Learning the Tarot (Joan Bunning)

What recommendations do you have for other facilitators who are using "Learning the Tarot"? Consider sharing additional resources you found helpful, activities that worked particularly well, and some reflections on who this course is best suited for. For more information, see this course on P2PU’s course page.

I would recommend combining some of the lessons, so that rather than doing this one lesson per week for 19 weeks, it’s multiple lessons per week. Looking at it, I the shortest I can get it is as a 5 week course. Some of the lessons, especially in the beginning, are really short and would work well that way.

I’ve not yet facilitated this as a learning circle, but I really want to and I’ve had a lot of interest from potential participants. I don’t know when I’ll be able to do this one, so I thought I would post it to P2PU in case there were others interested in the course as well.

Also, the woman who created the course, Joan Bunning, has turned this course into a book! Personally, I think her website, old as it is, is much easier to navigate. But having the book in the library’s collection would be a nice addition.

The only major requirement for this course is that students would have to have their own tarot deck, or have access to one. It might depend on how the class is set up, if they have to do work at home, or if it’s all done in the library.

I just think this would be so much fun, and I hope others do too.

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@Jordan_Draves please let me know if this is going to happen! I definitely want to join.

@Daniel_Hensley was just telling me that Pittsburgh has some resources on learning tarot…I wonder if there is anything that he can share?

@grif
YES! This will be happening in January. I just finalized some of the details with Kirsten on Thursday. I was going to wait an extra week to hear feedback from a few learning circle members to make sure I had everyone who was interested so I could email everyone at once. We’re running this as very informal and off the books on our own time, so we want to keep it as a very small group of people, no more than ten and people we know.

I also just found out the other day that Joan Bunning wrote a new book that was published in August 2019! It’s called The Big Book of Tarot. That means she’s still around and still updating the site on occasion, which is great!

Looks like our stuff is mostly teen-oriented and possibly pretty outdated. Here’s the resource list from our Occult Programming Kit documentation:

Abadie, M.J. Teen astrology: the ultimate guide to making your life your own. (book)

Aslan, Madalyn. What’s your sign?: a cosmic guide for young astrologers. (book)

Francis-Cheung, Theresa. Teen tarot: what the cards reveal about you and your future. (book)

Krull, Kathleen. They saw the future: oracles, psychics, scientists, great thinkers, and pretty good guessers. (book)

Mills, Andrea. Supernatural. (book)

Thompson, Alicia. The secret language of birthdays: unlock the secrets to who you and your friends really are through the language of birthdays. (book)

Those look great! I think older books can still be useful. I’ve found in my research that authors like Rachel Pollack were popular years, even decades ago, and are still popular today. When you read through blogs, or new books on tarot, authors like telling you where they learned tarot from. They tell stories about how and when they found a particular book that spoke to them; books they still go by, their Tarot Bible, if you will. So, older books aren’t necessarily outdated.

We just bought a ton of new books recently on tarot, including these:

Learning the Tarot - Joan Bunning (her first book, which is the same as the online course)
The Big Book of Tarot - Joan Bunning (Her new book, which I haven’t looked at it. We just ordered it and it hasn’t come in yet)
Tarot for Self Care - Minerva Siegal
Tarot Elements: Five Readings to Reset Your Life - Melissa Cynova
78 Degrees of Wisdom - Rachel Pollack (This one is a classic and very popular!)
Everyday Tarot - Brigit Esselmont (biddytarot.com)
Modern Tarot - Michelle Tea
Kitchen Table Tarot - Melissa Cynova
The Ultimate Guide to Tarot - Liz Dean
Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot - Marcus Katz
Tarot: Beyond the Basics - Anthony Louis
The New Tarot Handbook - Rachel Pollack
Tarot Masterclass - Paul Fenton-Smith
The Only Tarot Book You’ll Ever Need - Skye Alexander
Best Tarot Practices - Marcia Masino
Rachel Pollack’s Tarot Wisdom - Rachel Pollack

But I’m also getting a lot of great articles from biddytarot.com. Unfortunately the online tarot course here is very expensive to take, but the free articles are perfect for beginners!

9 Sure Fire Ways to Select a Tarot Deck That’s Right For You

How to Clear and Cleanse Your Tarot Cards

For anyone else doing this as a learning circle, here’s the syllabus we will be using in January when we do ours. (And @grif we will be sending out our email with all the details next week when Kirsten gets back from vacation.)

