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The Mythic Tarot Paperback – October 2, 2001

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Paperback, October 2, 2001
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About the Author

Juliet Sharman-Burke is a noted Tarot authority and analytic psychotherapist. She is the author of seven books, including The Mythic Tarot Workbook, Understanding the Tarot, Mastering the Tarot and Beginner's Guide to Tarot.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


This Workbook is intended to help Tarot students to deepen and widen their knowledge of the cards. I have had the good fortune to teach many Beginners' Workshops in Tarot which often ended with the cry: 'Now that we know what the cards mean how do we work with them?' In answer to that cry I set up Advanced Workshops. This Workbook is intended to act as a substitute for work shops. It is a sequel to The Mythic Tarot, which provided background history for all forms of Tarot cards, and outlined the basic meanings in a mythological, psychological and divinatory sense.

Although the Workbook is designed with The Mythic Tarot cards in mind, it can be used equally well with any other Tarot deck with which readers may be more familiar. The mythic pictorial imagery differs from many traditional Tarot decks but the divinatory meanings of the cards remain the same. The exercises are therefore appropriate for use with any Tarot deck. The Workbook aims to help students to structure and increase their knowledge in using the Tarot more effectively in practice. So it concentrates on the two aspects essential to all effective Tarot readings: that readers come to know themselves better via the Tarot, and that they in turn use their knowledge to help interpreting it for other people.

The Workbook comprises four parts. The first deals with the Major Arcana and concentrates on developing a richer and deeper relationship with the mysterious twenty-two Major Trumps. Guided fantasy and therapeutic colouring exercises are demonstrated in order to enable you to establish a closer relationship with the images. Particular attention is paid to the cards' uses and their value in the search for self-awareness. The second section focuses on the Court Cards and their correlation with Astrology, in particular with zodiacal sun signs through the Knight, Queen and King. The third section offers a closer understanding of the everyday meanings of the Minor Arcana, and space is provided for exercises to help fix their message clearly in the reader's understanding. The fourth section looks at various aspects of Tarot reading, layouts and use of the Tarot therapeutically; whether professionally, for friends, or for personal self-improvement.

It is important to remember that your proficiency in Tarot readings will be directly linked with the amount of effort put into study. For this reason I have devised various exercises to help you to develop a greater understanding of interpretation. Methodical performance of these exercises will produce a deeper appreciation of the breadth and depth of this fascinating subject. The exercises are structured and set out in a form that encourages you to fill in the blanks and note pages. Keeping a conscientious record of your work over weeks, months and years will develop a continuity in study, as well as charting your progress. In attempting the colouring exercises it is a good idea to record the date and your mood at the time, so that in weeks or months ahead you can look back over your notes and see how your views have changed and developed. Similarly, keeping a record of the readings you perform on the blanks provided, will act as a reminder of the outcome of your own interpretations and those made for friends or clients. I recommend that you open a file to contain photocopies of the blank spreads to facilitate this.

The style and manner of your approach to reading Tarot will naturally be unique to you. Within the generally accepted principles and symbolism of Tarot, a spread of cards is capable of interpretation in many ways, depending upon one's personal experience. I can offer an insight into my own approach to interpretation, but it will not necessarily be the same as your own. Tarot reading is a deeply personal act which can only develop with time and effort and practice. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Book and Access edition (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743219198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743219198
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #577,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jasmine on July 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'd like to address some of the primary complaints I've heard about this deck before I get to why I use this deck all of the time.

Personally, the only issues I've had with anything breaking for falling apart was with the front cover of the book - that was my fault; in a fit of rage I'd cut the cover of the book off. I found that it was a very sturdy material myself.

Possibly, it's because I handle the cards more gently than the other people do. I've had them for years, and they're still in great shape.

As for anyone feeling limited by the spread printed on the cloth, if it's that big of an issue, don't use it. Or, even better, do what I do - flip the cloth over. It's one sided print.

The interpretations are sometimes very vague in this book, which would not make it the ideal deck for a beginner. However, I felt the reason the book was lacking in interpretation detail as opposed to the backstory, symbolism, and descriptions was because these things, along with your inutition, is what should be used to find the meaning of the card, rather then relying on the book as a crutch.

That's possibly one of my favourite things about this deck. It pushes you from being a beginner to something more advanced, by using your own inuition to truly read these cards.

