Review by Bonnie Cehovet
"Easy Tarot Reading - The Process Revealed In Ten True Readings" is based on Ellershaw's previous work, "Easy Tarot". I was not fond of that book, because, while the information presented was in depth and valuable, it was presented in a very "do it my way" tone. This sequel is another matter entirely! I absolutely adore this book, and totally admire Ellershaw for the time and dedication it took to pursue clients that were willing to share their readings (and check in for updates!), to take the time to present templates for each of the readings, and to present the "story" that a reading really is in fine fashion!
The book starts off with a bang - the cover featuring artwork from the awesome Ciro Marchetti (Gilded Tarot, Tarot of Dreams, Legacy Tarot, Oracle of Visions), and a foreword by Barbara Moore. In her introduction, Ellershaw talks about how the lines of theory and practice are blurred when giving readings. One can know what the individual cards mean, but to put together the story it something else. She decided that the best way to show how to put the story together was to document actual readings, and document them in the present tense. She then checked in with her clients over time (with their permission), to see how the story of their reading played out in their actual lives. The clients are as diverse as they would be in any readers clientele (these are her titles for the chapters): The Gay Man, The Business Owner, The Former Model, The Skeptic, The Email reading ... With A Twist!, The Silent Client, The Cowboy, The Mad Hatter, The Yoga Teacher, and The Rock Band. The choice of clients was made to provide a diversity of age, gender, and backgrounds. Each client also agreed to share how they felt about their reading, in their own words.
In showing the reader how to get the best from this book, Ellershaw suggests that they lay out their own cards in the diagram shown for each reading. This is a valuable tool, because the reader will be able to instantly see where the connections between cards arfe being made. She also mentions that while each reader needs to develop their own card meanings, she does have a brief summary of card meanings at the end of the book. She suggests that each reader create their own Tarot journal, and addresses reversed cards, the "Anchor" spread, the Life spread, the role of the key cards, using the Celtic Cross to answer specific questions, and the timing system that she uses for the Celtic Cross spread. She also talks about who shuffles the cards, support from friends and the Tarot community, and ethics and responsibility.
The reading were very well presented, with in-depth explanations of what she was doing, and why. Enough information was given about each client so that the reader could see where the reading fit into their life. The reading process consisted on interpreting two separate spreads: the Anchor Spread, which consisted of seven cards from the Major Arcana, covering base, central theme, work, love, immediate future, wishes, and future, and the Life Spread, which consisted of twenty-one cards drawn from the entire deck, covering one key card, and four cards each for home, work, personal, love, and future.
The presentation of each reading began with a first impression of the cards, then an interpretation of each of the spreads, by area. If further information was required, a Celtic Cross spread was drawn and interpreted. Each reading presentation ends with results and feedback, along with reader tips. Ellershaw chats through the reading with her client, eliciting only necessary information from them (basically to affirm what she is seeing for them), to make sure they are comfortable with the process, and to explain to the reader how the cards are coming together, and why she is interpreting them as she does. The whole process is gentle, flowing, and healing for the client, and readily understandable for the reader. She makes the reader feel as if they were sitting in her living room, having tea with her and chatting. Before you know it, you have learned something!
Throughout the book she includes tips for readers on various topics, including: ethical guidelines and responsibility, conducting email and telephone readings, delivering bad news, Seeker involvement and icebreakers, frequency of consultations, and indicators of success, secrets, and skullduggery. This is an excellent book for all levels of readers, and quite an effective way to learn to put the cards together!
© September 2011, 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.