Outstanding. Here’s some resources for you:
I went online to gather the best—IMHO—free resources I could about tarot for use by them as wants to learn. Below are the fruits of my labor.
Quick Methods of Learning Tarot
- Learn Tarot in 7 Easy Steps (PDF)
- Learn the Tarot in Two Hours – Part One and Part Two, by Ben Lucas (YouTube)
- The Symbolist: A Simplified Guide to Tarot Symbols and Terms, by Corrine Kenner
- A quick and dirty chart to tarot cards and their common meanings
- Minor Arcana Quick Reference Chart – thetarot.co.uk
- What Every Newbie Tarot Reader Should Know by Mary K. Greer
- Easy Tarot Lessons with Dusty White (YouTube) – Part One
- How to Read Tarot by Bonnie Cehovet – PDF from AclecticTarot.com
- Tarot for Beginners, or Now That I Have a Deck, What Do I Do With It? by Olympias (TarotByOlympias.com) – PDF from her website
- Learning the tarot (PDF – 19 lessons) by Joan Bunning. The complete course is also online for free here.
- Tarot Worksheets for Download and Study (PDFs)
- Trainee Tarot Course by The Four Queens (Youtube)
- Tarot Oracle’s Complete Tarot Course by the Tarot Oracle. Part One is here, and there are 15 hours in total (YouTube)
- the Aeclectic Tarot Forum’s Cards masterthread (multiple links to articles on all 78 cards)
- The Socratic Method of Tarot Reading by Jeanne Fiorini (YouTube)
- How to Shuffle Tarot Cards by Kate Madison (YouTube)
Learning Tarot – Reversals
- The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals by Mary K. Greer, via MyTeaCup.com (PDF)
- Reversals, and What to Do if All of the Cards Are Reversed, by Christiana Gaudet (YouTube)
Learning Tarot – Court Cards
- Why You Can’t Read the Court Cards, by Marcus Katz. Unpublished material from Tarosophy: Tarot to Engage Life, Not Escape It by Marcus Katz. PDF.
- Understanding the Tarot Court by Mary K. Greer and Tom Little, via ChinaTarot.com (PDF)
- Court Cards at a Glance – Site and Printable Chart via TarotCourtCards.com
Learning Tarot – the Thoth Deck
- Tarot: Mirror of the Soul. A Handbook for the Aleister Crowley Tarot by Gerd Ziegler (PDF)
- TarotTown: Thoth for Beginners – a Worksheet that breaks down a few of the complicated aspects of the Thoth tarot deck. (PDF)
- the Aeclectic Tarot Forum’s All About Reading masterthread (formulating questions, reading techniques, and more)
- Gaining Confidence in Your Tarot Readings by Teresa Michelsen/TarotMoon Press
- How to Read For Others – the Tarot Sybarite
- Overcoming Reader’s Block from TarotMoon Press
- When the Cards Just Make No Damn Sense – the Tarot Sybarite
- To Rephrase or Not to Rephrase from TarotMoon Press
- Working With Vague of Complex Questions from TarotMoon Press
- Interpreting Large Readings from TarotMoon Press
Asking Questions (For Those Seeking Readings)
- How to Phrase Tarot Questions – The Free Reading Network
- How to Phrase a Question for a Tarot Reading – PlanetWaves.net
- Seven Ways to Ask a Good Question in a Tarot Reading – TarotCanHelp.com
- Effective Tarot Questions – The Tarot Reader Blog
- What NOT to Ask the Tarot– BiddyTarot
- The 37 Best Tarot Questions – Alec Satin
Public Domain Tarot Books (PDFs) via EsotericOnline.net:
- Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by A. E. Waite
- A French Method of Cartomancy, by A. E. Waite
- An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot, by Paul Foster Case
- Oracle of the Tarot, by Paul Foster Case. Keyed to the Knapp-Hall Tarot
- The Wisdom of Tarot by Elizabeth Haich
- What is the Tarot? by Ouspenpsky
- Book T, by MacGregor Mathers Intro the the Golden Dawn system of tarot interpretation. Very dense reading, not keyed to the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and not for beginners
- Tarot of the Bohemians, by Papus. References the Tarot de Marseilles and the Oswald-Wirth Tarot.
- A History of the Tarot, by Dame Gabby
- The Continental Tarots by Christine Payne-Towler
- A Self-Guided Tour of the Tarot by Cameo Victor
- The Continental Tarot, by Christine Payne-Towler
- The Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang
- Sex Magic, Tantra, and Tarot: The Way of the Secret Lover by Hyatt and DuQuette
Printable Tarot Decks (Public Domain Art)
- Rider-Waite-Smith Deck (High-Resolution Images) viafantasycards,wordpress.com
- Color-Your-Own Rider-Waite-Smith Deck via tarotinstitute.com. Coloring your own deck is a simple and effective way to fix the image in your mind and internalize its many meanings.
