying to commit them to memory can be tedious and difficult. Instead, this book offers the ingenious suggestion of assigning cards to the people you care about.
"Try assigning a court card to each of your friends and family members to help you discern the subtle variations in the energies of the cards and suits," it suggests. By understanding if your bestie is more like the independent and powerful Queen of Swords, or the unsure Page of Swords, you'll have an easier time remembering those cards in the future. Eventually, you can build out an entire cast of characters and events associated with the cards to learn each and every one. "Matching important people in your life to their tarot counterpart can help you interpret your readings more fully," the book adds.
It's Beneficial to Own Multiple Decks
Think one tarot deck at home is enough? The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need explains that there's actually a good reason to own two—or even more—decks. "Many people like to have two or more decks, sometimes for different purposes or to fit different moods or times of the year," it explains.
It goes on to say that some people like one deck for dealing with practical matters, and another for more spiritual guidance, and that people who perform readings for other people often have a personal deck and a shared deck to avoid mixing energies. Maybe different aesthetics simply match you better when you're in different moods.
Either way, we think it's sound advice to not settle for the first deck you find unless it speaks to you. Let your eye guide you to the right deck. Then, try it out for a while to see if you connect with it or if it isn't quite right for you and decide from there. After all, you can never have enough tarot decks.
Keep Your Tarot Cards Close
We're definitely guilty of breaking this cardinal tarot rule. Since the cards are such an important spiritual tool, the book says they should be treated with the respect you would give anything you consider precious and valuable. That means never leaving them around in a public space for other people to sully with their negative energy. In fact, they shouldn't even be left unattended before they're returned to their special resting place. Oops.
That means if you're using a tarot deck specifically for spiritual development, this deck should only be used for that purpose. Don't even let other people near it, because you don't want their energy to influence your readings and give you inaccurate results.
But if you're like us and your cards are potentially packed with other people's bad vibes, it doesn't mean the deck is ruined forever. The book recommends doing a clearing ritual before each and every reading. It recommends saying or thinking the words: "I call upon the divine powers to clean and protect these cards, for my intention is to use them for good only. I declare that only good shall come from their use and that all negativity shall be turned away from them." And it never hurts to sage your cards, or knock on them three times to remove any stored energies.
The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need says that keeping a tarot journal can be invaluable in learning about your circumstances and how you react to them. By keeping a record not only of your cards, but also how you respond to seeing them, you can track how you feel about the cards on different occasions as your life changes. By being completely honest about your feelings, it's possible to gain a lot of insight and see mental shifts over time. When you know why you're studying the tarot and what you want to get out of the experience, you'll learn even more from this. Make predictions and see if they come true and you might be surprised just how valuable these insights are.
Using a Significator
The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need taught us about Signifactors, and now we're obsessed. These are cards that symbolize the person being read or a topic they're concerned about, anchoring the energy of the reading to that person. Some spreads call for the Significator to be included, but other times, the card is simply laid to the side of the spread. Usually, Significators will be court cards, but Major Arcana are sometimes used if they're a great match for the person and their current situation. Other times, Significators won't feel right, and you are free not to use them.
Reading the Celtic Cross
Of course, we had to actually put to practice everything we learned reading the book, so we tried a traditional Celtic Cross spread. It's a versatile 10-card spread that's often used for seeking detailed guidance when you're up against a problem. It also happens to be great for when you don't have a specific question in mind, because it delves into the past, present and future of whatever situation you're facing.
Without any particular concerns at the forefront, we still encountered some really interesting insights. Our immediate concerns revolve around receiving a personal or spiritual gift we've been hoping for, while our obstacles are taking emotional risks and being vulnerable. We know that things are changing and that that can be scary, but we're starting on a fresh foundation and beginning a new cycle. We've seen the labors of our hard work, and swift and dramatic change is coming, so it's time to step up to the plate. We see the positive even when things are uncertain, and we should intuitively trust that things will work out for the best. We yearn for movement and action, and taking on the next phase of our lives, and in the end we will overcome all opposition to triumph over adversity. Sounds like the future will be busy, but we'll take it!
Not sure you buy into the insight of the tarot? Click HERE to find out why belief isn't necessary to benefit from tarot card readings.