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Tarot Spreads and Layouts A User's Manual For Beginning and Intermediate Readers Paperback – February 1, 2011
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About the Author
Jeanne Fiorini has been a professional Tarot reader and teacher since 1991. She is the author of Invitation to Wonder, contributes articles to regional print publications, and is a regular columnist for the American Tarot Association. Jeanne lives in Portland, Maine.
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Top Customer Reviews
When it arrived, I expected it to be a typical book on tarot spreads and I guess I didn't anticipate anything out of the ordinary. I was dead wrong. This little book is so jammed full of information, tips, spreads and insights that it actually took me a long time to get through it. It's obvious that the author put her heart and soul (and years of teaching experience) into this. I was pleasantly surprised by all that this book offered.
Fiorini starts the book out with a chapter called "The Art of The Question" where she gives advice on what formulates a good question. She is quick to point out that "tarot is not about wish-fulfillment but the pursuit of information, knowledge, and awareness". This statement helped me to understand that the spreads I would be working with were more about self development and not predictive in nature. Being as I am a straightforward person, I appreciated having this spelled out right from the get go. The author continues on with examples of well worded questions and how they may help the querent get a better, more accurate reading.
She then moves forward to a chapter on "Reading Skills and Practical Matters" - this chapter is worth the price of the book alone. All tarot readers, no matter what skill level, will find the author's thoughts on tarot reading to be essential information. I really liked this chapter and found myself gleaning a few insights that I hadn't considered.
The next part is the "meat" of the book - with 17 different spreads, the author gives a lot but manages to keep things in check by not over delivering. This was very appealing to me as it gave me plenty to work with but didn't overwhelm or bore. And here's the interesting part - while 17 spreads may not sound like a lot, Fiorini provides suggestions for expanding the reading should you decide that you need to. This makes the spreads versatile and gives the reader an opportunity to choose how deep they want to go.
Additionally, she gives questions to ponder for each spread that provokes critical thinking. This is way more than most "spread" books ever offer. My brain was reeling from the information and I realized that this is a book to savor, to play with, to explore...and to pick up when you need a new way of looking at your tarot cards.
Although all the spreads featured are useful, my favorites were: Helper/Hindrance, Body/Mind/Spirit, The Resolution Factor and Relationship Spread. These layouts were fun to play with and practical.
The Reader's Checklist in the final chapter closes the book beautifully. Although I found Fiorini to be a very detailed writer and a bit dry but she makes up for that by providing good, solid, useable information. Overall, this little gem was a lovely surprise.
The text on the inside, however, is a far different story. This book has, by far, some of the best information on tarot I've ever laid my hands on. I do have to admit that I have a slight bias towards the author only because in reading her book, it seems as though she and I have very similar reading styles and values, but that aside, what impresses me most about "Tarot: Spreads and Layouts" is the fact that the content is not the common information you find in most books on the topic.
Since the book is essentially broken into two sections: the informational section and the spread section, let's start with the informational section, which packs a punch in it's short, first 33 pages of the book.
It's the type of information and insight that you usually get in a class rather than a book. Ms. Fiorini clearly has taught a few classes in her time and has cleanly and clearly translated that into the content of this work in a way that is easy to read and easy to understand. Most importantly, it is the type of information that we all should have learned when we were beginners, but most of us have only learned through practicing the craft for decades.
In that, this book is ideal for semi-beginners, intermediate and advanced readers alike. This is not a beginning book that starts with the bare bones of deck structure and suits, but it is one in which beginners will learn the right way to read, from the ground up. Intermediate students will excel more quickly. And even though the sub-title indicates otherwise, I believe advanced practitioners can find useful information that they, themselves, can apply not only in their readings but in classes that they may teach, as well.
The spreads section is also unique. It doesn't just give a list of the same spreads you see in every tarot book, it gives a multitude of questions, insights and options about simple spreads that even long time readers may not have thought about.
In a day and age when there are a million and one books on tarot out there, one has to find a new angle for a book on the topic to be worthwhile. Ms. Fiorini has done so, and given us a great resource in the process.