- Color-Your-Own Marseilles Deck via tarot-cards-reading.net
- The Tarot de Marseilles is one of the oldest known tarot decks, and is the basis for the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. Click here to download a full-color Marseille Tarot Deck
- You can also print the Bodet cards from 1739 by clicking here.
- DarkTarot.com has another printable traditional deck available for personal use. Please note the copyright.
Once you’ve decided which deck(s) you want to print, save the printable tarot cards to your computer. Avoid printing directly from the browser as you might end up with some weird and unwanted results (trust me on this).
Print out the tarot cards on your chosen paper. Make sure that you print them in the standard tarot deck size. If you’re not sure that the size is right, do a test print of one card so you don’t destroy the entire paper. If you printed the images on regular paper and want a good backing, then you need to use spray adhesive to glue the paper to the actual cards.
Carefully trim the edges of the cards – some people like rounded edges, so make sure you have enough place for the borders.
Once the cards are printed, let them dry and then seal them with a varnish spray. After that, run them through a laminator. These days laminators are pretty affordable, and if you find yourself creating lots of tarot decks, you might want to invest in one. You can also take the files to office supply stores (such as Office Depot in the USA) for printing and laminating.
- Creating Tarot Spreads (PDF)
- Divination Spreads (PDF)
- Three Card Spreads (PDF)
- Three Card Yes-Or-No Spread (PDF)
- Popular Spreads with Interpretive Charts from MyTeaCup.com (PDF)
- KMilliron’s Free Tarot Spreads eBook (PDF) – a poster over at AclecticTarot’s forums collected all of his spreads into a PDF for sharing via MediaFire
- 41 Quick Tarot Spreads For Reading Any Situation – JeanneMayell.com
- Original Tarot Spreads – TarotMoon Press
- AeclecticTarot Forums’ Tarot Spread Index
- gardenofthequeen’s tarot spread tag
- hellboundwitch’s tarot spread tag
- TarotSybarites tarot spread tag
- Creating Your Own Tarot and Oracle Card Journal by owlmoon (YouTube)
Tarot & Astrology
Tarot & Numerology
- Secrets of Tarot Numerology by Gary Meister: Lesson One, Lesson Two, Lesson Three, Lesson Four, Lesson Five, Lesson Six, Lesson Seven, Lesson Eight, Lesson Nine, Lesson Ten, Lesson Eleven, Lesson Twelve
Issues in Tarot
- Ethics When Reading For Others by Dixie Vogel (YouTube)
- Ethical Tarot Reading by BiddyTarot
- Setting Boundaries and Developing a Code of Ethics from TarotMoon Press
- What A Tarot Reading CANNOT Do For You by Mita Bhan
- Third Party Readings by BiddyTarot
- Why I Don’t Do Tarot Readings For Third Parties by tarotcanhelp.com
- Your Tarot Reading Made the Client Mad! What Now?! by Dixie Vogel (YouTube)
- The Peril of Practice – Unhappy Clients from TarotMoon Press
- Are There Any Clients That You Would Refuse to Do A Tarot Reading For? via TarotWisdomReadings.com
- Becoming a “Professional”: How To Know When You’re Ready to Charge For Your Tarot Readings by Biddy Tarot. See also her article How Much Are Your Tarot Readings Worth?
- Becoming A Professional Tarot Reader – What You Need to Know by DailyTarotGirl
- Suggestions for Becoming a Professional Tarot Reader by Mary K. Greer
- Charging Fees for Readings by Madhavi Ghare
- Why I Do Not—And Will Not—Do Free Readings by idanceitarotiart
- Mary K. Greer: Tools for Recording Your Readings
- Getting Experience: Join the Free Tarot Network where you perform free Tarot readings via email, with the support of a Tarot mentor. See also biddytarot’s Seeking Feedback from Your Online Clients
- The following is NOT free, and some of the information on the Internet is dated, but the bulk of information contained within is outstanding: Christine Jette’s book Professional Tarot. Highly, highly recommended.
Organizations That Support/Promote Tarot
- Tarosophy Tarot Association – “We teach methods of Tarot to divine your life, and make your way better through it – understanding more along the way.” This organization runs TaroCon US, TarotCon Australia, and TarotCon UK.
- American Tarot Association – “The American Tarot Association is a professional and social organization for Tarot enthusiasts, students, scholars, and readers. We promote the study and appreciation of Tarot by supporting a variety of educational programs.”
- Tarot Association of the British Isles – “TABI is a not-for-profit association run by unpaid volunteers with a passion for Tarot and the esoteric. We were formed in 2001 to provide support, information and resources for Tarot enthusiasts of all levels.”
- Tarot Guild of Australia – “The TGA represents a community of Tarot enthusiasts, readers and teachers from across Australia and worldwide.”
- Tarot Media Company – “…our goal [is] promoting the work of Tarot authors, artists, and scholars to make their creations available to the Tarot public and to support them in their goal of right livelihood.”
- US Games Systems – Publisher of classic and contemporary tarot decks, Rider-Waite, Crowley Thoth, divination and oracle decks
- Lo Scarabeo – Born in 1987 in Torino, Italy, Lo Scarabeo is now a leading international company in the mind, body and spiritual health publishing, with a main focus in Tarot publishing. Lo Scarabeo is one of the most important Tarot publishers in the world.
