Tarot readings are consistently insightful because
the cards use symbols that are deeply ingrained
within our consciousness. While those symbols 
are not unique to the cards, they are combined and
presented in a way that beautifully illustrate the
human condition and situations in which we often
find ourselves.

When querents pose questions, it is the job of a
tarot reader to interpret that symbolic language.
The better the reader’s understanding of the imagery,
the more easily they can explain the cards and
share their insights. A querent’s own reactions to 
and associations with the symbols can add to the
reading as well.

Here are some suggestions for understanding
tarot  imagery:

Start with the Obvious
Basic associations are natural and can be useful.
Think about what you would naturally associate
with a given symbol or card, e.g., moon = night,
sun = day, The Star = heaven, The Lovers =
romance, The Hierophant = spirituality, etc.

Really Look at the Cards
A valuable technique that we have developed
at The Tarot School is called Close Examination.
It can be especially helpful when building a
repertoire of card symbols. Here is how it works: 

Examine the picture on a card as closely as you can.
Notice colors, clothing, posture, facial expressions, etc.
If there are things to count, count them. Look at
everything; you’ll be surprised how many things
you’ve never noticed before, even if you’ve been
reading for years. One or more of them can hold the
key to an interpretation specifically for your querent. 

Take some time to practice this technique on your
own so you can do it quickly and easily.

Explore Specific Symbols
Find a familiar detail or symbol, such as a
lightning bolt. Think about why it is there, and
what it might mean in the context of the reading.
Lightning is often associated with storms, a rapid
atmospheric change, danger, or an unexpected
power surge. Are you fearful of lightning?
Your querent might not be, so check with them
to make sure you’re not projecting your own
fears onto them. Perhaps they have another
association, such as excitement, which might
make more sense.

Each detail of every picture contains its own treasure
of knowledge, and creates and transmits its own wealth
of meaning. Combining your intuition with an
understanding of tarot symbology will add a richness to
your readings that your querents will truly appreciate.