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Complete Illustrated Guide - Tarot: How to unlock the secrets of the tarot Paperback – 18 Feb 2002


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Paperback, 18 Feb 2002
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Element; New edition edition (18 Feb 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007131151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007131150
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 19 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 917,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are a beginner, then you MUST buy this definitive book on the Tarot. It encompasses every area of the Tarot, from it's early history, it's integral connections with the Kabbalah, explanations of the individual cards, and even practise spreads. The major factor that makes this book superior is that the illustrations are superb. Every page is adorned with cards from every Tarot pack imaginable, making the book a pleasure to simply look at, as well as being a superlative read. The added bonus is that you can view the various designs and choose one that suits you the most. It even comes with a potted history of every type of deck, ranging from the Golden Dawn cards up until the most modern interpretations.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Stephenson on 6 May 2002
Format: Paperback
This book comes across rather 'coffee tablish'. Not a term I would normally use as praise, but so much stuff out there is heavy going from page 1. This offers a gentle introduction to the world of tarot in full colour with heaps of interesting history and non-history. Ms Pollack is not shy of a good deal of debunking whilst still introducing the reader to a large quantity of cross references and interesting tangents. I love it - looks nice too!
Now then, back to those card definitions in the other books - *sigh*.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Angel Silver on 22 July 2007
Format: Paperback
Authoritative and practical, THE COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO TAROT is the ultimate in comprehensive one-volume reference works, covering every aspect of the subject with clear text, fascinating charts, and fabulous visuals.

Lavishly illustrated in colour throughout, this invaluable sourcebook provides the complete guide to the Tarot, including information on:

# Its origins, history, and structure
# How to do a Tarot reading.
# The symbolism of the cards
# Tarot and dream interpretation
# Astrology and numerology in the Tarot
# Step-by-step advice
# Tarot mandalas for meditation
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miss W. Merrymoon on 24 April 2011
Format: Paperback
Rachel Pollack has been a scholar of the Tarot for many years and is a leading authority on the subject. She has written numerous books, both non-fiction and fiction, on the Tarot, and has designed her own deck, 'Shining Woman Tarot'. Her work has been translated into several languages and she has world-wide recognition. The author's intention in writing this book is clearly expressed in the sub-title - 'How to Unlock the Secrets of the Tarot' - a seductive promise of things to come in the pages of the book. The implication of the title - 'Complete Illustrated Guide' - is that this is the one and only book that any student of the Tarot will need, although it is unlikely that the reader is intended to take it literally. Pollack offers an enormous amount of information, including a basic introduction to the Tarot, along with several theories about it's origins, in particular, it's link with the Kabbalah, and astrology. In addition, she writes about the well-known aspects such as the numbers, court cards, the elemental correspondencies of the Minor Arcana, plus other less-written-about elements, e.g. 'the Tarot Garden' and 'the Tarot Bestiary'. Moving on from that, Pollack writes about the cards themselves, but in a very different way than many other writers have done. The journey through the Major Arcana is broken down into titled sections, e.g. 'Two Tarot Women' (the High Priestess and the Empress), 'Vision and Honesty' (the Wheel of Fortune and Justice), 'Storm and Release' (the Tower and the Star). For the Minor Arcana, Pollack begins by addressing the development of the Minor cards from hundreds of years ago right through to the present day proliferation of Illustrated Minors, and relates them directly to the Tree of Life pathways.Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tempestas on 15 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback
This probably isn't the only tarot book you'll ever need, but it's one that I would recommend as a "first read" to a sensible, serious beginner. More advanced Tarot users could get a lot out of it too.

The comment that the pages are adorned with pictures from "every Tarot pack imaginable" is a bit of an over-statement (there are literally hundreds of packs available now) but Rachel Pollack's use of a variety of cards (including some modern, non-traditional ones) to illustrate how a reading can evolve, and how the symbolism can speak to you, will give anyone, at any level, food for thought and a basis for further study.

The book is colourful and well designed, making it a pleasure to read. It's also undogmatic and refreshing free from any wishful-thinking occult and new-agey baggage.

Definitely one for your library.
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