One of the most daunting tasks of learning tarot for most people is learning each card’s meaning. With 78 cards in the deck, this can be a challenge for even the most brilliant amongst us. Many people start learning tarot only to get overwhelmed and burned out trying to memorize an entire deck at once. Don’t let that happen to you. Here is a great exercise you can incorporate into your daily practice to help you learn your deck and also get intimately familiar with each character in the deck. This is a great exercise for both the beginner and novice alike.

Each night before you go to sleep select a random card from your tarot deck. Clear your mind, get yourself in a relaxed position. Fan the tarot cards out face down, and pick one at random.

Once you have selected a card, flip it over, and look at the imagery. Stare at the card intently. Try to absorb as many of the card details as possible. Look at the color of the foliage in the trees, the sky. Are there clouds? Is the sky clear? Are the characters in the depiction interacting with each other? Is there any noticeable symbology that sticks out in your mind?

Now that you’ve taken in all the scenery of the card, look at the main character it portrays. Study the clothing the character is wearing. Look at the character’s facial expression. Is there anything noticeable about the character’s posture or body language.

Now that you’ve taken in both the character and its surroundings, close your eyes. Can you still see the character and the rest of the cards scene in your mind’s eye? If not stare at the image more until you can see the image in your mind’s eye when you close your eyes.

If you can see the image, step into the depiction in your imagination. Take a good look around. What do you see? Take in the surroundings and as much of the detail as possible. Now approach the character or characters in the depiction and strike up a conversation. Introduce yourself like you might introduce yourself to someone you strike up a conversation with in real life. Ask them about themselves. Ask them what they are doing or how they came to be in the scene. Try to step into the scene and become part of it.

When you finish your conversation, politely say goodbye, then take a couple of deep breaths imagining a blank screen or black wall. Let the image of the scenery and the character fade from your mind, then journal your experience. Just write down anything you remember about the scene or your conversation with the characters.

Incorporating this into a daily practice or nightly meditation will help you learn the cards in a fun and entertaining way. In no time at all, you’ll feel much more intimate with your deck and all the characters in the tarot card depictions. This can be a more personal approach than just trying to memorize keywords alone.

One last thing to note. If you find yourself pulling the same card frequently it may be the universes way of trying to tell you something. Study that card a little more intimately and ask yourself what you can learn from it and maybe how it relates to your own life personally.

This is a great meditation to incorporate into your daily practice. It can help to familiarize yourself with your tarot deck, and also become much more intimate with the characters portrayed in each tarot card. It’s also a stress-free, fun approach to learning the cards for those just starting and a great way for novice readers to stay in tune with their favorite deck.

Here’s an example using the two of pentacles: Notice the clouds in the background, the choppy waters, the rocky embankments. Notice the ship in the background. What does the symbolism of the image tell you? Look at the boys focus and determination as he juggles the pentacles.

When you strike up a conversation with the boy is he sociable or does he focus on the task at hand. Is he polite or rude as he tries to carry on his task. Maybe ask him why he’s juggling the pentacles?

Each person will obviously take something different away from this exercise. My interpretation of this would be the symbolism of the choppy water could indicate conflicting thoughts. The rocky cliffs in the background could indicate a rocky start to a project. The ship in the background could be entering the harbor or leaving. The boy is so intent on his duties or focused on what he’s doing he may not see the difficulties behind him, or the very fact that maybe they are now behind him and he can now move forward after some difficulty.

As we talked the boy maintained his focus on the task at hand and spoke to me as he continued juggling. At times he seemed slightly annoyed as I disrupted his concentration. By his dress he obviously takes pride in his appearance and also pays attention to detail. Nothing distracts him from his tasks.

Obviously each card adds to the story of the other cards in a reading. The main purpose of this exercise is to get intimate and familiar with each character in your deck. The more you do this, the more you will find the cards “speaking to you” when reading them in a spread.