Tarot Books


All reviews written by Michele Jackson unless otherwise noted.


Click here for reviews listed in alphabetical order by book.

Click here for reviews listed in alphabetical order by author.

Beginners

Tarot for Your Self by Mary K. Greer - If I could have only two Tarot books, I would buy whatever book is available that was written specifically for my deck and this one. It is a workbook for learning to read the Tarot. You can read another review of this book here.

Tarot: History, Mystery and Lore by Cynthia Giles - This book doesn't teach you how to read. It covers the history of Tarot in a lively and entertaining fashion. If you are going to learn to read, you should invest some time learning the history of Tarot as well. Read another review by Nina Lee Braden here.

Easy Tarot Guide by Marcia Masino - This book teaches you to read the Waite-Smith deck in a Tarot 101 fashion. It has homework and quizzes at the end of each section. It is not easy, but it will give you a basic background on which to build. A second review by Dawn Shainheit

Tarot for Beginners by P. Scott Hollander - I have always heard that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all, but...

Mastering the Tarot by Eden Gray - This is the book I learned to read with in the 1970's. It is still available and still useful. You can read another review of this book by Nina Lee Braden (and another by Eden Gray, A Complete Guide to the Tarot here.

Tarot Card Combinations by Dorothy Kelly - This book provides a method for reading cards linked together in combination, an aspect of reading most beginners find difficult.

Tarot Made Easy by Nancy Garen - A method for interpreting the cards according to 32 categories. It provides interpretations of every card in the Waite-Smith deck, for each of the categories.

Tarot for Beginners by Krystyna Arcarti - A short and simple introduction to the cards using the IJJ Swiss Tarot Deck.

Books by Nancy Shavick - Short reviews of The Tarot, The Tarot Reader, Mastering the Tarot and The Tarot Guide to Love and Relationships.

Down to Earth Tarot by Alan Steward - A short introductory book which covers the basics of reading based on the Golden Dawn.

Tarot: A New Handbook for the Apprentice by Eileen Connolly - Connolly's book is one of the more comprehensive beginner's books available.

Choice Centered Tarot by Gail Fairfield -  This book has recently been re-released. It provides an introduction to Tarot and an easy to learn method of card interpretation.

Complete Book of Tarot Spreads by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fiebig - The authors present some beginner Tarot information and a variety of spreads.

78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack - Pollack's classic has been re-released in a one volume edition. You can read another review of this book here.

Power Tarot by Phyllis Vega and Trish MacGregor- This book is a must for anyone who wants a collection of practical spreads to be used in divination.

Romancing the Tarot by Phyllis Vega - The co-author of Power Tarot has written a book almost completely dedicated to the topic of relationship issues.

Textbook of the Tarot by Janet Berres - The author's common sense approach and willingness to share her personal meanings make this book an interesting read.

Learning the Tarot - Joan Bunning's comprehensive, on-line Tarot course is now available in book form.

The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Tarot - Rachel Pollack's new book covers a lot of ground by means of short discussions of various Tarot topics.

The Robin Wood Tarot Book by Robin Wood - Review by Crystal Sage 

Tarot Companion by Tracy Porter - Review by Diane Wilkes

Tarot for Dummies by Amber Jayanti - Review by Lee Bursten

Tarot Shadow Work by Christine Jette - Review by Diane Wilkes - Read another review of this book by Valerie Sim-Behi

Tarot: Your Everyday Guide by Janina Renee - Review by Diane Wilkes - "A refreshing, non-divinational approach to reading," according to Valerie Sim-Behi, who wrote another review of this book 

KnightHawk's Tarot Readings by James Ricklef -- Self-published book that offers readings to fictional and historical characters - Review by Diane Wilkes

Tarot Awareness: Exploring the Spiritual Path by Stephen Walter Sterling -- A book that combines a spiritual look at the Tarot with patterns for prediction - Review by Diane Wilkes

Tarot for the Healing Heart by Christine Jette - Highly recommended book that shows how to use the tarot for physical, mental, and emotional healing - Review by Diane Wilkes

Tarot for All Seasons by Christine Jette - Review by Diane Wilkes - An excellent beginner's book for Wiccans.  Read another review by Valerie Sim-Behi here.

