Yeah, right. You think you're going to get my answers to that in a blog posting?
Well, maybe I'll talk about it anyway, and maybe that will clarify some things for some of you.
I have been answering that question, and in lots of ways too, for a long time.
What strikes me as a funny thing is that, back in the day, when I could not read as well as now, I had a lot more rules, and felt like I had to hold tighter to the reins, because who knew where those stupid horses were going?
Now, however, a much lighter touch, I figure the horses kind of know where they want to go, and there isn't really any pressure to get something right, because if it doesn't feel right in the first place, before I read a thing, I don't bother reading it.
What do I mean by all that? Am I saying "just go with your feelings, dude!" and is that some kind of amazing change of my opinion or doctrine?
No. Because I never favored a robotic, just read it out of the book approach. What I favored and argued for, and still do, is that your "intuition" had better start by putting something into your silly intuition cap—you know your empty head. And that means educating yourself about Tarot, and that means a lot more than most people seem to think.
Now, can you read cards without anything in your silly head? Sure. Mostly it will be a lousy reading. But, and this kind of goes to that idea of loosening up on the reins, an insightful but ignorant person can sometimes read better than a knowledgeable but paranoid person, concerned about seeing everything and the kitchen sink in the card.
Here I am talking about somebody actually trying to read a Tarot card, not the clowns or con artists who pretend to read cards, but actually read the clients that come to them. The latter technique, favored by many current Tarot writers, such as Mary Greer, is intended to mislead people, and in some cases to place sole responsibility for the reading on the client, who can then be blamed as well if things don't go as planned (the plan being the client will just tell the reader what to say and that will satisfy all concerned).
Anyway, I think education is key for being a good Tarot reader, and the best kind of education will not involve reading any of the myriad awful books about Tarot. Of course I exempt my own book from this ban list, because it is perfectly wonderful and anybody wanting to learn about Tarot should purchase a copy and also read the thing! But mainly, Tarot books kind of suck for telling you anything useful about the world, which is actually what you will be reading about, right?
So, there may be times, sometimes long stretches of time, where you just put the cards away and go live some life, and learn about things that seem to have nothing whatsoever about Tarot cards. You may find, when you return to Tarot, that this seemingly unrelated activity, has opened your eyes to something Tarotic you had never before understood. And you may find that you have improved as a reader too.
This is true because seeing connections is a big part of reading Tarot and interpreting readings—that is seeing what relevance the read cards have to the question being asked, or to the life and circumstances of human beings, which is the subject of the vast majority of questions ever asked of a Tarot reader. Sure, armed with a pack of Tarot cards, a very insightful person, who has lived very little, can possibly say some helpful and even true things, but a person who has spent as much time living life as learning to be a Tarot weenie, may be able to SEE the answer, maybe at a glance, because he has read so much of so many significators that he can recognize a pattern quickly and accurately, whether or not it is printed on cardboard.
So, in this new year, get the hell away from Tarot for a bit and go read something else, or go live something else, and don't think for a moment about Tarot, at least not in a plan or because you have to. If a Tarot idea comes calling, answer the door and consider it. And see how it connects to what you are learning.
Good luck out there, Tarotically and otherwise, in 2010.