- The Game Crafter – “the world’s first web-to-print game publishing company and offers a print on demand game publishing service…The Game Crafter gives designers an easy-to-use system to make a board game, card game, or custom playing cards. TGC offers templates, instructions, videos, and proofing tools to help designers create a quality product”.
Shopping For Decks
- If you’re browsing decks on AeclecticTarot, you can usually click a link on the deck’s page and be taken to a web site to order. Those affiliate links usually help the site, too.
Tarot Card Games
- Wikipedia’s article on tarot card games
- Simplified Rules for The Game of Tarot, via Mary K. Greer’s blog. For a copy of the rules of French tarot, see here.
- Rules for Games Played with Tarot Cards via Pagat.com. There are literally hundreds of rules variations out there, here’s a handful of them.
- Emperors, the fortunetelling betting game played with Tarot cards by copperbadge
- Theoricus Poker by Frater B.T. – a fun way to learn correspondences from astrology, etc., with the different tarot cards.
- Arcanus Major – A Tarot Roleplaying Game
- Take a look at this graphic for some quick facts about tarot
- Thomas L. MacDonald’s detailed, excellent series on the history of tarot cards. MacDonald is an editor over at Games magazine.
- For a shorter overview of the history, you can look at tarot author Mary K. Greer’s blog post What Every Newbie Tarot Reader Should Know About the History and Myths of Tarot and the TarotL History and Information Sheet.
- History of Women’s Tarot – Tarot as a keystone of the Women’s Spirituality movement branches off in a different direction from the mainstream in the mid-1970’s.
- Make sure you do some reading about Pamela Colman Smith. Smith is the artist who designed the artwork for the Rider-Waite-Smith deck (the world’s most popular tarot deck, and the one most people think of when they hear the word “tarot”) in 1909.
- Smith based her RWS deck design on the Tarot de Marseille.
- Smith’s creation of individual scenes on the cards of the minor arcana was a huge leap forward in tarot deck design, and contributed mightily to the enduring popularity of the RWS deck.
- You can see examples of her non-tarot artwork here and here. Don’t forget her book Susan and the Mermaid!
- One thing to keep in mind about Pamela Colman Smith is that she made a deliberate decision to reduce or eliminate the Christian imagery found in the early tarot decks. For example….
- The Hanged Man image comes from the medieval Italian practice of hanging traitors upside down (Fun Fact: at the end of WWII, Mussolini was hanged upside down to mark him as a traitor; and please be warned that link is GRAPHIC and TOTALLY NSFW). That practice was inspired by the death of Judas Iscariot in the Bible, where Iscariot is described as falling “headlong” (Acts 1:18). In the earliest tarocchi decks, the Hanged Man is depicted with bags of money, or with coins falling out of his pocket, a reference to the infamous thirty pieces of silver Iscariot was paid for betraying Jesus Christ.
- The World card can be seen in many churches and ancient Christian manuscripts, usually showing Christ ascending into heaven surrounded by symbols of the Four Evangelists.
- Smith’s High Priestess replaced La Papessa (the Papess, a female ‘Pope’ figure) in the deck. Lots of folks assumed that this image was inspired by the legend of Pope Joan, but evidence suggests that the image is a female allegorical figure for the Roman Catholic Church (which claims the title ‘The Bride of Christ’)
- Origins of Playing Card Divination – Mary K. Greer’s Tarot Blog. An illustrated presentation of theories and research on the origin of playing cards.
- The New World Witchery Guide to Cartomancy by Corey Hutcheson (PDF)
- Secondhand Souls: Cartomancy – Guide to learning cartomancy. Includes a brief history, discusses cards, and gives spreads.
- Playing Card Meanings – Serena’s Guide to Divination
- Sarena’s Tarot: Using Regular Playing Cards – A guide to using regular playing cards for divination.
- A Manual of Cartomancy, Fortune-Telling, and Occult Divination by Grand Orient, published 1909 (PDF) via the Wayback Machine
- A French Method of Fortune-Telling by Cards, by A.E. Waite, published 1912, via Hermetics.org
- Fortune-Telling By Cards by Prof. P.R.S. Foli, first published 1915 . PDF via labirintoermetico.com
- Cartomancy: History and Legend of a Prophetic Artvia associazioneletarot.it (PDF)
- Arcana Arcanorum: The Playing-Card Oracle – A personal system of playing card divination is presented with card meanings and layouts.
- A Glossary of Tarot Symbols from TarotMoon Press
- the Difference between Oracle and Tarot Cards by hellboundwitch
- World Tarot Day
- World LeNormand Day
- Tarotpedia, the Online Encyclopedia of Tarot
- Tarot Reflections Archives – Back Issues of the newsletter of the American Tarot Association
- Tips For Reading at Psychic Fairs by Teresa Michelsen
- Reading at Charity Events by the Tarot Sybarite