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Kitchen Table Tarot: Pull Up a Chair, Shuffle the Cards, and Let's Talk Tarot

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,488 ratings  ·  232 reviews
Learn to read with your own voice and get the answers to all of your questions.

For years, Melissa Cynova has been sitting down with friends and neighbors who are curious about the tarot. She's heard all the questions and misconceptions that can confuse newcomers (and sometimes more experienced readers, too). Kitchen Table Tarot was written as a guide for anyone looking for
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Paperback, 271 pages
Published April 8th 2017 by Llewellyn Publications
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Elizabeth Love I don't think it comes with one because the author recommends finding a classic style Rider Waite Smith deck. The pages do show the art for the Llewel…moreI don't think it comes with one because the author recommends finding a classic style Rider Waite Smith deck. The pages do show the art for the Llewellyn Classic deck though in case you don't have one yet. (less)

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Maggie Stiefvater
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This will be my new go-to recommendation when folks ask me about starting tarot.

For some folks, tarot is a highly mystical experience, requiring ritual and song, candles and wall-hangings, crystals and gnomes. I respect that. Go for it. But for me, tarot's always been a more mundane spiritual experience, one that notches into many spiritual beliefs and lifestyles. A conversation starter when people come to my house for the first time, or for connecting at the end of a long conference day. It's
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Kelli
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I kinda loved this one...what a pleasant surprise. In our library, the new fiction and nonfiction are side by side, so I often wind up with a book I would never seek out but this definitely tops the list. I don't even read tarot cards! Nonetheless, this book was a delight. It offered lots of information and interesting interpretations of the meanings of the cards, as well as some tips and practical advice, all delivered in a friendly manner. I can only imagine how much someone who actually reads ...more
Patrick McG
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I was going to give this four stars, but then I remembered I gave Moby Dick four stars.
So I'm gonna have to reevaluate the star system.

It is fun to learn tarot.

Moby Dick probably deserves five stars.
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Kirsty ❤️
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A few months ago I went to a seminar that taught a quick and dirty way to understand tarot that made it far clearer than any book I'd read. Now finally there's a book I wish I'd had years ago when I started playing with the cards. The first section is a potted history of how the author got into tarot and some what and what no to do's with biographical anecdotes. Then we get to the meat of the book - a step by step explanation of all the cards of a basic deck.

And this is one of the things I love
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Allison
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to, occult
"Your rituals work because you believe in them."

"There is no one way. There is no one path. There is you, your cards, and your gift. That's it. Read a lot. Watch other readers. Practice on your friends (and tell them that you're practicing). You can figure out your self with some research and time. No worries. Remember, this is supposed to be fun. In tarot readings (and in all other things), please stop comparing yourself to other people. Compare yourself to yourself."

"Do you want to do the thin
...more
Anna (Bananas)
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: divination
This is such a down to earth, helpful, relatable tarot book. I love that she shared a lot of stories about readings she’s done throughout the years, the good, the bad, and the downright crazy. She also talks about the business side of tarot, which I appreciated.
What I wasn’t thrilled about is that more than half of the book is the standard breakdown of each tarot card. I thought this book was going to be more about the act of tarot reading, the art, the intuition. I mean it is. I guess you kind
...more
Dusk
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All I wanted to do was learn more about tarot, but I got so, so much more out of this book.

Yes, this book provides lovely little summaries of the traditional (and some non-traditional!) meanings of all the tarot cards, including their inversions. But the author's voice is so strong, her perspective so clear and unique, that it was like having a conversation with an old friend. The prose was so lively and interesting that I read it cover-to-cover in less than a week, and enjoyed every page.

But I
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Amanda
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this super down-to-earth way of looking at tarot. The author uses personal stories, allegory, and archetypes to help make learning the cards easy and relatable. Some descriptions are longer than others, as the author seemed to go on a bit of a tangent when it was a card with which she had a particularly deep connection. There were a few descriptions that I felt were too short to really be helpful, but overall the book is a great starting point for new readers.
Elizabeth
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tarot, divination
When I first put this book on my TBR list, it was a "generic" listing: I put almost every new tarot book on that list unless I can tell from the description that I'm not going to like it. But when I realized that the author was a blogger whose blog I enjoy, I pushed this book to the top of the list. I'm happy to report that this is a fine book for beginning tarot readers.

