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The Complete Guide to the Tarot: Determine Your Destiny! Predict Your Own Future! Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1982
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About the Author
A former actress who appeared with Katharine Cornell, Frederic March, and Brian Ahern, Eden Gray traveled all over the world. She was a leading woman in a play in London and helped to produce several plays for the London theater.
For ten years, Gray owned a bookstore-publishing house in New York City and published books on metaphysical themes. She gave classes in how to read the Tarot cards in New York and Palm Beach. She also lectured and taught classes in Science of Mind at the First Church of Religious Science in New York, as well as a number of other cities. Her other titles include Tarot Revealed and Mastering the Tarot.
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After some time, perhaps due to the demands of college, I had forgotten about Tarot, both what I had learned and almost its very existence... but somehow, a few months ago, it streamed back into my life like a shooting star, and I felt compelled to return to the love of my youth.
I re-joined BOTA, thrilled to have "come home," but felt I wanted more material to supplement than the lessons. BOTA teaches each card one by one, first in broad strokes and using black and white images, and only later, after some months of lessons, giving more detail and instruction on coloring one's own deck. I think that is an excellent method, and I love the BOTA teachings and deck, but I felt I wanted to see a complete colored deck in its entirely, even if slightly different from BOTA's, and read beyond the lessons.
After hours of extensive searching on Amazon, reading book samples, weighing and analyzing different perspectives and methods on Tarot, I once again bought this book as seemingly the best all-around intro, along with a Rider deck.
I do think it fills the bill nicely. The introductory material acknowledges many of the different strains of Tarot philosophy and history without bogging the reader down. I like that it distinguishes Tarot reading as fortune-telling from its use in meditation and self-awareness, which is my particular purpose, while still giving divinatory meanings and methods. There is even a separate chapter on Tarot and Meditation, as well as on Numerology, Astrology, and Qabala. The information on each card, while brief, is just enough for the beginner to gain confidence with the cards.I notice that some of the text echos the writings of Paul Foster case, founder of BOTA, with whose work Eden Gray must have been familiar.
As others have mentioned, the text is poorly printed; the typeface is too small and printed on cheap paper, so the ink blurs, making it difficult to see some details on the cards as well as read the text. You really need a deck to handle and look at while reading the book. The pictures are of the Rider deck, so the simplest thing would be to acquire that deck, which is not expensive.
A great first book on the Tarot! But it's high time the publisher decided that this classic deserves a better-quality, full-color edition.
All in all, this is a good book for a beginner. In her discussions of the individual cards, Gray covers some of the primary symbols seen in the card and what those symbols reveal. The article for each card finishes up with the basic divinatory meanings of the card both upright and reversed and has a line illustration of the card. These are quite basic meanings which are primarily based of off A. E. Waite's meanings from "A Pictorial Key to the Tarot". But these basic meanings are excellent starting points for the person who is just learning the Tarot. Eden Gray sets you on a good starting point for learning the Tarot and provides a good reference for your further studies.
As I've said, I've been studying and using the Tarot for over two decades and I still use this book as a reference as I continue learning the Tarot. "The Complete Guide to the Tarot ..." focuses on the Rider-Waite-Smith pack of Tarot cards designed by A. E. Waite and painted by Pamela C. Smith and first published in 1910. This is one of the most widely available Tarot decks and as such, one which is the basis for many, many subsequent designs. As such, Gray's book will work well with most of the decks which are based on the RWS Tarot.
The descriptions of the cards and the meanings are relatively brief in this book. As such, if you are looking for an in-depth book to take your studies beyond the beginning stages, this may not be the book for you. However, if all you've been using for your study is the so-called "little white book" that came with your deck, Grays book will flesh things out for you nicely.
Most recent customer reviews
I bought it as a gift for my mom, but it's one we've both used for years! Hers needs replaced.Read more