Tarot Fundamentals is a big book packed with great information laid out in an interesting and pleasing way. While it is aimed at beginners, there is enough information here to interest even a more seasoned reader. We all don’t know everything and the breadth of ideas presented in this book promises something for everyone.

Many readers seek to hone their intuitive skills, sometimes at the expense of learning, practicing with, and incorporating the structure of the deck and the symbolism in the images. I think that sometimes we think that pulling in intuitive information or even relying solely on intuition will make a reading better…and easier to do. What is easier than learning the parts of and the symbol system of a deck? Not learning it and just saying the first thing that pops into your mind and calling it intuition. Intuition is a vague idea, with many people not really having a clear definition in their minds about what it is and what it is not, as well as how it differs from instinct, emotional reaction (or trigger), and gut reactions.

Further, people don’t always think about the downsides or challenges that readers would do well to keep in mind while relying on intuition. Tarot Fundamentals includes plenty of ideas for honing and incorporating intuition but it also includes a balanced point of view. Here is an excerpt from the chapter on intuition:

The Challenges of Reading Intuitively

Reading intuitively presents two main challenges. These can negatively affect the outcome of the reading and black a reader’s growth.

Projective mechanics

Our intuition is “ours”. It belongs to each of us, individually. If a reading or a card image evokes a powerful emotion or recollection in the reader, and she is relying only on her intuition, the interpretation may seem clear and immediate. But in this case, the reader is not really looking at the card, but projecting herself, her memories, her opinions, or her experiences on the card, overwriting it.

If you feel that a card resonates too strongly with your intuition, take a step back, breath deeply for a few seconds and look again.

Losing track of the structure

Using intuition alone, the reader may stray quite far from the traditional meanings and interpretations. Sometimes this is a very good thing and marks the moment a reader is finding her own path into tarot and her gifts. Other times, the opposite is true. The reader is losing sight of what tarot is. She follows intuition without anchoring it to the cards and the images. Intuition is a realm where boundaries are soft, mutable and undefined. Without boundaries, the reader may become lost.

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 ...