Often I find myself playing with tarot cards simply for the sake of holding such a tactile object. I will shuffle, cut, reorder and smooth my fingers along the edges, backs and faces of the cards. I’ll often be doing other things – talking on the phone, watching TV or reading something. Keeping my hands occupied like this is something lots of people do, whether it’s through knitting or doodling for example. I happen to think that it makes the cards feel more like a tool which belongs to me too. My hands have become accustomed to what the cards feel like and how best to handle them. They also make them even more familiar to me as every time I turn a card over I am confronted with one of the images. Even if this is for less than a second, I am constantly taking in minute bits of information from the cards.
When I first take on a new pupil who wants to learn the tarot, I’ll suggest that they spend as much time like this with the cards as they can. We are constantly processing vast amounts of visual information every day and by doing so we are able to very quickly become familiar with a new place, new person or new objects. Think how soon you remember the correct road to take to get back to your hotel when you’re travelling. Think how after meeting a new person you’re very likely to recognise that person the next time you see them. (Remembering their name is another matter!) We haven’t had to consciously remember that information – rather our brain has done the job for us automatically.
Simply being in contact with the cards as often as possible gives us a chance to let our incredible brains do the hard work without our having to make an effort. So much of getting fast and fluent at reading is about knowing the images on the cards. Once we do, our confidence grows and reading the cards doesn’t feel quite so much like rummaging in a mental filing cabinet for information. Don’t leave your cards in the box; lay them out, cut them, shuffle them, look at them and handle them as much as you can.
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lots of love