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WTF is Tarot?: ...& How Do I Do It? Paperback – October 10, 2017
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“Bakara Wintner is a welcome new voice in the world oftarot. Whether you’re a curious newbie or a seasoned tarot reader, this book belongs in your personal library.”
―Skye Alexander, author of The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot
“This is the book for the person who wants to be real withtheir readings, who probably curses a lot and who is unapologetic about the way they approach modern day spirituality. WTF is Tarot answers questions in the way your BFF would over a glass (or three) of wine.”
―Gabriela Herstik, writer of Nylon magazine's "Ask a Witch" column
“WTF is Tarot has all the hallmarks of a groundbreaking work of magic. Bakara's writing and exploration of the tarot is engaging, vivid and witty, with a certain love and honesty that I have never had the pleasure of reading until now.”
―Danielle Noel, creator of The Starchild Tarot
About the Author
Bakara Wintner is a tarot reader, writer and owner of Everyday Magic. She has been featured by Nylon, Refinery29 and Urban Outfitters. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Autumn Whitehurst has been illustrating for nearly two decades and counts amongst her clients Coca-Cola, Sapporo, the Principality of Monaco, Ray-Ban, Aveda, BBC and countless magazines, publishers and consumer outlets. She hails from New Orleans but now divides her time between Brooklyn and the rest of the world.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Update: I'm so upset because the author is incredible but the kindle edition is the worst. Especially towards the minor arcana and court cards there a segments of text and blank pages missing. so unfortunate because I absolutely love the content and honestly would rather contact Amazon about it. Would love to get the glitch fixed or a hard copy where I wouldn't have this issue
However, Bakara's book was a wonderful breath of fresh air. Many traditional tarot books draw too heavily on either dry practical advice or heavy-handed mystical reasoning as to how to interpret tarot, leaving the book feeling respectively like a paint-by-numbers instructional booklet or a cult-ish devotional. Bakara's book is able to transcend these problems by providing a personal touch that allows her to avoid the distant professor archetype. Her personal narratives gentle guide the reader into understanding the subliminal nature and importance of the card, rather than bashing them over the head with it. I also appreciated the original illustrations that connected directly to the meanings of the cards, rather than images of the traditional Rider-Waite tarot cards often seen in these kinds of books. The book even briefly touches on pieces of the broader metaphysical experience, but not in a way that is so prominent that it detracts from the tarot-centered content, if that is not your cup of tea.
That is not to say the book is without it's flaws. However, many of them are simply personal preference on my part, but regardless, I feel they are worth noting. For example, the way the court cards are addressed did not resonate with me. Bakara related the traditional court to members of a nuclear family, which I can understand is a creative way to modernize old roles for a new audience, but the connection was a bit too much for me. Despite Bakara's reasonable explanation of working of gender roles in relation to tarot earlier in the book, this aspect felt very much like a forced heteronormative, stereotypical, suburban white-picket fence portrayal of the cards to me. The outcome of the depiction of the court cards as these family members ended up resonating to me more as description of characters, rather then descriptions of the essence of the card themselves. Yet, I want to refrain from condemning this method altogether, as it is indeed an outlook on the court cards that differs from many other accounts, and some readers may it is exactly the perspective they were looking for. My final nitpick would be that while the minor arcana cards of the tarot certainly don't need as extensive treatment as the majors, they would've benefited from a bit more description. Certainly nothing is without it's flaws, but overall I found that these less sublime elements did not detract from my endless enjoyment and fascination with the book.
So, in summary, if you are looking to understand the essence of tarot and the people who practice it, this is the book for you. This is a book that teaches tarot not as if you are it's student, but as if you are a close friend who after a couple of glasses of wine on a Friday night asked to finally learn about that tarot-thingy they like so much. That kind of friendly intimacy from a "guide book" might not be for everyone, but for those (both beginner and advanced) looking for a more holistic view of the tarot and it's relation to life, I highly recommend this book.
This was the first tarot book I actually sat and read from front to back because it was that good!
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