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Ask Brigit: How to Read Confidently with Different Tarot Decks

By January 15, 2014 May 2nd, 2018

blog-20140115-ask-brigit-how-to-read-confidently-with-different-tarot-decksHave you got more than one Tarot deck at home, but you're afraid to start working with them because you don't want to have to ‘re-learn' a new deck?

You've already invested years of study to get to know your favourite Tarot deck inside and out, so now, do you really have to start over if you want to work with a different deck?

Today's Ask Brigit question is from Christine who is facing that exact dilemma. She writes:

“My husband and I are learning together.  He has a Rider Waite deck and I have the Morgan-Greer deck (a RWS clone).  While the cards are pretty much the same, there are lots of symbols that are absent in my deck and some cards that are completely different (the Devil card, for instance).  There's so much to learn with just my one deck – do I have to “relearn” tarot with every different deck that I get?”

Great question, Christine! Watch this video to find out my answer.

http://youtu.be/Oh45mL9LrsQ

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Thank-you for watching and I'll see you next time.

After you've watched the video, I'd love to hear your own techniques and strategies for quickly mastering a new Tarot deck. Leave your comments below.

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Brigit, Founder of Biddy Tarot – the place to be if you’re an aspiring Tarot reader and you want to transform your life and others’ with Tarot.

And this is a special Ask Brigit video post where I answer your questions about the Tarot.

Today’s question comes from Christine. She writes:

“My husband and I are learning together.  He has a Rider Waite deck and I have the Morgan-Greer deck (a RWS clone).  While the cards are pretty much the same, there are lots of symbols that are absent in my deck and some cards that are completely different (the Devil card, for instance).  There’s so much to learn with just my one deck – do I have to “relearn” tarot with every different deck that I get?”

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Great question, Christine!

I have always resisted using other Tarot decks, other than the Rider Waite deck of course, because it took me that long to learn the Rider Waite deck and I don’t want to have to start at square one again.

Recently, though, as I have helped other people interpret their Tarot readings with a wide range of Tarot decks, I realised that I didn’t have to start over or ‘re-learn’ Tarot, as you say. Instead, I have learned a series of easy techniques for working with an unfamiliar deck.

So here are three of those techniques.

Technique #1: Apply what you already know

Many Tarot decks are derivatives of each other, so while the imagery and symbolism may be different, many of the underlying themes are the same. If you draw the Two of Cups, for example, in your different deck, recall what the Two of Cups means in your usual deck. Use these meanings as a starting point.

Technique #2: Tune into the imagery

It is usually the imagery that is different across Tarot decks, so pay attention to what you see in the card.

Gaze at the card and then notice what grabs your attention. Is there a lush garden in the background? An open hand offering a gift? A cloudy sky? Whatever it might be. Now think about how that imagery relates to the question. What message does it convey? What insight does it give? Pay attention, also, to an intuitive feelings it may trigger within you. What does that lush garden remind you of? What could that cloudy sky really mean?

This is also a great way to learn to read with your usual Tarot deck.

Technique #3: Know your numbers + suits

Not every deck will be rich with imagery. For example, the Marseilles deck has unillustrated pip cards. This makes it even harder to interpret when you’re new to the deck.

My advice? Learn basic numerology and combine it with what you know of the suits. For example, we know Twos are about partnership and Cups are about relationships and emotions. So a Two of Cups in any deck will be about partnerships based on an emotional connection. You won’t need elaborate pictures to tell you that.

So, what’s your advice? How do you read a different Tarot deck without investing years of extra study? Leave your comment below.

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Wish You Had A Tarot Card Meaning Cheat Sheet?

Get Your FREE Tarot Card Meanings Reference Guide

And Avoid Getting Stuck When Trying To Remember The Card Meanings