I've purchased a lot of Tarot guides aimed at beginners and as I'm slowly getting more comfortable with reading the cards I've started to rely more and more on one or two books for guidance (although, as Pollack points out, eventually it becomes about your own interpretation rather than only those in books). This is without doubt the best guide I've read, primarily because Pollack weaves a story with her descriptions of each card, rather than simply listing possible interpretations.
The book is split into an analysis of the Major Arcana and an analysis of the Minor Arcana. Although it may not seem that big of a book, Pollack packs in a lot of detail. She starts with a walk though each card of the Major Arcana, exploring not only the symbolism in each individual card but also the way the cards link together in telling the story of 'the Fool to enlightenment'. Pollack bases her analysis on the traditional Rider-Waite deck and includes a black and white picture of each card. I've found it helpful to go through my Universal Rider-Waite deck alongside the book, a card at a time, but she encourages you to approach learning the cards in whatever way suits you best. What I love about Pollack's approach is the easy way in which she writes and the attention to detail she pays when it comes to even the smallest symbol or colour in each card. I keep finding symbols and letters that I've never noticed before, and Pollack takes time to explain where each symbol derives from, rather than focusing solely on the possible interpretations of the cards. Her writing is concise yet sparks further ideas and considerations for future card readings. I feel better able to connect with the cards having read through the book and feel more confident in exploring my own interpretations alongside the ones Pollack suggests.
Overall I'm extremely pleased I purchased The New Tarot Handbook and I'd recommend it to both beginners and more experienced tarot readers looking for a detailed, fresh and informative approach to reading the cards.
This is a great book - it reminds me of a watered down version of 78 Degrees of Wisdom (by the same author).
It splits the tarot (as most books do) into Major and Minor Arcana and offers the usual explanations, however, one nice touch at the end of each Major Arcana section is a "reading" that you can do for each card, for example, it gives you a 6 card spread to ask how The Fool has influenced you in several ways ("How have I been a Fool in my life" and "What gifts does the Fool bring me" etc). The Author also discusses her system of splitting the Major Arcana into 3 sets of 7 cards - with the Fool at the beginning, showing the archetypal Fools Journey.
The Minor Arcana section has the theme of numbers spreading through it, for example "2" is about "balance" and "decision", 4 has the theme of "structure" and a description follows for each card.
Both the Minor Arcana and Major Arcana sections discuss the symbolism in each card, however, it is not as in-depth as "78 Degrees of Wisdom".
As is the custom these days the Court Cards have their own section and discussion which is good. The final chapter discusses readings and spreads such as a basic 2 card spread up to the celtic cross.
This is a fantastic book for the beginner and more experienced reader. Given the choice I would still chose "78 Degrees of Wisdom" over this book simply because it has more depth to it, however, the conciseness of this book makes it far more accessible to quickly read up a particular section or card.
This is a must for anyone who is interested in Tarot and is highly recommended - if you already have 78 Degrees of Wisdom I still think you will appreciate the concise nature of the book and the good layout as a quick way to get to the basics whilst still referring to 78 Degrees for more depth and discussion.
This time the author has reviewed all her previous work and with the authority obtained during more than 40 years as a Tarot reader and as a Teacher in the art has given this simple and very easy way to understand the Tarot Cards.
I like this book, it's down to earth, Nice and easy to read for persons with knowledge of the Tarot cards, and for lbeginners it's clear information is superb! It takes away superstitions about the Tarot ,prejudice . All In all a great book