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.
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?