Going Beyond the Little White Book
Going Beyond the Little White Book: A Contemporary Guide to Tarot is a book of modern, practical tarot interpretations. It focuses on card meanings in situations that people face in their daily lives, rather than on esoteric concepts.
By Liz Worth
Book - 354 pages - Self Published
Review by Mythic Silence
Worth’s book sets itself apart from many other books on the market by providing modern interpretations of the Tarot without a strong spiritual or systems based approach. It associates the cards with situations that laypeople face in their daily lives, making it a marvelous text for someone who wishes to read the cards in a straightforward manner for clients who may not be interested in more esoteric concepts.
Worth provides a detailed discussion of each card in the deck, delivering a practical expansion upon ideas that are often alluded to in tuckbox booklets. Every entry features one or two sentences describing the intention of the card and a brief mantra, followed by a description of the card’s key themes and potential challenges. Additional information pertaining to ways in which the card can manifest in career or relationship readings is also provided. Each entry concludes with a list of questions to consider when the card appears in a reading. Worth’s book focuses on career and relationship readings, which allows her to dig deeply into a myriad of possibilities for the cards in these contexts, and each card gets several pages of analysis.
The book’s interpretations largely follow the themes of the Rider Waite tradition, but the content does not explicitly refer to the deck’s imagery or major symbols. Since the concepts being discussed do not beget a need for card illustrations or diagrams, I did not feel the book was lacking in any way for excluding images. I personally found it refreshing to read a book that was filled with text from margin to margin without excessive white space.
I also appreciated that Worth gave just as much attention to the pip cards as the trump cards. The consistent treatment of the card types kept the book cohesive and provided a number of concrete and useful scenarios that both trump and pip cards could represent in a reading.
My favorite aspect of this book was the list of thought provoking questions at the end of each card entry. If you enjoy journaling with Tarot, these questions are fantastic prompts for your practice. The questions also are a great way to dig into cards that are giving you a bit of trouble in a reading (or in general). Exploring these questions when you read for yourself or others could lead to an illuminating experience, or at least an understanding of how an awkward card relates to a spread.
This book is a good choice for someone who is new to Tarot and looking to expand their knowledge of the cards with practical interpretations and minimal spiritual and/or systems based discussion. Those who have been reading cards for a while may also find some fresh ideas, especially if the bulk of their Tarot experience has not focused on interpreting the cards in more mundane contexts. Tarot readers who receive many inquiries about romance or career prospects will likely find some fresh and useful interpretations.
Worth’s writing is clear and conversational, though some additional editing would have streamlined the layout and addressed a few repeat concepts that pop up from time to time within a card’s entry. For example, in the section describing overall challenges associated with the Ace of Pentacles the author states, “Sometimes, we want to push ahead with a plan, but the timing might not be right. A new career change or other idea might not pan out the way you’re hoping it will if you force it.” Later, in the section for career specific challenges, one of the ideas is quite similar, “It’s not the right time to initiate a new career change or to take a financial risk. Something might not pan out the way you had hoped, or the timing could just be off right now.” There are also a few typos, but they are infrequent and meaning of the text is not lost because of them.
Worth’s book delivers what it promises – an expansion on some of the key themes and ideas that appear in many tuckbox booklets. If you are seeking a book that digs deeper into what a card means within a practical context and without the discussion of spiritual and occult subjects, this book might provide the perspective you’re looking for.