an ode to flash cards: one of my fav astrology learning tools
Maybe it’s my Virgo 3rd House, but I love flash cards! I like to make a big stack, using index cards, I like to design them on a computer and print them, I like to use a flashcard app. All wonderful ways to imbibe the “data” or building block information and ideas, that you can then later easily recall, and engage with more deeply.
Yes, you can look things up, and gradually learn them through application and practice, when you memorize a bit of information you make it a part of yourself. Especially when you come to the process of memorization and learning in general with the intention of deeply connecting with the material, and not simply rote regurgitation.
The memorized information then lives within you, cross-pollinating with your other ideas, all becoming the fertile compost that can then fuel your growth and creativity.
- Ideas for Physical Flash Cards
- Spaced Repitition, physical version
- Spaced Repitition, digital version: Anki
- Use a Memory Game
- Conclusion + Check Out My Patreon!
ideas for physical flash cards
These are the bread-and-butter of flash cards. Simply write the promt on one side and the answer on the other side! There are creative ways to approach physical flashcards too though:
- Image-Based Flash Cards
- Simple versus Complex Text Flash Cards
- Use Flash Cards as Oracle Divination Deck
1: Image-Based Flash Cards
Use image-based flash cards. What are these? Basically, you break down the information you are trying to memorize into a set of images, and draw them or collect a collage of images that will then cement the idea into your mind. Using strange or exaggerated images helps a lot! For more detail on the technique, read this article on creating hyper-effective flashcards.
Now let’s try an astrology example:
Question: What is the constellation of the fixed star Alphecca?
Answer: Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, of Ariadne of the Labyrinth
First part, let’s make an image for the name Alphecca. “ALF + deck” is probably enough to connect the name to this memory-picture: the fuzzy alien character “ALF” on a deck.
Next, an image for the literal name answer, Corona Borealis: Corona beer, with backdrop of aurora. So Alf on a deck, drinking corona with a backdrop of an aurora:
Now let’s add the fact that it’s the crown of Ariadne. In Greek myth, Ariadne, the daughter of King Midas, helps Theseus defeat the minotaur of the labyrinth, runs off with her, then abandons her on an island. Then the god of wine and ecstasy, Dionysus, arrives and comforts her with the gift of a crown, so beautiful that the gods put it into the sky: the northern crown. (Full story here)
So here are the images that I’ll collect to illustrate this:
“Ariadne = Ariana Grande” + “Midas Touch” + “Minotaur” + “Dionysus” + “Crown”
Final Flashcard Image: combine the two sets of images, into the star story as seen in the sky, by ALF:
That’s a freaking great flashcard, if you ask me! And super easy to do, I did it in Google Slides, which you can design then print out.
2: Simple versus Complex Text Flash Cards
Sometimes, you want a simple experience, like for memorizing the planetary and zodiacal glyphs.
But sometimes, have a detailed list of attributes on the answer side can be helpful. You can memorize the answer for one part at a time, such as in the below example, where you could memorize the fixed star name as the prompt, and the source constellation as the answer, shown here in purple. You could do this for the full set of cards, and then go back and memorize all the projected ecliptic positions, shown here in orange.
Try writing the answer side upside down, so you can flip the card with a turn of the wrist. Sometimes I like this more.
3: Use Flash Cards as Oracle Divination Deck
This is a fun, oracular approach: ask a question, such as what will the vibe be like for my day today? Then shuffle your deck of flash cards, and pull one. You might get some weird, interesting answers, depending on the state of your current deck of flash cards! Interpret however you might interpret oracle cards. Here’s a short guide to reading oracle cards. 🙂
spaced repitition, physical version
This use of physical flash cards is important enough that I’m giving it its own section. The idea with spaced repitition is that if you expose your mind to a new chunk information, then review it with a timing schedule in a particular pattern, you will more quickly deeply memorize the information, moving it from short tem memory, to long term memory.
Here’s how to do it with your flash cards.
Grab your deck of cards, and go through them one by one, testing yourself and sorting them into 3 piles:
- Completely New/No Freaking Idea
These 3 piles will then be kept separate, and reviewed on the following schedule:
- Easy – Weekly on Friday
- Hard – Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
- Completely New/No Freaking Idea – Daily
Follow this schedule, adding cards and moving cards based on their current difficulty level for you. Check out this blog post for a more detailed version on this system.
spaced repitition, digital version: anki
Digital flash cards, such as Anki, are great! No need for me to write a ton on this, just go right now and get started: https://apps.ankiweb.net/ (Anki is for PC, Mac, Linux, Andriod, and iPhone)
use a memory game
Instead of making 2-sided flashcards, put the question/prompt on one card, and the answer on another card? Then, mix the whole deck up, and lay them into a grid face down. Then, turn over the cards one by one, pairing Qs with As and removing them from the grid. You win when you can pair all cards up. (Make a reference sheet for if you get stuck and need to quickly refresh.)
conclusion + check out my patreon!
I hoped you enjoyed this light exploration of using flashcards in astrology study! If you liked this, you might want to checkout my Patreon, where I’ll be shortly offering a set of print-and-cut-out flash cards for the 64 Brady’s Mythologically Bright Stars!
On my Patreon in general, you’ll get all sort of helpful learning and study tools, in-depth posts and chart studies, and learning videos! Other benefits at various levels include mini-readings, custom natal chart posters, and a gift bundle shipped to you in the mail!
Yours amongst the trees and under the stars,