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The Shining Tribe Tarot, Renewed and Expanded Paperback – March 8, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

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 World’s 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.

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (March 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567185320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567185324
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 2.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #811,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Susan Davis on February 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've always felt strongly connected to Rachel Pollack's Shining Woman Tarot, and it's become my primary deck. And her paradigm of birds, trees, rivers, and stones makes it possible to do readings from the surrounding environment without a deck. But the Shining Woman has been out of print for years, and it's been extremely frustrating to try to find. Now it's back, as the Shining Tribe, and from Llewellyn, too, which should keep it available for a while.
The new deck is in an oversized poker format rather than the elongated Tarot style of the original. Accordingly, the artwork is substantially larger on each card. The colors have been altered a bit, too, to make them bolder, and the backs of the cards contain two "Shining Woman" glyphs, which are symmetrical and don't give away whether the next card is reversed or not, unlike the original.
I'm not so fond of the revisions, however. The new background and typeface changes the whole "feel" of the deck and eliminates its childlike quality. And six cards have been changed: the 4 and Gift of Trees, the 10 of Birds, and the 4 and 6 of Stones, with some minor cleanup on the 9. The changes generally seem to make the cards fit in better with traditional Tarot interpretations, but at the cost of such powerful symbols as the Nazca Thunderbird and the Petersborough Teaching Rock. I'm particularly sad about the loss of the old Gift of Trees, which looks just like a little park where I received a gift from the trees there at a hugely significant moment in my life.
The book is somewhat expanded from the Shining Woman book, and includes poetic stanzas for each card, not just the Major Arcana.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on August 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you find the wide assortment of Tarot decks confusing, you might want to consider working with materials prepared by Rachel Pollack. If you have a relatively novel understanding of Tarot, a Christian or Jewish background, and limited exposure to ethnographic concepts, Pollack's 78 DEGREES OF WISDOM is the place to begin your studies. Then take up her SHINING TRIBE. Pollack's 78 DG uses the Waite pack which is about 100 years old and based on decks from the early middle ages. The Waite iconography is Judeo-Christian and very Western (Joseph Campbell and some of his followers uncovered connections that predate the Judeo-Christian).
The ST deck includes icons, motifs, etc. from around the world and as far back as the Neolithic (or further). Pollack's ideas seem quite right to me. I find an amazing connection between the painted and sculpted works from all over the world and the Tarot. But that is exactly what makes Tarot so amazing. No matter what belief system you "recognize" the information is in the cards.
For example, look at the Ace of Stones. Pollack substitutes Stones for Pentacles, which have also appeared as disks and coins. All are symbolic of earth or material reality. The Ace of Stones is an obelisk-like object in Pollack's ST. The obelisk can be found in ancient Egypt and on the Mall in Washington DC. (It's not terribly surprising that a penis-shaped rock should be named after the father of our country.) Pollack says the upright stones that can be found many places, including Stonehenge, form a connecting line with the earth, a vertical axis running from the world under our feet to the world of the spirits over our heads. The upright stone is known asa lingam (phallus of Shiva) in India. (You may recall Indiana Jones association with the lingam?).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By aleksei green on June 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
It was inevitable that a tarot mistress such as Rachel Pollack would create her own tarot deck. She did so with the Shining Woman tarot. She revised the deck and renamed it The Shining Tribe. This is a powerful deck and a powerful work of art. The images are influenced by shamanistic traditions around the world. The art is reminiscent of Native American and Aboriginal Australian images. The images of the card are especially lovely. My favorites are the shining woman, the ace of trees and spiral of fortune. The deck is very earth spirituality centered and uses images from nature such as stones, trees and birds. As with all of Pollack's works I strongly recommend it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Rachel Pollack is a well-known student of tarot and this is the deck of her devising. Rather than being another simple Rider Waite variant, it is a unique creation of images and ideas based on stone age, various aboriginal, and ancient historical arts and myths. Drawn in a primitive style, the images are compelling and from the discussion the book it's clear Pollack put a lot of careful thought into devising this deck. It's very interesting and I recommend it. Sadly, the packaging of the deck is poor, at least in the version I got, but this deck is so interesting I give it five stars anyway.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jesica Davis on July 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For many years, I'd browsed tarot decks and found them convoluted and confusing. This deck is so clear and free of the occult and difficult to understand allusions of medieval based decks. Plus, the artwork is stunning. A really wonderful spiritual guide.
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