The Key to understanding the Tarot is a formula which is a similar to Isis bringing together different parts of her husband Osiris and then magically forging them into one energy.
Each card has to be seen as a combination of symbols, which are drawn together much like a mathematical formula. The key to a card can be written like this:
Formula: Number + Hebrew Name + Colours + Astrological Associations + Archetypal Symbolism + Specific Symbolism = the Key.
In a divination you have to add the context of the question to this formula. Once you have done that you have to allow all these things to speak to your unconscious mind. This is the nature of intuition. It is not based on what you feel or what you believe it is based on informed instinct.
You cannot look at a card see a single symbol and base an entire reading on it. Likewise you have to be careful of lists of attributions provided by tarot books and sources. While these keywords are useful in the beginning they quickly cripple you. The most accurate keywords I have found were by Pat and Christine Zalewski in their book the Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn. That book is useful because it lists all the components of each card. But these have their limits and really the key is to study each card using the formula above until you have your own set of keywords.
People say that the iChing is a personality that speaks to them, the same applies to Tarot so it is really important to learn the language it speaks so you do not have to rely too much on interpreters.
I have started a Facebook group which aims to improve the standards of Tarot divination by having people share their readings and have them peer critiqued and share their logic explained. The group is open to anyone but moderated to keep out the trolls and those who believe that all they need to read a card is to hold it and think fluffy thoughts.
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