Tarot Book Club

Tarot Face to Face

Posted by: The Tarosophist on: September 5, 2012

So just when you might start thinking: “Marcus and Tali have written ANOTHER book, what more can they have to offer and are they going to start repeating themselves or rehashing and regurgitating stuff ?” The answer is yes (to the first bit) – they have written another book and yes, they have LOTS more to offer and yes, new material (not rehashed) awaits you. I think they both need an extremely advanced filing system for their brains. These two people are just so amazingly dedicated, they are ALWAYS busy – doesn’t matter what time of the day (or night) it is.

The following Tarot decks have been used to illustrate this book:

Llewellyn decks:

Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

Mystic Dreamer Tarot by Heidi Darras and Barbara Moore

Revelations Tarot by Zach Wong

Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore

Wizards Tarot by Corrine Kenner and John Blumen

Lo Scarabeo decks:

Universal Tarot by Roberto De Angelis and

Wheel of the Year Tarot by Maria Caratti and Antonella Platano

I love the diversity of decks used in this book as I feel it can relate to a wide audience. In chapter one, three cards from three different decks are used to show how common symbols have become accepted and they are commonly understood. This is the basis of the explanation in this chapter of how bridging the interpretations of symbols works and then how to use this as well as other useful and practical things like pinpointing. What I love about the way Marcus and Tali teach things is that it is not rocket science, it is done in such a way that is methodical and practical and it works. All that is required on your half as a reader is perhaps a bit of tweaking your own techniques and then practise.

I can promise you that maybe not all the things will work for you but some and most will and it will give you confidence to be the best reader you can be.

The methods taught in this book are easily understood and can be learned quickly. The exercise on talking or dialogue with the Tarot (on page 9) is something I would recommend and the more you do it, the easier it is. When I first started Tarot, I knew what I wanted to say but it didn’t always come out how I wanted it to and this is one of the techniques I used to get through this. It works not only to help you get over that but as a way of building your confidence too especially if you want to read at mind, body and spirit events or just at a similar fayre type things. I find this exercise and the one called Finding your Tarot Voice on page 30, kind of similar and both very useful.

There is a list of key phrases and key words for the majors and minors have been broken down like the following:

Pentacles: Resources

Swords: Expectations

Cups: Imagination

Wands: Ambition

And then each of the numbers from 1 to 10 have a meaning too.  I always find things like this useful and I would say read through these and then see if you can either add to it or use your own if it would be easier. I found this book easily digestible and in the same vein, it definitely was food for thought.

The best thing for me early on in this book was the Lightning Matrix on page 19. I remember doing it on a Tarosophy Tarot course that Janine Worthington taught recently right at the beginning of the course and it took me a bit of practise but I eventually got it so I am so glad it is in this book. I can use it to review the same thing again.

Before I talk about the part I am about to talk about, I just thought I would add a random contributing fact in that Marcus has been involved with Tarot for 30 years plus and Tali for 20 plus years so the wealth and quality of information in this book meets and reinforces this and I feel it is a testimonial to their inspiration as Tarot Teachers and Writers, foremost and then Tarot Readers.

Why I say this is that I so love how they can do one exercise and use the same cards for numerous questions and come up with so many different ways to answer them – all with the same 3 cards. Here I refer to the exercise ‘Getting the Detail’ on page 35.

I have quite a number of books on Tarot spreads like ‘Tarot Spreads, Layouts & Techniques to Empower Your Readings’ by Barbara Moore and then ‘Complete Book of Tarot Spreads’  by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fiebig (these 2 are my fav spread books when I need some inspiration) but the angle Marcus and Tali take is about creating your own spreads. This is something I do a lot too and I remember doing a reading for someone once with a particular spread and the querent told me they had never heard of this spread to which I told them that I would be surprised if they did as I created it spontaneously with them, for them and I felt it went well – it was very apt.

Sometimes, being a bit creative in the spread department can be useful and again, I find it very useful when at mind, body and spirit events or fayres as you can get yourself stuck in a rut repeating the same spreads all the time. I think it adds to the excitement at these events as I had it where a number of clients were all in the same family and had come together to the event so it was great to add variety to the event this way. Their readings were all personalized to them. So, this is where the section on creating new spreads comes in useful. Read this section and you will get new, fresh ideas on how to be original and creative with spreads.

