Luna Blanca's Tarot Book
Luna Blanca's Tarot Book is both a solid introduction to tarot and a reference book. It includes card interpretations (illustrated with the previously unpublished Tranquil Willows Tarot) and instructional chapters covering learning the cards, how to read, timeframes and more.
By Luna Blanca
Book - 224 pages - Self Published
Review by medusawink
Luna Blanca has been working with tarot for more than 20 years. She has compiled much of her hard-won insights into this solid 212 page “Luna Blanca’s Tarot Book”, which serves as both an introduction to tarot and a reference book. The book covers the Major Arcana at length, and the Minor Arcana in less detail.
Each card (Major Arcana) has its own chapter with nine subheadings which an address important facets of tarot interpretation. There is a lengthy description of the meaning of the card which covers both spiritual and physical dimensions. These divinatory meanings fall within the standard spectrum of accepted definitions – lots of talk about the soul, karma, paths, and how the cards meaning may manifest. 'Dark Side' briefly discusses negative or reversed meanings for the card. 'Light Side’ conversely, and unsurprisingly, is about the highlights and positive attributes of an upright card.
'Between the Deck' is not really the in-depth comparison you may expect, but rather superficially skims over vague descriptions of card illustrations from several different decks (Crowley’s Thoth deck,Goddess Tarot, Robin Wood Tarot, New Vision, RWS, Lover’s Path, Motherpeace) as well as titular differences which may point to some interpretive differences.
'As Lifetime Or Name Symbol' looks at how a card may represent an individual and the qualities they may possess or embody. This is quite detailed information which is especially helpful in reading the cards for others. Cards are worked out through numerology systems which are given at the back of the book.
'As a Year Symbol' locates the Seeker on a path of a nine-year cycle. It describes potential occurrences within the next 12 months of this cycle. Again this is worked out through numerology, and is included in a later chapter. This can include lessons, challenges, actual events, and spiritual influences. ‘Symbol’ information only pertains to the first nine cards of the Major Arcana from The Magician to The Hermit.
'In Spiritual Work'– all Major Arcana cards can be used in "Spiritual Work". This is generally prescriptive information – exercises to try; meditations, placing of sets of cards on one's altar to invoke or draw particular influences into one's life, prayer, ritual and so forth. These are great ideas and suggestions for both one's personal practice, and when reading for others. It allows a person to exercise influence over their spiritual development in a very precise fashion.
'Questions to Ask 'is a few questions the Seeker can ask themselves to establish clarity in a reading. These are questions that are quite introspective in nature and invite deep self reflection. When one draws a card that seems to exert a strong influence either on its own, or over a layout these questions become paramount.
'Affirmations 'gives the Seeker several affirmations to use when indicated by the strong influence of a Major Arcana in a position which may cause questions or concerns. For example if The Lovers was placed in a Hopes/Fears position of a reading the Seeker may find "I ask for what I want without shame" to be both a relevant and helpful affirmation or mantra to use for a while.
'Snapshot '– the author, Luna Blanca, describes this as a haiku-type poem which encapsulates the essence of the card. Some of these haiku-poems are quite immediate while others are somewhat indistinct. They are all very contemporary, with frequent references to modern technology – which sometimes seems incongruent with the often old-fashioned and romantic tarot imagery.
The Minor Arcana including the Court Cards are covered in considerably less detail. Each entry leads off with a description of the card, from the amateurishly illustrated (but naïvely charming) unpublished Tranquil Willows Tarot. The divinatory meaning that follows is concise and fairly standard, but it does give modifiers for particular card combinations, which are both interesting and helpful.
This is followed by a chapter on 'Learning the Cards 'which details recommended courses of action that will help a novice establish a regular and sound tarot practice. There are sub-chapters on 'Reading the Cards' and some ‘Basic Card Spreads’ (1, 3, 5 card draws) which detail the steps needed to do a reasonable beginners reading for oneself.
The chapter on 'Advanced Readings 'covers 6 more detailed spreads including ones for relationships, 12 month spreads, a version of the Celtic Cross called the Celtic Circle.
'Card Orientation' – reversed, or in the case of circular tarots – tilted cards – is touched on briefly. Given that this is quite a major aspect of tarot card reading, these few and scanty paragraphs scarcely does the topic justice.
The author also covers 'Timeframes '– predicting when an event will occur, which is notoriously difficult for even the most experienced tarot reader. Luna Blanca offers a commonly accepted view and method here – readings generally cover the time span between readings i.e. if you do a daily reading then the reading will cover the next 24 hours, if you do a yearly reading then the reading will cover the next 12 months, and so on.
'Learning Multiple Decks' suggests a journalling technique for learning multiple tarot decks with differing meanings.
'Reading for Others' is an all important, albeit short, chapter on the principles and ethics of reading for others.
There is a separate chapter which introduces techniques for using and combining 'Numerology And the Tarot’. Here you can find out how to deduce your Lifetime Symbol, Year Symbol, Name Symbol and how these numerologically significant symbols work together.
This is followed by a short chapter on 'Tarot for Meditation And Spiritual Intent’. This covers some exercises for expanding The Seeker’s familiarity and knowledge of Major Arcana cards. It also gives a technique for entering into the world of a tarot image, and 'Inviting A Tarot Character Into Your Dreams Or Meditations’. Other topics include using the cards to focus prayer and ritual, and a list of suggested 'Topics for Spiritual Work’ rounds out the chapter.
This is an excellent introduction to tarot, if you are a beginner. For those more au fait with tarot, this book will not offer you much new information. However if you are looking for a new voice revisiting much standard information then give this book go. Overall ‘Luna Blanca’s Book of Tarot’ is full of sound information and whether you are a novice, or an adept looking for some solid revision this book is definitely worth adding to your library.