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Rachel Pollack's Tarot Wisdom: Spiritual Teachings and Deeper Meanings Paperback – November 8, 2008
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From the Publisher
From the Author of Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom
Beloved by nearly half a million Tarot enthusiasts, Rachel Pollack’s Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom forever transformed the study of Tarot. This much-anticipated follow-up to Pollack’s classic guidebook will inspire Tarot aficionados and inform a new generation of Tarot students. Enhanced by the author’s personal stories and insights gained over the past three decades, this book on tarot invites you on a fascinating and fun adventure.
Offering an abundant array of new ideas mixed in with enlightening discussions about Tarot’s checkered past, this tarot guidebook features innovative ways to interpret and use Tarot, and a wealth of original spreads to try for yourself—including spreads for predictive, psychological, magical, and spiritual readings. All seventy-eight cards are explored from fresh angles: history, art, psychology, and a variety of spiritual and occult traditions, using cards from seven diverse decks so you can easily contrast and compare. No matter where your starting point on the path of personal discovery, this tarot book will prove a trusted companion for your journey.
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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Now, 78 Degrees is my SECOND favorite, next to this one. Each of the Major Arcana has a history, detailed explanation, meanings, reverse meanings, and one or two readings focusing on the meaning of each card. Each minor has a page, within a chapter. Very in depth.
Every chapter is a journey. Every new spread she offers adds so much insight to the cards. Nevermind how much knowledge I'm getting from the book, but it's an absolute pleasure to read. It's not textbooky at all, not dry and disconnected, like some Tarot books can be. It feels like Ms. Pollack is right here, with me at my table, guiding me through the deck. The illustrations are interesting, the layout is excellent, her voice (as always) is terriffic. I love the comparisons of the cards throughout history, too. It's such an interactive book, never did I find myself passively reading. Every time I picked it up, I had to dig out a deck and mull it over, as I read.
I can't say enough good about this book, but I feel like it would be a very valuable addition to every Tarot reader's shelf.
Rachel Pollack's Tarot Wisdom is exactly what I was looking for -- an in-depth look at each card, its history, and its meanings that I will be able to use for years. The thoroughness really helps me get a feel for each of the cards, and the more esoteric info about the Kabbalah, numerology, etc, will be useful as I gain more practice and familiarity with the cards. This is one of those books that you can read and re-read, and get something new with each reading.
For each card, several different versions are shown: Visconti, Marseille, Rider, Golden Dawn Ritual, Egyptian, and Shining Tribe. The comparative approach is very useful as an accompaniment to the discussions of symbology, and helps to show how the cards and their meanings have progressed over time. Also useful are the lists of historical interpretations of the Major Arcana cards, and how those have differed from and/or influenced contemporary meanings.
I also really enjoy the Wisdom Readings that are included throughout the book. Each of the Major Arcana has a reading, as well as one each for the Court Cards, Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. The Wisdom Readings help to reinforce the meanings of the cards, and what those cards signify to me personally. For example, a few of the questions from A Fool Reading are:
How have I been a Fool in my life?
Where in my life do I need to be more Foolish?
Where do I find the Fool outside myself?
One note: the book includes the author's personal experiences with and interpretations of the cards, as well as the more academic information. The personal anecdotes, while interesting, aren't for everyone. I would also have preferred not to have the inclusion and explanations of the author's Shining Tribe cards. However, these two drawbacks don't lessen the overall usefulness of the book.
This book would not be suitable for a beginner who just wants an overview of Tarot, who wants to keep things simple at first and memorize a few keywords for each card. However, for a beginner who wants to immerse themselves in layers of meaning and symbolism for each card, this book is outstanding.