How do you learn the meanings of the cards so you can do readings without referring constantly to a book?
I take a slow approach to this. I started off doing a card a day. I reviewed the book meanings, write down the meanings that come to me, consider the cards place in the Tarot, and spend the rest of the day in contemplation of how that cards meanings apply to that day and my life. I have found that no matter how much I think I know the cards, there is always more to learn, shades and depth of meanings tied within all the symbols on the card.
But to give decent readings, I memorised basic numerology, color meanings and the basic meaning of the suites themselves and the Journey of Life that the tarot gives insight on. From that basis, I’ve been able to add to each card individual meaning.