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Didier's Tarot:Reading the Future

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Pagan X's Avatar
Pagan X  Pagan X is offline
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Join Date: 29 Nov 2003
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Didier's Tarot:Reading the Future


I picked up this book for $7.98 at Half Price Books.

It's a very strange Tarot book. Instead of expounding upon the meanings of all 78 cards individually, it gives very direct "fortune cookie" like directives for two sets of all combinations of the 22 Majors. Fortunes are provided in five classes of concerns: Health, Love, Social, Professional/Creative, and Finances.

From my perspective as a "traditionalist" Tarotist, it reduces the act of reading cards to just generating a random event and looking up the correct advice, not unlike some of the more bossy I Ching books.
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I understand how this book seems to not give the kind of guidance or information typically found... yet its peculiar way of presenting information is also its strength.

Didier Colin, following one of the main French traditions, utilises only the Majors, and presents a simple cross (four card) spread. After outlining each of the twenty-two majors, he goes through, systematically, all permutations of these cards, which he interprets in pairs (with the current situation being represented at 9 and noon o'clock; the direction of outcome at 3 & 6 o'clock).

I personally tend to agree that his presentation is a little too constrained for my liking, but, again, it may provide useful material for reflection (of the type: 'Now why does he suggest this interpretation?').

I also very strongly suspect that the book arises from the Tarot writings he prepared for the Learn & Understand Astrology sequential magazine-type publication by Hachette.
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As you may know, this book appeared originally in French. The problem with "permutations" books like this is that they give no real guidance on how to read the cards. Such books are premised on the idea that the reader of the book would always consult the book whenever he had a spread of cards in front of him. There are unfortunately quite a few different "permutations" tarot books available in French, apart from Didier's, that give fortune cookie interpretations of all permutations of the major arcana cards. The expression "Give me a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you'll feed him for his lifetime" holds true for tarot books as well.

The limiting of the book to just the Major Arcana is unfortunately also a common feature amongst tarot books in French, even those books that are not of a "permutations" framework. There are fewer French books that cover the minor arcana and even still fewer French books that _meaningfully_ cover the minor arcana.
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