Here is a list of tarot books that I’ve found helpful. I refer to them often. After 21 years, I’ve learned that I can’t learn enough about the tarot. There just isn’t time. Won’t stop me from trying, tho. :D
78 Degrees of Wisdom – Rachel Pollack
This is one of the best books I’ve found. it’s insightful and it isn’t filled with flowery and hard to understand terminology. Very straightforward. I had to buy another copy because my first was tattered. :D Very good for new readers *koff koff Sara koff*
Also, anything that Rachel Pollack writes is amazing. Seriously.
21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card – Mary K. Greer
Practice makes perfect. I’m so lucky to have found this book just as I started doing professional readings. My friends are my guinea pigs, poor things. I try different kinds of readings, different spreads, and new angles on readings. It really helps with matching an individual need to each reading. One client may need a very direct answer, the other will need the path that the Celtic Cross lays out. Cuz remember, knowledge is power. :D If you are going to become a Tarot Reader, prepare to become a tarot scholar.
The Tarot – History, Mystery and Lore - Cynthia Giles
This is important. You need to know what you’re talking about -the roots and the history of the cards. Also, and this is a purely defensive motive, it helps when confronted by Fundie’s who are likely to spit at you, throw down religious propaganda and accuse you of being directly from Hell. All of these things have happened to me. Unfortunately, the persons who do that might not want to discuss facts, but some people do. It’s good to be informed about something that makes people squidgy. Additionally, it’s really damned interesting stuff.
The Tarot Bible - Sarah Bartlett
This is an awesome reference book. Short, sweet and reallyreally tiny. I carry this with me in my tarot bag to gigs, just in case I miss something. It’s got great images and good practice exercises.
Small Mediums at Large – Terry Iacuzzo
This isn’t a reference book, rather a biography by a woman who’s been doing tarot readings her whole life. She was raised in a family of psychics, and her story is amazing. I was lucky enough to exchange emails with Ms. Iacuzzo, and she was very generous with advice and guidance. Plus, she’s funny as hell. Bonus!
The Book of Oracles or A Poet’s Tarot – Josep Miquel Sobrer
I can’t find a picture of this one. It’s hard to find, and a bit expensive if you do find it, but it’s just lovely. It’s the author’s narrative of each card. I can’t explain it well, so I’ll give an example. This is my favorite card, so here is his description.
“The Sun – Take off your clothes! Take off your shoes! Come down to the beach at daybreak. The breeze makes the palms rustle. There is a glimmer on the perennial waves. The clarity is absolute. Even the shadow of your body radiates light.
The clarity is absolute.
The day is perfect. The thousand little things that go wrong make it complete. The sea is littered with dead seaweed. On the beach, shoeless, you’ve just stepped on a glob of tar; its insistent pulp clings to your toes. But you don’t care. You accept the peskiness of the fly and the distraction of the mongrel sniffing your leg. Such is the world: always more beautiful than the perfect utopias contrived by your wishes.”
See what I mean? Poetry. Poetry that also defines the emotional intentions of the card. If you read that (and the rest of the description) you get The Sun. You just do. Big thanks to Brian M. for telling me about this awesome book.
These are my favorites – I look forward to seeing which books you like.