Tarot: Mirror of the Soul
A companion handbook for the Aleister Crowley Tarot, that doesn't get lost in the esoterism in the cards. Suitable for tarot users of all levels.
By Gerd Ziegler
Book - Published by Weiser Books
Review by Bonnie Cehovet
Tarot: Mirror Of The Soul is the companion book for the Aleister Crowley (Thoth) Tarot. I am impressed with the writing in this book - well thought out and well presented. Ziegler has a great deal to say, and never once talks down to the reader or gets lost in the esotericism of the cards.
From the book (page 7)
"If you are prepared to accept and approach the Tarot as an advisor, come with openness and loving respect, as you would to a good, wise friend. It will t hen be possible to develop vital, intimate communication with it. You will never cease to be amazed by the directness with which the Tarot answers, laying open obscure or hidden aspects of your life.
The highest goal of working with cards is an ever-growing trust in the perceptions from our inner reality, learning to hear the voice of our own hearts, discovering our own inner guide."
Before any information on the cards is even presented, Ziegler talks about how to ask the Tarot a question in a manner that results in an answer that is helpful, that points to the next step to be taken. He gives representative examples for the following areas (a technique that I feel truly allows the reader to get a handle on where the author is coming from):
* making decisions
* questions about the past
* questions about the future
* questions about the here and now
* questions about people not present
The manner in which Ziegler presents the cards is much more than simply informative - he presents the reader with options on where to go and what to do next. Each card starts out with a black and white scan of the card, under which are noted a series of keywords. From there he goes into a discussion of the card, and the specific sybmolism within the card. Under indications Ziegler gives us an idea of what energy this card carries and how that applies to the question being read for. Under questions Ziegler discusses questions that pertain to this card that the Seeker may want to ask themselves. (I liked this a lot - very a la Tarot For Yourself by Mary Greer.) Ziegler then presents suggestions - ways to go further into the information that this card has brought into the reading. One suggestion is to draw further cards on any questions that the card may have brought up for the Seeker. Ziegler ends the presentation for each card with an affirmation - again, very a la Tarot For Yourself, and a technique that I have worked with a great deal and found to be very rewarding.
At the end of the book Ziegler presents a well thought out series of spreads that deal with a variety of needs. They are:
* A four card spread for clarification of an issue or question.
* A seven card ellipse spread.
* The ten card Celtic Cross spread.
* A ten card modified Celtic Cross spread.
* A seven card chakra spread.
* A six card relationship spread.
* A six card internal balancing spread.
Ziegler has also included information on how to determine personal cards- the Soul card, the Personality Card and the Growth Card. Each card relates to a Major Arcana card, and gives the Seeker invaluable information about their path.
I recommend this book for Tarot students of all levels. The spreads could be used with any deck, but the information on the cards is pertinent to the Aleister Crowley (Thoth) Tarot.
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.