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Theia (Carrboro, NC United States)

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The Tarot Court Cards: Archetypal Patterns of Relationship in the Minor Arcana
The Tarot Court Cards: Archetypal Patterns of Relationship in the Minor Arcana
by Kate Warwick-Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.72
29 used & new from CDN$ 11.43

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Balanced, Feb. 25 2004
The first chapter of "The Tarot Court Cards" focuses on the history of the court cards. Starting with ancient divination practices and working up to modern day influences like the golden dawn and Aleister Crowly. Informative but somewhat dry in places. Only a very small part of the book anyway. Next Warwick-Smith discusses ways to interpret the court cards. They are; as enviromental influences, as people, as other entities (Gods, etc.), or as aspects of the psyche. Again, somewhat dry but makes you think.
At this point Warwick-Smith gives her own method of interpretation. The court cards can be seen as supporters or detractors. Supporters are people who provide us with something we need to lead fulfilling lives. Detractors are people who challenge us to rise above certain issues. There is also a "parts of self" version of this where the card can represent either an inner resource or an inner challenge. What I love about this way of thinking is that each card is equal parts negative and positive. While most books say that each card can represent a negative or a positive, this is the first book I have seen that actually treats the two sides equally.
The meat of the book is a discussion of the four aspects (supporter, detracter, resource, and challenge) of each card. What really amazed me is how well the descriptions fit the cards, regardless of which of my decks I looked at. Each of the four aspects is given a one word title above the description and in most cases I just had to read the titles and it was like That's It! That's exactly what this card feels like to me. I have only modified two of cards meanings to fit my favorite deck.
After reading the four aspects of each card you will find several small layouts for use in learning how to use each aspect and one large layout. These are fun and great for getting the feel for the different aspects. Two of the excerses are deep and useful as divination in there own right. Finally there is a section on pathworking. Besides the usual instructions for entering a card there is a mediation that will allow you to meet the entire royal court. I have found it quite helpful.
At the back of the book is a summary of the aspects of each card, with only two sentences on each card. While not nearly as insightful as the full descriptions, this is great for looking at when you forget the meaning of a card. There is also a rip-out chart with literally just the names of the four aspects.
Overall a great book. And one that sheds light on an area of tarot that is often ignored or shoved in a corner.

The Witches' God
The Witches' God
by Stewart Farrar
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 25.25
23 used & new from CDN$ 21.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Informative Read, Jan. 6 2004
This review is from: The Witches' God (Paperback)
This book is advertised as having three parts. The first discusses God archetypes, the second presents rituals for various Gods, and the third is supposed to be an encyclopedia of Gods. The only truely useful part (for me at least) is part one.
The discussion of God archetypes is pretty good. Some of the archetypes are better than others, but overall the Farrars' do a good job of presenting the material. A little more academic than most of the other books I have read on the subject. Presents the each archetype seperately but makes important connections between them. Written sort of as a series of justifications for archetypes.
The second part gives short descriptions of each God and then provides a ritual. Many of the rituals are little more than long incantations. They are all written for covens and most cannot be easily adapted to solitary use. Still, the descriptions of the Gods themselves are interesting.
Finally the third part is nothing more than a list of names. Many of the names say nothing next to them at all. Some of three or four word descriptions like "God of War" or "Father of Blank." Arranged alphabetically instead of by culture or archetype so you need to know the God's name in order to look it up, at which point you only learn His name, something you already knew.
A good read if you are interested in learning more about the roles of God archetypes.

Complete Book of Tarot Spreads
Complete Book of Tarot Spreads
by Evelin Burger
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Simple Spreads For The Beginner, Jan. 6 2004
Most of this book is filled with pictures of layouts with two or three word descriptions of the meanings of each position. When I got this book I had been studying tarot for only two months. I found that my intuitive senses seemed to dull after considering only three or four cards. I did not have the experience to comfortably interpret large spreads like the Celtic Cross. Sensing connections in such a large spread was also difficult. Enter "The Complete Book of Tarot Spreads." The layouts are mostly smaller (2-6 cards) making reading much more accessible to the beginner. Many of the layouts have several variations, and by studying the variations I began to understand how to create my own layouts.
A more experienced tarot reader now (but not that experienced), I still occasionally turn to this book for ideas on creating my own layouts but rarely use the simple layouts now. The descriptions of the positions are incrediably simple. In some cases so simple I don't even understand what they mean.
If you are a beginning student looking for simple spreads, buy this book. If you are comfortable with larger spreads like the Celtic Cross or other spreads using greater than ten cards, don't waste your money.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tarot, 2nd Edition
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tarot, 2nd Edition
by Arlene Tognetti
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 23.87

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intuitive And Traditional, Jan. 6 2004
What I love about this book is that it discusses ways to connect with the cards intuitively and gives detailed descriptions of the traditional meanings. The intuitive treatment of the major arcana is especially good. It includes excerises in studying the imagery as well as excerises in studying the archetypes presented using familiar Greek and Roman myths and more modern movie epics like Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz.

