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Tarot Plain and Simple Paperback – February 26, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

There are hundreds of Tarot decks being published today. Llewellyn is very proud to be one of the world's leading publishers of Tarot decks. Tarot Plain and Simple by Anthony Louis helps you understand the meaning of the cards so you can give an excellent reading with any Tarot deck. Illustrated with the beautiful art of Robin Wood, you'll have no trouble relating the descriptions of the card meanings to any deck (although of course I hope you'll use one of ours!)
One of my favorite parts of this book is the sample readings. You can learn all the spreads and card meanings you like, but until you see how they are put together, you aren't giving a complete reading. This section will show you exactly how to do this. Traditionally, this is known as "synthesis." But remember, the title of this book is Tarot Plain and Simple. No need for fancy words here. Louis simply calls this section "Putting It All Together." Nothing could be more appropriate or easy to understand.
Don't mistake the notion of simplicity for being simplistic. This book avoids using confusing concepts or difficult language. It makes the unclear clear, the complex simple. It doesn't simplify, it clarifies. The result is that you will have a deeper and more intuitive understanding of the Tarot cards.
This book can really enhance your Tarot skills. Whether you are a beginning or advanced reader, you will find that studying this book will make your reading stronger and more accurate. That will help your readings become more intuitive. Try this book and add the zip your Tarot readings need. And if you're new to Tarot you'll be reading like a pro in no time!


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; 1st edition (September 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567184006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567184006
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm serious. This book is incredible. I have bought a ton of books on tarot that claimed to be for beginers and plain and simple. They ALWAYS left me confused. But not this one. It is really plain, I mean really easy to understand. I love the section on the use of numerology and astrology in the book as well. Truely opened my eyes, and a lot of the time I could be heard stting in the corner reading it going,"Oh, okkkk now I understand." I must say a million praises to the author for the clarity and ease in which in this book reads. If you a beginer- GET THIS BOOK AND SAVE YOURSELF A WHOLE LOT OF MONEY AND TIME.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't buy this book because I needed yet another tarot book. I bought it because I had Anthony Louis' horary astrology book, and loved it. Unlike horary astrology, though, tarot--as presented here--really is plain and simple.

This book doesn't mire itself in the sort of occult esoterica or pseudo-psychobabble new age gibberish that many tarot books do (good ones, too). It is aimed at the beginner who wants to use the cards for divination. Louis doesn't spend time deconstructing the symbolic minutiae of tarot--and given the deck he chose to illustrate the book (Robin Wood), that's a good decision. Instead, he gives an abundance of interpretive descriptions for each card in both upright and reversed positions, something I wish I had when I started reading cards as a kid, and even later in life.

Dr. Louis must like the Robin Wood deck--after all, he chose it. I've never been crazy about it, although I admit the naked babes depicted in some of the cards are hotties! Hey, it's a reason. I've always been partial to the Thoth deck (you can't beat the striking, sometimes disturbing artwork) and the Rider-Waite deck, and to books that use them. But the Wood deck is pretty similar to the Rider-Waite deck in terms of interpretive symbolism, and to others based on the Rider pack, so unless you are using a deck that really bastardizes the traditional symbols (like the hilarious atrocity that is Motherpeace, or the trippy Voyager), Louis' interpretations should go well with your deck. (They don't go particularly well with the Thoth deck, which is a traditional deck, flavored here and there with Aleister Crowley's unique and unfortunate view of things.)

This is, arguably, the perfect book for the beginning tarot reader. I would tell a rank beginner to get this one first, then Rachel Pollack's 78 Degrees of Wisdom, before moving on to other books like Mary Greer's or some of the Thoth-oriented books.
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Format: Paperback
I own many, many tarot books, but this is the one I keep next to my deck when I need to check something or get confused on a meaning. It's well laid out and the card descriptions are sorted by number rather than suit. There's also a bit of information on astrology and numerology as it relates to tarot. I'm not a fan of the Robin Wood deck used for illustration (although this deck is extremely popular) but since it's a Rider clone, it will give you a good idea. Overall, a well written book good for both the beginner and the more experienced tarot reader.
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Format: Paperback
Of the 20-odd Tarot references I own, this one is by far the most accurate and is the one I consult most often. If I had to reduce my Tarot collection to one book, this would be the one I would keep.
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Format: Paperback
I gave up on the study of the Tarot in the early 1980s because I couldn't find a book which was not written in archaic, stilted English. I found "Tarot Plain and Simple" several months ago and will say that it has changed my life. I find it the perfect tool (now that I can understand, in depth, the meaning of the cards and their relationships) for focusing my intuitive abilities. Regardless of where you are personally in your Tarot study, this book cannot but help you in so many ways to develop your innate perception of the human condition. And if you are a Tarot beginner, as I was, you will be amazed at the ease with which you can progress in your pursuit of understanding. I wish I had had this book twenty years ago! Enjoy.
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By A Customer on November 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
The title of this lovely volume says it all; Tarot, Plain and Simple. The book itself is, the use and knowledge gained are far more than the innoncence of the title would suggest. Mr. Louis is able to the put the cards in your hands, and to work immediately. There is much on the history of the images, the development of the cards, and other esoteric Tarot lore that Louis omits (wisely, in my opinion). This little book is an introduction, not a thesis. Robin Wood's illustrations and Louis' own charm and humor make this a "user friendly" volume, which is fun to read, re-read, and refer too again and again. Easy, yet challenging, Tarot: Plain and Simple will likely become a classic addition to the field.
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Format: Paperback
I have been on a continual journey over the past 10 years to find tarot guides that will help me understand readings I complete for myself and for other people. I find this book helpful and extremely "user-friendly". While many times I have been frustrated with vague interpretations, this book never disappoints me.
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Format: Paperback
Anthony Louis approaches the tarot from a different perspective, from that of someone who is a psychologist first and tarot reader second. This gives a fresh approach to the information he provides. While he doesn't stray from the traditional symbology, he does discuss it in a new way. His writing is very easy to understand for new users, and provides interesting perspectives for seasoned readers.
One thing I especially liked was his explanation of reversed meanings--for the first time, I was able to see the reversed explanations as extremes of the upright meanings.
When I got this book, I felt comfortable getting rid of several of my other tarot books. I think you'll really find this one a good addition to your library.
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