Review by Bonnie Cehovet
“May you have the foresight to know where you are going,
the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
and the insight to know where you are.”
“Tarot Dynamics Unleashed” takes Anna Burroughs Cook’s “Tarot Dynamics” (Kima Global Publishers, 2009) to a whole new level! The basics remain the same:
Five basic keywords are presented for each card, accompanied by definitions that apply to “real life”.
The characteristics of the five suits: Major Arcana – Karma, Wands – Change, Cups – Emotion, Swords – Challenges, and Pentacles – Ambition.
Basic Tarot spread information that enables the reader to work with illustrated and non-illustrated (Marseilles style) decks.
Formatting that enables the reader to use the deck of their choice.
What has been added opens up a whole new world!
Additional information on Numerology that takes reading to a more in-depth level.
An in-depth discussion on the “missing link” between Tarot and Astrology.
An explanation of the “Fallen Cards”, and how to interpret them.
The Numerological and Astrological “How to” sections allow the reader to quickly expand their understanding of the Tarot without creating unnecessary confusion.
In her introduction, Anna talks about her personal “Do’s and Don’ts”:
Do memorize the characteristics for the five suits.
Do develop your own keywords.
Do be creative.
Do not be surprised if reading for others is easier than reading for yourself.
Do not memorize anything that you do not want to memorize.
Don’t read the cards for yourself unless you are in control of your emotions.
Don’t do a full reading (for yourself or for others) too often.
Don’t read for other people who are upset.
Don’t attempt to read for anyone who intimidates you.
Don’t expect the reading that you do today to solve any and all issues that the Seeker might experience in the future.
Anna also talks about choosing a deck, the difference between working decks and personal decks, reading for people at a distance, intuition versus imagination, a hint of romance (the definition for each of the Court cards, as well as the entire suit of Cups, contains a sub-heading referencing romance), along with a brief FAQ on the Tarot.
The cards are presented with black and white scans of the Universal Tarot (Lo Scarabeo), along with the card title, keywords, personal strengths, personal weaknesses, and tips for new students, a description of the card, how it functions in an encouraging situation, how it functions in a challenging situation, and how it best applies.
Court cards are always seen as triggering either regeneration or degeneration (falling back a step or two). Kings deal with initiative relative to each of their suits, Queens with people and coping skills, unexpected developments and the behavior of the Seeker, Pages indicate a work in progress.
There is a special chapter on timing (always difficult to work with!), signature cards, combining numerology with the Tarot, an d fallen cards (What falls to the floor comes to the door.).
Spreads offered include a one card spread (Personal Guidance), a three card spread Personal Enlightenment - State of Affairs/Hindsight, Self/Insight, Challenges/Foresight), and the traditional Celtic Cross spread.
I loved the section on “Majorities”, where Anna talks about which are the most important cards in the Celtic Cross spread. Examples abound, so this material is very easy to follow! There are also key points to reading the Tarot cards in any spread.
A very special section, to me, anyway, deals with Tarot and the moon, in the format of a horoscope spread.
This is not just a book to be read and put away – it acts as a reference book that helps the reader move to a deeper level in their reading each time they use it. It makes Tarot fun, and accessible.
“Tarot Dynamics Unleashed” has something for everyone: an easy way for beginners to learn to read the Tarot, a clear path for intermediate level readers to bring their knowledge and understanding of the Tarot to a deeper level, while more experienced readers will find compatible ways to blend the old with the new. Thumbs up!
© Bonnie Cehovet
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.