Sunday, December 18, 2011

Book Review - Easy Tarot Reading (And A Contest!)

Easy Tarot Reading by Josephine Ellershaw certainly lives up to the promise of the front cover: The Process Revealed In Ten True Readings.

There are many great books for beginning tarot readers, one of which has been written by Josephine Ellershaw and is packaged with the gorgeous Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti, but there are many fewer for intermediate to advanced readers.  I feel this is likely because like Othello and the guitar, tarot is quite easy to pick up, satisfying to do so from Day One, but takes a lifetime to master.  Everyone learns differently, and the myriad books on the market offer great starts, but very few books cover what happens after you know what the Four of Cups means to you.  This book begins to fill that gap quite neatly.

The author writes from the perspective of a working tarot professional, and professional she is as she takes us step by step through readings with her clients (all of whom knew they were going to be included as case studies in this book).  It is actually not that difficult to learn some meanings for seventy eight tarot cards, in my experience, but the magic lies in learning to combine them into a reading that paints a story.  Josephine Ellershaw shows how to take the multiple cards of her particularly used spreads and weave them into a story to which the sitter can relate, and that is a truly wise thing.

The spreads the author uses are large, but she breaks them down into small groupings so that they are easily strung together into a relevant story, and while she makes it look deceptively simple as a long time reader I can assure you it is not always.  Even so, by following her sage and easily read advice, anyone can learn to make their readings flow as well.  As someone who mentors new readers and teaches tarot, I feel as frustrated as my students do when they come to me with large spreads that are not clearly labelled and separated, but that is not an issue with these spreads at all.  If I had learned nothing else from this book, the price would have been justified in learning these spreads alone, as within them is a potential mine of information for the reader to relay to the client.

My one complaint with the book is that there are no pictures to illustrate the spreads given, only diagrams, as tarot is a visual art, with the pictures on the cards being cues to the reader and jogs for the sitters' mind, but once I took the author's advice to lay out my own cards to reflect the reading I was studying with her, everything became quite clear.  By the time I had gotten through a couple of her readings, I actually saw using my own cards as a positive feature because my own speak to me, just as yours should speak to you.

Josephine Ellershaw has written a tarot book worthy to grace every readers' shelf, and has done so with grace, wit, and honesty.  She offers excellent advice that pertains to both the art and business side of tarot reading, for students of any level.  You won't find a list of what she thinks each card means, since the book assumes the reader to have a working knowledge of their cards, but you will find new and deceptively simple ways to read for yourself and others in this book.  I give it glowing praise!

I take tarot reading seriously, as a deep pleasure, and I do not endorse books or decks I find less than brilliant.  Because I think this book is so great and I believe all my tarot reading buddies could probably benefit from it, I am offering a free book to the winner of the contest.  To enter, just leave a comment on this post.  I'll draw a winner on Monday, January 2, 2012.  Good luck!


Update:  Congratulations to Josephine Robin Dalton, who wins a copy of  this great book, also by a Josephine.  Please contact me with your address so I can get the book on its' way to you, and big thanks and hugs to everyone for stopping by!


18 comments:

  1. Thank you for a wonderful review of Easy Tarot Reading. I have been wondering about this book for awhile. It looks like I need to clear some room on my bookshelf for it.

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, Gary! I definitely think it's a great book. Good luck in the drawing!

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  3. Thanks for this lovely review and a Happy New Year to u!

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  4. Thank YOU for stopping by, Kareena, and bright blessings to you! You are entered :)

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  5. Hi Manda,

    What a lovely competition! The book certainly sounds like an interesting read, and I'm hoping to have more time to do just that :) Wishing you and yours a wonderful Yuletide and a New Year full of good times.

    Chloë

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  6. The same to you and yours, Chloe! Thank you so much and good luck!

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  7. I already have this book and find it to be excellent. I don't need to be entered into the competition. :)

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  8. This book sounds really good. Anything to help me on my Tarot Journey, and recommended reads are even better x

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  9. This book is already included in my wishlist. Fabulous tarot wisdom and knowledge for tarot readers and apprentices. Josephine Ellershaw is brilliant.

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  10. I would love to be entered in this contest. It's high on my wish list. Fabulous post and review, by the way :)

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  11. what a great review. I've been eying up Josephines book for quite some time. You've tipped me over the edge. I cant wait to get it.

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  12. The book does sound good, but I'm not sure if I should enter, because I wonder if I'll follow through and work through it.

    I'm torn between entering my comment for either my mother or sister (I just gave my sister a Shaowscapes), or to say to leave mine out. The way these past two weeks have been, I'm just glad that we had any christmas at all! Happy Christmas to you and your family. <3

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  13. I check my daily tarot card every day. I love how accurate this is. I've really gained better understanding with Josie's help.

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  14. I was gifted for christmas your Easy Tarot Handbook with the beautiful cards & I havnt been able to put them down! I have never connected so much with Tarot cards before this Gilded Tarot deck. I am looking forward to getting your new book ASAP! Thank You!

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  15. Oh my goodness! I came today to find out why I have not heard from the winner, who was randomly picked by the very scientific method of throwing names in candy dish and being picked by the elegant fingers of my handsome husband, Josephine Robin Dalton, and I do not see my own post!

    Blogspot, today you fail me :( Josephine, please send me your address so I can get the awesome book on its' way to you. amanda dot hilbrecht at gmail dot com, no spaces, using punctuation, of course, and congratulations! Thank you all soooo much for the comments and entering!

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  16. I'm so excited! I won!! I really can't think you enough!I'm so sorry. Somehow I missed that I was a winner! I am so very sorry!! And absolutely overflowing with gratitude!!
    Josephine Robin

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  17. By the way, I have sent you an email (well, two, because I missed the email address in the comment above so also sent one to your hotmail account) with my address.

    Truly, can't thank you enough!!

    And thank you, Aphrodisiastes, for the heads up! You rock!

    Josephine Robin

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  18. Reading tarot card can help you in making decision and find some relieve for your stress and tension.

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