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Writing Your Own Tarot Book

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on February 18, 2010 | Comments (3)

About five years into my tarot obsession, I joined the American Tarot Association and went through their certification program. There were various things you had to do to earn certification. One was to create a list of keywords for each card upright and each card reversed. That keyword was to cue you into a sentence, that would cue you into a paragraph, that would cue you into the whole realm of meanings you had accumulated. At least that’s how it worked for me.  ws3ofpents

Can you believe I did not keep my notes or the final list of words? Ugh. I do regret tossing those.

But I do remember the process. I gathered all my books and all my decks (the internet was around back then but not used very much) around me. I went through the cards one by one, writing down everything from every book. Then I would read and re-read all my notes, study the card, and journal about the card. After letting all of that information simmer in my mind, I wrote an essay for each card, both upright and reversed. Then I wrote a synopsis of the essay. Then I wrote a single sentence. From that, I selected a key word.

As you can imagine, it was time-consuming. But at that point in my life, my readings were quite good. Any card could fall and I had instant access in my brain to all the meanings I’d ever read and accepted for that card.

That was a very long time ago and I’ve read so much more and probably forgotten even more than I remember. The thought of doing that again, just imagining the sheer quantity of information for each card that I have available to me, well, it’s daunting. I cannot imagine ever doing that again.

Is there such a thing as too much knowledge?

Have you ever written out your collection of card meanings? What was your process? Do you still use that information?

Reader Comments

Written By Blackbird "BB"
on February 18th, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

No not that way, I have writting two long series of Essays on the Tarot Card, by Card.

Like say the Queen of Cups, who for me has always been a Woman of Children; the Queen of Wands might speak more to a Woman of Business, her legacy will be her work; the Queen of Pents, Venus, more woman as Lover, than Mother; but the Queen of Cups she embraces the Maternal Role with her whole heart. For me she really speaks to my Grandmother, while the King of Wands speaks to my Uncle John. So for me each essay was an oppertunity to reflect on my life; and compare the card to persons and events in real life, and how each compliments the other.

but yes …
Because those meanings come from a deep place in my personal experiance. Yea I still use them. BB.

Example Essay.

Written By Theresa
on February 18th, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

Yes, there is such a thing as too much knowledge. If we spend all of our time with our heads in the books, we risk having a limited intellectual understanding of the cards with little practical application.

I have all my own card meanings written down in my little teaching manual that I use with my students. The information is imprinted in my brain but my intuition will still guide how and what information is used.

Written By Ty
on February 19th, 2010 @ 7:35 am

I did something similar to your approach, Barbara, before I taught my first class on the major Arcana. I reviewed my personal notes, “78 Degrees of Wisdom” and meditated on each card to prepare mt presentation.

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