Thursday 8 June 2023

Book Review: Tarot - A Life Guided by the Cards

I'm going to start this review by saying I really enjoyed reading this book and thoroughly recommend it to anyone with an interest in tarot. It's called Tarot: A Life Guided by the Cards. That subtitle is the important part because it's a brilliant mixture of tarot tutorial and autobiography of the author, Maddy Elruna. As Maddy writes:

"Most tarot books explain the meaning of the cards and how to read spreads. In Tarot: A Life Guided by the Cards, I go one step further – using events from my life to illustrate the rich symbolism of each card and helping the reader see how they relate to their own life and circumstances."

Maddy has had an exciting life so far. She's hiked across America, lived in an isolated cottage on Orkney and learnt Norse shamanic-style techniques, been a mother, gone through relationship break-ups, started up and successfully run her own tarot business, and now written this book. Wow! I'd have been fascinated by her story even if it wasn't so effectively used as a case study for tarot interpretations. 

Her approach to reading the cards is strongly intuitive but highly influenced by really looking at the pictures on the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, far more than simply learning traditional meanings. That's pretty much how I've always used tarot, but this book has really helped me study the images on the cards in greater detail - pointing out things I'd never noticed before. This was particularly true with the court cards. 

Maddy explains: "I have an extended section on the court cards, which are the characters of Tarot. Understanding these cards is a fascinating way to better know yourself, other people, and to add real colour to your readings."

She offers the suggestion of doing readings just using the court cards. This can be a way of doing very gentle readings when times are tough, as none of those character cards are particulary dark or scary. However, it can can also be a useful indication of what aspects of our own personality will be helpful in any situation we're facing.

Tarot: A Life Guided by the Cards is 395 pages long, so is a chunky size and covers a huge range of tarot-related topics in depth. There's guidance for those who just want to read for themselves as well as really useful advice for anyone wanting to become a professional reader. What makes this such a good book is that it manages to be both really informative but also really engaging. Maddy has a lovely style of writing and her enthusiasm for divination fills every page.

Maddy says: "Think of my book as a long chat with a Tarot expert, shared over a cup of coffee. As I share memories, answer your questions, and offer you practical guidance to support your Tarot journey."

You can view Tarot: A Life Guided by the Cards on Amazon and at publisher Troubador.  

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