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Best Tarot Practices: Everything You Need to Know to Learn the Tarot [Paperback]

Marcia Masino
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books (1 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578634326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578634323
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 15 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,208,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Best Tarot Practices Best Tarot Practices is a comprehensive approach to teaching everything you need to know to read the cards for personal insight and spiritual growth, for yourself and others. Using a method that blends modern questions and answers with innovative exercises and encourages intuition, Masino empowers the reader to find their own private connection with each of the cards, fostering a lasting and deepl... Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for learning the basics in an engaging way 6 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book to be one of the most helpful and easy to work with on the tarot. It gave me everything I needed to get started without overloading my brain with too much information. A book I'm sure I will return to many times. Unlike thouse little books you get with a deck, it gives you basics to build upon.

It's handy to have in Kindle format, but if I continue to return to it, I think I'll get a paper copy to make my own notes on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tarot Genius 30 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the best Tarot books I've read in a long time. There is so much here including a fabulous chapter entitled Meditations for the Minor Arcana Challenge Cards which I found especially healing. Reading it has deepened my understanding of the tarot immensely.

However, this is not really a book for beginners. But if you are looking to deepen your work with the Tarot, this book will help you do it. I truly can't recommend it enough.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource, but not quite as good as her first book 11 May 2009
By E. Palladino - Published on
One of the first books that I purchased on Tarot in my beginner's days was Marcia Masino's "Easy Tarot Guide". Even though I've now been a professional reader for some years, her first book is still a primary resource for me. Like Rachel Pollack, I also was present at the Readers Studio where Ms. Masino presented some of the material offered in her new book. I was excited at the time to meet the woman who I considered my first mentor in Tarot and Ms. Masino did not disappoint my expectations.

I recently purchased Ms. Masino's new book. Like a previous reviewer, I am impressed with her breadth of knowledge and her ability to express in words material that can be difficult to explain. Yet, I would still give pride of place to "Easy Tarot Guide" as the more excellent book.

In some ways, the arrangement of material in the new book is not quite as well laid out as her first book. I also feel that the audience for the book is not well defined. In some sections, material is offered that would be of most use to beginners. In other sections, material is offered that, in my opinion, presupposes a lot more knowledge of Tarot than most beginners would have. It is more clear exactly what audience "Easy Tarot Guide" is aimed at. I was a beginner when I read that book. I'm not sure if I was a beginner now if I would find this new book as easy to follow.

There is much to praise in this new book. I am especially pleased that Ms. Masino still recommends the use of reversals, a practice that is left woefully unexplained in many recent books on Tarot. I also love the description of the so-called 'negative' cards as 'challenges', a term that has a lot of truth and power in it. We all have many challenges in our lives and a good Tarot reader needs to know how to address these issues as they come up in a reading.

Yet, for those who do not already own "Easy Tarot Guide", I would recommend purchasing that book as well as this new one. Both volumes together would offer students of Tarot a wealth of information. In my opinion, though, this new volume by itself does not offer, as stated in the subtitle, "Everything You Need to Learn the Tarot".
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Tarot Practices 17 April 2009
By Bonnie Cehovet - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Best Tarot Practices -
Everything You Need to Know to Learn the Tarot

Author: Marcia Masino
Foreword: Rachel Pollack
Weiser Books
ISBN #978-1-57863-432-3

In her foreword, Rachel Pollack touches on a part of this book that I thought was very telling - and that is Masino's association of each of the four suits with a cardinal virtue: Wands with Courage, Cups with Faith, Swords with Justice and Pentacles with Charity. I found this telling because it shows not only a solid grasp of the subject of Tarot, but also hints at an underlying familiarity with the esoteric arts that runs deeply and consistently throughout this book. Pollack points out that "Best Tarot Practices" is a useful book, and that that in itself is a virtue.

In her introduction, Masino states that the focus of this book is on personal insight and spiritual growth, while the purpose is to tackle all aspects of Tarot, making it a great resource guide. The book is divided into four parts: Part One - The Reader and the Tarot, Part Two - Three New Tarot Spreads, Part Three - New Meanings and Meditations For the Major Arcana, and Part Four - New Meanings and Meditations For the Minor Arcana.

In her discussion on mastering the card meanings, Masino takes the reader through a series of steps: for the Pips (numbered cards) she begins by presenting a theme for each of the suits (i.e. Wands indicate fortitude, courage, will, authenticity and aspiration), and then suggests that the reader take these themes and develop three or more keywords for each suit. The next step is to write down card titles, keywords, and how the environment appears to the reader. In the third step, information from the first two steps is combined to create the "reality" of the card for the reader.

For the Court cards, Masino presents character qualities for each of the suits, and suggests that the reader develop three keywords for each Court card from these qualities (i.e. Cups - intuitive, introspective, imaginative; interested in future possibilities; loving, nurturing, emotional, creative; powerful dreams; deep sustained faith). Masino then discuses six different techniques for learning the Court cards: descriptive storytelling, explaining or teaching to someone else, connecting word and picture, dreams, symbol and theme and association to family and friends.

