Top critical review
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Poor translation. Symbol and interpretation errors throughout.
on 8 October 2015
'The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot' has the potential to be an excellent book on interpreting the Rider Waite deck, primarily due to the excellent printing quality and illustrative layout of the book, however the interpretations of the cards and the majority of symbols are wrong and misleading.
I will give an example, take for instance 'The Star' card. The book states that the eight pointed star is a diamond, then gives some made up meaning about diamonds neglecting to mention the esoteric significance of an eight pointed star. While in terms of the 'Hanged Man' card it does not mention the traditional meaning concerning self sacrifice for a higher purpose, instead it says it could indicate:
"'someone who likes to hang around" and "he depends on what he believes, which is a tragedy when it turns out belief is superstition."
I get the impression the authors have never actually used tarot cards and it seems they rushed writing the book over a weekend without researching the traditional symbols of the Rider Waite or the interpretations properly. While the writing is poorly translated from the original German into English, some sentences do not make any sense and many of the paragraphs could have been succinctly stated in single sentences.
This makes the book overall very disappointing since it is well printed on very good paper and there are colour illustrations and diagrams throughout - it is just a shame about the poor information given. I suggest if you are a beginner learning the Rider Waite tarot and want a proper 'ultimate guide' to the Rider Waite, I suggest you purchase 'Learning the Tarot,' by Joan Bunning or 'Elements of the Tarot' by A T Mann and also 'The Pictoral Key to the Tarot' by Arthur Edward Waite (who originally made the Rider Waite Tarot).