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Tarot and the Tree of Life: Finding Everyday Wisdom in the Minor Arcana Paperback – June 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books (June 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083560747X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835607476
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This has to be one of the best books I've ever read--and not just on Tarot.
E. Palladino
Very few tarot books out there REALLY draw you in and make you realize that the tarot is not only about archetypes but also about everyday life.
M. Awerbuch
The essays about the cards are eminently readable in a pick-up-and-browse-anywhere style.
Ruth E. Logie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Ruth E. Logie on January 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
It is unusual to find a Tarot book which gives more than a one-liner to each of the minor arcana. A book exclusively about the minor arcana is unique. This book is not only unique but excellent. It has similarities to the Eakin's book, "Tarot of the Spirit", which has more in-depth material on the Tree of Life, and also to Rachel Pollack's "78 Degrees of Wisdom". But the special touch here is the loving and humourous visual analysis of each minor arcanum - at length. The material is based on the Universal Waite deck, the analysis being entirely attached to the visual details of the cards. It gives one a heightened respect for this deck! And being visual, the explanations are so memorable. The introductory chapters make an excellent no-nonsense introduction to the Tree of Life. The essays about the cards are eminently readable in a pick-up-and-browse-anywhere style. Lovely for people who like to pull a card for the day. Lovely for normal people who are adding depth to their lives daily with the Tarot.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Of the many books on Tarot that I've read, this is one of the very best. Kliegman brings together the Minor Arcana and the Kabbalah through anecdotes, observations and analysis of the Rider-Waite images in a way that invites the reader in, providing an informative and enjoyable read. I came to look at a number of the cards in a new light, and I'm sure I'll refer back to this volume often. This book is a must for any serious student of the Tarot. Now, if Kliegman will only follow it up with a book exploring the Major Arcana!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
In an easy to read, down to earth format, Kliegman provides a number of guidelines and keys to making sense of the minor arcana cards. Each card is explored at length in its relationship to the tree of life as well as the suit it represents, and how the imagery of the card fits into these structures. Well written. A must for anyone who is developing their own relationship to the Tarot.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on May 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
In TAROT AND THE TREE OF LIFE, Isabel Kliegman-who apparently believes you have to give it away to keep it-shares some of the knowledge and insight she has acquired through years of studying and working with the Tarot. Many authors have written about the Tarot and most have something useful to say to the reader. However, the majority of these experts have linked the cards of the major arcana with various aspects of psychology, religion, and/or literature and ignored the cards of the minor arcana. Kliegman focuses her examination on the cards of the minor arcana because she says: 1) the minor cards are often treated as secondary but she believes they contain much relevant information; 2) the imagery in the minor cards is more accessible (unlike the major arcana which depict `archetypes', the cards in the minor arcana show "real" people doing more or less "real" things; 3) studying the minor arcana can illuminate the different gifts of the two decks.
Kliegman teaches English and comparative religion and it is evident from her writing that her background has contributed to the formation of some unique and inspired ideas about the links between Jewish mysticism and the Tarot. Although her primary purpose, as indicated by the title of her book, is to link the Jewish `Tree of Life' with the Tarot, she infuses her work with other religious material and connections as well as a bit of Jungian psychology. The most unusual aspect of this book-for which she makes a compelling case-is the notion that swords are symbolic of fire (and the thinking function) while wands are associated with air (intuition function and inspiration). Whether you agree with her ideas or not, you will want to read this book to expand your awareness. She is a provocative writer and her book complements Rachel Pollack's work on the major arcana and the minor arcana. Kliegman lives and works in California, where she writes and consults on the Tarot.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Awerbuch on July 12, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very few tarot books out there REALLY draw you in and make you realize that the tarot is not only about archetypes but also about everyday life. Isabel has the amazing ability to not only to bring the minors to life, but to explain them in relation to the Qabalah in a way that makes both subjects easier to understand. Each card is looked at in detail, with real life examples of how the situations play out. The opening chapters cover the Tree of Life and a brief synapsis of the Qabalah. There are separate chapters for each of the suits, and an additional one for the Court Cards. She uses the Universal Waite deck for illustating each card, but since 90% of the decks out there are based on Waites, parallels are easy to make.
It really is an exceptional book. Funny, well written and very informative. I don't remember the last time I read a tarot book cover to cover in one sitting.
This is one of the top five books I recommend for all my tarot students and also to all those people out there who think tarot is nothing but fortune telling.
Enjoy !
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pablo Lambardi on February 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
After reading this book you will hope you were a friend of Ms. Kliegmann. She is refreshingly herself. I have read more rigurous works both on Tarot and the Kaballah , but this blends simplicity and knowledge . You will realize that ultimately you can make your cards a part of your personal history , past and future. Ascribing meaning to the cards is not a theoretical task divorced from everyday experiences. Compassion and common sense reign. I would heartily recommend this book to non-Tarot readers as well , provided they are interested in the human plight. There is a card for every human situation- contends Ms. Kliegmann - . How true.
Not one of those books that you will " leave for study when you have the time " : you will find that you DO have the time - NOW.
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