The Whole Tarot Workbook by Paul Joseph Rovelli Review by Michele Jackson
This short book (78 pages) is a basic introduction to esoteric Tarot. Rovelli recommends the Thoth, and New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot decks be used with this workbook, as they have astrological information on each Minor Arcana card. Rovelli covers the basics of Qabala and Astrology, as it relates to Tarot in 33 "focal points". The focal points are the 12 signs of the zodiac, the seven sacred planets, four Greek elements, and the 10 major paths of the Qabala. By learning and utilizing this information, Rovelli feels that the reader can determine his or her own interpretations.
The book starts with a short introduction to the Tarot, including advice on choosing a deck, and consecrating it once purchased. A very basic introduction to the Qabala follows, with emphasis on the 10 Sephiroth and the Tree of Life. Next there is a section on the elements, followed by a section on Astrology. The last sections deal with pulling this information together in order to interpret the cards. Several spreads are provided, along with example readings. Some ritual information is provided, including the Lessor Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.
The entire book can be read in a couple of hours, though more time should be devoted to this book in order to complete the many exercises provided. The exercises are designed to help you retain the information covered. My only reservations about this book are the skimpy information on the Major Arcana and the poor editing. I found myself reading the book with pen in hand to make corrections as I went.
Overall, this is an excellent book. It provides a good base for further esoteric study, and rather than provide you with interpretations, it provides you the tools to determine your own. I recommend this book for those interested in starting a study of esoteric Tarot, or for anyone interested in a less canned approach to interpretation. I have not seen this book in any stores, having ordered it as a result of reading about it in The Winged Chariot. Copies are limited, so you might want to write and ask if any are available before you order. The address of the publisher is listed below:
A New technique
The reader will be lead through a terse method of using thirty-three focal points (12 Zodiacal signs, 7 sacred planets, 4 Greek elements, and the 10 major paths of the Qabalah) along with the archetypal image of the card to invent HIr own meaning for the cards. These points are derived from the planetary, zodiacal, and Qabalistic attributions discussed above. Compare this to the traditional method of taking 78 cards with X number of obverse and averse meanings and memorizing them by rote, If there were thirty meanings for each card time seventy-eight, the student would have two thousand three hundred and forty items to memorize before S/He can get started!
A technique for working with the pictorial images on the cards, completes the two-brained, streamlining of methodology. The reduction of the various meanings is limited to thirty-three focal points easing the left-brained, intellectual task of understanding the cards. Exercises are given, with examples, for jump-starting the creative, or right-brained, process. This process is an integral, and often unspoken element necessary for a truly successful card reading.
The Whole Tarot Workbook
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