Having just bought my first pack of tarot cards from the same author (Sharman-Casselli deck and book set), I couldn't wait to enhance my understanding of the tarot with this book. However, my excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I received this book. For each card in the deck, you get one page with a few lines (I mean literally about 4 or 5 lines) of interpretation for that card plus some rather meaningless statements from real students of hers in wihch they describe which evens in their lives that card makes them remember. On the opposite page to the card, you get a black and white copy of it for you to colour in yourself with colours of your own choosing and then you are told to engage in some free association. Although I am only a beginner, I have already read a few books on the tarot and I can honestly say, this book did not teach me one single thing I didn't already know.
This was a real disappointment and I wouldn't recommend. It's a real shame as I have bought her card and booklet set which was utterly fantastic. The deck is exquisite and so easy to connect to, even for a beginner and the 192 page 'booklet' that comes wiht it, is in depth, informative and contains a whole two page spread for each card. It offers examples of spreads and sample readings which were most interesting. If you already own this card and book set, you definitely do not need this separate workbook. I don't think it is anything more than a colouring book.
on 19 April 2007
The Sharman-Caselli deck is one of my favourites, and when this workbook was published, I expected a practical follow-up to Juliet Sharman-Bourke's Beginner's Guide to Tarot (card + book set) with plenty of exercises based on her cards. As a Tarot teacher I'm always on the lookout for different ways of teaching Tarot, however, when I received this book I felt that there was not much new offered here.
The idea of this book is to help Tarot students develop a deeper and more personal understanding of the cards. For each card you find a black-and white image printed separately on a journaling page, on which you can record your own meanings. You can copy these pages and colour in the cards yourself. This is actually a nice touch - a good and practical way to familiarise yourself with colour meanings and symbology as well as the image itself.
In addition to the brief description of each card, personal accounts of Tarot students are included, which offer further insight and another way of stimulating your own personal ideas about the card meanings. Basically, it's about relating each card to your events in your own life or that of family or friends, a method, which has been much better covered by Mary K. Greer and Joan Bunning.
Towards the end of the book, there is an interesting suggestion about `creative interpretation' of the cards. You do this by pulling three cards and tell a story with them - a great idea for people who enjoy creative writing and wish to develop that skill.
There are some interesting spreads explained (including the famous `Celtic Cross') and presented on journal-style pages, which can be copied and for you to fill in.
Overall, for fans of the Sharman-Caselli deck, this may well be worth buying, but really you don't need this book if you already possess one of these: 'Learning the Tarot' (Joan Bunning) or '21 Ways to read a Tarot Card' (Mary K. Greer).