The beautiful images open up a story, revealing what the card means, if you pay attention to the symbolism found in the book. The book itself is not one of those paper booklets inserted into a normal deck, it is a full fledged book in its own right. Definitely not something that one may easily lose, as opposed to other products.

I wouldn't call this deck "dark".
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book has been an incredible tool for myself in learning the Tarot. It's packed with spreads, worksheets, and study pages for EVERY card in the deck. It starts off with a page on each one of the cards in the Major Arcana in the Mythic Tarot and lets you color them in. This exercise in itself was a great visualization tool and has helped me connect with each one of the cards. If you're new to Tarot or if you are wanting to learn more, I strongly reccomend this workbook.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Mythic Tarot was the first deck I gained, and I have been working with it for the past 7 years. The deck is beautifully illustrated in the tradition of Greek Mythology, with each of the suits telling a classic mythical tale (eg Jason and the Argonauts as the suit of wands).
The Mythic Tarot book describes interpretations that differ substantially from those of classic decks such as the Rider-Waite, as the focus is not on good-bad/upright-reveresed cards, but rather on the fact that every event or situation has both positive and negative aspects (a very psychological concept). I have found this to be a very good thing, particularly in situations where you are reading for people that are a little scared of what the future may hold for them ("and you can take that death card of of the deck before you do my reading!" is a common comment!). While Death is still seen as a monumental change and a difficult ending, it is also stressed that there will be a new beginning and rebirth. This is one big reason why I like this interpretation for beginners in particular.
This deck was excellent to learn with, as the mythical stories portrayed by the suits are easy to remember and well explained in the book, therefore making divination something anybody can learn (even me)!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Magnus on April 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
I picked this one up along with the deck randomly at a yard sale, and tried learning the Tarot with it. It was actually a great deck to learn with. I've since read other books explaining the meaning of the Tarot. I think this author has a deep understanding both of human psychology and of Greek mythology, not to mention the Tarot itself. She seems to have been through these various life situations and seems to speak out of them from personal experience -- how true Strength is immunity from the 'Thou shalt', how true love is made manifest only after one has experienced betrayal, etc.. She doesn't simply say, "The ten of Wands means oppression and this and that." She explains HOW the process of pursuing the high adventure results in the final card being oppression. She explains WHAT is common to the 10's in all the suits, etc.. She also does quite a good job of explaining the difference between similar cards that are easy to confuse. The High Priestess and the Moon are both sort of feminine and otherworldy in nature. What's the essential difference? One has the sense she has thought it through and solidified it in her mind. And now when I go out and read other versions, I have a good basis from which to understand what I read.

This book is not really about how to read various spreads, though she does offer a couple examples. I understand she has written a workbook for that purpose.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on July 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've always been better with stories than with numbers, so I've had trouble with the tarot for a long time. I never quite *got* numerology, so I'd sit there reading various tarot guidebooks and wondering, "But WHY does the three mean such-and-such? And how am I supposed to remember that?" The book that accompanies the Mythic Tarot solved that problem for me. The authors' great idea was to choose a Greek story to illustrate each suit, and the cards are major events in the story. Since I can remember how the story goes, it's so much easier to call to mind the meanings of the Minor Arcana. The authors spoke my language, if you will. And if you're more story-oriented than number-oriented, it will help you as well. Even when using another deck, the Mythic book makes a great mnemonic aid.
The cards aren't bad either. Most of the best are to be found in the Major Arcana. The High Priestess, The Empress, and Temperance are a few of my favorites. The Minors sometimes look a little weird because the figures seem to be stiffly posed. This isn't a problem in the Majors since most of them are standing still anyway, but when the people are supposed to be fighting or murdering or even conversing, they look a little stiff. Still, the cards are evocative, and you know at first glance the basic "mood" of the card.
I would have given the deck five stars, but the quality of the materials isn't great. The book is already looking shabby. The cards could have been made on better stock. I have small hands, and I can't shuffle most decks in the normal way; I'm a big proponent of the "mess them around in a big pile" school of thought. But my friend shuffled them once; she has larger hands and shuffled them normally, and one of the cards now has a white worn spot on its back, where the black dye was worn away by just a few shufflings. The publishers could have done better. Five stars for the authors and artist; two or three for the publishers.
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