Vicky's Reviews > The New Tarot Handbook: Master the Meanings of the Cards

The New Tarot Handbook by Rachel Pollack
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's review
Apr 05, 2012

really liked it
Read in April, 2012

Ms. Pollack brings forty-plus years of experience with the Tarot to this book and it shows in her detailed explanations. In addition to her own experience, she follows the background originally put forth in the Eden Grey book “The Tarot Revealed”. In this book, Rachel describes the classic Rider-Waite deck – its history, the symbolism embedded in each card, its importance and the divination aspects. She does it clearly with explanations that anyone can follow and understand. Although the explanations can be applied to any deck, the symbols found in the Waite deck may not be the same in other decks.

Rachel starts with the twenty-two cards of the major arcana – going from The Fool through The World. According to her, these cards represent the journey the Fool takes. Each description she gives grows “naturally out of the cards’ images, stories and spiritual wonders…” This particular ARC did not have any pictures, but I’m hoping the finished book will have pictorial examples of the cards. If not, you should have a deck handy to look at as you read the explanations.

The minor cards consist of four suits – Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. Each suit has fourteen cards – ten numbered and four court cards. She explains each one and what each means and how it corresponds to elements and more. The last chapter explains spreads, how to handle the cards and, that the only rule you need to follow is to do what works for you with the cards.

This was an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand book that I highly recommend to anyone who is thinking about getting into Tarot. It’s also good for those who have been reading for some time as a refresher, or even just an interesting read. Definitely recommended.
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