The Shining Tribe Tarot: Awakening the Universal Spirit Paperback – 20 Mar 2001
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About the Author
Rachel is considered one of the World’s foremost authorities on the modern interpretation of the Tarot. She is also a poet, an award-winning novelist, and a Tarot card and comic book artist. She has published 12 books on the Tarot, including 78 Degrees of Wisdom (Thorsons, 1998), considered a modern classic and “the Bible of Tarot reading.” Its’ marriage of common sense, wide-ranging knowledge, and esoteric awareness have inspired many tens of thousands of readers worldwide to a deeper knowledge of the Tarot. She is a member of the American Tarot Association, the International Tarot Society, and the Tarot Guild of Australia. With fellow Tarot author Mary Greer, she has taught at the famed Omega Institute for the past twelve years. She has been conferred the title of “Tarot Grand Master” by the Tarot Certification Board, an independent body located in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a fiction writer, Pollack has been bestowed many honors and awards, among them the famed Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction (for Unquenchable Fire) and the World Fantasy Award (for Godmother Night). She is a recommended member of PEN International, and has written for numerous publications.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The new deck is in an oversized poker format rather than the elongated Tarot style of the original. Accordingly, the artwork is substantially larger on each card. The colors have been altered a bit, too, to make them bolder, and the backs of the cards contain two "Shining Woman" glyphs, which are symmetrical and don't give away whether the next card is reversed or not, unlike the original.
I'm not so fond of the revisions, however. The new background and typeface changes the whole "feel" of the deck and eliminates its childlike quality. And six cards have been changed: the 4 and Gift of Trees, the 10 of Birds, and the 4 and 6 of Stones, with some minor cleanup on the 9. The changes generally seem to make the cards fit in better with traditional Tarot interpretations, but at the cost of such powerful symbols as the Nazca Thunderbird and the Petersborough Teaching Rock. I'm particularly sad about the loss of the old Gift of Trees, which looks just like a little park where I received a gift from the trees there at a hugely significant moment in my life.
The book is somewhat expanded from the Shining Woman book, and includes poetic stanzas for each card, not just the Major Arcana. The chapter on readings includes some nifty examples of how to customize new spreads for individual situations by intuition, but leaves out basics such as the Celtic Cross and Work Cycle that beginners would need.
In summary, this is a small step backwards from the Shining Woman (which I'd rate as a 5), but I'm really glad that there's a version back in print again, and just in time for our coven to use.
The ST deck includes icons, motifs, etc. from around the world and as far back as the Neolithic (or further). Pollack's ideas seem quite right to me. I find an amazing connection between the painted and sculpted works from all over the world and the Tarot. But that is exactly what makes Tarot so amazing. No matter what belief system you "recognize" the information is in the cards.
For example, look at the Ace of Stones. Pollack substitutes Stones for Pentacles, which have also appeared as disks and coins. All are symbolic of earth or material reality. The Ace of Stones is an obelisk-like object in Pollack's ST. The obelisk can be found in ancient Egypt and on the Mall in Washington DC. (It's not terribly surprising that a penis-shaped rock should be named after the father of our country.) Pollack says the upright stones that can be found many places, including Stonehenge, form a connecting line with the earth, a vertical axis running from the world under our feet to the world of the spirits over our heads. The upright stone is known asa lingam (phallus of Shiva) in India. (You may recall Indiana Jones association with the lingam?). The Ace of Stones symbolizes connectedness, creative power, long-lasting achievement. Surprise, surprise. On the other hand, maybe you should go straight for the SHINING TRIBE. (THE SHINING TRIBE is not a reprint of the earlier THE SHINING WOMAN Tarot. The new Tarot is more universal than the older version per Pollack.)
was bound to be worthwhile. And it is. All of her vast knowledge of the cards is reflected here, and that alone makes
it more than worthwhile. Also, there's a real difference in the "atmosphere" of this deck, as she has made it much more
inclusive, in the imagery used, of figures other than just your standard white male, and that's nice to see.
I would say that I treasure this deck for the knowledge it encapsulates and reveals, but would not use it
as a regular reading deck. This is because the style and art are not something that I, personally, can make
an intimate connection with. It's a somewhat delicate thing to say. I respect Pollack without any reservation,
and continue to learn from her work. But, to be clear and honest, I can't say that the art used here is excellent in my
opinion. But that's very subjective. For someone else, it might be perfect, and if so, great. It's definitely a deck worth
having and studying. I just wouldn't use it to read with.
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