"The tarot, the 'wicked pack of cards' as T.S. Eliot called it, is a wonderful divinatory tool--and much more. Just like the mysterious reader turning over the cards to reveal your life, as you turn these pages, you will be introduced to the rich and exciting world of tarot. You will learn many ways to use the tarot to enhance and enchant your life." -- Barbara Moore
You may be familiar with the idea of using the tarot for divinatory purposes, but in What Tarot Can Do for You - Your Future in the Cards, author Barbara Moore shows you how this fascinating tool can be used for so much more. This book teaches you how to ask considered, probing questions of the tarot which is the foundation of receiving accurate, insightful answers. Moore also covers the archetypal, basic meanings of the cards, numbers, and suits as the starting point towards a fully-formed understanding of the tarot, and gives an overview of 17 different decks.
Case studies featuring specific scenarios, spreads, questions, and decks provide practical methods for using the tarot for problem solving, divination, journaling, and healing. I especially liked the Achieving Your Goal Spread, and used it for a journal exercise. It's an unusual spread, because you consciously pick 2 of the cards. You start out by looking through the deck and picking a card that seems to represent your current situation. Then, you pick another card that you feel represents your goal. Depending on the magnitude of the challenge or goal, you then decide how many cards to pick at random from the deck. These cards will represent the steps between where you're at and your goal. If you're unsure, picking 3 cards is a good start.
I used The Golden Tarot for this exercise and it worked incredibly well. First, I described what I saw in the first card I picked which represented the current situation, and then I journaled what I saw in the card representing the goal. I then shuffled the deck, images face down, and drew 3 cards that represented the steps involved from getting from here to there. I then journaled the "story" that flowed from the cards which led to the goal. It was an exciting and insightful exercise!
Moore also shows how you can use the tarot for rituals, self-improvement, and healing. She even shows you how to discover your Life Card based on the numerology of your birthdate, as well as your Year Card based on your birthdate and the current year. The Life Card reflects your life purpose or the lesson you need to learn as well as strengths to develop and challenges to overcome. The Year Card shows the same, but for the current year.
Spreads (card layouts) are also addressed, including an explanation of the Celtic Cross, various 3-card spreads, and how to create your own spreads. Perhaps the most intriguing spread that Moore shares is one created by renowned tarot author Rachel Pollack. It is called the Alternate Major Arcana Spread which has the querent shuffle the Major Arcana and lay them out in three rows. The first row represents the first steps we go through from birth to young adult. The second row illustrates the universal laws or rules of society that we must confront, question, and come to terms with. The third row is our spiritual development. Moore delves into the meaning of this spread, as well as provides a case study to show how a person would read their Alternate Major Arcana Spread for insights into their spiritual development.
Lastly, What Tarot Can Do For You provides a glossary of terms and a suggested reading list for various topics in tarot, divination, Wicca/magic, and more.
Although I've just finished reading this book, I've already found several of the exercises immediately useful and practical. I'm especially excited about the meditation and journaling aspects, which help me to slow down and record insights about my own life; this is something that professional readers like myself sometimes forget to do.
This book is excellent for those beginning tarot, but provides wonderful tips for seasoned readers as well.