For the Major Arcana, Masino recommends going through the cards one at a time, scanning each card and connecting the symbols within the card to the one theme that represents the card. After scanning the card, the reader then writes down the colors/symbols within the card that drew their attention. She suggests that the reader then turn to the Major Arcana section of this book, read about the card being studied, and then write down the words/phrases that help clarify/enhance their interpretation.

In helping the reader to understand a reading, Masino presents a sample reading and interpretation, following this up with a series of card descriptions. The reader is to determine which card they think is being described. (i.e. "You are a loving woman.", "Faith opens your heart, and uncertainty closes it.") The answers are provided at the end of the chapter.

In the section on creating a positive reading experience, Masino covers designing effective questions, bonding with the Seeker, working with a negative reading, and assessing the central message of a reading. She also discusses how to recognize channeled information, how to use different psychic skills and how to handle difficult clients.

Three spreads are presented: a Zodiac spread, the Whole Self Spread and the Four Seasons spread (recommended for use at the autumn and spring equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices). I found the Zodiac spread especially interesting, as several cards were added to the traditional spread: three cards laid above the spread, representing Past/Present/Future, and the Daath cards - seven cards laid below the spread, bringing out hidden information that relates to the primary spread.

In the section on the meanings and meditations for the Major Arcana, each card is listed by archetype (i.e. Fool - Spirit, Star - Inspired manifestation of true self), a short paragraph on the card, an interpretation, upright and reversed meanings, questions to consider, affirmations and a meditation. This is where the esoteric/occult information really comes out strongly, and is a great gift in understanding the cards.

The meditation on the Fool gifts the reader with techniques for a breathing exercise that provides serenity and opens the channel to the Higher Mind, and a technique for connecting with symbols of all kinds. The meditation for the Hermit connects the reader with their Inner Guide. The meditation for Justice deals with karmic adjustment. The meditation for the Star aligns the chakra system. Each meditation builds on previous meditations, and gifts the reader with a powerful portfolio of tools of empowerment.

In meanings and meditations for the Minor Arcana, each suit is broken down into Triumph cards and Challenge cards, with definitions given for each (as well as what reversed cards bring as challenges on their own). (i.e. For the suit of Pentacles, the Triumph cards are Ace, Two, Three, Four, Six, Eight, Nine, Ten, King, Queen, Knight and Page. The Challenge cards for the suit of Pentacles are the Five and Seven of Pentacles. Reversed cards carry the challenge of uncharitable conditions both inwardly and outwardly, lack of value in work and profession, low self-valuing, belief in cruelty, and alienation from spiritual sources and creative gifts.

Blank templates for each of the three spreads presented are placed at the end of the book.

I was very impressed with the quality of the writing, the quality of the understanding of the Tarot system, and the depth of understanding for the esoteric associations with the Tarot. Through discussion, exercises, questions, and meditation, information on the Tarot is brought through in such a way that each reader is able to develop a deep understanding within themselves of the work that they are doing with the cards.

I highly recommend this book to all Tarot students. Beginning students could use it, but I would really place this material in the intermediate to advanced category. It carries value for all levels of reader, and is a welcome addition to any level of Tarot library.

April 2009
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insiders view of the Tarot 30 Nov 2009
By James Jusko - Published on
There are numerous theories about the attributions between the Virtues and the suits; Masino chose one and uses it to successfully teach new ways of understanding the suits.The suit attributions have been presented to Tarot scholars and enthusiasts at conferences and Tarot experts have endorsed and applauded her efforts. By the way this book is about many aspects of the Tarot,like what happens to the student as they learn the cards and how to be an expert reader.
It is an excelent resource with fresh material.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Tarot Practices: the title delivers 23 Nov 2009
By D Stew - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most tarot books give you a lengthy explanation of each card, then there's a short chapter at the end of the book that explains the layout, and then you're left on your own to put it all together. In this book, Masino takes a different approach. She gives you a basic definition of each card, then moves them around in various layouts, associations, and exercises, thus minimizing the chore of memorization, and at the same enabling the reader to develop their intuition. The seemingly different layouts, associations and exercises are all complementary, so one learns by assimilation.
For the novice, the variety of approaches and associations makes learning the cards faster and less daunting. For the seasoned practitioner, this book will help energize and add depth to readings, and there is a refreshing section with advice on reading for people with challenging personalities. This book also does a good job of balancing mundane interpretations and spiritual visualizations. "Best Practices" delivers just that, and is a great "go to" book for tarotists of all levels. Combine this book with Masino's previous "Easy Tarot Guide", which does go into great detail about each card, and you will have an invaluable reference pair that will answer most of your current and future tarot questions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it. 5 Jan 2013
By Alexis M. Kahler - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Awesome book. A Must have to add to your collection. Lots of details and descriptions in an easy to read format!
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