Tarot studies

Five free online resources for learning tarot

There are a zillion sites on the interwebs for learning tarot, and I think I’ve probably visited more than half of them in the past few months. (There are so many, in fact, that it made me wonder if there was any reason to add my voice to the clamour. And yet, here we are!) I have found, though, that there are certain sites and certain voices that I’ve returned to again and again. Here then is my quite subjective lists of five sites whose voice and style resonated with me as I’ve walked down the path to learning tarot as a tool for reflection and mindfulness.

Biddy Tarot

The Biddy Tarot site has an amazing amount of free resources for learning tarot, if you don’t mind working your way around the rather constant pitches for her paid classes and courses. She has extensive card meanings, including descriptions, keywords, interpretations and reversals, plus a lot of general insight into the suits, the Fool’s Journey, spreads, and other aspects of tarot. I love Brigit Esselmont’s style and approach to tarot, and I find it deeply resonates with me. I liked the imagery on her card meaning pages so much that I bought my own copy of the Everyday Tarot mini deck. And if you like podcasts, she has more than a hundred of short podcasts on a lot of different aspects of tarot that I’ve found insightful and entertaining.

LearnTarot.com

The LearnTarot.com site is in many ways the opposite of Biddy Tarot, in that it was developed in the early days of the internet and looks like it hasn’t been updated in more than a decade. No flashy graphics, no sales pitches, but some really great fundamental information about tarot card meanings and interpretations. Don’t be put off by the charmingly anachronistic look of this site; it’s one of the most useful and comprehensive tarot sites I’ve come across, with a full and free online course in many aspects of tarot reading, including exercises you can work through to reinforce your learning. It takes a bit of work to find what you want on this site; click on “individual card descriptions” to get to the (stark) menu of card interpretations, but don’t overlook the wealth of other information available in the main menu.

Tarot Elements

This site is a rabbit hole of interesting occult tangents: elemental dignities, tarot card counting, correspondences, numerology and astrology. But, it also offers clear and concise keywords and summaries to help you understand the meaning of all the major and minor arcana. I particularly like the daily oracle interpretation she offers of each card, and what daily insight that card might offer. If you don’t own a tarot deck, you can get a free daily reading simply by clicking on a card back on her daily oracle page.

This Might Hurt tarot

This site is a little different from the others. Isabella Rotman is a graphic designer, comic book artist and tarot lover. I’m not even sure how I stumbled across her site, but from the moment I saw her cards, I felt an immediate frisson of connection. She recently designed a (gorgeous) modern, inclusive tarot deck that still retains links to the Rider-Waite-Smith system, and I absolutely love her card descriptions and interpretations. If it weren’t for the prohibitive and painful current exchange and shipping costs, I’d own this deck already. As it is, I have her card meanings bookmarked and refer to them often.

The Labyrinthos Academy app

Want to gamify your tarot learning? I found that once I’d started building a basic tarot vocabulary, the Labyrinthos Academy app for iPhone was quite handy in testing and reinforcing my understanding of basic card meanings. It’s a free app, and aside from flash-card like testing for keywords, you can use it for basic spreads and daily tarot card pulls. The blog section on the Labyrinthos site has some very interesting articles on a range of topics, from simple spreads to deep dives on topics such as Jungian archetypes and tarot history. My only complaint is that my old eyes sometimes find the cards a little hard to read on my relatively small iPhone screen. Sigh.

So, there you have it. Five of my favourite tarot places on the interwebs, when it comes to learning basic tarot card meanings for mindfulness and self-awareness. Do you have any resources to share? I’d love to hear if you have any favourite sites you find yourself visiting again and again.

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