Inner Pathways to the Divine by Diane Toland - Review by Diane Wilkes - An experiential guide to the Major Arcana

The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals by Mary K. Greer - Review by Diane Wilkes - A wonderful introduction to many methods on using reversals. Read a review by James Wells here and Gavin Pugh here.

Heart of Tarot: An Intuitive Approach by Amber K and Azrael Arynn K - Review by Diane Wilkes - This book focuses on the Gestalt Tarot process, ie., querying the querent, and is meant for readers who prefer to act in the role of "active listener" than as "seer."

Tarot of Self Discovery by Nina Lee Braden - Review by Diane Wilkes - This book is geared towards all levels of tarotists who wish to use the tarot for self-discovery.

Everyday Tarot Magic by Dorothy Morrison - Review by Diane Wilkes - Tarot spellwork for beginners.

Designing Your Own Tarot Spreads by Teresa Michelsen - Review by Diane Wilkes - This book is geared for intermediate and advanced students of the tarot, but it's a book every beginner will benefit from as well.

Tarot Classic by Stuart Kaplan - Review by Nina Lee Braden - Not just a companion book to Tarot Classic, a good introductory tarot book.

Tarot for the Green Witch by Ann Moura - Review by Bonnie Cehovet - Popular Green Witch author approaches the tarot from that perspective--earth-based pagan magick. Read another review of this book by Ron Hogan here.

A Magical Course in Tarot by Michele Morgan - Review by Diane Wilkes - This is a breezy beginner's book that contains surprising insights and a non-traditional approach.

The Tarot by Alfred Douglas - Review by Nina Lee Braden - A classic slim volume initially published in the seventies.

Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary by Sandra Thomson - Review by Diane Wilkes - A comprehensive resource for all levels of tarot enthusiasts.

Tarot Tells the Tale by James Ricklef - Review by Ron Hogan - Read another review of this book by Joan Cole here and one by Kim Huggens here.

Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette  - Review by Diane Wilkes - An accessible introduction to Crowley's Thoth Tarot that is based completely on Crowley's writings. Read another review by K. Frank Jensen here.

Tarot Tips by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone - Review by Diane Wilkes -- Tarot School founders Wald and Ruth Ann share 78 techniques/suggestions on how to work with the tarot and more.

Putting the Tarot to Work by Mark McElroy - Review by Diane Wilkes - Innovative volume detailing methods one can use the tarot within a business, career, and public speaking context. - Read another review by Lee Bursten here.

Understanding the Tarot Court by Mary K. Greer and Tom Little - Review by Diane Wilkes - A wonderful workbook filled with innovative exercises that teach you how to deal with the tarot's bête noire: the Court Cards. Read another review of this book by Joan Cole here.

What Tarot Can Do For You by Barbara Moore - Review by Lee Bursten - Introductory book shares up-to-date approaches to the tarot by the Llewellyn Worldwide tarot acquisitions editor - Read another review of the book by Joan Cole here.

1-2-3 Tarot by Donald Tyson - Review by Diane Wilkes - Beginner's book that depends on catchphrases for three elements per card. Not recommended.

The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor by Wilma Carroll - Review by Chris Asselin - This book urges the novice to trust their instincts and not depend too much on the book.

Tarot Outside the Box by Valerie Sim - Review by Sandra Thomson - Sim provides a thorough introduction to the Comparative Tarot method and other creative and innovative techniques in this book.

The Smart Girl's Guide to Tarot by Emmi Fredericks - Review by Diane Wilkes - A hip chick-lit styled tarot primer.

Taking the Tarot to Heart by Mark McElroy - Review by Diane Wilkes - This book brings the same empowering, brainstorming techniques to love as McElroy's first book did for business. A complete tarot novice will be able to do the exercises in this book, but that doesn't mean it's just for beginners.

The Complete Tarot Reader by Teresa Michelsen - Review by Diane Wilkes - An instant classic beginning level tarot book. Structured like a textbook, this non-dogmatic, clear tome is the most important tarot book to have come out in at least 20 years.

The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination by Robert Place - Review by Mark McElory - A scholarly introduction to the tarot addresses symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith and more.


