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4.3 out of 5 stars86
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 7 October 2008
This book is a wonderful introduction to the tarot. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is buying their first guide. The book works with the traditional `Rider-Waite' tarot deck (the traditional deck) and so you may find your own personal deck may not relate exactly to the images as there are so many to choose from these days. However, the way this book is written you can adapt it and use your own interpretatiions and get just as much out of it. I myself, now have a 'Fey' tarot (fairy tarot) which is based on the Waite deck. The book is just as helpful in this case though.
Not only is this book a guide, but it also tells you the brief history of the tarot.
The book then separates the tarot into the Major and Minor Arcana. It covers a wide angle of uses; including everyday uses, working through specific issues and improving your own intuition of the cards.
The book then goes into interpretations of the court cards and the meanings behind the numerical ordering. It also breaks down the suits in the Minor Arcana. Not only this, but it then gives details about the colours, shapes and symbols used and leaves room for personal influence and interpretations.
There are also some useful tips and tricks such as; how to choose the right deck for you, using more than one deck (one for personal use, another for training/other peoples readings), handling the cards and blessing and purifying.
Then we are given ways to improve our bond with the cards and how to get more out of them. We have exercises to help open our perception of the cards.
There is then a large section of the book that goes into specific detail about each individual card in the 78 card tarot deck, including both upright and reversed positions.
The last main section of the book is simply titled `seven important spreads' which is self explanatory. This includes both very basic and complex spreads but all include a guide to reading them.
I have only had this book a couple of days but already, I can hardly put it down. It is definitely a wonderful choice to `get your foot in the door' and for this price, you can afford to be wrong!
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on 4 November 2009
The book isnt too bad, I was slightly disapointed with it as the reason I bought it was because I wanted to look more at the numerical side and timings. It didnt really deliver that.

Still having said that, if you havent any tarot books then this one is a good book to start off with, as it has all the usual meanings etc. If you have other tarot books and are looking for something special then pass this one by, as it doesnt deliver anything else that other Tarot books dont offer.
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on 2 April 2010
I was researching which set of tarot cards to buy next when I came across this book on Amazon. I read the reviews and agree. It really is a great book for beginners and also for more experienced tarot card readers.

I have had a set of cards for years, but I still found this book a useful, easy read in a friendly writing style, neither condescending or too complex. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the tarot as it makes the cards seem familiar open friends with information to share, (whereas some other books seem to make things more complex and in need of translation).

A good value book too. And can easily be related to differing sets of cards, not just one. I don't know if it is the ONLY book I would ever need, because there is always more information and room for study out there in the world, but if you were only intending to buy one book, I would certainly recommend this one! =)
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on 12 April 2010
Having dipped into and out of Tarot over the decades and skimmed through or read most of the 'classic' works on this subject then I'm not sure this is the 'only' tarot book anyone would ever need. It does lack depth but this easily accessible 'little' book really is rather good for what it is and definitely better than many tarot books that my time been wasted upon reading.
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on 2 October 2010
i bought this as my first Tarot book and it served well as an introduction, it gives a clear explanation and concise meanings for all the cards. I like the book, and it is def aimed at the novice market (which I am) but it really really isnt the only book you will ever need if you want to do Tarot for more than the odd question for yourself or friends, if that is what you want to do its great but for depth you will need more information and more books (mary Greer is great!) . On a huge postive this book doesnt overface a novice and it's easy manner will give you confidence to delve deeper if you want to.

Good, well written, comprehensive for the novice but serves as a (good) introduction rather than living up to the title....
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on 8 November 2008
You would think the title of this book would be a tall order to fulfil. However, although I'm sure you will probably want other books it is indeed debatable if you own this one that you will ever need another.

