This book has been republished under the titled Everyday Tarot. If you are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Choice Centered Tarot by Gail Fairfield - Review by Michele Jackson

This is one of my favorite Tarot books and the only reason I haven't reviewed it sooner is that it was very hard to find. I guess it has been reprinted because suddenly it is in many of the bookstores I frequent. Fairfield's book provides a simple method for learning the cards based on numerology. While this approach results in some non-traditional interpretations, it has the advantage of getting one up and running with a minimum of memorization. What makes this book special though is Fairfield's general outlook and approach. She discusses politically incorrect subjects like race, and body image as symbols. She encourages the use of personally designed spreads and provides excellent instructions on how to create them. Rather than just provide the interpretations and leave you to your own devices, she provides information on reading the cards. There is advice on how to read for skeptics, or children, or even yourself.

Fairfield provides interpretations for each card. For the Major Arcana she provides upright, reversed, positive, negative and neutral interpretations. For the Minor Arcana Fairfield describes a method of interpretation based on the qualities of the suit combined with the qualities of the number. She provides a neutral, positive and negative description for each number and then provides upright and reversed interpretations for each card with that number. The same method is used with the court cards. The book provides several spreads, some familiar and some designed by Fairfield herself. Her chapter on designing your own spreads is one of the high points of the book. She provides step by step guidelines, a list of possible positions and some examples. Her chapter on reading describes the process and discusses things like reading for skeptics and timing. Fairfield's entire approach is enabling rather than dogmatic. She gives you the basic tools and recommendations on how-to, but encourages you to find your own style. This book is recommended for beginners as an excellent introduction to the subject of Tarot, and to more advanced students as a source of new ideas and concepts. It is fairly short (151 pages) and can be digested in a couple of hours. More experienced readers may not agree with all of her ideas, but I doubt anyone can read this book and not come away with new insights. Highly recommended.

Choice Centered Tarot
Author: Gail Fairfield
ISBN: 0-9625088-0-2

Excerpt

Choosing a Tarot Deck

The key to the Tarot is the symbols used on the cards. They are the triggers and catalysts for our insights into ourselves and our lives. These symbols are chosen and drawn by people who are depicting the Tarot concepts in ways that are comfortable for them. Since an author's insights are filtered through her personal system of beliefs, her work will be affected by her psychological characteristics, philosophy of life, cultural values and experiences with the Tarot. Since the older Tarot materials reflect the "truths" of the Middle Ages, our experiences with the Tarot are often colored by the belief systems and values of that era.

If we want to apply the Tarot to our lives, we need to understand the basic concepts that lie beneath the symbols drawn by any given individual. Once we have uncovered those concepts, we can try on the symbols that have been used to represent them. We can decide whether the symbols chosen by a given author for a particular deck of cards are appropriate for us, in our own cultures and subcultures. Through understanding some of the kinds of symbols in use, we can more easily evaluate the Tarot materials that are available and choose the decks that work best for each of us.

Choice Centered Tarot, pg. 6

This book has been republished under the titled Everyday Tarot. If you are interested in purchasing this book, click here.



Review Copyright 1996/97 Michele Jackson
Page Copyright 2000 Diane Wilkes