Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

Tools to Grow

This article was written by Barbara Moore
posted under Tarot

"If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
~Isaac Newton

For many of us, myself included, Rachel Pollack and her work were our entries into the mysteries and secrets and delights of tarot. She is like a fairy godmother and her work, blessings and gifts.

Her most recent work, The New Tarot Handbook, is another beautiful gift to us and it is also, for her, an homage to the woman she considers the Mother of Modern Tarot: Eden Gray. Some of us may not be familiar with Gray’s work or may write them off as "cookbooks" (some people call books of card interpretations "cookbooks" and attach a derogatory meaning to it, although I'm not sure why). What makes Gray worthy of the title Mother of Modern Tarot?

Rachel studied card interpretations through history in order to see how the interpretations evolved over time. In her analysis, Rachel noticed something strange. She writes, "Some of the modern meanings most writers took for granted did not appear in the older commentaries, not even A. E. Waite…. So where did they come from? Finally I realized—Eden Gray. I also might mention that Gray was the person who first described the tarot as 'the Fool's journey'."

Eden Gray’s work is short and direct. But tucked within those short entries is so much more, such deeper knowledge and awareness. The cards are often called "keys." Gray does not take you by the hand and guide you though the endless mansions and gardens of tarot, pointing out all the important parts. She is not a tour guide. Instead, she gives you, in a few sentences, a key that you can use to open the door and go through yourself, exploring at will, finding what you may. She encourages self-reliance and a sense of adventure.

As does our beloved Rachel Pollack, for I know of no one more adventurous than her when it comes to exploring tarot. Who else but Rachel would ask the tarot to show her the reading it gave God when he created the world?

For so many eager tarot lovers, 78 Degrees of Wisdom was our bible. In the several decades since that wonderful book was first published, Rachel has learned and experienced a lot. Imagine what treasures are hidden in the pages of The New Tarot Handbook. She gives us a wealth of knowledge, of course. But she also gives us tools and space to grow, to develop our own relationship with the cards, and to experience our own adventure while exploring the cards.

For example, one of my favorite features of this book is the spreads: one for each Major Arcana, one for each suit, and one for the court cards. These spreads give hints about the cards; they also open doors for us to learn how the cards relate to our lives and how we think and feel about them.

Like Gray's work, each card includes a short exploration and divinatory meanings for both upright and reversed cards. These entries provide enough information for a novice to do a great reading. They are chock full of so much wisdom that they give a more experienced reader much to think about.

The court cards often give new (and even experienced) readers a bit of trouble. Although this is not a workbook, Rachel describes some of her processes, which you can replicate. In fact, just for fun, and to see what your choices are before being influenced by reading Rachel's theme words for the cards, I suggest you do as she did:

Lay out all of the court cards and pick one or two theme words for each one, focusing on what makes each one unique. For example, passion might not be the best choice for the Knight of Wands because all the Wands courts share the trait of passion. So what makes the Knight unique amongst the other Wands courts? What makes him unique amongst the other Knights? Give it a try.

In addition, you can take inspiration from Rachel's spreads. She created, as mentioned above, spreads for each Major, the four suits, and for the court cards in general. Why not make your own spreads for each of the court cards? Or make one spread, perhaps a kind of "getting to know you" spread, and use it to do a reading for each court card?

This is the thing about great explorers and teachers, like Gray and Rachel. They don’t spoon-feed you; they give you a hand up so you can see farther. They give you a strong enough foundation so that you can move ahead on your own unique journey with confidence. That is the beauty, I think, of a smaller book. Rather than overwhelming and inundating, it creates interesting white space in your mind, giving you room to think rather than just ingest information.

Within the pages of this concise handbook, Rachel creates a sacred space with knowledge, understanding, and insight. What you do within this space is entirely up to you. But I guarantee, if you bring just a little curiosity, you'll do amazing things.

Barbara MooreBarbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore's personal and professional lives for over two decades. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Today she continues her tarot journey, both by...  Read more

RELATED PRODUCTS

The New Tarot Handbook
The New Tarot Handbook
Master the Meanings of the Cards
Rachel Pollack
$15.95 US,  $18.50 CAN | Add to Cart
Rachel Pollack's Tarot Wisdom
Rachel Pollack's Tarot Wisdom
Spiritual Teachings and Deeper Meanings
Rachel Pollack
$24.95 US,  $28.95 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

I am often asked how I catch some of the most incredible evidence ever captured on a battlefield. It is relatively simple, but many people are not willing to do what is necessary to capture a paranormal event. If, however, you are one of those rare individuals who not only want to experience the paranormal, but capture it—read on! As a means of... read this article
Gettysburg: Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt
Celtic Tree Magic: 6 Ways to Work with Sacred Trees
Ritual: Thelemic Refuge
The Dark Side of Your Moon
3 Ways (Yoga Included!) To Shift Your Body Image

Most recent posts:
Lost Souls
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Patrick Burke, co-author of the new Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg. As an expert on battlefield and...

Samhain Thoughts...
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sonja Sadovsky, author of the new Priestess and the Pen. The wheel turns, and another Samhain is...

Empowering Readings, part 1
When someone asks “what if” they are usually worried about the outcome of something they are considering doing. They may be looking for assurances...





Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $15.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN