(a2a) Yes: you are not alone, I myself and I guess every tarot reader has been where you are when they began. There is no shame in feeling that way. As to what to do about it, I would give the following advice based on my own experience.
- Treat Tarot Reading like an Art. A concert pianist does not worry about how much money he will make playing the piano, he concentrates on playing the best he possibly can – i.e. perfecting his Art. Conversely, if he did think about where his money his coming from, that would distract him from the pure art of playing. Similarly, if you really want to get good at Tarot reading, be like the Artist aiming to be the best Tarot reader you can possibly be – don’t go into tarot reading thinking about trying to please others or making money from fortune-telling.
- Learn to get rid of the Little White Book as soon as possible. The LWB does not and cannot provide for every eventuality, so you should aim to get to a point where you don’t have to rely on it at all. This is another way of saying – learn to memorise the meanings of the individual cards – however! This does not have to be more difficult than need be. For example, picking one or two keywords for each card. I also found it helped to imagine that the Minors in the form of a grid of 4 columns (suits) and 14 rows (Ace to 10 and the Court Cards), realising that all columns have a similar meaning; all rows have a similar meaning; therefore a rough & ready way to remember a Minor is to mentally cross reference the two.
I also found it helpful to compare each tarot card with its astrological associations, and to analyse and look for patterns.
- Read widely. Especially the thoughts of other practicing tarot readers. Not just books, but blogs as well. There is always the possibility that someone with more experience has come up with an insight which helps you.
- Practice, practice, practice. The Three Ps. You can and should practice on yourself to begin with, but eventually you can take the plunge and try to give readings for other people – I found doing so myself boosted my confidence.
But really the most important piece of advice I would have to offer is
- EMBRACE THE CONFUSION. It’s actually the challenge of trying to figure out the meaning of a difficult or seemingly out-of-place card which makes you a better tarot reader. It’s that flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants feeling which makes you realise the real secret of Tarot reading, which is that it’s not really about the cards, but about your own intuition. Ideally therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid of Confusion – you shouldn’t even resign yourself to accept it grudgingly – you should embrace it as an opportunity to grow and develop.