Like the cover and title suggest, this is a casual introduction to the tarot. Cynova has focused on the practical aspects of r
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Tree Seelke
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank you so very much to Netgalley and Llewellyn Publications for allowing me to have the opportunity of reading and reviewing this ARC.

I couldn't be happier to have read Kitchen Table Tarot. I sent a request for this book on a whim. I bought my first tarot deck nearly 6 years ago, I was 17. I practiced and practiced and then mental illness struck and I put my cards away. Today, I picked them up again after reading this very insightful and meaningful book.

Melissa Cynova feels like a friend. T
...more
Sue Fernandez
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
THANK YOU to Net Galley and Llewellyn Publications for an ARC of this title. I am almost, but not quite done, and had to review it immediately. Prior to this, my all time favorite Tarot book was Tarot Made Easy. I'd hoped this one was similar and not too heavy, and it surpassed all my expectations. The author has a way of writing that makes me feel like I'm really at the table with her, learning, and in just the first few chapters, I learned more about the Tarot than I'd learned in previous read ...more
Lindsay Shane
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! I've read many books on tarot over the years, this one is completely accessible to a beginner while still being interesting enough to keep the experienced card reader invested. I love how down-to-earth she is! ...more
Liv
Jun 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really appreciated this friendly, down to earth approach to tarot. Cynova's method is simple and accessible, and more suited to a busy person like myself.

Cynova grounds her practical advice with examples from her personal life, then delves into the meaning of each card. I know it's been done countless times before, but I really like her approach of tackling the court and pip cards by number or position rather than one suit at a time. I find the meanings are lodging in my brain better than bef
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Lisa Kuhn
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is an incredibly eye-opening and simple explanation of the Tarot. I feel like my understanding of the cards has deepened significantly thanks to the author's down-to-earth style and voice. This is great for beginners like me. ...more
Sarah
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley.

This is a tarot book aimed at beginners and no prior knowledge is assumed or necessary as Melissa Cynova goes step-by-step through everything you need to know to get started with Tarot. The tone is informal, which one might expect from the title, and it does indeed feel like sitting down with a friend who is happy to share the wisdom gained from tarot-reading since 1989.

With such an engaging style and accessible cultural references, Kitch
...more
Jess
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
From the reviews, I thought this would be a straightforward, grounded book that was more about the intuitive aspects of tarot etc. Instead, there are a lot of anecdotes in which the writer suggests she has psychic abilities, which is definitely not what I wanted, and the main advice seems to be on ignoring any symbolism in the cards at all and just creating your own meanings.

Because of that, the section of the book that explores the meanings of the cards is very inconsistent: there are some hel
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Maggie Gordon
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Kitchen Table Tarot is a great introductory text to someone who knows nothing about tarot. Cynova is big into trying to explain that there is no one tarot practice. You choose your own methods and rituals, and you figure out what works best for you. She's a bit more woo than me, but that's what works for her, so I didn't feel pressured that I was somehow doing tarot wrong if I didn't use crystals.

A bulk of the book is devoted to talking about the cards. She has some interesting observations I h
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Zoe
Jul 16, 2021 rated it liked it
I think I put a little too much pressure on this book for it to be everything I needed in a tarot guide. The humor and personal anecdotes were enjoyable, and I greatly appreciated the acknowledgements that one needn't take tarot to a spiritual place, though I still found it a bit too mystical/religious for my taste at times. For a book that sells itself on being relatable and literally grounded at the kitchen table, the constant references to how one might read for a client detracted from the ac ...more
Lillian
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: witchery
4.5 out of 5 Stars

This book is an excellent beginner’s guide on how to step up to the plate and start learning how to tackle tarot.