I really feel that we can see more of Marcus and Tali in this book as they share their thoughts on things like ‘Facing up to Tricky and Slippery Cards’. Marcus had eventually got to grips with The Hanged Man which was a bit of a sticky card for him and he explains how this happened for him here. Has this ever happened for you? Which card and how or what made you able to look at it almost with fresh eyes or being able to see it differently? It seems weird talking like this here as Marcus’ card was the Hanged Man and we are on about looking at new things with a new perspective. Consider the exercise on page 44, taking the card outside the box to help you here with this kind of thing.

Chapter 3 looks at ‘Facing the Questions.’

Marcus and Tali begin this chapter with another personal example of something that they experienced. This is what I so love about this book and I feel it asks you to think about it and if this has happened to you, consider how you handled the situation. I like how Marcus and Tali have said here that someone in the Therapeutic world once said that therapists get the clients they deserve and that maybe it is the same for Tarot readers. In this chapter, the discussion is on questions and how they appear like at the beginning of the year, it could be work related and then around Valentine ’s Day – love questions. How about ‘general readings’ or too many questions? Great advice is offered here.

What I love about this book is that it seems more compact than Marcus’ other book – “Tarosophy” and then the one that Marcus and Tali wrote – “Around the Tarot in 78 Days” but it is direct, focused and practical. I sense that this book is like a practical guide to doing readings for others.

In Chapter 4, it is time to Face the Querent

And under this chapter, some of the variety of decks are discussed and I am sure there could be one mentioned that you might have used. I said this at the beginning of this review that I love the wide audience applicability that has been used. I like the topic ‘Watch your language’ under this chapter and I think it is offers some good advice. I have done mind, body and spirit events before and used similar techniques in that I have tried to speak to the client in their language and style. I listened when I needed to and spoke less when needed to. I do feel that when venturing outside of your own comfort zone as a Tarot reader, maybe outside your own home or wherever it is that you do readings, you can rely on your techniques.

There are also rituals and then props etc. discussed under this chapter which again is more practical advice. My favourite personal thing is to use lavender essential oil on myself just prior to readings and during readings as it helps to relax me and I use rose essential oil on my cards as it smells nice and aids in keeping the querent focused too but this is just me. I use a spray smudge if I feel the need to (instead of the conventional smudge as some people don’t like the smoke) – this is available on my web site – www.nadinetarotreiki.com).

There is a part in this chapter on beginning with a client, the first few minutes. It can be a bit nerve-wracking I suppose so consider the advice here too. For me personally, I like to sit next to the querent rather than opposite them so I am kind of talking with them, not at them. If I have to use a table, I would use the cards in such a way that we get a side view of them. This also means that we are both looking at the cards from the same direction, we both have the same view. I have found it makes people feel relaxed.

I like the advice offered for if you feel a bit panicked. For fun, Tarot at parties gives you some great ideas. How many books have you read that offer this topic ???

The Tarot walk on page 118 reminds me a recent thing that Marcus did in asking people to take pictures of things that reminded them of particular Tarot cards while they were out and about. The cards are discussed under this kind of thing here. It is a strange thing to be able to see and feel this happen in your day to day life. This is what Tarot is about though isn’t it? It is life. It is not something that is just made up. It is real.

Being an animal lover, I won’t surprise you to say that I love, love, love the Shaman’s Path on page 123 and then Gate 5: Invocation of the Animal Spirit on page 130 (one of the gated spreads). There are the gated spreads in this chapter which are highly personal experiences that I would totally ask you to do. It totally surprises you what you get out of these.

I have purposefully been reading this book thoroughly and it has way surpassed my expectations.

When I got it, my initial thought was that because it was a lot smaller and thinner than ‘Tarosophy’ and ‘Around the Tarot in 78 days’, I wondered how much could be put into this book – lots, okay !!! It is jam packed, it is bursting at the seams.

Chapter 9 looks at Facing all Fronts with Twelve Spreads.

There has to be a chapter on spreads and there are some new ones just waiting for you to try. I have never seen these before and I urge you to try them on yourself or be brave, remember them and do them for others.

Chapter 10 ends it all off and offers topics such as using an ‘elevator pitch’ which is a short and sweet, even to the point description that people use to describe what they sell or what they are doing, in our case, Tarot as well as other questions including ‘What’s the most memorable question you have ever been asked?’ and then legal things and attitudes towards Tarot.

Marcus and Tali know what they are talking about. Between them, they have 50 years plus experience of Tarot. This book is one of the most down to earth – yes you can do it too – books out on Tarot. It is definitely not “just another Tarot book.”  You need this book and you will not be disappointed. It offers practical advice and real life examples that get you thinking of how you can develop your own styles and techniques as a Tarot reader.

 Nadine Roberts


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