Your subconscious relates to images and the tone or mood of them. Immerse yourself into each character in each tarot card, AND into the card itself (the process, the whole story in the card). For example, in Five of Swords, a bully intimidates his friends and steals their swords that are their life’s work, so its story is about taking advantage, stealing, intimidating, etc.).
Your subconscious knows all. It’s spooky. But the conscious mind is charged with surviving the real world, so it does not access the body of knowledge the other side has. Reading the pictures on the tarot card as words unites the two sides of our minds. The subconscious minds the pictures and their ‘vibe,’ and the conscious (which is programmed from when you were a toddler with language) minds the language. The longer you do Tarot, the more of a Rosetta stone it is, getting both parts of the mind in sync, working together.
Put two cards together. NOW what do they say? What do they have in common? What do they both present? Is there a specific agreement? – a specific conflict? Or do they not have much in common – maybe nothing in common.
Ask questions you know the answers to. This makes the card meaning the ‘unknown.’ This tells you what YOUR words are for that card. WRITE IT ALL DOWN, and file it so you can retrieve it. I use index cards.
You will find your meanings largely in agreement with the standard meanings RIDER WAITE readers use if you use that deck. Why? – because Rider Waite is entrenched in human mass consciousness.
I started this process in 1980 as the result of a science experiment. I have a huge site that lists these meanings, all of which are taken from actual readings in which the pictures directly make the words. I also every day have a newsletter that illustrates 3 cards, one sentence they say, that sentence broken down into which card said what part, then how it’s the picture that said that. It’s short and sweet, far less than five minutes to read it. So it would be a shortcut if you want to know my method: reading pictures as words.