Archive for the ‘Tarot Books’ Category

Lunchtime Tarot Exercise for 11/20/09

November 22, 2009

For this week’s Lunchtime Tarot, we did an exercise that Sandra A. Thomson shared with me some time ago. Sandra is the author of these two terrific books:

Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary and The Heart of the Tarot: The Two-card Layout: Easy, Fast, and Insightful

We also did the “Picture This” exercise on page 17 of  Nina Lee Braden’s wonderful book, Tarot for Self Discovery.

For more on Crowley/Thoth…

May 8, 2008

…be sure to visit Mary K. Greer’s blog. She has interesting posts on 5/6/08 and 5/7/08.

Five introductory books for other systems

August 9, 2007
  1. Numerology: The Divine Triangle by Faith Javane and Dusty Bunker. This book developed my understanding of the symbolism of numbers in tarot.
  2. Astrology for Yourself: How to Understand and Interpret Your Own Birth Chart by Douglas Bloch & Demetra George. This book reminds me of Mary Greer’s Tarot for Yourself. It is in workbook format and guides you through self-reflection.
  3. The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford by Lon Milo Duquette. This must be the most entertaining book on Qabalah/Kabala, and it is an accessible introduction to this esoteric field of study.
  4. The Hand Book: An Introduction to Palmistry by Elizabeth Brenner. This one is out of print but can be found.
  5. The Rune Cards: Ancient Wisdom for the New Millennium by Ralph Blum. This is a classic set, though somewhat controversial. See Wikipedia entry. Blum’s rune cards can be used with Elder Futhark rune stones. Being a tarot/visual type, I find the cards much easier to work with.

Please write in if you would like to comment on these books or suggest others.

Six of Swords: Into the Looking Glass

July 24, 2007

Six of Swords

Need to put on your lipstick? Straighten your tie? Or take a metaphorical look at yourself? If you need a mirror, make sure you use the left side of the boat for your reflection—the water’s calmer over there.

* * *

A couple weeks ago I was telling my friend Carole Pierce how disoriented I was when I received an email from a Carol Pearce. She then told me that long ago she had been drawn to the author Carol S. Pearson—in part because of her name—and in part because she had written a neat book called The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By.

When Carole recommends a book, or anything else for that matter, I must, at the very least, make a note of it. This time I hopped online and ended up ordering Pearson’s more recent book, Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World. I can’t put it down—and quickly realized it would provide the perfect framework for a course in mythology that Carole and I will be teaching in the fall. Even I, cynic of cynics, have to admit this seems a bit synchronistic. Do you agree?

I’m very excited about the mythology course, which I’ll write about in the future, but I want to put in a plug for Awakening the Heroes Within. While it’s not a tarot book—tarot doesn’t even show up in the index—every page deepens my understanding of the major arcana. Pearson takes twelve archetypes and maps them onto the hero’s journey. She also looks at their part in the development of our Ego, Soul, and Self. It’s an accessible introduction to the principles of Jungian psychology and demonstrates, if not explicitly, the psychological depth of the cards.

You may be asking, What’s the deal with the Six of Swords? Well, there’s a quote from the book which, while talking about the Sage archetype, offers a new interpretation of the Six of Swords:

“In therapy, the Sage allows us to notice our pathological patterns, and to see the way we have been projecting our own scripts or perceptions onto the world. It observes those patterns and is capable of experiencing greater truth beyond them. The difference between reflecting reality in a relatively adequate way and through distorted thinking is like the difference between looking at the world reflected in a calm pond and in one in which the water is moving” (59).

Many tarotists note the imagery of the Six of Swords, which suggests moving to calmer waters. The card can also symbolize, in part, the need to accept the truth and move on or risk being imprisoned by a limited point of view. Taking a look at oneself and one’s circumstanses seems pretty important here, but it’s truly self-defeating if the reflection isn’t clear.

Questions about Tarot?

June 6, 2007

If you have any questions about tarot, or if there are any topics that you would like to see covered in this blog, please let me know. You can post them right here.



Would love to hear from you!

May 19, 2007

It’s a bit lonely out here at Tarot Table Talk. So far I’m the one that’s doing all the talking! I would love to hear your thoughts and insights on the cards, and I’m hoping I can encourage you to post some comments.


Ten Books Covering Special Topics in Tarot

April 9, 2007

Aeclectic Tarot is a great source for tarot book reviews!

  1. Ricklef, James. Tarot Tells the Tale: Explore Three-Card Readings through Familiar Stories. Llewellyn. 2003. A delightful book which includes three-card readings for famous literary and historical characters. It also has a great key to the Tarot in its appendix.
  2. Braden, Nina Lee. Tarot for Self Discovery. Llewellyn. 2002. This book is unique in that it does not include interpretations of the cards, nor does it address divination. What it does have is wonderful exercises for using the cards for personal growth.
  3. Michelsen, Teresa. Designing Your Own Tarot Spreads. Llewellyn. 2003. A helpful book covering all aspects of spread design.
  4. MacGregor, Trish and Phyllis Vega. Power Tarot: More than 100 Spreads that Give Specific Answers to Your Most Important Questions. Fireside. 1998.
  5. Renée, Janina. Tarot Spells. Llewellyn. 2002. Gives meditation and visualization exercises and affirmations to use with suggested layouts.
  6. Amberstone, Ruth Ann and Amberstone, Wald. Tarot Tips: Special Topics in Tarot. Llewellyn. 2003. Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone founded the Tarot School in New York City. This book is a compilation of questions about Tarot sent to their online-newsletter of the same title. For a free subscription to the newsletter and to check out the courses and resources the Tarot School has to offer, go to
  7. Thomson, Sandra, Robert E. Mueller, Signe E. Echols. The Heart of the Tarot—The Two-Card Layout: Easy, Fast, Insightful. HarperSanFrancisco. 2000. Focuses on simple two-card layout which could be used daily. Provides an interpretation of each card in each of the two possible positions.
  8. Kenner, Corrine. Tarot Journaling: Using the Celtic Cross to Unveil Your Hidden Story. Llewellyn Publications. 2006. Techniques for keeping a tarot journal. Visit Corrine’s site at
  9. Jette, Christine. Professional Tarot: The Business of Reading, Consulting & Teaching. Llewellyn Publications. 2004.
  10. Rosengarten, Arthur. Tarot and Psychology: Spectrums of Possibility. Paragon House. 2000. Rosengarten is a licensed clinical psychologist and professional Tarot reader. This is a great book focusing on the use of Tarot in psychotherapy. Rosengarten has his own web site at

Five Books to Get You Started

April 9, 2007

Aeclectic Tarot is a great source for tarot book reviews!

  1. Greer, Mary K. Tarot for Your Self: A Workbook for Personal Transformation. 2nd Edition. New Page Books. 2002. A classic, and a favorite in the Tarot community. It offers wonderful ways to get familiar with the cards!
  2. Bunning, Joan. Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners. Weiser Books. 1998. Great for someone who is just starting to explore Tarot. Much of it is available online at
  3. Thomson, Sandra. Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2003. This is a comprehensive dictionary that explains the symbolism of the Tarot. It also includes entries for each card and compares the imagery and symbolism of various decks.
  4. McElroy, Mark. Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Tarot. Que Publishing. 2006. A very user-friendly book.
  5. Greer, Mary K. 21 Ways To Read a Tarot Card. Llewellyn. 2006. The title says it all—this book offers 21 techniques for exploring a card. It is a personal favorite and a must have for anyone studying the Tarot!