Learn Tarot Syllabus

Week One: Elements of the Tarot

Lesson 1 - General introduction

Lesson 2 - What are the Major Arcana?

Lesson 3 - What are the Minor Arcana?

Lesson 4 - What is a spread?

Week Two: Doing Readings Part 1

Lesson 5 - The Daily Spread

Lesson 6 - The Environment - Inner & Outer

Lesson 7 - Writing a Question

Lesson 8 - The Question Reading

Week Three: Doing Readings Part 2

Lesson 9 - The Other Reading

Lesson 10 - The Open Reading

Week Four: Principles Of Interpretation Part 1

Lesson 11 - Interpreting a Single Card

Lesson 12 - Major & Minor Arcana Cards

Lesson 13 - Aces

Lesson 14 - Court Cards

Week Five: Principles Of Interpretation Part 2 & Wrap Up

Lesson 15 - Card Pairs

Lesson 16 - Position Pairs in the Celtic Cross Spread

Lesson 17 - Reversed Cards

Lesson 18 - Creating the Story

Lesson 19 - Some Final Thoughts

I wanted to also share our welcome email because it includes a lot of information about tarot cards and what students will need for the course. I have turned it into a template, so feel free to use it, just double check the links, if you do.

Also, I don’t usually include the link to the course in my welcome email because students will take that and never show up to class, or think they can show up five weeks in. But for our first tarot course, it’s more a private class by invite only, for folks that we’re pretty sure will actually attend the class. The same thing is true for the two books. I would normally mention them during the first class session, not the email, especially because they aren’t necessary for the class.

If anyone has any questions about our welcome email, just let me know.

Hello everyone!

I would like to welcome you to the Learn Tarot Learning Circle! My co-worker, _________, and I, ________, will be facilitating this online course [Include the dates, times, and location of the learning circle].

Please let us know if you can’t make it for whatever reason and would like to be taken off the class roster.

This will be a 5 week course, and as the online course is 19 lessons, we will be giving everyone a handout at the first session with a syllabus so you know what lessons we will be focusing on each week. The online course can be found here: Learn Tarot. However, Joan Bunning also has two books you may be interested in, but that are not necessary for this course:

  1. Learning the Tarot [link to your library catalog’s record, if you have one, or to Amazon] is the online course in book format.
  2. The Big Book of Tarot [link to your library catalog’s record, if you have one, or to Amazon] is Joan’s new book that came out August 2019.

You should have your own tarot deck for this course, if you don’t have one already. To choose your first deck, start by reading this article: 9 Sure-Fire Ways To Select A Tarot Deck That’s Right For You. It is also important to know that the Smith-Waite deck (also known as the Rider-Waite deck) is THE classic deck that most other tarot decks are based on, but there are different versions of this one that change the colors of the artwork or the size of the cards. If this is the deck you’re interested in, look at all of them before you make your decision: Smith-Waite Tarot Decks on Amazon. For this course you will need a tarot deck based on the Smith-Waite deck (if not that particular deck) with a total of 78 cards: 22 Major Arcana & 56 Minor Arcana cards.

You may want to figure out your Life Path Card ahead of time in order to make sure you like the look of this particular card (or cards) in your deck. This card will be one of the 22 Major Arcana cards and is a lot like an astrological sign, in that it can represent you. To find your card, simply add up the numbers in your birth month, day, and year down to single digits: 7/18/1982 = Month: 7 ; Day: 1+8= 9 ; Year: 1+9+8+2=20, 2+0= 2 ; 7+9+2= 18 , 1 + 8 = 9 , which means this person can be The Hermit(9), but also The Moon(18). To find out which of the Major Arcana cards match up to your numbers, check this chart.

What tarot decks do your facilitators have? _______ has the ________[add link to a review of the deck or to its Amazon page] and ________ has the ___________[add link to a review of the desk or to its Amazon page].

Once you have your cards, you may want to cleanse them before the class. Read up on why and how you would want to do this here: How to Clear and Cleanse Your Tarot Cards.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to let one of us know. Our contact emails are, ________ and ________.

Looking forward to Tarot class with you!

Sounds like it will be a fascinating circle - only wish I could attend!

I’ve been interested in tarot for as long as I can remember and I’ve been collecting tarot and oracle decks for over 30 years. My greatest insights actually came while creating my own deck - and I don’t claim any artistic talent whatsoever. It’s a great way to really connect with the imagery at a very personal level.

I’d love to hear how your circle progresses as it’s certainly a topic I’d be interested in facilitating or participating in at some point.

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