I'm a spiritual person - maybe some would call me a wee bit religious and I've always been fascinated by the world of tarot cards and their readings. This is why I jumped at the opportunity to read The True Nature of Tarot, written by the esteemed Diane Wing, MA. A lot of us have this preconceived notion that tarot cards and their readers are always going to be fake because no one can really predict the future. Well, the first thing Diane tells you is tarot cards are not meant to predict your future.
One of the other things that surprised me is this: we're all born with some kind of psychic ability - but we don't develop it or use it. As the hubby knows, I get premonitions. My family thinks it's kind of dumb but there are times when I can foresee some event before it happens. On occasion, it's something stupid like a de ja vu moment where I think I've seen a TV show before but it's the first time I've seen the episode. Other times, it's come in handy - like when I lived in Israel and didn't get on a certain bus (not for fear that I'd be hurt, but I had a premonition it would make me insanely late to work - and I wound up passing that bus on my way to the office while on a different bus because the original bus was broken down).
Tarot cards really intrigue me. One summer, while vacationing for a few days with some girlfriends, we stopped at a psychic who was at the local fair. I haven't had the greatest experience with psychics - a lot of them are extremely fake and will take you for your money if you let them. This one was amazing, though. With her tarot cards, she gave me a picture of what my life could be like if I allowed myself to be happy. Backstory: I was living in Michigan for a year after moving to Israel. I was miserable. Fast forward: The psychic (who only took donations) touched my hands and said "you may not want your girlfriends around to hear this" - what she told me was that my life didn't belong in limbo. By not living my dream, I was causing myself misery and she started to shape my future piece by piece with her cards. While this was a guide for what might happen, she was spot-on with her guidance.
Think of a tarot card reader as a behavioral psychologist who has to read you and your energy before proceeding with their work. They get a reading for your energy and start to form a plan based on what the cards are telling them and your "fortune" is only as good as the person reading the cards. Some people suck but the truly talented can interpret the cards with amazing results. Diane truly explained how to read what you're seeing in the cards.
What I liked:
Diane spells out that tarot cards have nothing to do with satanic rituals and should be used as a guide in life, not as a 'do things this way and X will happen'. She also really explains what to expect from your readings and how readings aren't a crystal ball that will tell you what your future is. If you find a card reader who is smart enough to read the cards properly, you'll get an amazing reading and a nice guide for yourself.
The book is also written from an academic perspective - you're supposed to LEARN from the book and Diane challenges you to take out your cards and try to interpret your own reading. I have a tarot card set that I bought in middle school. I dug it out and attempted to do my own reading...I should really stick to history because examining the past is MUCH easier than examining my future. Judaism has a long history of men and women who interpret signs (like readings in cards) for help in future guidance. With some more practice, maybe I'll be as good as they are.
What I didn't like:
The book was long and sometimes the verbage was over my head. Even as an MA student, sometimes the academic lingo caught me by surprise. This is the only thing I didn't like about the book. The pros far outweigh the cons.
Another thing I really like about this book is that Diane has devoted over two decades of research to this topic. As a fellow academic, I REALLY appreciate that! She's not just out to sell books, she's out to educate you and The True Nature Of Tarot is a great educational resource!
If you're looking to buy the book, you can do so at Amazon or Barnes and Nobles books.