Monday 2 December 2013

Review: The Tarot Masters - Insights from Experts

The Path
Most books about the Tarot are instruction manuals, teaching beginners the basics of what the cards mean. The Tarot Masters: Insights From the World's Leading Tarot Expertsis something different - and is a book that can probably be best appreciated by those who are already familiar with Tarot and know something about its history and teachers.

Publisher Hay House describes it on its website, saying: "In this beautifully illustrated book, leading experts from the world of Tarot, including Rachel Pollack, Mary K. Greer, Ciro Marchetti, and Caitlin Matthews, share their insights into the cards of the Major Arcana, and reveal the profound impact that Tarot has had on their lives."

Well, "Beautifully illustrated" might be a slight exaggeration of the pictures in the book - although it is illustrated with nice, original black and white interpretations of the Major Arcana - but the writing certainly is beautiful.

As Hay House Each goes on to say: "Each contributor shares how their Tarot journey began and what inspired them, and gives their interpretation of a Major Arcana card, and what it is about that card that they love or loathe. Their answers will help to deepen your own understanding of Tarot, and how this ancient craft can enrich your life."

Several dozen leading tarot designers, teachers and authors as well as other influential pagans and spiritual leaders have put pen to paper for this book. Each gives their own interpretation of a particular card that is personal to them and describes what got them started on the journey of the Tarot. And Tarot most certainly is a journey, both in the graphic novel-like story described in its images and in the path of personal development it inspires us to follow once we begin to study and use a deck. In fact, the book's editor, Kim Arnold, offers a new 23rd Major Arcana card with the title The Path (pictured above).

The description by Hay House mentions one of my personal favourite Tarot designers - Caitlin Matthews, who I met at the Steampunk Tarot: Gods of the Machine launch party. I was also delighted to read entries by Mark Ryan, whose Wildwood Tarot I use regularly; Geraldine Beskin, the co-owner of Atlantis Bookshop in London; Cilla Conway, author of The Intuitive Tarotand who has given me some amazing readings; Druid leader Philip Carr-Gomm; and Suzanne Corbie, who regularly runs classes at Treadwell's Bookshop in London.

If you are looking around for a suitable Yule gift for someone who uses Tarot, rather than buy them a new deck to add to their collection do consider giving them this book. Or buy it for yourself as a little treat.

Links and previous related posts
The Tarot Masters: Insights From the World's Leading Tarot Experts

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