The traditional meaning part of the book is among the best I have seen. Each card is pictured (using the Rider-Waite Deck) and a paragraph or two is written on the imagery and it's meaning. Next the card's interpretation is presented. The interpretations presented in the book are open-ended enough to apply to various questions, decks, layout positions, etc. but not so open-ended you feel like their just trying to write something that pleases everyone. The upright intpretation is followed by an interpretation of the reversed meaning, again, paired with imagery, only now they discuss the reversed imagery - a great way to look at the reversed meanings. Above each card there is a title that sums up the cards meaning. This helps me not lose the forest for the trees.
You may be asking why I have only given the book four stars when I have so much praise. The reason is that the information on the minors (ouside the traditional meanings) is lacking, and a "complete" guide should have everything. The explaination of the suits is not bad, but doesn't go beyond what students of tarot learn in the first few weeks. The description of the numbers is absolutely pitiful. Begining students are advised to pair studying this book with another book on minors.
Overall a great addition to any tarot readers collection!

Tarot A New Handbook For The Apprentice Classic Edition
Tarot A New Handbook For The Apprentice Classic Edition
by Eileen Connolly
Edition: Paperback
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Great Book For Learning Minors, Jan. 6 2004
This was the first in my growing collection of tarot books (I have been studing for 6 months). It starts out with the minor arcana and does a very good job with these. Two charts are presented which I still look to for guidance. The first explains the associations of the four suits and the second presents five ways of looking at the numbering. Most books I have seen (except ones specifically based on numerology) give only cursory attention to the information contained in the numbers. The suggested meditations on the court families are also good for tuning into the family charateristics. Her treatment of the specific members of the family, however, leaves a little to be desired. In other words, you get a feel for the royal court of staffs but not for the role of kings, etc.
Where Connolly loses me in the discussion of the major arcana. She begins with a prayer to each card. I am pagan and found little in the prayers that jived with my own spirtuality. A prayer to one card spoke of the evils of polythesim. Probably more useful to a Christian or Jew. The next "excerise" is actually a story. A paragraph is written about each card in sequential order. The story too has a decidely monotheist bend. The "excerise" is too recite the prayer to each card and then read that card's story out loud. All this did for me is make my voice grow hoarse.
The last half of the book consists of card "mentors" and instructions for performing a reading using the Celtic Cross. The mentors are each one page the contains a picture of the Rider Waite deck version of the card in question, a few sentences on the possible upright interpretations , and a few sentences on the possible reversed interpretations. This sort of information can be found virtually anywhere and I have seen in done better and in more detail in other books. The Celtic Cross information is brief but quite good. Connolly's descriptions of the card positions are very insightful and it is her intreprations that I turn to when doing this layout, even though it is featured in three of my other tarot books.

Schaum's Outline of Lagrangian Dynamics
Schaum's Outline of Lagrangian Dynamics
by Dare Wells
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 26.95
43 used & new from CDN$ 15.28

2.0 out of 5 stars This is a Schaum's?, Dec 30 2003
As a graduate student in physics, I have collected many Schuam's Outlines over the years and usually find them very helpful. This one was not up to par. The derivations and example problems were very wordy and skipped over half the mathematical details - one problem I did from the book required eleven steps when I was finished and the book showed three. Some chapters had only a few worked example problems and dozens that are given simply "as an exercise to the reader."

Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation
Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation
by Silver RavenWolf
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.83
50 used & new from CDN$ 14.90

4.0 out of 5 stars A Good General Wicca Book, Dec 28 2003
This book is written as an encyclopedia and I use it for just that. She encourages you to look at other sources for in-depth information, but gives a solid background in many areas of Wicca. Some areas I found helpful include the sections on astrology, animal totems (very brief - but includes a variety of real and fantasy animals), scrying, dowsing, grounding and centering, and general divination tips.
On the negative side, some parts, particulary the last chapter, seem too teen-oriented and full of mass-markety sort of spells. I just ignore this portion of the book. Still worth the money.

The Wiccan Prayer Book: Daily Meditations, Inspirations, Rituals, and Incantations
The Wiccan Prayer Book: Daily Meditations, Inspirations, Rituals, and Incantations
by Mark Ventimiglia
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 16.28

2.0 out of 5 stars Good Ideas, Bad Writing, Dec 28 2003
Reading through the table of contents shows a wide variety of prayers on topics from Prayer to the Dawn to Prayer to Save the Rain Forests. Unfortunately, the prayers themselves are dry and contrite. They state the spirtual need in a matter of fact, textbook way. No sense of artistic flow. For the Star Trek fans out there a good example of a poem Data might write.

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