You would think the title of this book would be a tall order to fulfil. However, although I'm sure you will probably want other books it is indeed debatable if you own this one that you will ever need another.
It is quite a compact book, the smallest on tarot by far that I own but every word is valid and tells you something that is of worth to know. There is no woffle in this book and no nonsense but the style is eloquent and flowing and user friendly. It covers such a lot. It concentrates on the meanings of the cards - and these are the best I have seen. It covers all 78 cards in some detail, while still being consise. The interpretations are based on the images that are universal to most tarot cards (although it does use the Rider Waite to illustrate) and the author explains the sybolism used and what it means before relating the meanings to you if you draw the cards in a reading (either upright or reversed). I have never before found a book which tells me exactly what I want to know - I like to know why the pictures have been drawn the way they have. We are also given achetypes from mythology who have informed the cards, for example Hera/Juno and Demeter for the Empress card. We are told that the High Priestess wears a crown depicting the 3 lunar phases that symbolise the stages of a women's life - maiden, mother and crone and that the card makes us think of the goddess Hathor who wears a similar crown. Tarot cards are not depicted in an arbitary way, but you can be forgiven for thinking they are, considering the lack of information given by other authors with far more space which they waste. This book makes clear what the cards hope to convey
The book has seven helpful spreads at the end of the book, also a chart of useful symbols - this is not complete by any means but I am still grateful to have it at all. The author treats us as intelligent people with whom she has important information on the tarot she wishes to share; with some authors there is a feeling that they hold back certain information, in order for them to remain the empowered while we are not - like a cook who leaves out an ingredient in a recipe! We are encouraged by her to use our own skills too in interpreting the card but us beginners do need some valid interpretations to get us started.
This book does not contain a programme for you which covers learning the cards, there are other books that do that ( I feel at the expense of information sometimes). If though, you are happy to learn about the cards in your own way at your own pace, this really is the 'perfect' book for you. It will be the one I will always have handy next to me when reading the cards for their valuable insights.
I love this book!
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