Title: The Transformational Truth of Tarot: The Fools Journey by Tiffany Crosara is published by Dodona Books.
The aim of this book is to connect the reader to the Tarot deck through their own emotions, experiences and intuition. Tiffany Crosara speaks from a place that is deeply connected to all aspects of the Tarot which expresses daily life and life lessons. Her own moving personal story is passionately told at the beginning of the book and some very sad circumstances of Tiffany's own spiritual journey are described. When, she welcomed the tarot into her life, rather than the previously misunderstood perception she held of it, it led her to an amazing new pathway. From helping those in a deprived area of an inner-London suburb, and dealing with clear prejudices of some people, through the difficulties of finding her voice through her knowledge of Tarot, Tiffany has been able to make her ambition a reality and bring this book to the world for all to be able to partake of the treasure within it.
The diverse possibilities of where Tarot may have originated are detailed and there is a short introduction to the Kabbalah and to Astrology; the dignitaries often used in conjunction with Tarot, we are provided with an exercise to help the reader discover and learn more of these elements.
We have a short introduction to what a Tarot deck consists of and then a very useful 'fear-busting' description of some of the cards in the deck that do tend to worry 'new to tarot' readers, such as The Tower and The Devil. The real meaning of these cards are individual every time they are read but the mis/preconceptions are almost constant and universal. Tiffany offers a wonderful 'mantra'… "everything in life benefits you somehow". Next we are given a chapter on the possibility for using Tarot as a tool for prediction and we are taken through a three card reading that helps to explain the possible ways to give that information. Some information regarding using the Tarot for empowerment purposes follows.
The latter chapters are devoted to the actual cards, commencing with the Major Arcana. For each card section, we have illustrations from the Rider Waite deck. Tiffany has described separately numerological, astrological, kabbalistic correspondences; and provided the symbolism found in the images. Another section describes the emotional and psychological attributes inherent in each card. The last section gives very engaging questions and exercises and suggestions regarding each card, with room for the reader to write their own notes if they so wish.
The approach taken is one where the card of The Fool meets each of the Major Arcana archetypes and this is called ‘The Fool's Journey’. The 'age' of The Fool correlates to where exactly the Fool meets the various 21 Major Arcana Archetypes, and the ‘Truth of Coming Up Trumps’, ‘Adolescence to Middle Age’, and ‘From Maturity to Reincarnation’ are plotted using these trump cards.
In Chapter 8, Tiffany outlines how we can start to use the Major Arcana to help us get in touch with our right brain and our childlike imagination with a simple yet effective exercise. This is followed by the chapter which introduces the reader to the Minor Arcana, and provides an 'easy way' to remember what each card represents so she makes it easy to read the tarot, which at first appears quite daunting to many seekers of the card’s wisdom.
The 1 - 10 numbered cards of the 4 suits that comprise the Minor Arcana are described and there is a section describing the suits and what each represents and what type of energy that suit pertains to. Each card is given a description which includes a narrative for each image which after a reminder of the numerological significance, variously includes interpretations of the imagery and the symbolic meanings within. At the end of the section, exercises are suggested for 'getting to work with the energies involved in that suit' to enable a clear understanding from a personal point of view. This is, I believe, the type of exercise (along with others in the book) that advances a tarot reader beyond that of a prescriptive reader.
Chapter 14 demystifies the Court Cards. We are given a description of what the court cards are, and are not, and a brief correlation to remind us of what each court is likely to offer (though reminded that this can vary). We are given possible physical attributes, astrological and persona-types, psychological probabilities and the events/life opportunities that are typical for each card. Then, we meet the cards and receive their descriptions. For each of the suits, we become engaged more fully by excellent exercises. The end of this section helps the reader to identify him or her self within the framework of the court cards.
In the final pages of the book, Chapter 15 helps the reader to begin reading the cards by giving a summary of what to remember. Tiffany uses her own interesting and developed version of the famous Celtic Cross for the example. This is followed by an awareness guide, which is a useful and final piece of writing to place everything we have learnt in perspective. It also provides a reminder of how insightful and healing a tarot reading can be when conducted properly, and also provides guidance to remember to respect and honour the tarot cards, as it can become a truly ‘Transformational’ tool for personal growth and self discovery.
I enjoyed this book very much. Tiffany's personal experience and knowledge is described in a highly readable style and she knows a huge amount about the tarot, both historically, from her own personal use of the deck and as a method to offer something of value to others. The book is instantly friendly and I felt as though I was sitting comfortably with a friend in a cosy coffee shop, sharing intimate secrets, some sad and some joyful. If I was a Tarot beginner, I would consider this an excellent book to start my Tarot journey and I recommend it highly. I am an experienced Tarot reader and still managed to learn a great deal from this book and I enjoyed it immensely. The Transformational Truth of Tarot is a paperback, priced at £14.99. ISBN No: 978 1 84694 000 0 It has 258 pages and is available for purchase on Amazon or from all good bookshops worldwide. Author's Website:http://www.transcendentaltemple.co.uk/contact.html
Reviewer: Catherine Chandler, Musician and tarot reader.
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