Intermediate

Living the Tarot - This book is an excellent introduction to the Qabala and Tarot.  Here is another review of this book by Diane Wilkes.

Archetypes on the Tree of Life - Another excellent book on Tarot and Qabala

The Mystical Qabala - This is not a Tarot book, but it is an excellent introduction to Qabala and the Tree of Life

The Book of Thoth - Crowley's classic is not an easy read. I would tackle this one after I had a basic understanding of the Tree of Life. It does contain a wealth of information and is a must for readers using the Thoth deck.

Personality, Divination and the Tarot - This book links Tarot to various psychological theories of personality.

Qabalistic Tarot: A Textbook of Mystical Philosophy - Wang's book is a classic, and has been used as a textbook on the Tarot and Qabala.

Tarot: The First Handbook for the Master - Connolly's new book takes an in depth look at the Celtic Cross Spread.

Tarot for Everyday - This book by Cait Johnson could have just as easily been placed in the beginner section, as it will appeal to all skill levels. Tarot for Everyday is full of rituals, meditations, activities and even recipes.

The Whole Tarot Workbook - A short introduction to esoteric Tarot.

Strategic Intuition for the 21st Century: Tarot for Business - a James Wanless' book on combining tarot and business - Review by Diane Wilkes.

Tarot and the Tree of Life: Finding Everyday Wisdom in the Minor Arcana - Isabel Kliegman's new book discusses the oft overlooked Minor Arcana in terms of the Kabbalah. Read another review of this book written by Diane Wilkes.

The Devil's Picturebook - Paul Huson's book is an interesting mixture of history, mythology, magick. It is not your typical Tarot book.

Tarot and the Millenium - This book explains the author's theory that Tarot is a portrayal of Christ's Second Coming. Two reviews: One by George Leake and one by Michele Jackson

The Esoteric Scene, Cultic Milieu, and Occult Tarot - Review by James Revak - This book describes the Tarot subculture in California in the 1970's.

Complete Book of Tarot Spreads - Review by Lisa Rush - This book contains a variety of spreads

The Underground Stream - Christine Payne-Towler's book provides a theory on the development of esoteric tarot.

Choice Centered Relating and the Tarot - Review by Diane Wilkes - Gail Fairfield's second tarot book continues her non-pictorial method of interpreting the cards with a plethora of layouts and questions to create individual, unique spreads.

Tarot & Journey of the Hero by Hajo Banzhaf - Review by Diane Wilkes - This beautiful and interesting book discusses the Major Arcana in terms of psychology and archetypes.

A Forest of Souls by Rachel Pollack - Review by Diane Wilkes - This thought-provoking book speaks to using the tarot for "wisdom readings," as opposed to personal ones. 

Tarot and Magic by Donald Michael Kraig - Review by Diane Wilkes

Invitation to Wonder by Jeanne Fiorini - Review by Diane Wilkes - This book contains many "case studies" on the familiar topics of family, love, and career, among others.

Tarot Symbolism by Robert O'Neill - Review by Nina Lee Braden - This seminal work on tarot history and cosmology is, sadly, out of print.

Professional Tarot by Christine Jette - Review by Diane Wilkes - Aimed at professional readers who want to start (or advance) their tarot practice, this is an excellent how-to book on all areas of tarot professionalism. Read another review of this deck by Lee Bursten here and one by Kim Huggins here.

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur E. Waite - Review by Nina Lee Braden - While this could be deemed a companion book to the standard Rider-Waite-Smith deck, its esoteric blinds and obscure language make this most appropriate for intermediate or advanced students of the tarot.

The Tarot Court Cards: Archetypal Patterns of Relationship in the Minor Arcana  by Kate Warwick-Smith - Review by Joan Cole - A look at a book devoted to seeing the court cards in primarily psychological terms.

Tarot and the Magus by Paul Hughes-Barlow - Review by Chris Asselin - A look at Elemental Dignities, the Opening of the Key Spread, and contacting your Guardian Angel

Tarot Decoded by Elizabeth Hazel - Review by Diane Wilkes - A book covering dignities of all sorts -- elemental, locational, modal, and more! Information combining tarot and astrology. Not for beginners.

