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The Secret Language of Tarot by Wald…

The Secret Language of Tarot

by Wald Amberstone

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Like many readers, I have a taste for the esoteric, and I love iconography and symbol systems. I had been thumbing through my new Rider-Waite deck and wondering why half the cards seemed to have a castle in the background, when it occurred to me that I might be able to research this. This book approaches tarot by analyzing symbols that crop up multiple times throughout the deck, so I was very excited to come across it in my library catalogue.

It's written more for the spiritual seeker than the grubby symbol-collector, so I did skip the meditations and some of the more general introductions, but I appreciated their research into Kaballah and alchemy, as well as some familiarity with Waite's Golden Dawn milieu. There were also glimpses into some of the numerological significances of the minor arcana.

That said, I would have enjoyed more of that kind of information, and less of the more general discussion of what (for example) clouds mean to us. I can come up with six or eight possibilities as quickly as the next English major, but I don't know as much about the gnostic tidbits of the last century, so I might look for a book that covers similar information in greater depth.

I did like the images of the R-W cards that illustrated each symbol, removing the necessity of hauling out your deck and sorting through it each time you tackle a new symbol.

The book seems to have been adapted from a tarot symbolism course the couple has taught; it seemed a bit odd that the greetings to the class were preserved in the text. The book bid me "hello" and "welcome to our class" several times each chapter.
1 vote Cynara | Jan 2, 2012 |
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TAROT. For any serious Tarot reader written in accessible language for the novice. Not just another tarot book, "The Secret Language of Tarot" sets itself apart by teaching readers how to translate the pictorial symbolism from one deck to another, strengthening the reader's ability to recognize specific icons in any deck, and in the world around them. Each of the seven chapters contains symbols of a common theme, and extensive research has provided the lore and mythological meanings of such symbols so that the reader is guided to use their own intuitive powers. Can be used as a both a reference book and as a series of guided meditations on the individual symbols. When read from beginning to end, it reveals a hidden current of understanding and connection between the individual cards of the deck. Each chapter ends with an "Integration Lesson" and a special "Symbol Spread" to deepen the understanding of the cards. Also helps the reader to craft a deck of their own.… (more)

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