Cynova’s writing style is very straightforward, conversational, and personable. She tells the reader that she started writing this book as a series of blog posts, which is something that totally comes through in her tone. Her reasonable and down to earth perspective was a real strength for this book, in that it puts the reader at ease. If I was a new tarot reader l
...more
Katrina
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was promised swearing and there was like none. At all. Unless I have just become immune and didn’t notice but seriously, not one f-word or anything. That being said, I do think it is a good introduction to tarot (disclaimer: it is currently the only tarot book I’ve read but I’ve browsed around the internet a good amount), however it was not the best book for me. There is a lot of talk about reading for other people and less about reading for yourself, which is more where my interest lies. It d ...more
Liadan
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

True to its title, reading Kitchen Table Tarot does feel like pulling up a chair around the kitchen table, and having a chat with the author. The author has a friendly, easy-going voice that pulled me in from the start. The book was accessible and easy to understand, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is new to the tarot and wants to learn. I'm a librarian, and I will be purchasing this title and recommending it to our p
...more
Ramona Mead
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
As an absolute newbie to Tarot, this book is exactly what I needed! Melissa gives thorough explanations of each card and suite. She also adds in personal anecdotes and guidance. I appreciate the positive tone of the book, and her emphasis on staying true to oneself and being kind when giving readings. Her writing is straightforward and easy to understand. I have a lot more confidence about reading the cards than I did before I read this. There are lots of great tips for what to do and not do reg ...more
Kristine
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early April.

Tarot is an interest of mine that's been kept on a back burner (no pun intended), but Melissa has a kind, knowing way of scooting you closer to a topic at hand or bringing it to your level without seeming condescending, overly earth mother New Age, or spooky heebijeebi about it.
...more
Karatics
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a fantastic book to have in your collection if you are practicing/interested in tarot. This book wasn't filled with unreadable mysticism either. She makes the cards and the ideals of the cards relatable and tells you that reading tarot isn't supposed to be perfect. Tarot is to help ease the conscious and help you on the road of life. ...more
Irati
Mar 26, 2018 marked it as dnf-for-now
.... I have a tarot deck and don't know how to read it, i need this book.
Especially if it's recommended by the creator of my tarot deck, Maggie Stiefvater herself !
...more
Greyer Jane
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-owns, tarot
Beginning tarot book..a good bit of it is the meanings of the cards..The first part Tells it like it is, if you are new to card reading..that part is Gold.
Elizabeth
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was light-hearted and an easy read, and also provided entertaining synopses of the cards using just enough detail. I'd recommend this as a reference book to someone who wanted to know more about tarot without getting too "woo". ...more
Mihr Chand
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Such a delightfully humorous and witty book!
 BON ☆
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have some different ideas on things like energy and angels from the author, but what an approachable tone and educational guide. nice.
Paula
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I will read this and refer to it over and over. Excellent for a newbie like me!
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Book Witches: * ***APRIL & MAY 2019*** "Kitchen Table Tarot" by Melissa Cynova 28 26 Jul 07, 2019 08:02PM  

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Tarot cards are pieces of paper with a series of symbolic art on them. That's it.

Tarot READERS, though, now there's some magic.

I've been reading tarot cards for 30 years (well, 29.5 technically) and I can tell you that they're not magical, mystical or otherwise. The cards are cards, and you're the one who makes them amazing.


I live in St. Louis with my husband, Joe (who is my favorite), my kiddos,
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43 likes · 22 comments
“There is no one way. The is no one path. There is you, your cards, and your gift. That’s it. Read a lot. Watch other readers. Practice on your friends (and tell them that you’re practicing). You can figure out your style with some research and time. No worries. Remember, this is supposed to be fun. In tarot readings (and in all other things), please stop comparing yourself to other people. Compare yourself to yourself.” 4 likes
“Most of the time there aren’t as many fireworks. I lay down the cards, and they talk to me. I see the Tower and know that it was necessary, and I see the dust settling and what the path ahead looks like (usually dusty). I throw down the Seven of Wands and feel my client bristling with protective energy. I can hear the celebration in the Four of Wands, or see the connective energy in the Three of Cups. My cards come alive for me. That’s the best way I can describe it.” 3 likes
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