Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Review: Tarot For One

Tarot for One: The Art of Reading for Yourself
Author - Courtney Weber
Red Wheel/Weiser, 2016

Description - 243 page paperback book

"Tarot and mirrors share the same role: they reflect truth."

Tarot For One will take you on a journey through the tarot, bring you closer to understanding the cards and yourself, and offers exercises and examples to practice your craft.

Weber begins her book with an introduction to the tarot and self-reading, covering such topics as tarot history, how self-reading is different from other readings, the practice of pulling a card a day, and more.

"You are the central character in your own personal myth."

"The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana depict the great myths we personally lead."

The second chapter focuses on the Fool's Journey: the story of tarot and your place in it. Weber gives an overview of life experiences associated with the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana, along with character examples and exercises to help you discover your own Fool's journey.

"In Back to the Future, Marty McFly travels back in time in his Fool's journey, and his Empress moment appears when one of the first people he meets in his journey is his mother as a teenager."

In chapter three, the court cards are described from the angles of Character, Traits, Experience, and Reversals. The multiple exercises help you to get in touch with these characters, dispelling the awkward nature most readers have in understanding the court cards. She also offers a technique to reveal if the card is referring to you or someone else.

The numbered cards of the minor arcana are explained from suit to numerical value in chapter four. Exercises range from what the numbers are trying to tell you, to mini picture books in each card, to pulling the whole deck together for a reading, with multiple example readings.

Through exercises and example readings, chapter five assists you in recognizing the voice of tarot by looking at the different ways one card can reflect on different situations, and then by comparing deliberately pulled cards against random pulls - your viewpoint versus the Tarot's opinion. She also suggests some decks may prefer one topic over another and offers an exercise to unlock the voice of your deck.

"The first thing to note: you do not have to read reversed cards."

Chapter six suggests there are six potential ways to interpret reversals and provides explanations and examples of each situation. A technique is offered to determine which of the six ways is to be used in the reading of the reversal. Instructions on using reversals in yes or no questions are also presented.

The main theme of chapter seven is what's missing from your Tarot readings, such as no cups and/or no court cards. It also looks into working with the tough cards, both the 'good' and 'bad' cards of the deck.

Reading for yourself is not always a good idea. Chapter eight covers situations and solutions for these times.

"When we are worried, we are blinded by our fears that things will not turn out in the way we want. Any cards we pull that do not relate to our desired outcome will look like bad omens and will make us feel worse."

Weber offers a wide variety of twenty possible spreads in chapter nine, from the traditional Celtic Cross spread to unique spreads, such as a spread to determine how long a desired outcome may take with ideas of the events surrounding the outcome.

Throughout the book, Weber insists the cards respond to your own reflections, making it important to form your own interpretations, rather than blindly following the meanings offered by others. Suggested meanings should be used as guidelines, not rules.  Even your own interpretations should be looked as guidelines as you move along in your tarot journey.

"Our intuitive responses to the cards will change and evolve-sometimes even within a single reading."

I recommend Tarot for One to anyone just beginning their tarot journey.

In my experience, reading for yourself is a great way to explore the tarot and develop the skills necessary to read for others.

I would also recommend it to experienced readers who enjoy discovering new techniques in their process.

Tarot for One offers a number of approaches to the tarot which were new to me, and I'm guessing would be new to many readers. This one is definitely not a repeat of the other tarot guides out there.

Courtney Weber is a Wiccan priestess, writer, Tarot advisor, and activist. You can discover more about the author of Tarot for One and creator of Tarot of the Boroughs at her website:

Grab your copy at Red Wheel Weiser.

(Review Product supplied by Red Wheel Weiser.)