Llewellyn's 2006 Tarot Reader edited by Kate Brielmaier
Review by Diane Wilkes

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

It's that time of year again when parents begin to get their children ready for school, buying trapper folders and new jeans and whatever kids need to succeed on their scholastic path. But for childless me, August/September is the time of year when I start receiving calendars and the Llewellyn's 2006 Tarot Reader, which suits me just fine.

This is the second year of the publication, and I am happy to say there will be a third, because Kate Brielmaier does a fabulous job with it. For the tarotist who has everything (or even the tarotist who has very little), a tarot-themed planner chock-filled with articles both practical and informative is a real boon. And while the price of everything else seems to be rocketing into the stratosphere, this edition is actually less expensive than last year's model. Anyone who doesn't call that a bargain is just a curmudgeon.

The articles are contributed by Llewellyn authors and some familiar and some not-so-familiar writers in the tarot community. As is always the case with a group of authors of varying styles and backgrounds, you will find some essays more appealing than others--at least, I did. But only one was unreadable and many of them were simply terrific. I will focus on some of my favorites:

While I have highlighted just some of the essays that I was particularly pleased by, I gleaned at least one pearl of wisdom or insight from most of them. Llewellyn's Tarot Reader also includes deck reviews and, of course, the calendar portion that allows you to use it as a planner.  As in the past, it includes the moon's sign and four main phases (again, I'd like that increased to eight, but it's a small cavil), and major holidays.

Lastly, there is a section of new spreads that I must admit I found rather plebeian. (Fortunately, there are several articles that include much more interesting layouts that I will investigate further as the year winds down.)

It may be that the book is so inexpensive because it also serves as a promotional device for Llewellyn, in that in each section, there's a "Closer Look" at at least one Llewellyn deck that emphasizes its features. This is done in a brief and informative manner and does not detract for me from the volume.

The attractive eight-by-five inch book could easily fit into a knapsack or large pocketbook, so it's relatively portable, eminently fit for off-the-cuff daily card pulls and brief notations. (Sadly, I am verbose and need much more room for my daily tarot reflections.) Priced at the ridiculously reasonable $8.99, Llewellyn's 2006 Tarot Reader is truly a bargain for tarotists at any levels of the journey. I recommend this highly, if only for Greer's pivotal piece on Waite's Minors, which is essential reading for every tarotist.

The book's Table of Contents is as follows:

The Fool: Tools for the Journey

Following the Fool by Arnell Ando
One-Card Readings by Elizabeth Genco
The Voice in the Card by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone
Seventy-Eight Faces of Divinity by Nina Lee Braden
Tarot for Two by Mark McElroy
A Closer Look at: The Bright Idea Deck
Living La Vida Arcana: Beyond the Celtic Cross by Thalassa

The Magician: Practical Applications

Going Pro by James Wells
Ask a Better Question by Mark McElroy
Psychic Fairs, Public Readings by Corinne Kenner
Those Scary Cards by Winter Wren
The Celtic Heart Spread by Valerie Sim
Creation Stories: The Gay Tarot by Lee Bursten
The Karmic Insight Spread by Christine Jette
Teaching Tarot by Corinne Kenner
A Closer Look at: The Quest Tarot
Zapped! When Clients Explode by Elizabeth Hazel

The Wheel: 2006 Almanac

The Hermit: For Further Study

The RWS Minor Arcana by Mary K. Greer
The Hermit by Edain McCoy
Tarot Stories: Literature and the Cards by Diane Wilkes
Tarot and Ritual: The Aces by Bonnie Cehovet
Tarot Healing: Step by Step by Corinne Kenner
A Closer Look at: Medieval Enchantment: The Nigel Jackson Tarot
The Three-Card "Drawing" by Mary K. Greer
A Closer Look at: Victoria Regina Tarot
Justice: The Archetype of Balance by Leeda Alleyn Pacotti
Magic in the Cards by Janina Rene
Special Day Rituals by Nina Lee Braden
A Closer Look at: The Celtic Dragon Tarot
Working with Shadows by Christine Jette
World to World: Tarot and Kaballah by Rachel Pollack

Judgment: Deck Reviews

The Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot reviewed by Lee Bursten
Tarot of the Dead reviewed by Errol McLendon
The Pagan Tarot reviewed by Elizabeth Hazel
A Closer Look at: Faery Wicca Tarot
Ship of Fools Tarot reviewed by Elizabeth Genco
The Gilded Tarot reviewed by Diane Wilkes

The World: Spreads

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

Review and page 2005 Diane Wilkes