In On Tarot

When you choose to study and practice a methodology such as tarot or astrology you’ll likely realise soon enough that there are actually quite a few systems and programs out there that provide structured courses of study. Some even claiming to offer full astrology or tarot “certification”.

OK, so I do think that these courses can be useful for some people in some situations.

Like I say, they provide a structure to your learning, often enable you to connect with a community, and (if they are good) can give you a robust foundation of understanding.

Some are rigorous enough that they can bring you to a certain professional standard – but the best ones will take a significant amount of investment from you in the process.

I’m talking hundreds – sometimes thousands – of dollars here. 

For some people, this doesn’t appear to be anything to worry about.

And perhaps the Saturnine – that is the structured and legitimised – approach appeals.

There are certainly some schools, teachers and programs that I would love to be involved with in order to up my astrology/tarot game had I the disposable income.

But I have to say that one thing that’s never an attracting factor for me is certification. And part of that is my point about Saturn.

The thing about divination – in my opinion – is that it is something that in large part doesn’t belong in the realm of Saturn. It’s much more nebulous, transcendent and radical than that.  

(I’m also of the school of “You need to do some structured study.” as well, so hear me out!)

Antero Alli wrote – likely much more coherently than I am – on this exact subject some time ago, implying that a yearning for legitimacy in these ‘oracular’ fields was akin to a desire to fix our daddy issues.

Or something along those lines.

And with tongue in cheek, I find myself agreeing with that sentiment.

It’s not just because I’m trying to maintain my image as a radical and fringey and fighting against legitimacy for the occult at all costs. (Although – full disclosure – Aquarius Moon right here.)

I’ve actually attempted a course of certified study myself. I pulled out because of the code of ethics that I was obligated to sign before they would colour me legitimised.

Rules to be policed by or I’d lose my ‘endorsement’.

I don’t think so.

This wasn’t a cheap course either. Which is another sticking point for me that I’ve touched on already: that the money demanded to gain these seals of approval can be significant.

Perhaps most irksome for me is the dangled carrot of credibility that ultimately never seems to matter for anyone outside the industry. And leads to sour grapes for some (me) within it.

I’m echoing and expanding on a series of tweets I made about this early today. Where I mentioned that it’s difficult for me to see certification as a radical or enticing idea.

I grant that there are some organisations that do create programs that will provide a robust education and if you choose to part with your money to take part and receive that education and deepen your personal journey with your chosen tool, I wouldn’t judge you.   

Just please don’t pay to join some kind of exclusive club that none of your clients (the people who really matter) either know about, care about and I can safely bet will never ask you about.

For me… well until I can afford to take Adam Sommer‘s or Austin Coppock’s astrology classes I’ll likely just be sticking to my freewheeling bookish approach.

What about you? Ever considered (or undertaken) a course of certification for tarot, astrology or something similar? Was it worth it? Why or why not? Any books or alternative methods of learning you’d recommend?

p.s. I really appreciated the alternative viewpoint provided in this interview of Ethony on the Biddy Tarot Podcast. You might too.

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