I am often asked this question and the answer is “how long is a piece of string?” It can be as long or as short as you want it to.
I have seen claims that you can learn to read the Tarot in a couple of hours from a book or a DVD. Yes, you can get a very basic grasp of the meanings of each individual card from doing this.
Often, though, what is lacking is an understanding of how the cards interact with each other or how their meanings alter depending on their position in different spreads.
The rapid learning works best if you are just looking at the cards and using them as a trigger for your psychic abilities.
Some people can do this quite easily and don't need to do anything further with Learning the card meanings. Other people can lack the confidence to trust their intuition to this level.
For anyone who has seen the film “The Golden Compass” or read the book it was based on, “Northern Lights” may remember Lyra with the alethiometer.
In the beginning she cleared her mind, focused on her question, spun the needle and as soon as it landed on a symbol, she got an immediate picture in her mind and often a strong feeling as to what it meant.
Everyone else who worked with the device had to learn and study the symbols to get an understanding of it.
I know that was the case for me. I needed to learn to read the cards and over time I came to trust the intuitive prompts.
For me it took many hours of practising with the cards, looking at the pictures, noticing any intuitive prompts I received and making a note of those in my Tarot Journal.
I had fun "playing" with them, until I built up a relationship with my cards and they spoke to me individually.
The time it takes to learn the tarot also depends on your reasons for wanting to learn and how much time you have available.
For many people it is such a passion that it becomes a life-long study. I have been reading tarot cards for 16 years and I still see new things in my cards. I might suddenly notice a detail that I have not been aware of before and this adds an extra subtlety of meaning to my cards.
Tarot has multiple layers to it. You can probably have enough knowledge to do a very simple reading in about an hour, just from reading the booklet that comes with the cards. However, for most people that does not give enough detailed information.
I have taught courses which were 2 hours a week over 6 weeks, and we found that was not really enough time to cover the cards and spreads in detail.
If you can spare a couple of hours a week to understand a new card and to see how that card interacts with previous cards, your knowledge and skills will build up very quickly.
The more you can look at your cards and practise with them, the quicker you become familiar with them and start to build your own personal relationship with them.
Take your time, have fun and enjoy the process.
With abundant blessings.
Amanda Goldston is a Changing Lives Guide with over 16 years experience of using Tarot cards. She offers in depth readings and breakthrough coaching sessions to clear any blocks to success, which may have come up in the reading.
She now has a video based Learn Tarot Online members area to teach people how to read Tarot cards for fun, profit and personal growth. Please visit learntarotonline.com