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Laurel 
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Choice Centered Tarot


One of my favorite tarot books is a small, modest looking text called _Choice Centered Tarot_ by Gail Fairfield. I was wondering if anyone else had read this book recently and what their impressions were.

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Minderwiz 
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I've not read the book but recently I bought Choice Centred Relating by Gail Fairfield and it looks very good, though I've only dipped in a little.

I was thinking about adding the Choice Centred Tarot to my wish list as it gets good comments from Rachel Pollack. So I will watch this thread avidly to see what comments are posted

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Minderwiz 
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Just Checked Amazon UK and they can't get hold of this book at the moment. The US site doesn't even mention it.

I saw this book in Garland of Letters in Philadelphia about 3 weeks ago so anyone in that area please please buy it for me!


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Lee 
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Hi everybody, Choice Centered Tarot has been republished as Everyday Tarot, here's an Aeclectic/Amazon (U.S.) link.

I have both Choice Centered Tarot and Choice Centered Relating and the Tarot. Personally I prefer the Relating book. The meanings are presented more succinctly, which for me is a good thing. And although I'm not that interested in doing readings about relationships, there is a great amount of interesting relationship-oriented material in the book. Most importantly, there are lots of sample readings, which is sorely lacking in the Choice Centered Tarot book. Those sample readings really help in understanding Fairfield's approach. (By the way, I've seen new copies of the Relating book at several used bookstores, being sold as remainders for half price.)

The curious thing is that, while Fairfield takes a numerological approach to the Minors, she never ever, in either book, addresses the issue of how you would use her system to read with illustrated decks, since in most illustrated decks the pictures would be at odds with her meanings. In her first book (CCT), she has a whole chapter on choosing decks, and although she doesn't mention any specific decks by name, one gets the impression that Motherpeace would get the Fairfield seal of approval. But one couldn't use Motherpeace along with her system without getting awfully confused.

Fairfield has on online newsletter at her website, and I wrote in a question once: How do you reconcile your system with illustrated decks? Her answer was that when she reads with illustrated decks, she goes more with what the picture shows, and she is more likely to use her numerological meanings with unillustrated decks.

Personally this struck me as a little dishonest, as her books present the system as usable for any deck, and she actually doesn't use it that way. Nowhere in her books does she say that this system is most suited for non-illustrated decks.

Also, her system for the minors is extremely psychology-oriented. Everything is interpreted as a facet of one's personality or subconscious. Wands are self-identity; Coins are feelings of security. A reading done with this system will be great at exploring one's inner self, but it won't tell you much about what's going on in the outer world.

Nonetheless, there's lots that I do like about her system. I like the way that every card, Major and Minor, is interpreted strictly neutrally. There are no positive or negative cards. They only become positive or negative in context. So the Devil, for example, means restrictions. Restriction could be positive or negative depending on the context, and the card is no more negative than any other card. Whether a card is positive or negative is determined by intuition, by surrounding cards, or by position placement (i.e., a position called "What I'm doing wrong" would elicit a negative interpretation).

Fairfield uses reversals but only to differentiate between outer and inner manifestations. So the Devil upright would mean restrictions felt from outer influences, and the Devil reversed would mean restrictions one puts on oneself. I like this neutrality, it means you don't have to get that sinking feeling when you see the 10 of Swords come up as the Final Outcome card.

She also has some interesting interpretations of the Majors. Most authors like Pollack and Greer don't agree with Fairfield at all on the Majors, but I like her takes on them. The Wheel of Fortune, for example, means you've set something in motion and now must wait for the universe to respond.

I also like it that for her, the Courts don't mean people or personalities. Pages mean risk, Knights focus, Queens maturity, and Kings, completion or leaving. Blessedly simple.

I've tried to study and use her system several times over the past few years (that is, with non-illustrated decks like the Marseilles), each time giving up in frustration. There's something very attractive about her system, yet it doesn't seem to result in satisfying readings. Maybe because it's a very intellectual, Swords-y system. Or maybe I'm just not doing it right.

But it's definitely worth looking at. I believe Fairfield is the only Tarot author writing in English who has gone into numerological meanings for the Minors in depth.

Boy, I didn't mean to write so much... I'll stop now.

-- Lee
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Minderwiz 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lee

Boy, I didn't mean to write so much... I'll stop now.

-- Lee
That's not to much at all, its a really helpful critique and thanks for the links. I did see the revised title but didn't realise it was an updated version - again thanks for the info.

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I was just about to do a separate post for "Everyday Tarot" since I just got this one from the library, but luckily I read the back and found the name change.
It looks very interesting to me, and now that I've read your review Lee I think I need to request we (the library) buy the Relating book as well.



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Melvis 
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While I did not really get into her system of reading the cards, I did like that she explains quite well how to create your own spreads. It was the first book that made me realize I could create a unique spread that was specific to the question that the individual sitting in front of me was asking.

Also, since I'm kind a psychology nut, I was intrigued by all the psychological stuff she discussed relating to the cards.

Peace,

Melvis
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jema 
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i found both the books very cheap on the net and think i will try and order them later on. i have seen this relating book everywhere but always skipped over it for some reason. but for $5.68 it is a find
http://www.discountnewagebooks.com/index.html
this site is really great. i got my Eakins book on the tarot of the spirits from them about a year ago for $5.00 or something like that.



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Laurel 
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Yeah, that site is awesome! I just ordered twelve books for $70-something, including shipping including several that are now hard to find and would have cost me at least $30 more apiece anywhere else.

Laurel



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Alissa 
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The thing I took away from Fairfield's book was her system of reading reversed cards as well. Reversed cards apply to one's interior world (thoughts, dreams, emotions, sprituality) and non-reversed are for your exterior world (material concerns, actions taken, etc).

This sent me a ZINGER when reading it years ago, and it's become a well adapted way of relating to my own deck.

If I see a card reversed, it could mean (example) :
10 Swords (reversed) -- You *feel* constrained and unable to take action, or move forward in your relationship/situation. Or, you *perceive* yourself to be constrained and unable to act. Or, you are *afraid* of finding yourself in a situation that you cannot control, and that could possibly turn against you. All suggestions refer to the querent's thoughts, emotions and/or beliefs, instead of outwardly manifested activity.

In other words, revrsed cards are how you might feel or view a situation, how others might feel about it, what you are afraid/hope might happen.

Her numerology didn't make much sense to me though. But I'm not big on numerology.



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