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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Fabulous, 24 April 2011
Miss W. Merrymoon "Willow Merrymoon" (West Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Super Tarot: New Techniques for Improving Your Tarot Reading (Paperback)
Sasha Fenton has written numerous books on the Tarot, having begun her career as an astrologer, palmist and Tarot card reader in 1974. Since then she has spent six years as astrologer for `Woman's Own' magazine, written articles for many magazines and newspapers, both in her native England and abroad, appeared on many TV and radio stations and has written an astonishing 120+ books on a wide variety of subjects, including Tarot, palmistry, having a baby, diabetes and how to make money. Fenton has also designed her own attractive Tarot deck, called simply, `Sasha Fenton Tarot'. Her ever-evolving career is such that she no longer offers one-to-one readings, and she continues to be as busy as ever. The author's stated intention in writing this book is summed up thus - "This book has been designed and written in response to many requests which I have had over the years from people who manage to learn the meanings of the Tarot cards off by heart but then find that they cannot put them together to make a worthwhile interpretation. The ideas, advice, exercises and games in this book are designed to help you overcome this problem once and for all" (p.11). Fenton begins her book with a very brief look at tips which both `Beginners and Improvers' can benefit from (p.13), e.g. borrowing/buying an appropriate deck/books; going to classes and workshops; and looking after one's cards. Throughout the book the she uses a wide variety of Tarot decks, which could be confusing for the beginner; on the other hand, it could also demonstrate to the beginner just how various decks can produce good results, as well as seeing some of what was available at the time of publication in 1991. For the chapter on the Major Arcana, e.g., Fenton uses the Celtic Tarot, giving for each card the key ideas, supplementary meanings, and negative meanings. Following on from this, she offers some excellent exercises to help build the reader's skills, first for use with a single Major card, then combining two cards, showing some very helpful examples in order to give the reader a `head start' (my words). One of the good things about this book is that Fenton constantly encourages the reader to practice, practice, practice with friends, encouraging their honest feedback. Moving on to the Minor Arcana, in this section she makes an excellent introduction by looking first of all just at the suits/elements, describing what qualities/issues can be attributed to each one. The suggested exercises are aimed at helping the reader to identify the most prevalent kind of issues showing in a reading. The author's logical progression is to address next the use of the whole deck, using two different four-card spreads to begin to analyse what might be going on for the client. The Court cards are addressed in a separate chapter and looked at in terms of both the suit element and the type of person, providing excellent descriptions of each court card, using the Prediction Tarot deck. Fenton then goes further with the Minor cards, giving very down-to-earth interpretations and for some cards also giving the negative connotations. As is demonstrated so far, the author's presentation of material is such that layers of skills are being developed, building on strong foundations, which leads to a good solid grounding in how to interpret the Tarot. To build further on skills, she offers again some four-card readings as in the earlier `using-the-whole-deck' exercises, but this time bringing to the readings the added knowledge of individual Minor card meanings. She accompanies this with a very useful real-life example. Following this example, she gives several sets of four cards for the reader to practice with, also giving "a brief clue to the interpretation" (p.71). Fenton moves on from there to a particularly interesting `experiment' - "the theory of `Super Tarot' is to work in a completely back-to-front manner by choosing the cards which will illustrate a particular story, rather than by looking at the cards which turn up in a reading and trying to interpret them" (p.74). The demonstration reading shows how to develop the reading further and further by using what she calls `overlay', i.e. another four cards addressing questions which arise from the first/subsequent set of four. Several more `games' follow, including `Snakes and Ladders' (cheating encouraged!), the Flow-Chart, and the hilariously-illustrated `Trivial Pursuit'. There then follows a number of questions which are often asked by people beginning with the Tarot, such as reading for oneself, breaking bad news, issues around reading professionally, and what to charge. On this last point, Fenton says "I have always used my own patent `hairdresser' scale, which means that I charge roughly the amount a woman (most clients are women) is prepared to spend on a good hairdo" (p.113)! Towards the end of the book, a number of different types of spreads are demonstrated, e.g. random reading, speed-reading a-la-radio style, readings to predict time, focussing on a particular issue, and reading for the year ahead. Interestingly, Fenton devotes a chapter to `Groupings' in which she puts together a set of cards all relating to the same issue, e.g. problems with the car - `the Chariot', `the Knight', `Seven of Swords'; the woman in a man's life - `Queens', possibly `Knights' and `Pages', `the Empress', `the Priestess', `the Moon' (if all is not going well). Sadly, the author mentions only heterosexual relationships, omitting any reference to same-sex ones. As with many other occasions throughout the book, she is at pains to point out that these particular groupings are hers and "yours need not be the same as anyone else's" (p.136). And finally, there is a rather amusingly-titled appendix named `the Witch Report on Tarot Spreads", which is an evaluation of what different spreads have to offer. So, has the author delivered on her intention? There is no doubt anyone working systematically through this book will learn many fascinating, fun and fabulous new techniques `for improving your Tarot reading'. An absolute must-have,
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Super Tarot: New Techniques for Improving Your Tarot Reading
Super Tarot: New Techniques for Improving Your Tarot Reading by Sasha Fenton (Paperback - 11 April 1991)
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