Not only can you learn to read tarot without memorizing meanings, but in fact you should not memorize meanings.
Trust me. I tried it.
You will end up frustrated, irritated, and maybe even angry.
Which totally defeats the purpose of attempting to communicate with the divine.
So first, let’s get clear on why you’re making this attempt, and then let’s get you to read tarot without memorizing.
Memorizing Tarot and the Divine
Tarot cards are a divination tool like crystals, runes, tea leaves, or oracle cards. All divination tools require one important element without which they will not function – you.
I have said it before, and I will say it again and again – you are the spell.
You are the channel.
You are an extension of the divine.
The cards, or any tool, are merely a way of communicating when you are searching for… more.
Tarot readers are those who are in touch with their own divinity.
Because the truth is that the Universe is always communicating with you, always sending you messages, signs, and especially love and appreciation.
Accept this, and the world opens up to you in ways you never thought possible.
The Universe, the divine, God, Nature, Source Energy, call it what you will, is a purely positive, loving energy that is constantly showering you with affection.
The question is whether or not you are allowing that love.
If you are not, you will feel angry, disgruntled, frustrated, sad, anxious, or any other of the myriad negative emotions.
The Universe, however, does not deal in negatives, ever.
As Abraham Hicks says, “you can never get it wrong, and you will never get it done.”
God knows what so few of us are willing to accept, that we are infinite, spiritual beings having a human experience.
We come from love into these human forms, our goal while we are here is to create for purposes of expansion, and when we are done, we return to love.
Then we come back and do it all over again.
We can never get it wrong, and we will never get it done.
So when it comes to communicating with the divine while we are here, it is incumbent upon us to remember that the divine is always available to us.
It is us who are shutting it down or pinching it off.
You see, before we came into these human bodies, when we were still in spirit form, we were a part of Source Energy, at one with God, with full access to infinite wisdom, all powerful, and all present, aware of all consequences of all actions.
From that state, we longed to come into our human forms in order to create.
There is great value in limitation, after all.
As humans, we can experience the contrast of joy and sadness, pain and bliss, dark and light.
We can incarnate into various forms and play out each potential outcome from the decisions we make.
And each time we experience contrast, we cast a spell into the Universe.
When we are in pain, we wish to be pain free; when we are sad, we wish to be happy; when we are poor, we wish to be rich, and so on.
And each time we wish, pray, or cast a spell, the Universe immediately grants our wish.
Now, just like with communication, it is up to us to allow that wish to come into our reality.
That’s all we have to do.
The same goes for how to read tarot without memorizing tarot.
Find Your Intuition
If you want to learn to read tarot without memorizing tarot, and you are among the total beginners, you must be willing to listen to your intuition.
If you are not familiar with listening to your intuition, you have work to do.
Look, we are all born with our higher consciousness, our inner being, constantly communicating with us – that’s our intuition.
But the world around us from the moment we are born works very hard to drown out that intuition.
It makes me think of Rapunzel in the Disney movie Tangled. “Mother knows best.”
Sure, Mother Goethel is a Disney villain, but she is also an archetype.
The devouring mother, Jordan Peterson calls her.
And for all you mothers out there, no judgement here. I get it. The first inclination of a mother is to protect.
But we learn over time how much damage we can do to our children when we overprotect.
When we supplant their inner voices with our own.
Because, inevitably, one day they will be on their own, without us, in some situation, and they will need their own inner voice.
Their intuition will need to kick in.
But after years of hearing our voices, the voices of their mothers, or their fathers, or their school teachers, or the government, or the media, they have lost their own voice.
And they will suffer much more greatly than they would have if we had only spent our time in their lives encouraging them to hear their own inner voices.
And this replacement is what has been done to so many of us.
It is so subtle that we don’t even know we have lost our way, lost our connection to our inner voice, our intuition.
Now your work is to unlearn all you have learned from drawing on the voices of others, strip away all forms of identification that overlay your true self, and connect with your inner self.
The real you.
The real you does not worry about memorizing tarot.
A great book that guides you through this process is The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Your goal is to connect with yourself so that when you pull tarot cards, you can really feel what resonates with you and what does not.
Perhaps the best way to read tarot cards is to learn to read them intuitively, like with any divination tool.
It is, after all, a tool.
The divination tool is the telephone, let’s say, and you are merely using it to speak to and listen to the divine on the other end of the line.
The cards themselves hold no power beyond their ability to help you communicate.
Learn to Read without Memorizing Tarot: Tarot Card Meanings
Once you have gotten really good at hearing your own inner voice, you learn to read tarot a little bit at a time.
Tarot beginners must be patient and peaceful as you make your way through the deck.
They are a perfect companion for morning meditation, a way to say “I am listening” to the Universe.
An ideal daily practice is to come out of meditation, open your notebook, journal your most pressing thoughts, and then get your tarot deck.
Shuffle the cards, flipping them upside down, turning them this way and that, and really working the cards through your fingers.
Then cut the deck in half and pull three cards, placing them face up in a three card tarot spread.
To read them, the only real basics you need are to understand the major arcana card represents the big issues you may be facing, and the minor arcana cards are the smaller, in the moment concepts to confront.
Know that the Universe does not speak in cautions, omens, or negatives at all, so when you see the death card, the devil card, the tower card, or anything else that might seem scary, it is just speaking to the energy you are experiencing now, either on a large or small scale.
It also helped me tremendously to understand the general ideas behind the four suits.
The cups cards speak to your emotions.
The swords cards refer to your intellect.
The wands cards are your inspiration and your own intuition.
The pentacles cards are your material objects and wealth.
Beyond that, you can simply get a feel for each card as you look at it in the morning.
How does it make you feel to look at it?
Remember that the rider-waite deck is the most commonly used, and easiest for tarot newbies, and it descends from the original creator of the simple tarot deck, Jean Baptiste Aliette.
After you meditate and lay your tarot spread, you can look up the description of the card you are dealing with at my favorite website Biddy Tarot. They provide multiple interpretations for each card, upright and reverse, and you can see your own spiritual guidance in a very simple way.
It’s a great set of training wheels for your first tarot deck.
As you pull your cards each day, you will become one of the more advanced readers, and you can start offering friends and family members free readings so you can practice your skills as a tarot lady.
Keep a tarot journal with your readings from each day, keep an open mind, and create a personal connection to your own unique meaning.
Ultimately, you will learn tarot the way you learn anything else – through immersion, through doing, and through trusting your own interpretations.
Make it your own, and you will step into your preferred role as a good tarot reader.
Before you know it, you will be a high priestess!