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Keyword warm-up

“Language is the key to the heart of people.”

- Ahmed Deedat

The autumn term has started at College.

The autumn term is perhaps one of my favourites. There is a real sense of settling down and getting back into work and I have the added joy that this term sees us celebrating everything from autumn equinox to Christmas/Yuletide.

The groups become a family and there is a satisfaction amongst us that we share the journey together. Share is a positive word for me as I place emphasis on shared learning. It's marvellous how we can receive fresh perspectives from each other which is truly enlightening and everyone contributes in a very thoughtful and creative way.

The Tarot journey.

What is fascinating for me at the beginning of each new term is to see how people have progressed on their Tarot journey. The changes that have been made, the dynamics of life laid bare upon the table in a spread and what is more there is a new confidence as everybody takes those tentative steps to go deeper still.

I can recognise the awakening, the epiphany moments. The juicy life bits that add to the treasure trove of wisdom. We never stop Learning. We are in it for the long haul, practice makes perfect.

I don’t think it is possible to become an ‘instant’ in anything.

It takes time to become accomplished at anything especially Tarot; we never stop growing and evolving and as such our Tarot insights also grow and evolve. The point of developing one’s Tarot skills is to take a card and apply meaning to it. We do this by looking at the symbolism and archetypal meaning of the cards, these remain a constant but our insight to the meanings can change over time.

The potential and the versatility in Tarot is vast and wide ranging. One of the things that we will utilise fully in our practice are the keywords. Repetition makes one a master.

Keywords are vital to the understanding of Tarot.

They help access information from a vast library. The cards themselves are keys to our own innate wisdom but the keywords help us define the wisdom into tangible bites that we can successfully externalise and express.

The archetypal images in Tarot represent every known experience that a human can live through. They were born in the logos of the Earth and possibly transcribed by a higher consciousness to assist us in understanding the chaos we are born into. Our understanding of the archetypal processes is held in the collective consciousness which we add to all the time through our own personal journey. Although we may not have had the same life moments as our neighbour we can relate to the process of life, the human dynamic through our own essence and worldliness.

Tarot is an embodiment of spirit.

Spirit does not have a particular language. It shows itself through images and dreamscape but working with Tarot symbolism allows us to give spirit a voice.

Tarot by its very nature requires the spoken word in order to be effective. You could say it is a talking therapy. Words bring the card to life. It is so very important that we use good language when performing a reading as it adds to the beauty and the truth of a meaningful session.

As a reader of many years I have learned that the quickest way to remember the meaning of the cards is through the keywords.

The first thing I consider when a card is drawn is what are the keywords for this image. This helps me to recall its meaning and can be navigation tools in the telling of a story. The keywords can act as psychic triggers prompting a wider view of the card itself and how it works in context with the rich tapestry that is presented in a reading.

If there were one piece of advice I could offer...

If there was one piece of advice I could offer to a budding reader or anyone in fact who wishes to have their consultations down and nailed is to develop these keywords. It is possible that you will want to add your own words to the list of meanings. Perhaps you see the card imagery from a unique and personal perspective. Very often Tarot will have a significant meaning just for us given our experiences but will still have an overarching resonance with a traditional meaning of the card.



  • Draw a card for the day. Write down several salient keywords and points that you think are associated with the card. At the end of the day reflect on how the card mirrored your day and the relevance of the words associated with the card.

  • Select a card, put together a poem or short story using and including all of the keywords you have for the card in question.

  • Ask a Tarot friend to give you a sequence of words from a card, can you guess the card?

  • Think outside the box...if your cards are a country or a TV programme, a song or a book, what words would you use to describe them?

  • Keep a journal. It is very useful to have a journal containing the lexicon of Tarot, a thesaurus of Tarot meanings, include words that may signify aspects of the past, present and future. You can add to this throughout your Tarot journey. The journal could be a fascinating and helpful addition to your Tarot library.

Don’t forget to let the cards inspire you, perhaps you want to do this exercise using a favourite or artful deck. Most of all enjoy the ride, it’s worth it in the end!
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