Mystical Origins of the Tarot by Paul Huson - Review by K. Frank Jensen - A tarot book that offers historical perspectives on the tarot and individual cards as well.

Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang - Review by Lee Bursten - Explains Golden Dawn qabalistic system as it pertains to tarot.

Tarot: Get the Whole Story (Use, Create & Interpret Tarot Spreads) by James Ricklef - Review by Diane Wilkes - A more complex sequel to Ricklef's earlier work, Tarot Tells the Tale.


Nice to Have

The Encyclopedia of Tarot: Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - I would skip Volume 2 unless I was a collector of antique decks. Volume 3 has the most decks and is the newest. Read another review here.

The Tarot Dictionary - This handy book provides the interpretations of several classic Tarot authors in one volume, including A.E. Waite, Aleister Crowley, Papus and Mathers. Read another review of this book by Nina Lee Braden here.

Tarot Dictionary and Compendium - Similar to Tarot Dictionary this book also provides interpretations from several authors, though most of the authors are modern, including Rachel Pollack, Mary Greer, James Wanless and several others. Read another review of this book by Nina Lee Braden here.

The Key of It All - This is not a Tarot book, but it's 198 page chapter on Tarot has more information than many Tarot books. Especially interesting is Hulce's explanation of the symbolism of the Waite-Smith deck.

A Wicked Pack of Cards: The Origins of the Occult Tarot -This book by an international trio of authors, documents the history of occult Tarot. This is the first volume of a planned set.

The New Tarot: Variations on Ancient Images - Rachel Pollack's mini-encyclopedia provides descriptions and commentary on 70 Tarot decks. As always, her writing provides insightful and enjoyable reading.

The Tarot Gypsy Tales - This beautifully bound book features poetry for each card, as well as interpretations and basic tarot information. A second review by Arnell Ando.

Never Cross a Palm With Silver - Lichtenberg's book discusses Tarot and the Bible, and provides information on ethics and on how to select a reader.

Knights of Assisi - A small book of photographs by Bea Nettles, creatrix of the Mountain Dream Tarot Deck

Review: Through the Tarot Looking Glass In Search of Self: Guide to the Psychodynamics of Tarot Imagery - An "e-book" by Ellen Z. Uecker with a psychological approach.

Tarot Journeys - This book and CD provide meditations for the Major Arcana

The Tarot According to You by Nancy Garen - This is a workbook by the author of Tarot Made Easy.

Tarot Celebrations by Geraldine Amaral and Nancy Brady Cunningham - Book that combines ritual with Jungian Tarot analysis - Review by Mary Jane Bolle

The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading by Ian Rowland - Interesting but overpriced book on how "psychics" manipulate querents - Review by Lee Bursten

Tarot Spellcaster by Terry Donaldson - All kinds of spells using tarot - Review by Michele Jackson 

Totally Tarot: How to be a Tarot Detective by Vikki Anderson - Riddled with errors, but has an interesting approach for beginners.  Only recommended to Rider-Waite-Smith users - Review by Diane Wilkes

Tarot: Poetic Revelations and Other Verses by Pierre Chevalier - A book of poetry on the Tarot, the Kabbalah, and assorted other mystical and magical topics - Review by Diane Wilkes

Playing Card Divination for Beginners by Richard Webster - Not-quite-tarot, but has features than can be transferred to reading the tarot - Review by Lee Bursten

History of the Occult Tarot: 1870 - 1970 by Ron Decker and Michael Dummett -  An overview of Cabala, spiritualism, theosophy, Rosicrucianism, with biographical info about early Tarot esotericists and the Golden Dawn and their ideological descendants. Also provides a look at Tarot in the U.S. during the sixties and seventies - Review by Lee Bursten - You can read another review of this deck by K. Frank Jensen here.

Girl's Guide to the Tarot by Kathleen Olmstead - Review by Diane Wilkes - Charming book for teen girls that has surprising depth and considerable breadth.

The Tarot Journal: Using the Tarot to Explore the Subconscious by Carl Japikse - Review by Diane Wilkes - Template for an innovative Celtic Cross...repeated many times.

