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Well, my first book was Mastering The Tarot, by Eden Gray. Like Zander says, it's been around quite a while. But, it has good, solid info that is still relevant. For a beginner, I would recommend it (I bought a copy for my sister last X-mas). Then I got 78 DW, and found that was great, too. It really explained more to me is detail. I've acquired a few more books since then, and right now I'm working on Tarot for a New Generation, by Janina Renee. It gives a new spin on an old subject, I think, by applying tarot to young adults/teenagers. It offers sound advice, without being "preachy." As a parent of a teenager, I would definitely approve of this book. Since I've forgotten some of the daily drama and issues teens deal with, this book has helped me see life as I once did as a teen, but now through my son's eyes. If this doesn't make sense, sorry! So these are my choices!
Top   #21
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Eden Gray's "Mastering the Tarot" was my first, too. It's a decent enough starter, but the one that really started making things click for me was the book that comes with Mythic Tarot by Juliet Sherman-Burke and Liz Greene.

After having read many a book on tarot my two favorites are "Tarot and the Journey of the Hero" by Hajo Banzhaf for the Majors and "Tarot and the Tree of Life" by Isabel Radow Kliegman for the Minors.

Most importantly, I recommend that all tarot reader look for information outside of tarot to assist them in their readings. Studying astrology can be a great asset, since it gives you an idea the the querents personality right from the get-go (remember to ask them their birthday). This also comes in handy when reading with decks like Thoth, and others that are replete with astrological symbols. I didn't get into astrology until after I started studying tarot. However, I had studied various personality typing systems. My favorite is the Enneagram. "Personality Types" and "Wisdom of the Enneagram" by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson are my main recommendations. While a reading may not necessarily tell you one's specific type, if the reading clues you into an issue that tends to be found in a certain type, other issue of that type may be needed to be dealt with by the querent. Also, if reading for a friend, who's type you may very likely be able to figure out, then you may be able to present ideas to them that they may not otherwise listen too. Never underestimate outside sources of information for readings!

As far as books I'm not too keen on, the one that just out is "The Tarot Handbook" by Angeles Arrien. I got it because other readers recommended it to me. However, I was rather disappointed. I do like her descriptions and commentaries on the various symbols in the artwork of the cards (Thoth deck). What I really don't like is her trying to make to divinatory meanings of the cards so cut and dried. Attempts to make cut and dried systems in respect to a number signifying that many days, weeks, or months or astrological symbolism specifically pertaining to a person born under that sun sign, DO NOT WORK when doing readings. Crowley himself in "Book of Thoth" (part very profound ideas; part pseudo-mystical secret-code junk) talked about the importance of not taking symbols literally, and that it was obviously stupid to do so. I also don't particularly like her, personality card and soul card systems. I find all the Tarot archetypes to be a part of the psyches of all people; however invisible some may sometimes be.

Okay that's enough rambling on for me!

Love, understanding, and compassion,
Matt
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Hard time with poorly written books


There are some books that, while they are very helpful in adding to your understanding of the cards individually and tarot as a whole, are poorly written. Mind you I majored in russian lit., am an avid reader and probably too severe a critic.

I was a little disappointed with "The Forest of Souls" by Rachel Pollack for the writing. That said, I am looking forward to re-reading her book after purchasing her deck. (Great promotional job this book did! Wonder how many decks she's sold to readers of "The Forest of Souls"!)

I was really turned off to Isabel Radow Kliegman's "Tarot and the Tree of Life" for her writing but find I refer to it again and again and have gotten good insights from it. I don't mind the personal added, but got very tired of her stories they were occasionally repeated and often not very illustrative. She could be pedantic in stretches.

Just my opinion.
Woof
Top   #23
imagoddess  imagoddess is offline
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Nancy Garen Should Be Shot


I haven't looked at a Tarot reference book recently, but came across Tarot Made Easy, by Nancy Garen, on my bookshel and I started flipping through the interpretations, while reading it started to get a little mad. So, I decided to test her intepretations against my Tarot Journal. What a hoax this author is! In 99% of her outcome interpretations she says "blah, blah, blah, BUT EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT FOR THE BEST", or some variation of that statement. Her special guidance and best advice sections invariably say the same thing: keep an upbeat attitude, look inward to your inner guide, and EVERYTHING WILL WORKOUT FOR THE BEST". This woman should be shot, she is to the Tarot community, what spaghettios are to Italian Cuisine!
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I really like *Tarot Plain & Simple*! I am a beginner and that book helped me so much. Not for memorizing but it's a great reference for when I get stuck. And I really like the "Situation & Advice" for each card because it isn't just a list of words! Anywho, that's my two cents...

I don't have many books yet so I can't really comment on any that I think are "bad"!
Top   #25
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Tarot Plain and Simple


This book does have some interesting interpretations. Though, I do take issue with some of Anthony Louis' intepretations. They seem to be mired in negativity, and to rooted in Western psychological theory (he is a pyschiatrist I think), which I see as being rather inflexible and in direct contrast to the intuitive nature of Tarot. Some of his applications of the cards do make sense, but many are too dramatic and honestly, a bit of a stretch. Certainly a good book when you get stuck, but I think it develop some bad Tarot reading habits. For a beginner, I would recommend Mary K. Greer's Tarot for Yourself.

imagoddess
Top   #26
Moongold  Moongold is offline
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Tarot Handbook


My first book was 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack. It was clear but had enough substance to keep me going back repeatedly. I still get really fresh ideas out of it.

I haven't been disappointed in any books I'be bought. They all have something.

One I'm finding good at the moment is The Element Tarot Handbook by Naomi Ozaniec, It has stacks of information that you don't easily find anywhere else so accessibly.

There are chapters on names and titles, symbols and images, archetypes and meanings,Letters and numbers, doorways and keys, stages and paths, initiation and individuation, mandalas and divination.

There's enough information to open doors to a whole range of new perspectives.

Moongold
Top   #27
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I acquired Nancy Garen's "Tarot Made Easy" years ago from a friend who decided that Tarot is not her cup of tea. I tried the 32-card spread with her as a willing querent. I dispensed with the book meanings & winged it; also tried it with the book meanings. She preferred the former version. I tried to see how quickly I could progress & it took the better part of an evening.
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I agree with Jewel about MK Greer's book, Tarot for Yourself. Also, one of my first books was her Tarot Reversals. I found that very helpful as a beginner (which I still am, of course) because it gave me a real overview of the basics. I carried it everywhere for quite a while and it is still one of my favorites.
Top   #29


 


 


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