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The Llewellyn Journal
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Reaping Tarot’s Rewards

This article was written by Mark McElroy
posted under Tarot

Do any of these comments sound familiar?

  • A rude acquaintance rolls her eyes and scoffs, “Tarot? Do you actually believe in that crap?”
  • A friend or family member smiles sympathetically and says, “I don’t really understand what you see in Tarot … but I know it’s not for me.”
  • A newbie complains, “I’m interested in Tarot, but the idea of having to memorize seventy-eight card meanings just overwhelms me.”
  • A friend sighs, “Every time I go to the bookstore, I see a hundred books rehashing the same, tired divinatory meanings—but virtually nothing for people who actually want to do something with the cards!”
If comments like these give you deja-vu, then you’re going to love What’s in the Cards for You?.


A Strategy for Dealing with Skeptics
Every day, we encounter hundreds of crazy claims. “I lost thirty pounds in three weeks eating nothing but chocolate chip cookies and pizza! With the SuperCruncher II, I built myself rock-hard abs in just two minutes a day! I became an overnight millionaire selling foreclosed real estate … and so can you!”

Let’s face it: to a lot of people, the idea of using a deck of cards to improve concentration, enhance meditation, envision goals or explore options for action sounds just as wacky. The result? They dismiss Tarot out of hand. “Work with Tarot cards? Yeah, right. Next, you’ll want me to wrap my head in a tin foil turban and sacrifice a goat!”

As it turns out, most of these skeptics have never even touched a Tarot deck. And that’s where What’s in the Cards for You? comes in. The book’s premise is simple: rather than take my word for what Tarot can do, you complete one hands-on experiment per day for thirty days. At the end of the month, you judge for yourself—based on your own experience—just how effective Tarot can be.


The Friends and Family Plan
I’m surrounded by folks who are curious about Tarot, but who can’t imagine themselves as “Tarot people.” They may ask for the occasional reading, but the idea of buying and consulting their own deck just never occurs to them.

What’s in the Cards for You? makes the perfect gift for friends and family who are fascinated by Tarot, but who have no idea how to approach the cards. Passing the book along to someone creates the perfect opportunity to say, “Want to know what I see in this stuff? Give a few of these experiments a try, and let me know what you think!”

With this book and a deck in hand, even total beginners can begin reading the cards in less than fifteen minutes. And who knows? You may awaken a passion that will enrich your friends’ lives for years to come!


Learn by Doing
Some of us learn by reading. Some of us learn by listening. But the vast majority of us learn best by doing—by going through the motions, trying, measuring our success, and trying again.

As a corporate training designer, I learned long ago that adults don’t like a lecture—they want a hands-on, “let’s get down to brass tacks” approach. That’s why What’s in the Cards for You? begins and ends with pure activity—there’s no memorization required. Especially for practical, results-oriented adults, working with the cards is often the most satisfying way of exploring the Tarot’s potential.


Doing while Learning
Knowing Tarot history—reading the works by the Old Masters, knowing everything I can about the origins, symbols, and myths associated with the cards—helps me make the most of Tarot. At the same time, for me, Tarot is more than an academic pursuit. I want to do something with the cards, and a lot of people tell me they feel the same way.

If you’re action-oriented, you’ll love What’s in the Cards for You? While Tarot facts and history are presented as “Fast Facts” (snippets you’ll learn from without even trying), the entire book emphasizes action. Teaching a Tarot class? With just a little tweaking, every experiment in the book becomes an exercise. Bored with your Tarot routine? At least one of the thirty experiments will take you in a new direction. Think of the book as a Whitman’s Sampler of Tarot activities, complete with a unique profiling tool that will help you discover how the cards work best for you.


Just Do It!
When I set out to write this book, I was determined to produce a fun, fast-paced, hands-on approach to Tarot. Give me fifteen minutes a day for thirty days, and I think you’ll be delighted by What’s in the Cards for You?

Mark McElroyMark McElroy
After purchasing his first Tarot deck in 1973, Mark McElroy began terrorizing other neighborhood nine-year-olds with dire and dramatic predictions.Today, he calls Tarot "the ultimate visual brainstorming tool," and shares techniques designed to help...  Read more

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