Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards

Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards
A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Tarot
Author: Sasha Fenton
Red Wheel/Weiser, 2017

Description: 224 page book

"Lay your future out before you with tarot cards. Once you know how to interpret them, you can understand yourself and others better and be able to accurately predict what’s going to happen in the future.”

Note: Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards by Sasha Fenton is a reprint of a 2002 version.

Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards is exactly what it says: A Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Tarot. There are many of these types of books out there, but some are better than others. For me, this one feels like one of the good ones.

After a short introduction, the book is divided into three parts.

Part One: Tarot and Fortune Telling

The author covers the History of Tarot and then Guidelines, Ritual, and Procedures. And then, you get some extra bits with chapters on the Arcanas and the Court Cards. It's not really what she shares but how she shares it that I enjoyed. In fact, the author's voice has a great deal to do with my enjoyment of this Beginner's Guide.

One of the areas covered in the Arcana chapter is the suits. The author shares a story she uses in her beginner workshops.

“You are fed up with your job. The job is unsatisfying … This is a Swords matter, as it shows something needs to be done.”

“Finally, you find the job you want. The pay is good… The practical side of this looks good, and practical matters are related to Coins.”
– The author uses Coins when referring to Pentacles.

The Court Card chapter makes it clear we all have trouble with their interpretations, and gives a few ways to attempt to interpret them, and then makes it clear how randomly these may work once, but not the next time.

“The Court cards usually give beginners a great deal of trouble, because there are no clear cut rules for reading them, and while many tarot experts have tried to lay down various rules none can really be relied upon.”

Part Two: Card Interpretation

The Major Arcana includes Card Title, Image, Keywords, Key Ideas, Upright Meanings, and Reversals. Some of the cards also include an Additional Suggestions Section.

(Note: Although the Waite Deck is used for illustrations, the author has put Justice in the No. 8 position, rather than the No. 11 position.)

The Star - "This card is truly the Star of hope, as it brings hope, faith, and optimism to any part of the spread that it touches."

The Minor Arcana is divided into chapters by Suit, and includes Card Title, Image, Keywords, Upright meanings, and Reversals. Again, some of these include an Additional Suggestion piece.

Six of Coins - "Sharing out money and resources."

The author ends this part with a chapter on Linking Cards. She goes over various methods to help link the cards to form a comprehensive reading.

Part Three: Reading the Cards

In Preparing Your Deck, the author gives methods for using Upright and Reversals in a reading. There are two chapters focused on Spreads - General and Focused. Other Areas covered include: Timing Events, Energies of the Cards (the Elements), and Failed Readings (the Why and useful alternatives). 

The book ends with a Quick Card Lookup, which includes Quick Clues to the Majors and the Minors and the Cards Categorized by Concept.

I highly recommend this book for beginners.

As a seasoned reader, I found both the information and the author's voice refreshing. I will be keeping this one on my shelf.

Grab your copy of Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards at Red Wheel Weiser.

(Review Product supplied by Red Wheel Weiser)


Ellen said...

"be able to accurately predict what’s going to happen in the future.”
This is not quite what I use the tarot for but I do agree that reading a "beginners" book can be quite refreshing for our own, perhaps a little stale, range of interpretations

Cher Green said...

I agree. Not my words, the authors. :) The future is ever changing, kind of like the weather. You can make a guess, and even get it right sometimes, lol. You figure, most spreads include the outcome position, which is predicting the future. I assume that is what the author is referring to. Tarot is a great tool for Growth and Personal Reflection. But, others still try to predict the future.