Greetings! Gift-giving season is approaching and, as always, I have tarot gift ideas for you.
If you or someone you know has been reading tarot for a while, you may not want another book of basic tarot meanings and methods. Llewellyn's Special Topics in Tarot series will have something (and maybe a few somethings) for you.
Extra-Special Gift Ideas
Time now for a little shameless self-promotion. If you have a friend or relative who is a little curious about tarot but maybe a little nervous as well, What Tarot Can Do for You might be just the ticket. My goal was to present the tarot and its uses as simply and clearly as possible. I think I achieved that goal. Shelly King, reviewer for the Tarot Association of the British Isles, wrote,
"Overall, this is a very well-written and engagingly-presented book which would be marvelous for beginners … As it is so easy to understand and non-threatening without being 'fluffy bunny,' it would also be a very good book to give to anyone worried about way scary business their loved ones were getting into." (Spring 2004).
I have three words for you: The Gilded Tarot. If you don't have it, get it. It is one of the most beautiful and readable decks available. Yes, I know—that's my opinion. Take a look and judge for yourself.
The book that goes with the deck is pretty good, too (if I do say so myself). It includes basics, so is suitable for a beginner. It also has interpretations for each card and exercises to help you form a strong understanding of the cards while improving your reading skills.
For example, one exercise tells you to make up a question or situation. Lay out your court cards and imagine how each one would answer the question or advise you in the situation.
The interpretations include a description of the card and light analysis of the symbols. Instead of upright and reversed meanings, I've included the basic message of the card plus a caution. Here's the entry for The High Priestess:
The High Priestess speaks of the unknown and contradictions. While her face is masked, she is clothed with a transparent gown. She floats with a toe barely skimming the waters of the subconscious while her head is crowned with nine glowing orbs representing the nine planets. She exists between two pillars holding mechanisms whose purpose is unclear. The night sky behind her hints at both the poetic mystery of the moon and the logically charted courses of the heavenly bodies. She beguiles, she promises knowledge; she can be dangerous. We must accept her energy and wisdom cautiously.
The message of The High Priestess is about a kind of knowing that is behind logic. Pay attention to your intuition and recognize that there are different ways of knowing. While the stars and planets of the night sky can be charted and understood rationally, this same sky inspires us in way foreign to our sense of reason.
Be aware of staying too long in the heady realms of The High Priestess. You must take your inspiration and translate it into action. Honor the muse, but do not become her slave.