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The Complete Book of Tarot: A Step-by-Step Guide to Reading the Cards Paperback – January 15, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (January 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312141637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312141639
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #687,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Sam Ramnarine on February 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
For every Tarot reader, whether a beginner in the field or an expert brushing up on the basics, Juliet Sharman-Burke's "The Complete Book of Tarot" is just right for you.
Sharman-Burke takes the normal card interpretation and expands on them through mythological figures and stories of legend, adding richness and depth to the card-reading experience. She also adds a section of card spreads, including the Horseshoe spread and the popular Celtic Cross, as well as examples from personal readings to give you an idea of how to interpret different cards in various ways.
Using pictures from the Rider-Waite deck, Sharman-Burke describes each card in the Major Arcana from the viewpoint of "The Fool", telling his journey to reach his ultimate goal ("The World") and the various characters he meets, giving the usual images and descriptions a lifelike feel and personality.
"The Complete Book of Tarot" is a must-have guide for aspiring card readers and pro's alike.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer G. on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a newcomer to the mystical realm, I needed to be introduced to these practices not only practically, but spiritually. Sharman-Burke gently helps you send out probes to your subconcious and magical awareness, leading not only to greater self-knowledge, but excitement over the subject matter. This is a perfect introduction.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a good book for novices to the Tarot. The author is very clear in explaining the cards, their history, and their uses. I would rank it close to Tarot Plain and Simple by Anthony Louis, which is my favorite book on the Tarot.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a beginner tarot card reader and have purchased a few books on reading the cards. This book is excellent for beginners! It takes the Fool through a journey of the cards to help you to learn them in their order. A history relating to Greek mythology is given for the major cards. Every card is described in great detail. At the end of each description there is a explanation of what this card would mean in a reading. There are also some sample spreads at the end of the book which is great. This book is excellent for beginners especially if they would like some background on the tarot. I highly recommend it!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By MancalaHal on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I think the title may be a bit misleading (unintentionally so, I'm sure). It's not really a "complete" book about the Tarot, since it's focus is on the meanings of the Major and Minor Arcana, with a few sample readings thrown in for good measure. What's lacking to qualify it as "complete" is information about the mechanics of doing Tarot readings.

Likewise, the only "step-by-step" aspect of its treatment of the Tarot is that it walks the reader through alternating segments of the Major and Minor Arcana. When doing a Tarot reading, however, the meaning of the cards is only the starting point. I think a little bit more attention could have been paid to, or even a cursory mention made of, preparing for a reading, rituals, accessories, and the like, as these aspects also factor into a successful reading.

The single most glaring aspect of the book that prevents it from being a "complete" treatment of the Tarot is the author's outright dismissal of the significance of reversals. Even though the author herself might ignore them in her readings, there are enough valid reasons to use them that at least a cursory discussion of the theory behind them would have been appropriate for a "complete" book on the Tarot. (My personal valid reason: if you subscribe to the theory that the cards selected during a reading are the result of and mirror the energies that impact the life of the querent, then by extension, these same energies would also influence the orientation of the cards, which can be likewise interpreted accordingly.)

All that said, however, the misleading title alone wasn't enough to keep me from thoroughly enjoying this book.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am only 12? Weell, you see I've always had an interest when it came to the supernateral and stuff . Then last summer my uncle gave me his tarot cards because he never used them. I found this book at a libraiy for a buck and bought it. The stories about the major arcanna are realy cool, but the minors are hard to remember. I think it's a great book if you want to check up on what a card is supposed to mean, but not such a great one to learn how to read them on a first basis. I hope this makes it easier to decied if you want to buy this book or not.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Glenda G. Sanders on June 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
the stories about the Major Arcana are so amazing, i had no idea that the color, items, and the positions, of the characters in the cards could create the cards meaning. The meanings of the cards such as the 4 of Penticles and etc. are hard to remember and learn but it comes with a lot of practice. Great book for beginners!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Desiree Breidenstine on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
The book had a little too much history in it. I was expecting something different. I have read Tarot Cards since the 1980's, but needed a refresher course since I have not read cards in over 10 years. There are better books available that help you interpretate the cards quicker. It is great in the sense I learned all about the history of the cards and the designs, but the book should have been called something different understanding the background of Tarot and Cards and not making the reader feel it is a step by step guide which I did not feel it was. The small book that comes with the Rider Waite decks give a much better understanding to reading cards and is easier to remember and is not dull. The above book repeated some of the issues several times regarding certain history aspects and I feel it was more than needed. I could see stating something twice but things were repeated numerous times that were not important in reading cards, but history. The very beginning drags on and many places you skim over and many places are very interesting where you say I didn't know that. She touches on the religious aspect of they are not evil as many churches and religious people think and states they actually had a church background in the early years. I feel if she ever does a rewrite of this book it will be much better if she takes the remarks by readers and improves her book.
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