“Reading Tarot cards is really very easy. All you have to do is look at the cards and see what you say. By simply looking at the cards, you are making an intuitive connection with them. The cards speak in a language of symbols. If you look at the cards, the images actually do talk to you.” – From the book
With Wilma Carroll’s radical method for reading Tarot cards, there is no memorization of meanings or years of study. Her simple advice? Say what you see.
Can it really be that easy? Well, it depends on whom you ask. Many Tarot readers and authors advocate memorizing meanings—including reversed ones—even if those meaning are self-generated through experience and personal symbolism. Others advocate strict adherence to a tradition such as the Golden Dawn where every meaning, astrological association, and dignities are laid out for the reader.
Carroll, a psychic and metaphysician, maintains that “thinking” breaks the spontaneous stream of symbols flowing through intuition. Yet, she also maintains “…Tarot cards are a focusing tool that keeps the mind from wandering. When the attention is fixed and the reader is concentrating, psychic energy flows. As the reader focuses on the cards, the symbols being to stimulate her subconscious mind.”
The first 43 pages of The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor show the reader, through examples and worksheets, how the author taught individuals unfamiliar with the Tarot to read the cards for themselves and others. Using the Celtic Cross spread for several case histories, we get a peek inside the trepidation that beginning readers often feel—and the triumphant feelings of accomplishment when their readings turn out to be amazingly accurate.
While the first two sections of the book can, indeed, teach individuals to read the Tarot in 2 hours (provided they actually perform the exercises), the book title is somewhat misleading. The majority of the book, while building upon the simple foundation of “say what you see”, is full of mystical meat that could overwhelm total novices. Carroll shares some bona fide psychic secrets for gleaning important information from the cards while also providing an excellent crash course in numerology, performing timing readings, and interpreting complex spreads. For example, her advanced Seven Sisters Spread uses 21 cards and her advanced Horoscope spread uses 39 cards. However, using Carroll’s method for reading the Tarot—and following along with worksheets based on actual readings—even these daunting spreads becoming manageable and doable.
•Will following a special diet enhance my intuitive/psychic faculties? •What can I do to develop my intuitive/psychic faculties? •What is the difference between the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana? •What do the four suits of the Tarot mean? •Where do Tarot cards come from? •How should I read reversed/inverted cards? •Do Tarot cards require special care?
Although Carroll is not in the least dogmatic, she does share her personal preferences. In fact, she even discusses traditional meanings for some cards, but stresses the importance of “saying what you see.” The last part of the book covers possible meanings of individual cards as well as possible meanings when combined with other cards or certain spread positions, allowing room at the bottom to jot down observations and notes about each card. Several worksheets for various spreads are also provided.
The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor is an engaging and informative read for both those new to the Tarot and those who’ve been reading for quite some time. It’s fascinating to read how the author was put on the spot during a Halloween episode of Live with Regis (this was just after Kathie Lee had departed and he had yet to find a permanent replacement). Regis asked her, of all things, to predict the winner of the 2000 Presidential election! (Interestingly, the cards reflected the uncertainty about the winner—but Carroll called the election correctly.) Other personal anecdotes from the author help to solidify the importance of “saying what you see”, especially as she demonstrates how this technique worked when reading for a variety of clients. The section on numerology is immediately helpful. After reading The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor, I began incorporating a client’s personal year and month when doing Birthday/New Year Spreads and the results have been remarkable. My clients report that weaving numerology into their readings makes for a more personalized and relevant reading. If you’re new to the Tarot and are overwhelmed at the prospect of learning 78 meanings by rote memory (let alone another 78 for reversals) and would just like to learn to read with the right-brain (intuitively), The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor is an excellent book for this purpose. If you’ve been indoctrinated by certain occult traditions or feel a need to memorize tons of correspondences and Tarot trivia to “keep up” with other readers, this book could give you a new lease on your reading life by stripping down the process to you, the cards, the symbols, and your innate intuition.
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