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Let The Feasting Begin!,
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This review is from: Tarot Card Combinations (Paperback)
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. the Yearly Clock Spread and the Rainbow Spread, with useful sample spreads of each, demonstrating how card combinations may be interpreted in an actual reading. Has Kelly achieved her objective of showing how various combinations of cards can be understood and linked? Absolutely. Her book can be compared to a huge banquet as opposed to a snack or a three-course dinner. As such, it does beg the question of whether a banquet might seem like too much all at once, addressing the combining of cards right from the very first two cards of the Magician and the High Priestess. Having said that, the Tarot student can take it at a pace that suits their needs - perhaps frequent small meals, thus slowly digesting the information. Initially the book may appear to be prescriptive but it can be approached as a fun way of learning the Tarot by covering the author's words and making one's own interpretation. The progressive nature of the book lends itself perfectly to developing the Tarot student's own understanding and possibilities with the cards. For myself, I had great fun comparing my own interpretations with Kelly's and consequently seeing how many different ways that the cards can be understood. I have no hesitation in recommending this amazing book so go ahead and let the feasting begin!