Tarot: Your Everyday Guide by Janina Renee 
Review by Valerie Sim-Behi

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

I found this book to be refreshing. Ms. Renee takes a non-divinational approach to reading and interprets each card in a totally mundane and practical manner. All of her interpretations are based on the cards lending down-to-earth advice and problem-solving, rather than cosmic predictions. 

Here is part of what the publisher has to say about this new approach to Tarot on the inside cover page of the book: 

"Most people think of the tarot in terms of divination or fortune telling. You may not realize that the cards can also suggest courses of action for resolving problems, making positive changes and even encouraging good luck!"

Tarot: Your Everyday Guide is just that --- a book that shows you how to consult the tarot regarding dozens of everyday matters. Delve into the deeper meanings of each card as you learn more about its graphic illustration and symbolism, elemental association, and numerological significance."

I did not find as much as I had hoped pertaining to numerological significance, but other than that, the book did not disappoint. Many times I ran into really different spins on a particular card where I found myself 
thinking: "I thought I was the only one to come up with that angle!" But just as many times I found myself realizing that I never would have come up with what she did...yet believed that she was illustrating a viable and useful interpretation. 

She also showed by her myriad interpretations how one card within a reading can simultaneously work on multiple levels. Though this is done commonly by many readers with the Court cards, I find that it is often overlooked with the rest of the deck, especially the Minors.

Ms. Renee handles reverse cards exceptionally well. She refuses to take the trite and over-used "easy way out" of just making the reversed card meaning simply the opposite of the upright card's meaning. As all of us that have been reading for many years know, that method just does not work. 

A good example of a new approach presented for a specific card can be seen in Ms. Renee's interpretation of the Ten of Swords, both upright and reversed (pp. 246-147):

"The Ten of Swords may also suggest that you deal with problems that have been carried forward from the past. One way to do this is to accept responsibility for past misdeeds. If you have done something wrong, or gotten into some kind of trouble, accept the consequences, even if punishment is involved. Accepting consequences is another way to end a downward cycle and begin anew, even if it means starting over with a certain stigma."

And for the reversed card:

"The reversed Ten of Swords may also come up when you have experienced a crisis in consciousness, brought on by the recognition that self-defeating behaviors and past associations are clinging to your back, trying to drag you down. In this case, this card suggests that you work at breaking old patterns in a systematic manner."

I recommend this book to any reader who already has a sound grounding in traditional tarot card meanings. It does not replace such knowledge, but amplifies it in a productive and totally practical way. It adds that extra 
layer of meaning that I find necessary to make the cards live and breathe in this century.

Tarot: Your Everyday Guide by Janina Renee
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN 1-56718-565-7

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

Valerie Sim-Behi is the founder and moderator of Comparative Tarot, an email list devoted to studying cards of different decks  in comparison to each other.   She has worked with the tarot for over 30 years, recently attending a Blake Tarot Workshop with Ed Buryn.  Valerie created a spread that will appear in the book accompanying the Victoria-Regina Tarot by Sarah Ovenall, and has written various articles, including one on the Comparative Tarot method that will be published in Llewellyn's Tarot Calendar 2002.  You can visit Valerie at the Comparative Tarot website.