The Cards: The Evolution and Power of Tarot by Patrick Maille

The Cards: The Evolution and Power of Tarot by Prof. Patrick Maille was published earlier this year by the University Press of Mississippi. If your tarot bookshelf is populated by books such as Decker and Dummett’s A History of the Occult Tarot, or Robert M. Place’s The Tarot, Magic, Alchemy, Hermeticism, and Neoplatonism and Jung and Tarot by Sallie Nichols, then The Cards was written for you.

The book is subdivided into two main parts: Part I is a timeline of tarot origins and history, along with an overview of historically or culturally significant individuals that influenced the world of tarot, and Part II is about the tarot’s influence in arts and culture.

While the actual practice of reading tarot cards might not be as ubiquitous as other aspects of mainstream popular culture, Maille presents the argument that tarot cards have served as a powerful vehicle driving the progress of nearly all significant aspects of culture– art, music, television, and movies.

Specifically, Maille narrows his book’s focus down to four key areas where tarot has been influential: art, television, movies, and comics.

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New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic by Cory Thomas Hutcheson

New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic by Cory Thomas Hutcheson and published earlier this year by Llewellyn is a must-have for your personal occult library, and this book review will try to convince you of why.

The text is subdivided into Twelve Rites, from defining witchery and discussing initiation to coverage of common practices in North American traditional folk witchcraft, with exercises and practical work, all the way to commentary on witchcraft in pop culture.

That is one ambitious scope, and Hutcheson pulls it off– this is quite the hefty tome of a book!

Let’s start with defining who is a witch. I appreciate Hutcheson’s acknowledgement: “Whatever image pops into your head when that word passes by in conversation–whether whispered reverently or barked in anger– that will be the definitive image for you.” That kind of has always been my own bone to pick with the term “witch.” What does it even mean? How is the label useful today? He continues, “Many magical practitioners reject the term ‘witch’ either because of its negative or its religious connotations.”

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Tarot Skills for the 21st Century by Josephine McCarthy

Josephine McCarthy is one of the preeminent magicians of our time. She is the founder of Quareia and author of several incredible tomes, among which I’ve read The Work of the Hierophant and The Exorcist’s Handbook. I’m also a big fan of her deck, LXXXI, which I’ve reviewed here. I am now so excited to be sharing with you my thoughts on her latest endeavor, a comprehensive book on tarot that covers both the mundane and the magical meanings of each card.

The edition I received for review is hardcover, with a beautiful velvety matte book jacket. I love that the title anchors the book in the 21st century, while the book’s aesthetics feel Old World to me. I haven’t seen this quality and caliber of production value in a tarot book for quite some time now, so there is something quite exquisite about learning tarot from McCarthy’s text.

The book begins with a strong introduction, giving you a sense of who your teacher, the author, will be, and the context from which classical tarot interpretation sprang. Having read dozens of tarot books published in the last few years, this one is refreshing in its traditionalism, formality, and also its design as a handbook to teach tarot as a venerated practice.

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Tarot Tableau: The Fool’s Journey & Card Journaling Therapy

Click on photo to purchase book

Tarot Tableau: The Fool’s Journey (2020) by Thomas of Hermit’s Mirror is a versatile, power-packed tarot reading method based on the Grand Tableau from the Lenormand tradition. Thomas takes that method many steps further and presents a way of reading the cards that you’ll turn to time and time again, for your personal readings and for your professional client readings.

Skill LevelAdvanced

To start, let’s introduce the basic tableau, the foundation of Thomas’s Tarot Tableau: The Fool’s Journey. I’ve put together a Sightsee the Tarot video to guide you through the basic spread along with 22 tarot journaling prompts excerpted from Tarot Tableau.

In this workshop, we’ll be using the Tarot Tableau for a long session of free-writing as therapy. Writing therapy helps you to process your thoughts and experiences, which opens you up to new insights on how to get back to equilibrium, facilitate much-needed spiritual healing, and grow emotionally.

Working with your reading results from the Tarot Tableau method, you’ll answer 22 questions inspired by the 22 Major houses of the spread and after you’re done, you’ll attain newfound clarity in the situation you were inquiring about or, at the very least, understand the “why.”

22 Journaling Prompts with the Tarot Tableau

DOCX   |   PDF

Click above to download.

Print out the PDF linked above and free-write your answers to the journaling prompts. If you have a particular tarot journal layout and design going on already, you can download the DOCX and edit accordingly.

Click on worksheet to download fillable PDF

Download the above-pictured worksheet and either print it out or copy the layout into your tarot journal before you start the video. You’ll be recording your reading results on the worksheets.

The rest of this post will be my review of the book.

