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on 23 July 2003
I have had a tarot deck for ages and have wanted to be able to read the cards for even longer. I had spent hours in bookshops trying to find a good book which would start me out,the only courses that were avaliable were far beyond my price range and all the books i found had fixed meanings and card reversals. card reversals have never made any sense to me and most profesional readers do not use them. when i came accross this book at a friends house i knew i had struck gold- the author discusses the cards in a practical and interesting way and he emphisises the importance of making a personal connection with the cards and i have found this to be essential when reading them. This book is a brilliant guide when starting to read the tarot and provides an excellent base for more advanced practices. i highly recomend this book to all begginers and is a must for any Tarot library!
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on 16 April 2001
This book approaches the subject in an excellent way for beginners, not scaring you off with hocus pocus jargon. A major part of the book is on the heightened meanings of the cards, concentrating just as much on the minor arcana, as the major arcana. With approximately one page per card, it is good for learning the cards, but is easy to use as a quick reference tool as well. Later in the book there is a section on concentrated meanings which gives key words, again helping you to learn the cards. There are also excercises and sample readings for practice. Don't think you have to already have a deck of cards, as the book even includes a section on choosing a deck. All in all the book is easy to read, down to earth, and fun to follow.
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on 17 April 2001
This is a very easy and helpful step-by-step guide to the Tarot. It takes the beginner through a course that is structured to give a sound basis of understanding and knowledge that builds in layers so that by the end the reader feels a lot more familiar with the tarot cards. The author encourages self-development through the tarot and in following his suggestions the reader starts to find his own associations and in so doing the cards come to life so that one doesn't simply come away with only text-book meanings. Along with this he gives lots of information and guidance on doing readings and spreads for people, answering all those common questions the reader is dying to ask. Most importantly he gives lots of encouragement to go for it and have confidence and self-belief; after all even great experienced tarot readers had to start somewhere!
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on 9 May 2006
This is a brilliant book, not least because it uses the Morgan-Greer tarot cards as the illustrative set, and I love these bold, bright cards with their expressive figures. My deck is still on order from Amazon but for the moment I am using this book to pick my card of the day, since my other Rider-Waite deck is a bit anaemic and not as bold as the Morgan-Greer, and the other decks I have are more specific to their purpose than something as mundane as picking a card to relate to modern life as we know it.

Donaldson's book is well-written and the cartoons by Nick Newman on the front (of my library copy anyway) and inside give it a down-to-earth feeling, almost as if you were buying a book about humorous anecdotes from "Private Eye" rather than a book on mystical fortune-telling. Later editions have replaced this cover but Donaldson's style still does a great job of introducing the Tarot to beginners. It's hard to connect this Terry Donaldson to the Muslim mystic who went on to write the book of Tarot Spells I bought a week or so ago, and I can only suppose that in the intervening ten years he stopped trying to be a copywriter for Mystic Meg and started exploring the mysteries of folk Islam.

The book contains a short explanation of tarot, and guidelines for getting started with the cards, including sample worksheets which I guess can be photocopied. Then the "heightened meanings" of every card in the standard Rider-Waite-clone deck - those are decks produced during the turn-of-the-century Tarot revival by A. E. Waite, illustrated by Pamela Coleman-Smith, which managed to produce a fully illustrated set of 78 cards which gave meanings more explicitly in pictorial format, rather than relying on the older-style "Marseilles" or "Swiss" cards which were more like normal playing cards with minor arcana cards with only, say, two cups or four swords on them (Tarot cards were originally used solely as playing cards, and only later came to be used as tools for divination). The Morgan-Greer updated the drawings at the end of the 1970s (in that kind of art that reminds you of the cover of a psychedelic prog-rock album, let's say Jethro Tull meets Bagpuss), so the cards illustrated have a chunkier, more solid feel than Coleman-Smith's classical Art Nouveau drawings. The symbolism is maintained, however, for those used to handling Rider-Waite. (And I also found when reading with my more eclectic decks, the meanings correspond whether or not your 5 of Cups has a hooded figure contemplating "spilt milk" - or a sci-fi ogre guzzling on a human foot.)

For novice Tarot readers, and those with a good imagination and intuitive response to pictures rather than learned memories, this is more than helpful. There is also a section with "concentrated meanings"; Donaldson writes almost as much or even more on the Major Arcana here but restricts minor arcana cards to a couple of sentences at the most for easy reference. He then proceeds to show several spreads and then discusses ethics, practicing on colleagues and even attaches a form for the reader to sign that promises "As a Tarot reader, I pledge myself to the Code of Tarot for the good of all..." - a really nice touch.

A good blend of the mystical and mundane, and a must for every reader of Rider-Waite decks.
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on 17 April 2012
I've just started to learn the tarot cards and I have a number of books to help me but this one is really good. It gives me a clear understanding of each card and so a good basis for doing reading. Would recommend this book.
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on 28 October 2009
this is an imformative, easy to understand guide to reading your life situations, you can do readings for people if your feeling confident or use it as a day to day "pick up and read" as a daily horoscope if you choose.
I can reccomend this book for its ease of understanding, some books make it very complicated for us budding fortune tellers.
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on 28 April 2014
Love this book and I have been advising newcomers to use it too. I tell them to use only this book and not be confused by using more than one. It sets your feet on the right path until you develope your confidence and your personal reading skills.
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on 23 October 2011
I've had this book since i started using tarot and i think its a great introduction. It makes understanding your reading more accessible than other books without any of the doom and gloom.
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on 29 September 2013
A really good book that helps to connect you to your cards 5* this is one of the best books that I have read on the tarot and as a complete beginner it is really helping me to learn with ease #lovingit
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on 17 July 2015
A good book with some very good practice exercises. I found that ir helped me interprete many more views about the cards.
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