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Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to…
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Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth

by Benebell Wen

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This is a book intended for tarot readers at all levels of experience, beginner to advanced, and it meets that goal. As you'd expect, the bulk of the book covers beginner material, with meaty chapters on basic card meanings and layouts, The latter has good discussion of a variety of spreads, including standards like the Three-Card Spread and the Celtic Cross (of course!), but there is also good coverage of uncommon spreads.

So Wen's book covers the basics, but with almost 900 pages to play with, she gets to write about a lot of not-so-basic stuff as well. I was intrigued by her chapter on the Five Components of Circumstance: "the factors that determine what happens to you." Wen explains which cards correspond to which of the components, helping the practitioner (reader) identify the ones that are strongest in any given reading, which in turn can be used to help the Seeker (querent). There's also a chapter on the First Operation, a pre-reading technique dating back to the 1930's that a practitioner can use to identify the background issues in a reading. For those who want to really stretch their tarot muscles, the chapter on the Opening of the Key spread (or "spreads:" it's a five-stage process) presents a worthy challenge. Other chapters cover reading for yourself, helping Seekers handle downbeat readings, an overview of the business and legal aspects of professional tarot reading, ethics, how to handle inappropriate questions, and how to design your own readings. And more. Lots more. Like I said, it's almost 900 pages long. But I thought Wen's writing style was quite readable, a little formal in places, yes, but hey, she's also a lawyer. If you like getting to know an author before plunging into their book, skip to the last chapter, "A Personal Essay: How I Started" before tackling the rest of the book.

I don't usually comment on the physical aspects of a book, but I do have a few things to say about this one. This book is at the outer limits of what a standard paperback binding can handle, and if it bothers you to have the spine crack, you'll need to either read this very carefully or choose the e-book. (There are a lot of illustrations and tables, though, which are sometimes hard to read in e-format.) This is reasonably priced for a book this large, but I would've been willing to spend a bit more for a more durable binding. This is a book I'll want to refer to a lot in the future, and I just don't know how well it's going to hold up. ( )
1 vote Silvernfire | Apr 22, 2015 |
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To James, my Temperance.
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Tarot is a practice rich with history and cultural knowledge.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 158394835X, Paperback)

Designed for beginning as well as experienced tarot readers, Holistic Tarot offers a fresh and easy-to-follow approach to the use of the tarot deck for tapping into subconscious knowledge and creativity. The tarot deck has been used as a divination tool for more than two centuries; while the tarot is still most commonly thought of as "fortune telling," the true power of the tarot lies in its ability to channel a clear path for our deep intuition to shine through. Consulting the tarot can help clear creativity blockages, clarify ambitions, work through complex decisions, and make sense of emotions and relationships. Whether used for simple decision-making or an understanding of your life's purpose, learning tarot can be an indispensible tool for being more mindful of the factors that can assist or weaken your efforts toward success.

In Holistic Tarot, author Benebell Wen provides a complete guide to using the tarot to foster personal development. Wen gives a comprehensive overview of the history of the tarot and a wide array of theories on its use (including its relationship to Jungian archetypal psychology and traditional Chinese divination practices) before digging deeply into one of the best-known tarot systems, the Rider-Waite-Smith. Beginners will find a complete guide to working with the tarot, including choosing and caring for a deck, how best to learn and remember the attributes of the major and minor arcana, the interpretation of cards and spreads, the role of meditation in a tarot practice, and how to use the tarot for improving relationships, professional development, and personal resilience. More advanced practitioners will appreciate nuanced theoretical discussions of the tarot as well as practical advice about reading others' tarot cards and setting up a practice. Containing over 500 illustrations and detailed information on each card as well as numerous spreads, Holistic Tarot is a complete compendium of tarot study that every practitioner should have in his or her library.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:59 -0400)

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