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Seventy Eight Degrees Wisdom Rev Tp Paperback – Nov 20 1997


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Seventy Eight Degrees Wisdom Rev Tp + Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners + Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: UK General Books (Nov. 20 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722535724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722535721
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #123,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster on Feb. 3 2003
Format: Paperback
Rachel Pollack's SEVENTY-EIGHT DEGREES OF WISDOM is a key work described by many (including Joseph Campbell) as an important source for understanding the wisdom of the Tarot. The book appears to have been first published in the early eighties in two volumes, one dealing with the Major Arcana and the other with the minor Arcana. Since few authors examine the minor cards Pollack's book is a must for serious students.
Pollack writes insightfully and intelligently, including longer passages for each of the cards of the Major Arcana. She includes reversed meanings and encourages shuffling the deck so as to ensure some cards fall upside down for a reading. She provides two examples for each card, one from A. E. Waite's deck illustrated by Pamela Coleman and the other from various other decks. Pollack notes that when she first wrote her book no one compared the different pictorial representations of various decks. She includes points of agreement and disagreement with interpretations from Waite's "The Pictorial Key to the Tarot", Aleister Crowley's "The Book of Thoth" and other works.
Unlike many contemporary authors on Tarot, Pollack subscribes to the notion that one can use the Tarot not only for interpretation of current circumstances but for seeking advice. She describes how to cast the Celtic cross a descriptive tool which can be used to gain insight into a present situation. She also shares a layout she created that the reader can use to gain insight into possible courses of action regarding work situations. Of the many books I've read on Tarot so far this one is the best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. Stanton on Oct. 2 2000
Format: Paperback
Rachael Pollack has provided a thorough and exhaustive description of each card -- her knowledge encompasses psychology, mythology, history, sociology, art and literature. All of this amounts to the deepest analysis of Tarot symoblism we are ever likely to see, and reading this book can only improve your readings. She uses, as do most authors, the Rider-Waite deck as the basis for her explanations; but she also explains where and why it deviates from historical examples. This is perhaps one of the most valuable facets of this book -- it establishes the symbology of the Tarot as universal and timeless. The section on reading the cards is also well done, and she gives instructions for a number of spreads. Scholarly and beautifully written, a must for anyone interested in the Tarot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Gray on Nov. 12 2002
Format: Paperback
This revised and slightly expanded version of two long sadly out-of-print books ("78 Degrees of Wisdom: Major Arcana" and "78 Degrees of Wisdom: Minor Arcana") is a welcome addition to any serious Tarot reader's library.
Although I wouldn't normally recommend this book for the Tarot beginner, I'd recommend it highly to serious students of Tarot wanting to know more about the many different meanings of Tarot cards. Some beginners might find Pollack's usages of the definitions of cards to be more than the superficial ones.
Going far beyond the "This one covers you" school, Pollack gives many different ways to interpret the meanings of Tarot cards, both from a spiritual viewpoint ("What does this card mean to you?") and a metaphysical viewpoint ("What does this card mean to the person you're reading for?"). It also allows for meditation and self-study of Tarot cards.
Although set up like a standard Tarot book, with chapters covering the Major Arcana, the Minor Arcana, and some readings, (including a sample reading or two) Pollack's definitions of the cards goes far beyond the ordinary superficial "Death means something in your life is going through a major change - you are about to stop one thing and start doing another." Each card has a picture - many from the Rider-Waite deck that most Tarot card readers start with, but some from other decks that you may not have seen. Each card has numerous definitions - and even some examples of what that card might mean when in certain placements in a Tarot card reading, both regular and reversed.
I've no other books in my Tarot library that are more heavily thumbed than my old copies of the two "78 Degrees" books, and I was very glad that Pollack has found a publisher willing to not only reprint them, but allow her to revise them and include both books in one volume. Highly recommended for serious students of Tarot.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T SANTOSO on Jan. 25 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are a Tarot beginner, you will be temted to buy at least 10 decks before even doing any reading at all, you will also buy about 5 tarot books to explore. I have passed that road too, and yeah there are a lot of good books for beginner.
Time after time, you will come back to just one deck: Raider White deck, and for me the miniature deck (the size of almost a usual regular bicycle deck). And you will start to forget all the book and time to time come back to the very few books you love. And this one is it. It is a very rich book with deep reading of all the cards. It touch you and teach you deeply and teach you how to grow your own way of reading the pictures of tarot deck.
This is not for the ultimate beginners! But invest in this one. After you get "bored" to the beginner books of tarot, you will start to appreciate this book. It is not for the people who just "want to know a bit" about tarot.
In fact if you only want one book on Tarot, this is it.
The book describe deeply and richly for each card.
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