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Carole Louie’s Conversations with a Hungry Ghost: Memoir of a Reluctant Medium

Conversations with a Hungry Ghost: Memoir of a Reluctant Medium is a self-published memoir by medium, feng shui consultant, and past life regression therapist Carole Louie. She is also the founder of The Center, RVA, a spiritual growth center in Richmond, Virginia.

A slim, quick read, Conversations with a Hungry Ghost is Louie’s heartbreaking yet inspiring spiritual journey to overcome personal trauma and fully own her gifts as a psychic medium.

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Charting Your Goal: The Parade Spread

The launch date for the Pride Tarot, a collaborative artists deck from U.S. Games, is scheduled for this month, April 2020. This video and companion blog post is going up during difficult global times. We’re in the midst of a world-wide shelter-in-place quarantine and most of our business-as-usual has been put on pause. People are anxious, feeling insecure and uncertain. I’ve found great comfort and insight in my reading with the Parade Spread and I hope you will, too.

Download the Worksheet (PDF)

Charting Your Goal or Journey

The Pride Parade Tarot Spread

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The Little Work: Magic to Transform Your Everyday Life by Durgadas A. Duriel

The Little Work: Magic to Transform Your Everyday Life (Llewellyn, 2020) by Durgadas Allon Duriel is exactly the kind of book I want to see more of. A fresh, modern take on inner alchemical work, this primer text will help you weave magic into the mundane. On that count, Duriel begins by reminding us that there is no such thing as the mundane. Rather, it’s about seeing the magic in what we otherwise have always perceived as the mundane.

Well-researched, thorough, and the kind of beginner text on contemporary magic that we should be sharing with those new to the craft, The Little Work builds confidence, knowledge, practical experience, and gives you the tools to approach the craft with intelligence, discipline, and also compassion. Duriel also inspires you to trust your intuition and lean in to your very personal, unique connection with Spirit.

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Rune Equations by Simon H. Lilly (Deck + Book)

Rune Equations by Simon H. Lilly, an artist and writer from Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, is a 34-card deck where rune divination has been converted into cartomancy. It’s a black and white deck at standard tarot dimensions (70 mm x 120 mm) that comes with a 170-page book. The book, Rune Equations, is an invaluable reference manual on rune divination and very much worth acquiring for your personal occult library.

There are three main rune systems that we know of:

  1. the Elder Futhark or Germanic runes, which consists of 24 letters arranged in three groups of eight, or aetts (above photo, left page, top);
  2. the Younger Futhark from the Viking Era, which consists of 16 letters and is the system associated with the Norwegian and Icelandic pagans (above photo, left page, bottom); and
  3. the Northumbrian Futhorc, a 32-letter system best known as the English runes (above photo, right side).

This deck allows you to work with either the 32 Northumbrian runes or the 24 Elder Futhark runes.

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Book Review: The Power of Tarot by Liz Worth

The Power of Tarot: To Know Tarot, Read Tarot, and Live Tarot by Liz Worth is an intermediate guide that facilitates mastery of the cards. If you’ve been studying the cards and you know your card meanings, can work with a spread or two, but have hit a plateau both in terms of your readings and your personal spirituality, then this book is for you.

Worth is the author of Going Beyond the Little White Book: A Contemporary Guide to Tarot, which I’ve reviewed before here, though The Power of Tarot is her seventh book publication. Not only is she a prolific author, but she’s also a poet and performance artist. The tarot is an integral part of her life’s work, alongside astrology, and she’s been a long-time professional tarot reader and astrologer. The Power of Tarot distills her many years of experience, insight, and learned wisdom.

The text is subdivided into three parts. The first is about belief– To Know Tarot. How does the tarot work? Is it all fate or free will? What exactly is psychic ability anyway? Is there such a thing as collective karma? What does it mean when intuition is “wrong”?

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Tarot for Troubled Times by Shaheen Miro and Theresa Reed

When You’re Feeling Lost: The Compass Spread

Surprise. I know I said here in this video that there would be no Sightsee the Tarot episodes over the summer. However, everybody makes exceptions for The Tarot Lady, amiright? I’m so excited about this newly released book, Tarot for Troubled Times (Weiser Books, July 2019) by Shaheen Miro and The Tarot Lady herself, Theresa Reed. So I just had to set aside everything else, make time, and share with you my impressions of the book.

This installment of Sightsee the Tarot walks us through The Compass Spread and then offers some insights into post-reading candle magic, per the guidance and tips you’ll find in this book.

When you’re feeling adrift, like you’re just floating along with no sense of direction, use the Compass Spread by Miro and Reed to chart a steady course.

In this companion post, I want to showcase the book.

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