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?

Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...