The Tarot: Methods, Mastery, and More by Cynthia Giles - Review by C. Demetrius Morgan - A book that expands on and extends Giles' classic, Tarot: History, Mystery and Lore.

Tarot and Dream Interpretation by Julie Gillentine - Review by Ron Hogan - Book combining tarot and dreamwork.

A Kaleidoscope of Dreams by Amber McCarroll - Review by Diane Wilkes - Quirky book with interesting illustrations of a bizarre/whimsical Majors-Only deck. Includes poems and essential oil matches for each of the Majors--a "personal workshop for your journey within."

The Kabbalah Tree by Rachel Pollack - Review by Joan Cole - Some tarot is intertwined into the text (and Kabbalah is influential on many tarot creators), which is somewhat introductory and quite accessible.

Llewellyn's 2005 Tarot Reader - Review by Diane Wilkes - Articles by numerous Llewellyn authors and other tarot writers, including Mary Greer, Nina Lee Braden, Mark McElroy and many others.

2006 Llewellyn Tarot Reader - Review by Diane Wilkes - Mark McElroy, Mary Greer, Rachel Pollock and other contributors share articles, spreads, and reviews. There is also a daily planner and information on various Llewellyn decks.

The Devil, The Lovers and Me - Review by Diane Wilkes - Kimberlee Auerbach's memoir about how a tarot reading encapsulated her life and allowed her to see patterns that ultimately helped her live a better one.

 


Books Written for Specific Decks

Motherpeace Tarot Guidebook - A new offering by Karen Vogel, co-creator of the Motherpeace Tarot Deck.

The Cosmic Tarot - Jean Huets. Two books have recently been released on this deck. I have not yet reviewed the other title, so I can't compare the two, but I will say that this book is excellent.

The Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg - Cynthia Giles book covers Russian history, Russian miniature and icon art, and some Tarot history as well.

Tarot of Ceremonial Magick - Duquette's book, though written for the deck of the same name, has useful information that can be applied to most Golden Dawn based decks.

The Rohrig-Tarot Book - This eagerly awaited companion book for the Rohrig deck has finally been translated from the German.

Navigators of the Mystic Sea - This book, written by the artist of the Navigators Tarot, provides insight into her unique take on Tarot and the Tree of Life.

Review: The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols by Angeles Arrien by Lee Bursten - This book is written for Crowley's Thoth deck.

The Goddess Tarot Book and The Goddess Tarot Workbook by Kris Waldherr - Review by Diane Wilkes - These are written for The Goddess Tarot deck, also by Kris Waldherr.

Tarot of Northern Shadows by Howard Rodway - Review by Vanessa Beeby

Whimsical Tarot by Dorothy Morrison - Review by Robert Moyer

The Spirit of Herbs: A Guide to the Herbal Tarot by Michael Tierra and Candis Cantin - Review by Teresa Michelsen

The Inner Child Tarot Workbook by Isha Lerner - Review by Diane Wilkes (This book focuses on the Inner Child Cards but has interpretations and questions for all decks)

Guide to the Tarot of the Sephiroth by Josephine Mori and Jill Stockwell - Review by Errol McClendon

Wisdom in the Cards by Leah Samul - Review by Michele Jackson of the Hudes Tarot Companion Book

Tarot ReVISIONed by Leigh McCloskey - Review by Diane Wilkes - Companion book to McCloskey's deck of the same name, but much much more. Also costs much much more

 


Tarot Fiction

Arkham Asylum - Review by Yvonne Rathbone

Castle of Crossed Destinies - Review by Sherryl Smith

Dating Without Novocaine - Review by Diane Wilkes

The Fig Eater - Review by Diane Wilkes

The Fool's Journey: A Romance - Review by Diane Wilkes

Four of Fools - Review by Diane Wilkes

Gypsy Gold - Review by Diane Wilkes

The Hanged Man - Review by Diane Wilkes

Little, Big - Review by Lee Bursten

The Tarot Café, Vol. 1 - Review by Diane Wilkes

The Wishing Garden - Review by Diane Wilkes



Reviews Copyright 1996/97 Michele Jackson, except as noted
Page Copyright 2000 Diane Wilkes