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The New Complete Book of Tarot Paperback – March 6, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JULIET SHARMAN-BURKE is a practicing analytic psychotherapist who has taught tarot and astrology for twenty years. She is the author of The Complete Book of Tarot, Mastering the Tarot and, with Liz Greene, the The Mythic Tarot card and book set. She lives in England.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031236346X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312363468
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #877,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Louis on October 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read the first edition of this book back in the 90s and enjoyed it. The author writes well and offers clear understandable explanations of the cards. The book is nicely illustrated. The focus is on the Major Arcana with less space devoted to the Minors. If you haven't read anything by Juliet Sharman-Burke, I do recommend this book -- with some reservations. Why only 4 stars? For several reasons:

Since I liked the first edition, I have read other books by the same author. The problem is that she simply repeats what she said back in the 90s or in her book on the mythic tarot with Liz Greene and adds very little new. If you've read one book by her, you've essentially read them all. The last book of hers I read was MASTERING THE TAROT: An Advanced Personal Teaching Guide back in 2000. The current 2007 book discussed in this review is basically a repeat of that 2000 text.

With all the historical research on tarot that has gone on in the past two decades, I was expecting some up-to-date information. Instead, the author begins with the historical inaccuracy that the tarot Fool lived on as the Joker in the modern playing card deck. This is simply not true. Although the two cards are similar, they have different origins and the Fool did not "live on" as the Joker. When an author begins her discussion of the cards with one falsehood, it's hard to know what part of her text to trust. A tarot expert should know her subject and keep up-to-date.

There is a significant typo in one of the readings. On page 149, the image of the Five of Wands is labeled as the Four of Wands, so it's hard to know which card actually appeared in the reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Ann on February 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had a copy of "The Complete Book of Tarot" for years and years and years (maybe 10, maybe 15). It's worn, spine split and very much loved. I was looking for another copy for a friend when I found the "New" version. I bought us both a copy and I am so glad I did. This book is hands down the best tarot book I've ever owned. The revision loses nothing from the original and adds beautiful illustrations, a heartier spine and page marking flaps. Both this edition and the original are objective, concise, vivid and thorough. If you could only have one tarot resource this should be it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Perkins on March 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is really a fantastic book! I have found it to be compelling and informative, yet to the point. She is never long-winded, nor does she get too esoteric. The sections are concise, well-ordered and reasonably comprehensive. In short, this is a good book for a beginner. I used it as an entry into the tarot and not only did I find it accessible and deeply informative, but I fell in love with the Sharman-Caselli deck used to illustrate the book and ended up ordering it for myself (despite the fact that I had purchased another deck, the Aquarian tarot, previously). If you are new to tarot and do not have a deck, or if you are open to adding another to your collection, I highly recommend ordering the book-deck combo. I am not well-versed in tarot, but I get the impression that this deck and the author's interpretation follows the blueprint of the archetypal Rider-Waite tarot with some personalized changes. As such, it represents an alternate route for tarot learning for those who may find the Rider-Waite deck a little, how to say it, stark.

There is definitely a style and an interpretation going on here, which may be a turnoff for someone looking for the most 'vanilla' assessment. Juliet is clearly heavily influenced by Greek mythology (which you would expect, her having been a coauthor of the Mythic Tarot, a Greek Mythology deck and its accompanying book). This worked for me, since I have a background in that tradition, but it's worth noting. The Mythic tarot was not to my liking, so I found this deck and this book a good alternative.

Juliet has also rearranged the Major Arcana to suit her own interpretation of the Fool's Journey. Again, I found her reasoning cogent and I got a lot out of her adjustments, but it's not a traditionalist's view.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neko-san TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a very helpful step-by-step guide to reading the Tarot for beginners. This book is illustrated with cards from The Sharman-Caselli Tarot Deck, and is an ideal companion to that deck. This book was also sold as part of a kit, The Complete Tarot Pack.

The book starts with an introduction, a brief history of Tarot, and how it works. It is further divided into four Parts. Part 1 to 3 consists of a study and description of the tarot cards. Each part include a subset of Major and Minor Arcana. Major arcana are given 2 or three pages, including a full image of the card, while minor arcanas are given half a page each. Each symbol on the cards are explored, and the meaning of the card is explained. I found that this way of studying the cards makes it easier for me to decipher their meaning in the future on my own.

Part 4 includes a brief explanation on how to read the cards and four layouts: The Five-cards Horshoe, The Celtic Cross, The Star Spread and the Three of Life. These are explained with an example spread. The example are helpful, but I would have loved a more detailed explanation of these layouts.
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