It is quite a compact book, the smallest on tarot by far that I own but every word is valid and tells you something that is of worth to know. There is no woffle in this book and no nonsense but the style is eloquent and flowing and user friendly. It covers such a lot. It concentrates on the meanings of the cards - and these are the best I have seen. It covers all 78 cards in some detail, while still being consise. The interpretations are based on the images that are universal to most tarot cards (although it does use the Rider Waite to illustrate) and the author explains the sybolism used and what it means before relating the meanings to you if you draw the cards in a reading (either upright or reversed). I have never before found a book which tells me exactly what I want to know - I like to know why the pictures have been drawn the way they have. We are also given achetypes from mythology who have informed the cards, for example Hera/Juno and Demeter for the Empress card. We are told that the High Priestess wears a crown depicting the 3 lunar phases that symbolise the stages of a women's life - maiden, mother and crone and that the card makes us think of the goddess Hathor who wears a similar crown. Tarot cards are not depicted in an arbitary way, but you can be forgiven for thinking they are, considering the lack of information given by other authors with far more space which they waste. This book makes clear what the cards hope to convey

The book has seven helpful spreads at the end of the book, also a chart of useful symbols - this is not complete by any means but I am still grateful to have it at all. The author treats us as intelligent people with whom she has important information on the tarot she wishes to share; with some authors there is a feeling that they hold back certain information, in order for them to remain the empowered while we are not - like a cook who leaves out an ingredient in a recipe! We are encouraged by her to use our own skills too in interpreting the card but us beginners do need some valid interpretations to get us started.

This book does not contain a programme for you which covers learning the cards, there are other books that do that ( I feel at the expense of information sometimes). If though, you are happy to learn about the cards in your own way at your own pace, this really is the 'perfect' book for you. It will be the one I will always have handy next to me when reading the cards for their valuable insights.

I love this book!
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VINE VOICEon 3 July 2010
I'm not qualified to say if this is the 'best', or indeed (as the title suggests) is the 'only' book you will ever need on Tarot, as I do not own an extensive library on the subject, but it's pretty 'comprehensive' and easy for all to understand - whether you be a beginner or 'old hand' - and if not a beginner, then you probably know all there is to know on the 'basic' subject.

What I like about this book (as a Tarot Reader myself) is that it explains how each Card and image can have whatever meaning basically it conveys to 'you' as an individual - whether you be the actual Reader or 'Quarant. I mean, let's face it; if all the Cards were 'specific' and meant only one of several things - then anyone could Read and nobody would ever need to consult a Tarot Reader for interpretation - or indeed to really study the Deck at all... So, from this perspective - it's pretty good.

As for the lack of detail on Spreads (I think someone else's Review has touched on this oversight) I agree; there isn't much detail here; but then here again; if you're like me, and a true 'individual' you will use your own intuition and imagination, and 'invent' some of your own Spreads! Someone had to invent the first Spreads after all - nobody told them! But in any case; I don't really want anyone telling me how to Read my Tarot Cards - just perhaps to explain a little at other possible/alternative meanings and interpretations from their imagery.

On this basis, I give the book five stars.
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on 27 January 2009
This book is brilliant for novices like me who are interested in exploring the world of tarot. Some books on the subject are quite often off-putting and daunting. However, this one is concise and to the point with no waffle. It's clear without being patronizing. I was unable to put it down it was so interesting. It also introduces you to different tarot spreads and what the positions represent. I cant recommend this enough. Buy it.
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VINE VOICEon 24 July 2011
A friend gave me this book as a present when she found out I was teaching myself Tarot. I had been using Joan Bunning's excellent book Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners and I thought it would be a good idea to have multiple sources of reference.

The first part of this book is quite interesting, giving a brief history of Tarot and touching on the connection between the latter and numerology. However, the interpretation of the actual cards I found rather short and disappointing, with the usual stock interpretations but nothing about the cards themselves; where do these interpretations come from? What about the symbolism? I don't believe in just memorising phrases and keywords; the cards need to 'speak' to us, and a good book should help us looking at them with fresh eyes to decode them.

The final part is perhaps the one I found the most useful - the author gives us schemes for possible spreads to use, including the 10-card Horoscope/Zodiac spread; I have actually gone back to this section several times when using these spreads and found it very useful.

In conclusion, the title of this book could not have been more misleading; this is certainly a good beginner's guide, or a reference tool for someone dabbling with Tarot; but in terms of being 'The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need', I sincerely hope that nobody actually uses this as their only reference, as it is so basic.
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on 11 June 2010
A great book for beginners. The book has all you need without getting bogged down with too much information.It's best used with the Rider White card deck.I have other books on tarot but this is the one I refer to the most.You can learn the spreads in a simple way and the book itself is light and easy to handle.A great buy for anyone interested in tarot reading,I would recomend it!
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