In a Tarot forum where I am quite active, someone recently posed the question about mastery, and the theory that it takes 10,000 hours to master a body-of-knowledge. That’s about the same number of hours that it takes to achieve a M.A. in the Australian academic system: the second echelon of university education.
They then asked what a person would get at 10,000 hours that they don’t at 5,000 hours. That’s a bit of a cheat’s question, I think – they’re trying to gain that knowledge through an answer, that they probably haven’t put in the work to get. So my first answer was:
Wrinkles and grey hairs.
I then went on to say that honestly, the more you learn about Tarot, the more you see the huge gaps in your knowledge. In 1981, having read for a few years and just received my first payment from a very happy client, I smugly thought I knew everything there was to know about reading.
I also thought later that I’d passed some kind of milestone after a decade. Now, nearly thirty years later, I’m a rank beginner who’s learning all the time. The more you learn, the more you realise how much there is left that you need to learn.
I have a brother who is an engineer: it took him four years to learn his profession. I have a number of friends who are doctors: it took the GPs six years to learn their professions, and the specialists well over a decade to learn. It’s going to take me at least another thirty years over and above the time I’ve already spent to become even vaguely capable.
It’s therefore a lifetime-thing, and the hardest profession in the world. If you start as a teenager, you’re really only just getting good at it when you die of old age.
But what immense fun you have along the way!