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Tarot Theory and Practice

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on October 15, 2010 | Comments (2)

Tarot shelves at bookstores are filled with beginner level books. Do we really need so many? Aren’t they all essentially the same?

I think we do need so many and that they are not essentially the same. First, they all differ in terms of voice and presentation. People learn differently and respond better to some styles of communication than to others. Every author has his or her own voice and way of explaining things. Second, not every tarot reader interprets or reads the cards in the same way. By seeing that there are so many different methods and schools of thought, new readers are encouraged to explore until they find what works for them.

This month we will look at eight different books that might be appropriate for beginners. Today’s book is Tarot Theory and Practice by Ly de Angeles.

The title sounds almost academic but after reading the opening poem, you know you are in for a much more interesting ride than you probably imagined:

I am the song of you that calls you to awaken;

The archer and the bow, not just the arrow.

She speaks for me, but I am you, forsaken;

I am you, always was, down to the marrow—

The and ancient future,

I am Tarot.

This book lets the reader know that they should figure out what they believe about tarot before they start throwing around the cards, willy nilly.

The Theory section includes such intriguing promises as:

A written exercise in understanding the infinite

An exercise asking the question “what if the events predicted through the tarot would never have occurred if they had not been predicted?

A discussion on the concept of thought, how it can cause things to manifest and how tarot’s predictions work by way of this understanding.

As well as other forays into the nature of reality, perception, and the soul’s journey.

Ah, the this book is not all heady conversations and philosophical musings. No, it takes all that groundwork and helps the reader create a belief-based practice. Pretty nice. And really great for the reader who wants to understand, to the best of their ability, the “why” and “how” of things.

There are the necessary bits, like card interpretations and how to perform a reading as well as a chapter on going pro and an appendix of card pairings. To me, this book is a very cool and intriguing blend of old-fashioned tarot reading, cutting edge science and philosophy, and magic. Very unique.

It is an intense book and likely to raise controversy in some circles. It is worth reading. Whether or not you agree with the paths this book hints at, it is good to see things from this point of view, if only to sharpen your own reasoning for NOT accepting it. Reading only what you agree with is like singing to the choir. Enjoyable but not doing a whole lot of good.

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