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The Complete Illustrated Guide to Tarot: How to Unlock the Secrets of the Tarot [Paperback]

Rachael Pollack , Rachel Pollack
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1 1999 Complete Illustrated Guide
Authoritative and practical, this is the ultimate in comprehensive on-volume reference works, covering every aspect of the subject with clear text, fascinating charts, and fabulous visuals.

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Tarot is all about connections--connections to the future; connections to the past; connections to Kabbalah, music, numbers, and life. Rachel Pollack has taken a coffee table book and transformed it into a labyrinth of history and magic. Stop thinking of the tarot as a deck of cards and learn to see it as a representation of your family, or an epic tale with you as the protagonist. Sure, The Complete Illustrated Guide to Tarot includes some of the most popular spreads for divination, such as the "Celtic cross," but the full-color photographs also offer a rare opportunity to see some of the earliest cards, such as the Visconti-Sforza Tarot of the 15th century. In the midst of these illuminating images, Pollack leads you beyond placing cards on a table and teaches you to make tarot a part of living. --Brian Patterson

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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice pictures Jan. 21 2002
By A Customer
I enjoyed the pictures, and found the various chapters useful and entertaining. This is a nice book to look at. I did cringe, however, at an illustration of one card from the Haindl tarot that is supposed to portray "traditional" Native American culture. It shows Chief Seattle, whose supposed famous speech about being one with nature was actually written by a white screenwriter a few decades ago. This is not "traditional." It's a bit embarrassing.
One of Rachel Pollack's other books, 78 Degrees of Wisdom, provides some of the best information available on the individual cards of the Rider-Waite deck. If you are looking for something more specific to helping you read the cards, that would be the one to get. This Illustrated Guide was most useful, to me, for the color pictures of cards from so many various decks. It provides a nice overview of the sorts of decks that have been or are being published, and of the sorts of things people use the tarot for in this day and age. The author even spends a couple of pages telling you how you can create your own deck.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a lovely book, one you'll want to leave out on display, or on a coffee table for guests to browse. Written in the style of many books today -- sharp, eye-catching graphics, short summarized sections, it has the added benefit of being put together by an authority in the field. Pollack has written extensively on the subject, most notably, her two-volume interpretation of the Haindl Tarot and her own deck, the Shining Woman Tarot. Pollack begins by giving a brief, instructive overview of the origins, legends and history of Tarot cards and its occult connections. The structure and symbolism of the cards, the major arcana sequence, the significance of court cards, paths on the tree of life, card numerology, the suits and their correspondences, garden/botanical elements and animal symbolism are all touched on, along with much more. Part three covers the cards a bit more in-depth, including the metaphorical journey through the major arcana. Part four deals with reading the cards, including some simple spreads. The last section suggests other uses or activities for the Tarot, such as, using them for game playing, storytelling, or, how to go about creating your own deck. This is a pretty sophisticated little reference with wonderful illustrations including images from a variety of Tarot decks, both old and new. It would make a wonderful gift for novice or advanced practitioner alike. One might not consider this a "must" have book, but it is a book you may "want" to have in your collection, because of the book's visual appeal, and Pollack's concise overview of the Tarot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is the book to read before you read Rachael Pollack's "Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisodom". This is her "The Hobbit" to her "The Lord of the Rings" (so to speak). An excellent introduction to the Tarot and its history... richly illustrated in full color/glossy pages... beautiful to look at. The pictures alone make this a great coffee table book and conversation starter. Buy this and "78 Degrees" together and lock in your tarot book reading for a long time to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun never was so beautiful! May 15 2000
Look no farther. This book is a great introduction to the art and history of tarot. Each section is approximately two pages long - open the book and read. It might be designed for the patience-challenged reader, or the "quick fix" audience. Even though you could stash this book in the cabinet for bathroom reading, you'll love it. Each page has wonderful full color photographs that beautifully illustrate the text and expertly enhance the learning experience. If you only have time to read one section, you'll definitely want to come back for more. Rachel Pollack has put together a great resource for the teacher, the beginner, or the advanced tarot enthusiast.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Sept. 8 1999
Rachel Pollack's TAROT is the most beautiful book I have seen on the tarot. I discovered it brousing through a bookstore and as a new practicioner of the science and art of tarot reading, a process which amazes me every time with its ability to bring clarity to ones life - find the core of ones individuality and that of your friends and family... I highly and earnestly recommend this book to EVERYONE. Rachel Pollacks book is brilliant and meaty, It will leave you something to devour every day, this book is a tool and a guide for interpreting the meaning of your spreads.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and visually stunning March 25 2000
By Linda
As a teacher of Tarot, I find this book to be both informative and beautiful to behold. The author's comments are illustrated by full-color reproductions of cards from several Tarot decks. The result is an authoritative introduction to the Tarot with the most stunning illustrations I have ever seen in a book on Tarot. If you are new to Tarot, you may wish to buy this book to help you decide which deck to purchase. In my classes on Tarot, I am now using this new book by Rachel Pollack together with the basic text by Anthony Louis as the core readings for the class.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the complete illustrated guide to tarot Oct. 9 2000
Absolutely beautiful work, well written, she explains many questions I had in regards to reading and defining the art of tarot. In addition to many examples of tarot cards available she introduces other ways to further inspire the tarot student. Rachel Pollack gives a great background history of the tarot and gives you information to guide you to other authors who can expand your knowledge. This guide has helped me in deciding to create my own personal tarot deck. There is a section where she gives you examples on how to do this. A wonderful book!!!!!!!!!
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