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Tarot Card Combinations [Paperback]

Dorothy Kelly
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Paperback 21.00  
Paperback, May 1995 --  

Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser (May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877288291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877288299
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,246,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This is a fully-illustrated reference, with the Universal-Waite tarot deck, which teaches the reader how to interpret Tarot spreads. The book can be used in conjunction with a reading, giving meaningful readings quickly. It can also show what one card means in conjunction with another, and how different sequences can be interpreted. Accessible for novice readers as well as those starting out as professionals, the book includes guidance on interpreting spreads such as the Celtic Cross.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In order to understand the basic concepts of reading tarot card combinations, readers need to know something about the Major and Minor Arcana, even though they will probably read other books for basic definitions, and they may also work with a teacher. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Tarot book on the market! 11 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This book has become my teaching guideline for all of my Tarot classes! Students love it! It is simple, to the point, and gives a modern way of looking at the meanings of each card that fits our world today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let The Feasting Begin! 25 April 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dorothy Kelly is a reader and teacher of the Tarot, alongside other metaphysical subjects, of many years standing. Originally from Hungary, she now lives in Australia. Her inspiration for this book came from her observations that her novice students found it difficult to read combinations of cards. Kelly's stated intention in writing this book is cited in the preface and is conveyed clearly and concisely, i.e. "the point of working with these combinations is to show you a variety of common, easy-to-read combinations so you can get acquainted with interpreting and linking the cards" (p. ix). The author's enthusiasm and passion for the Tarot come through loud and clear in her writing style. She writes with authority and commitment, keeping the reader turning the pages, using the Rider-Waite deck throughout. In the introductory chapter Kelly briefly outlines Tarot basics, e.g. structure of the Tarot, Tarot myths, approaches to connecting with the cards, reverse positions, etc., giving just enough information for the beginner to build on. The author's approach to both Major and Minor Arcana is systematic. On one page she shows two cards (e.g. the Magician and the High Priestess, Five and Six of Cups), alongside of which she gives a brief list of (mainly single word) meanings for both the upright and reversed positions of each card. On the opposite page she shows three different combinations of the two cards - both upright, both reversed, and one upright/one reversed. Alongside the pairings she gives a combined interpretation. Later on in the book, Kelly gives many examples of up to five random card pairings, again using both upright and reversed positions with several possible interpretations for each group. The final chapter of Kelly's book describes several Tarot spreads, e.g. Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am sorry but I had hoped this book would give me another view on reading tarot cards that I did not already have. A good tarot reader knows that a card is rarely read in isolation as it is part of a 'story' which continues from the preceding card and through into the proceeding card. So i wanted to enhance my reading of cards in combination with others around it and thought this book was what I needed. Unfortunately, I found it to be an extremely weighty book containing page upon page of card pictures. Each card is given its associated 'keyword' (and I say that rather than meaning because as we know once we learn how to read the tarot, keywords are all well and good but are NOT the be all and end all of what a card means) so for instance it tells how to read the high priestess card followed by the wheel of fortune, its meaning is 'unknown destination' and if you get the wheel of fortune followed by the high priestess it means destination unknown! Not only is a ridiculous way to read cards it is so literal it barely needs a 1 1/2 inch book to tell you these things!

I am sorry but there are so many good books out there on tarot meanings and you CANNOT learn tarot purely by keyword association and then 'hack' these keywords together to create someone meaningful which remains in context with the rest of the reading. Reading tarot is about intuition and learning the keywords is only the beginning, it helps beginners understand the basic foundation of the tarot but should never be used solely as a way of reading cards. In addition to be honest, using keywords like 'destination' for the wheel of fortune is misleading, that card means so much more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good second book on tarot 5 Jun 2000
By Uri Raz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not a beginner's first book, but rather second book.
Most books I know give more or less detailed description of each card, a couple of spreads, and maybe a few examples.
For a tarot beginner who does not yet have a lot of experience, a book of that type does not give enough examples of how to interpret a few cards together.
And that's where this book fits in - it gives a lot of tarot cards combinations (with both straight and reversed cards) and their meanings.
A previous reviewer wrote that only keyword meanings of cards are given and that the way the combinations meanings are not explained.
The first issue is, in my humble opinion, a minor issue *if* the book is not used as one's first tarot book.
The second is, in my opinion, a good challenge for the reader - figuring out the way the meaning was reached makes for a better studying.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a lot to get through, but worthwhile! 5 Nov 1999
By Steffy - Published on Amazon.com
This is a bigger and more detailed book than I expected, but I'd rather have more than less. It will be most helpful in learning the combinations (or at least basic ones that you can use and learn in order to apply to other ones as you go). I think it is very useful and a great reference for any tarot reader who (like me) is having a hard time connecting the cards, and reading with their associations to one another rather than one by one - a much more complete picture emerges.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So so, but worth the read 4 Dec 2002
By Erica - Published on Amazon.com
First off, I'm really glad that this book is in my collection, and this is not a book I'd recommend to a beginner. This book covers good ground, but does not waste time hashing over the basics. I'd recommend having a solid comfort level with interpretations of single cards before starting in on this book.
Starting with the negative side, I didn't agree with many of the card interpretations. They were generally simplistic, however it may be that the author intended it that way in order to better illustrate the concepts that she was trying to convey. Many of the combinations are also simplistic due perhaps to the same principle. The author's approach is to assign a shortlist of keywords to each card, then read them like flashcards. If 4 Staffs is "Peaceful" and 6 Cups is "Often", the two cards together mean "Peaceful Often". Although my own experience is admittedly limited, I do not personally know of anyone that reads so literally.
On the positive side, the author's oversimplification freed me up to not overcomplicate relationships between the cards. While I do feel that the specific examples are oversimplistic, I also think that was useful to break down my fear of allowing it to just be simple. I haven't found that I've directly used the lessons from this book, but it has definately had an influence on the way I link cards together.
One wonderful thing about this book is that the focus on combinations means that it can print repetitive combinations for certain sets. Such as (example is from my head, not book): Ace Wands/Two Wands, Ace Wands/Three Wands, Ace Wands/Four Wands, etc. It clearly can't cover every combination that exists, but it covers enough to allow you to exrapolate your own beyond a certain point. It also makes for easy light reading -- would be easy to read a few pages here and there when you have the time.
I feel that this book is generally most useful for those who have a good feel for what the cards mean on their own, but aren't as comfortable reading them together or in spreads.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn the system, not card meanings! 27 July 2004
By J. F. Guerrero - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was very useful to me because I was able to learn the logic behind how to put cards together which actually is the purpose of the book! those looking for a combinations "dictionary" will be dissapointed, the goal of the book is help you understand how cards mix and combine, after that, maybe you go back to the book just once in while for reference.

This book can be used in parallel with other books by begginners which are studying card meanings and symbolism, the book offers 12 keywords for each card (6 upright and 6 reversed) might be consider very simple words, but once again the goal of the book is to teach a thinking system not card meanings.

The only part I disliked of the book was that samples seemed very redundant to me, but understand that authors must think in readers of many levels of comprehension, anyway a very useful book.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great insight... 11 Jan 2000
By fabienwecker@yahoo.com - Published on Amazon.com
I would not suggest for the beginner insofar as there is no explanation about the cards per se. I believe that it is good to get a description of the cards rather than just key words. On the other hand, people might come up with their own description. Sometimes, things are too subtle for a beginner to see them. However, this book has really good spreads and the key words are very useful. The combinations given are very helpful too. It is a great guide. This is the book I used most when I deal with the tarot used here. If you know a little about tarot, this is an awesome purchase.
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