I have been studying tarot off and on for 12 years, although I just started studying for professional purposes in the last couple of years.
Most people start off with one deck of cards and just read the book that comes with it. Maybe you might by an extra book too. There is nothing wrong with this approach, I also started with one deck and then a year or so later I bought an additional book. But I discovered an easier way that helped me learn tarot and I find it very useful; comparing.
By owning more than one deck of cards you can lay the matching cards out together and study the images to see what they have in common. Each artist has their own visions and twists they will put in their depictions, but the core meanings of the cards will typically all transfer over.
For the first comparison, I am going to start at the beginning with The Fool. I have used these decks to compare: The Gilded Tarot, Sun and Moon Tarot, The Housewives of Tarot and Crystal Visions Tarot.
But, how can you pull that definition from the images on the cards?
If you look closely, the Sun and Moon Tarot, the Housewives of Tarot, and the Crystal Visions Tarot all show "The Fool" teetering on a cliff. If someone were to fall of a cliff they would likely not survive, the The Fool is not worried or maybe not aware. Either way (s)he is not even looking at where (s)he is going. This is a blind leap of faith.
In all of the images you can see a playfulness. A sort of "no cares in the world". This is a childlike quality.
Don't misinterpret this card though, it does not mean
The Fool is actually a fool. Just not bogged down with worries. (S)He is ready to start the journey with a fresh clean slate. An open heart and mind.
It is also very important to understand that tarot cards do not stand alone. When you draw cards and lay them in a spread you have laid out a story. The cards true meanings are in how they relate to each other. For instance, if you draw The Fool and the Empress together, it may signify a child and mother
If you're just starting out do not fret, it will be well worth the time you spend learning the cards. I suggest having more than one deck to study with.
Of course you need to make sure you are well bonded with your decks before you perform readings with them.
I hope you found this post useful. Stay tuned as I will be going through the entire deck of 78.
Thanks for reading!
Continue on this journey with The Magician.