I know the feeling.
You bust out your brand new tarot cards or you get your hands on one of those sites or programs for astrology- and instantly, you want to go into the big, complex, interesting things.
It’s an easy temptation but it’s a temptation that will hang you up a bit- I tell ALL of my students this. Though, of course, yes- it is a matter of not being very clear on the meanings, spreads, or layout of a chart: it is also something more than that, and something that I believe is very important.
You are learning.
Be patient with yourself.
I cannot tell you how often we will see in the various groups I am a part of- someone posts a Celtic Cross, for instance: and is just baffled. I have also seen people get a Lenormand deck and immediately go for the Grand Tableau- which is a much, MUCH harder example between the two of these.
The thing is, in these things, at the very heart of it: you’re telling a story. While it is true there are people who write novels and otherwise without doing so: fleshing out your characters, having a basic idea of where you’re going with things, is always a great way to begin- and it’s a great way to begin for a number of reasons.
One of the reasons that I do not, at present, have any apprentices is that I believe the purpose of the learning process carries much more than simply the tangible things you learn. The reason that I did learn to map out a horoscope in the first place, without a program- was not because it’s necessary to do that, anymore. It isn’t. It was a respect thing, at heart- a respect for the tool I was using. More than that, though, when we respect the things we learn: first, they work better. Truthfully, they do. But secondly- you develop the humility and the understanding to use these things to their fullest. (I have had more than a few people approach me about apprenticeships- the thing is, and you might think I am an asshole for it: but if you approach me like I somehow OWE you this, or you come across as entitled at all- yes, I will ignore you. If you cannot be respectful even in the way you approach someone or something- it’s a bad foot to get started on.)
For me, a good apprentice will come to me with an empty cup. Whether or not they’ve learned things already- that cup must be emptied. This requires humility and respect not only for whatever it is I happen to be teaching- but for me, as a teacher. In more recent times there has been a trend towards downplaying and being dismissive of knowledge. A lack of respect for the discipline and drive it often takes to learn…well, whatever it may be. You see this a lot in circles who decry those who’ve taken steps to go to college and educate themselves- a whole lot of snide, “Yeah, well, that doesn’t mean anything!”
Actually, yes it does- and it should mean a great deal to the self-taught, ESPECIALLY.
As a matter of fact, for the self taught these things are even more important. An understanding of the hard work involved in learning is essential. The amount of dedication and humility involved is absolutely key.
In my tarot students (Which should not be confused with my apprentices)- I ALWAYS start people off with a personal Fool’s Walk. Over the course of the past ten years, I have developed a learning version of this that just clicks. I have a similar process for my Lenormand students.
Whether you are learning for personal reasons or you plan to be a professional: humility is your first step. Self taught people in particular, often miss out on this as working with a teacher is a wonderful way to have a firsthand understanding of acknowledging that, well, here’s someone who knows more than you do.
But, you see, this probably sounds all snide against the self taught: but, I’m self taught. Being self taught requires a lot more humility and a lot more discipline because, you are in essence, entering into something where you need to acknowledge that, in the beginning- those cards know more than you do. There is also a lot of potential in those who are self taught as a result of the discipline and focus it takes to do so.
Of course you are going to give in to the temptation and play around with the bigger spreads- and I wholeheartedly encourage that. This is an excellent way to learn where your limits actually are, and it’s helpful in development of your understanding. It is not, however- as I have seen many frustratedly exclaim: an indication of your talents as a reader, which you have yet to fully develop.
This is more of the opener to a method discussion- but, the question that I would like to pose to you here is- in your learning process, do you take the time to develop a comprehensive relationship based on respect for your cards? Is this an aspect of the learning process you’ve considered?