Never Cross a Palm with Silver: A Radical New Approach to the Bible, Divination and Destiny by Jacqueline Lichtenberg                                                                    Review by Michele Jackson

This book is the first in a proposed series of books titled: The Biblical Tarot. It is basically a treatise on whether divination with the Tarot is prohibited by the Bible. A secondary theme is whether one should pay for a Tarot reading, and what to look for in a Tarot reader.

The book is written as a series of questions and answers, with a chapter devoted to each question. The questions are:

The author then answers each question according to her own beliefs. There are a large number of lengthy footnotes. One gets the impression that this was written some time ago, and that the footnotes are being used to bring it more up to date. The book is also rather short at 142 pages of large-print text. It could be read in an afternoon, and it puts one in mind of a long term paper rather than a book. There is also a Glossary, a list of recommended titles, information about the author and an excerpt from the next book in the series: "The Magic of Wands."

The author presents her case in a fairly straightforward manner, but some of her opinions are not in the mainstream. For example she states that "…the Minor Arcana are much, much harder to master and are the main study for advanced students." My experience has been the opposite. Many of the more advanced texts in my Tarot library either ignore the Minors altogether, or give them short shrift as the tools of "fortune tellers." While I disagree with many of Lichtenberg’s views and conclusions, I did find the book thought-provoking. Beginners will find that it answers some of their questions on the ethics of reading for others, and more advanced students may find some information that makes them re-examine, if not change, their views.

I recommend this book primarily for those who are interested in the ethics of tarot reading. While the author does give her views on Tarot and the Bible, I do not think that all readers will agree with her conclusions. Likewise her conclusions on how and why tarot works and whether and how much one should charge for a Tarot reading. I have seen endless arguments on all of these topics in my on-line travels over the years, but some of the author’s reasoning was new to me and it was nice to see the topic laid out without the emotions that usually accompany on-line discussions of these topics.

Never Cross a Palm With Silver
Author: Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Publisher: Belfry Books (717) 869-2942
ISBN: 0-9637498-5-4

This page is Copyright 1997 by Michele Jackson