Tarot Dictionary and Compendium by Jana Riley
Review by Nina Lee Braden

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Tarot Dictionary and Compendium by Jana Riley is similar in format to Bill Butler’s A Dictionary of the Tarot, but instead of using historical sources for each card, Riley uses mostly contemporary sources.

The bulk of the book consists of cross-referenced meanings for each of the seventy-eight Tarot cards. Each card has a brief excerpted quote about it from various Tarot authors: Angeles Arrien, Norma Cowrie, Aleister Crowley, Pamela Eakins, Gail Fairfield, Mary Greer, Vicki Noble, Rachel Pollack, Juliet Sharman-Burke, R. J. Stewart, A. E. Waite, Barbara Walker, James Wanless, and Riley herself. Are you having trouble understanding the Six of Swords in a particular context? Then turn to the Six of Swords in Riley’s Dictionary and read what a variety of authors have to say about the card. One of them will probably resonate very well for you.

The book is illustrated in black and white from a variety of decks. It seems to have a feminist bias on the basis of the authors chosen to feature. There is an excellent section on Tarot correspondences and a brief but useful section on layouts. All in all, this is an excellent Tarot book and one which I recommend to every student of Tarot.

Tarot Dictionary and Compendium by Jana Riley
Publisher: Samuel Weiser
ISBN#: 087728-8216

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Review © 1999, 2003 Nina Lee Braden
Page © 2003 Diane Wilkes