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When You Still Forget Tarot Card Meanings

I have been reading tarot now for almost ten years – you’d think by now I have every card memorized, clean and easy. That in readings, I never stumble, need to think, or get confused about the cards presented before me.

If only that were true.

While I’ve been reading pretty consistently the entire time, meaning I rarely go longer than a month without pulling my cards out at least once, and while most readings go quite smoothly and roll of the tongue for either myself or someone else I’m reading for, it’s not always like that.

If you have also been reading for just as long – or longer, or shorter – and feel not good enough or knowledgeable enough or skilled enough when it comes to reading the tarot, allow me to reassure you that no one is ever perfect.

There are certain cards that just don’t pop out in readings often enough for me to know the general meaning, a personal meaning, and its interactions with other cards. And there’s nothing I can do about it. So yes, occasionally I will pause my reading to look up two or three keywords about a card to keep my reading going smoothly and be able to connect the dots and add depth from there. That’s okay. For a long time that card was the seven of cups and the star for me (among others). Now I know those meanings well, but the occasional wand or sword card will still throw me for a loop.

Sometimes, the depictions on special decks also confuses the heck out of me. I’ll forget what the typical Rider-Waite card – which generally has more traditional symbols and colors that today’s artists choose not to include – so I completely blank on it’s meaning. I then have to look up what the standard Rider-Waite cards look like to jog my memory and continue.

And don’t get me started on reversals. I choose not to read them unless a card flips and spins as it falls and purposefully lands upside down. My intuition will usually shout to leave it as well. But that’s rare. I personally feel I can get as rich and depth meaning to the cards upright and using the cards surrounding them as context clues. But to each their own; whether you read reversals or not, you can still get as deep in a reading and answer the querent’s question.

Tarot is so rich, so deep, and has centuries of history and practitioners behind it. Every reader reads differently. Every reader struggles with certain cards or decks. Every reader forgets things now and then, or goes blank on a reading. It does not matter how long you’ve been reading…you’re allowed to make those mistakes, to forget, to have to look something up quickly.

It makes you no less of a tarot reader and no less worthy of reading for others.

What card do you struggle with the most? Let me know down below.

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