What happens when an acknowledged Tarot Professional goes back and adapts the Beginner Mindset? A masterpiece such as this book is. Barbra Moore speaks simply yet informatively and very, may I say so, "engagingly" of complex matters of which the card meanings, though representing the core of this book in volume, are NOT the core of the book in meaning.
"Well, what is "the core" then?" -- you ask. In my opinion, it is the calm excitement of a true Professional who knows what it is like to be the one with the cards; who knows what it is like to lift the veil of the unknown both in predicting the future and trying to understand oneself and one's circumstances; it is the gratitude for one's long and not always easy way and desire to take a Beginner by hand and walk them straight through the bushes of being confused by choices and dry benches of lack of confidence onto the path that leads to the field of Mastery. And the Field of Mastery, as we know, has no end, but it is the Journey and Exploring that matters.
When a friend gifted me this book (THANK YOU!!!!!) I thought: "oh, well, another book for beginners" and trust me, I have read many of them. After all, nothing compares with actually spending time with the cards. But nonetheless, the design was SO attractive, the highlighting inside drew attention to the professionally explained (because they were LIVED by the author) cards' core meanings, the familiar pictures of the Universal Waite, Legacy of the Divine and Shadowscapes decks called me into the book. And boy was I glad they did! Assumptions and judgments, inevitably associated with cards' meanings are vanishing in this book. It is non-threatening and intellectual: such "scary" for the beginners cards like The Devil or The Tower are lifting up the veil of scariness and opening their deep, subconscious meanings: "A choice, action or situation contrary to your best interests" for the former and "An unexpected event that changes everything" for the latter. Along with the core meanings Barbara dives deep into the cards from the three decks she used for this book. I have to say, that both the Legacy of the Divine and the Shadowscapes decks have had Barbara Moore's influence onto their lives! I think you can learn more about it from other sources; I will concentrate on the review.
The Minor Arcana cards are presented in the same practical format. Initially, I did not like that the Court Cards are clustered together in their own section, all Pages, all Knights, all Queens and all Kings together rather than following the 1-10 cards of their correspondent suits. But it made sense: it is easier to compare and understand the court cards, usually called "the most difficult to interpret". Well, not with Barbara's book. It is simple and direct, like "The Knight of Wands is someone whose actions in this situation are fired by his will. He has something very specific he wants to achieve; he very much wants to have his way and will stop at nothing to get it. The knight is all hepped up and passionate about something, and he may needlessly run roughshod over anyone in his way. If his will is in sync with the querent's, he will be...." and so on.
The Finding More Meaning section of the book introduces the reader to the techniques that bring meaning and depth to the reading. Secrets of the Suits, Numbers, Elemental Dignities, Reversals, Significators smoothly run into Adding Something Extra: creating a Sacred Space, application of final questions and cards, practical how-to's on taking care of your decks, and finally, the section I found the most enchanting: Developing Your Skills. The series of exercises given there will be much useful for any Tarot Reader, even the one who's been working with cards for decades. Multiples and Combinations are presented in easy-to-understand format, taking, as usually with Barbara's book, all the difficulty out of them.
Spreads, sample readings, practical tips on working with a journal are adding to the attraction of this book in the eyes of any Beginner, desiring to be guided by a Professional who truly understands and values the Beginner Mindset.
I recommend this book for every new-born Tarot Enthusiast out there.
Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya