There are 78 cards in a Tarot deck, so learning the meaning of each Tarot card may seem like quite a daunting task. Add in the fact that the meaning of each card can change significantly depending upon where it appears in a Tarot card spread, and whether it appears upright or reversed, and it's clear that learning the individual Tarot card meanings is indeed a difficult task.

However, if you are just starting out on your Tarot journey, then don't be too overwhelmed by the prospect. It actually doesn't take as long as you might think. The fact that the meaning of most Tarot cards can usually be easily established from the images portrayed on each card, gives you a clear head start.

However, there are literally hundreds of different Tarot decks available and each of them usually contains a different type of symbolism. For this reason, it's usually better to start your Tarot journey with a simple to use deck such as the Rider Waite set. This particular deck is the most popular of all the Tarot decks and it's plain to see why it's loved by beginners and professionals alike.

The images and symbolism used in the Rider Waite deck are very simple and straightforward. This makes it the ideal Tarot deck to use when you are just trying to find your way with reading the Tarot cards.

While most Tarot cards come with a small instructional manual, you will find that these usually don't provide very much information. The meanings they give are very basic and don't offer any insight into how the meaning of each card can be influenced by it's position in relation to other cards.

For this reason, you will find it much easier if you invest in a decent Tarot reference book. There are many to choose from, but again, do be sure you find a book that will correspond whichever Tarot deck you are using.

Remember that Tarot cards communicate through the use of symbolism and archetypes and so it is easy to be influenced by our own interpretations and beliefs. For instance, women are generally thought of as nurturing and caring and so it's easy to assume that the High Priestess of the Queen of Cups is referring to a female figure. However, this may not always be the case. Men also have many feminine qualities as women have male attributes, and the cards will most likely be referring to those attributes and not to the actual gender.

When you purchase your first Tarot deck, take the time to go through the whole deck and examine each individual card closely. Resist the temptation to immediately look at your Tarot reference guide to see the meaning. Instead try to feel what message or meaning the card is relaying to your own mind. This may or may not agree with what is written in any Tarot manual, but it will help give you a clearer focus and remember the particular images and feelings associated with that card.

A very useful tip I used when I first started my own Tarot journey was to pick a single card each morning and consider what message I thought it was trying to relay. I deliberately didn't look up the meaning of the card in my reference book. At the end of the day, I would examine the card again and consider how the day had gone and whether there was any indication in the card I had chosen that morning. Then I would consult the reference guide to see if my own interpretations were correct or at least closely related. I kept a record of each card, it's meaning, and a short summary of the day's overall events so that I could look back when certain cards were picked again.

Over time, I realised that not only was it easier to remember the particular associations of each card, but also that, even if the meanings I associated to each card, differed from the 'correct meaning' as given in the Tarot reference books, they were still more likely to reflect a more accurate interpretation.

Learning the Tarot cards doesn't happen overnight, but nor does it take years to master. Daily use and keeping short, relevant notes will help ensure that you can quickly learn not only the meaning of each Tarot card, but also how to interpret those meanings so that you can gain the most benefit from any Tarot readings you conduct.