If someone is wanting to learn more about the tarot there are many ways to go about it.
If you just want to try it a bit and don’t have your own tarot deck then there are places on the web to do simple readings. I can recommend a couple of them.
The first is at http://www.gaiantarot.com/. There you will find a tab that says Free Readings. This will take you to a page where you can receive a three card reading using an opportunity/challenge/potential resolution layout. These reading only use the major arcana (the first 22 cards) of this deck.
The second is http://www.annak-tarot.at/Anna_Englisch/index_e.html. At the Anna K Tarot website there is a link that says Card Reading and a link from there that says Online Readings. There are six different layout options here with brief descriptions for what each can be used for. These readings use the entire deck. I personally love The Secret of the High Priestess layout.
These are two fairly different decks so one may speak to a person more than the other. Both websites give the ability to look at all of the cards and see some basic interpretations of them. I recommend exploring the websites a bit and seeing what’s there. These are both awesome decks!
If you have a deck and don’t wish to buy a book at this point to learn more on how to use it, then the public library is a great option. I have two books that I love and they both tend to be in public library collections.
The First is the one I mentioned in the previous tarot post, Tarot for Life.
The second is Tarot Outside the Box.
Of course there are a lot more tarot books out there and most public library systems will have quite a number. Every book offers different approaches to learning about and working with the tarot. Exploring what works best for us as individuals is the best way to go.
If you have a deck already, or can access an online deck like the two I have mentioned above, one of the best ways to learn about and explore the tarot is to pick a card and use it as a writing prompt. What ever stands out in the image or whatever the image evokes in you, what ever it might bring up in that moment, just start writing. If nothing happens at first then start describing, quite literally what you see. What kind of setting is it in? What people, animals or plants are in it? What seems to be happening? And then go on from there. Doing this practice regularly can really open the tarot up to us and help us to develop our own meaning for the cards.
The same process works when we have a question or situation that we are wanting to gain insight into. By using the tarot in this way we are working to pull the answers and insights out from within ourselves. It is an empowering way to work with the tarot and the way I would recommend the strongest. Another way to make sure that we are empowering ourselves instead of limiting ourselves when working with the tarot is to make the questions open-ended versus yes or no questions.
When we are feeling frustrated or stuck or down right desperate for clarity it can be terribly tempting to approach any divinatory tool (or even other people) in a just “tell me already” way. But in doing so we limit ourselves. We give our own personal power away. We cheat ourselves of the personal development and growth and peace that can come from digging deep within ourselves. We also rarely get the answers we’re looking for because usually the answer is already somewhere within us and something within ourselves is keeping us from seeing it. It can be a difficult and painful process to work through the things within ourselves that keep us from seeing clearly and from knowing deeply but also an incredibly empowering one. For me the tarot is a tool to work through those layers and then somewhere underneath them all the clearness, the knowing, the answers are found.
So there is a starting place to getting to know the tarot for those that are curious where to start. I hope this is helpful and as always I welcome questions in the comments!