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Seventy Eight Degrees Wisdom Rev Tp [Paperback]

Rachel Pollack
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 20 1997

This classic book is a complete but concise guide to the origins, meaning and psychological applications of the Tarot. Its aim is to demystify and to make Tarot symbolism an effective and accessible means of self-enlightenment.

Volumes 1 and 2 have now been combined and completely updated into one volume.

Frequently Bought Together

Seventy Eight Degrees Wisdom Rev Tp + Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners + Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
Price For All Three: CDN$ 51.34

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'Rachel Pollack's Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom is on my 'Top Ten' list of all time Tarot greats! You can't do better than this for discovering how Tarot symbols offer insights into the meaning of daily events and guidance through life's quandaries. This classic book will never outgrow its usefullness.' Mary K. Greer bestselling author of Tarot For Yourself: A Workbook For Personal Transformation and Women of the Golden Dawn

About the Author

Rachel Pollack was born in 1945 in Brooklyn New York. She became a keen student and after graduating from New York State University she took a Masters in English Literature. Shortly afterwards she began her travels in Europe, spending over 15 years in Amsterdam where she began her lifelong passion for esoteric wisdom and ancient divination. She is a highly experienced tarot reader and teacher, and the author of several books.

She now spends her time teaching the Tarot and producing poetry for performance artists. She also has a great love of photography and avant-garde jazz. Rachel Pollack currently lives in New York and occasionally does readings on US television.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Tarot book ever written. Oct. 2 2000
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 A Customer
I bought this book along with others because of the great reviews I saw. However, most of the other books did not live up to the great reviews. With one exception. SEVENTY EIGHT DEGREES OF WISDOM. This book doesn't give you formulas to memorize and it moves away from tradition and dogma. Ms Pollack asks the reader to let the tarot speak it's own unique language to each individual reading, querent, student and situation.
It gives the historical, mythological, spiritual, etc., meanings and attributions for each major card and also her personal insights and experience. She does the same for the minor cards, however, she doesn't go much into history and myth here but delves into her own experiences and interpretation. She also has GATE cards that allows the reader to get connected to particular cards that elucidate the intrinsic meanings of the suit. I'd love for her to do a book about meditations on the tarot.
To the back of the book there is an exposition on doing divination with the cards and she gives examples of the two spreads she covers to explain them better. Her Work Cycle spread is one with promise although I was left wanting a little more. I can't seem to find a resource where one can learn more about this spread.
There is one thing that I would ask every newbie to do when studying the cards. Get a resource that details occult symbols and colours. See how they fit into the particular cards and then you have a more detailed description of the cards. The meaning of some cards often don't appear in the artwork (figures etc) however the colours (red, orange, black etc) and the symbols (white rose, black staff, circle, etc) will clear up anything you have a question about.
Also, see MK Greer's book: Tarot for youself and Rachael Pollack's new book: The Forest of Souls.
Phoinix Sky
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the Beginner, but... Nov. 12 2002
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Choice
This is an excellent source of knowledge for Tarot.
The book is thoroughly understood and researched;
I would recommend this as a must for would be Tarot
Published 8 months ago by Carol A. Brent
5.0 out of 5 stars A Taroist's "must have"!
Easily read and understood as well as thorough and in-depth. I love this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is studying the Tarot. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2008 by Zinnia
5.0 out of 5 stars Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom
These days most anybody can do a tarot reading. There are literally hundreds of different decks all complete with canned readings for each card. Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2007 by Tami Brady
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Resource
As a Tarot beginner, I found this book to be both insightful and a little wordy. First of all, I must say that all in all, this book is an incredible resource! Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by lise
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best book on TAROT.
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by T SANTOSO
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Words For Profound Thoughts
Rachel Pollack takes the complex subject of Tarot and renders it intelligible. As a novice reader on the topic, I was hesitant about buying this book for fear of not understanding,... Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2003 by Conan the Librarian
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Original Look at the Tarot
Rachel Pollack's book is a completely different take on the Tarot, which owes as much to Jungian psychoanalysis as to Ye Standard Occult Fortunetelling Definitions. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2002 by Kenaz Filan
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars all the way!!!!
Excellent book. Deep esoteric wisdom rides through every page.
Published on Oct. 1 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars This book changed my life
Profound, stunning and exceptionally well written.
Published on Sept. 4 2002 by Rachael Hubbard
5.0 out of 5 stars Very unique approach
This book on Tarot is like no other you will find. It kept me interested as it was not redundant and just casually explaining different card meanings. Read more
Published on July 12 2002 by "tarotreader26"
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