For The Shining Tribe Tarot, a reprinted and slightly remodeled deck of tarot cards, Rachel Pollack changed the name from its original title Shining Woman to Shining Tribe because so many readers wrongly assumed that it was a deck designed for women. In fact, it is a deck for everyone, drawing heavily on nature-based, ancient symbols from around the world. Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles have been changed to Trees, Rivers, Birds, and Stones. Some of the cards contain Jewish Kabbalist symbols, such as the Four and Nine of Rivers, and others display images from Native American rock art (Five of Stones) or ancient Chinese art (Two of Birds). Although she departed from the familiar images, and her artwork is more primitive than refined, Pollack did follow the traditional Tarot structure with 78 cards in two parts: the Major Arcana (which she calls the "map of the soul's journey from birth to enlightenment") and the Minor Arcana (the "kaleidoscope of human experience in all its varied forms"). What makes this package stand out is Pollack's wise and poetic interpretations of each card (approximately two pages of discussion per card). In the Four of Birds, she explains, "We see a woman wearing a bird mask who has climbed a mountain to seek an encounter with Spirits. Despite her dedication, she must stop to rest." Many of us diligently work hard to attain self-knowledge or enlightenment, notes Pollack. Ironically, "the card promises truth and healing for those moments when we stop struggling." In the rear of the book, she outlines a variety of readings, such as three-card spreads that illuminate "Spiritual History, Spiritual Gift, and Spiritual Challenge." She also suggests novel ways to work with tarot cards that involve carrying specific cards with you or incorporating them into altars. --Gail Hudson
About the Author
Rachel is considered one of the Worlds foremost authorities on the modern interpretation of the Tarot. She is also a poet, an award-winning novelist, and a Tarot card and comic book artist. She has published 12 books on the Tarot, including 78 Degrees of Wisdom (Thorsons, 1998), considered a modern classic and the Bible of Tarot reading. Its marriage of common sense, wide-ranging knowledge, and esoteric awareness have inspired many tens of thousands of readers worldwide to a deeper knowledge of the Tarot.
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She is a member of the American Tarot Association, the International Tarot Society, and the Tarot Guild of Australia. With fellow Tarot author Mary Greer, she has taught at the famed Omega Institute for the past twelve years. She has been conferred the title of Tarot Grand Master by the Tarot Certification Board, an independent body located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As a fiction writer, Pollack has been bestowed many honors and awards, among them the famed Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction (for Unquenchable Fire) and the World Fantasy Award (for Godmother Night). She is a recommended member of PEN International, and has written for numerous publications.