Review by Bonnie Cehovet
Past-Life & Karmic Tarot is a part of the continuing Llewellyn series titled "Special Topics In Tarot". The series is aimed at the advanced Tarot reader - covering in-depth topics and developing tools that can be used to further the personal and spiritual growth of the Tarot adept, as well as broadening the foundation of a professional Tarot practice.
In her foreword, Tarot wise-woman Mary K. Greer talks about using past life readings to explore aspects of yourself vis a vie personal interactions, job and career, and other locations and states of mind. She also does a wonderful take on Rachel Pollack's Wisdom Readings (from her Forest of Souls book) regarding what karma is, how knowledge of a past life can benefit us in this life, what is the purpose of karma, and how we can best resolve past life issues through the use of the Tarot.
McCoy does a very credible job of introducing the Tarot, and setting the stage for past-life and karmic readings. In this book, she uses the Robin Wood Tarot as the deck of choice for her examples. She also discusses the four suits, their gender association (Water and Earth are feminine, Fire and Air are masculine), and the general life areas that they represent in a reading. Also covered are the court cards, and the various facets that they can represent in a reading.
Several different past-life and karmic spreads are presented, each with a sample reading and interpretation. They are as follows:
* The Invoking Pentacle Spread: This is a six card spread, designed to give a broad overview of the past, along with inherited inner traits that make us what we are in this lifetime.
* The Dark Moon Spread: This is a four card spread that shows karma from past lives that has been hidden from you, and how that karma will manifest if you stay on your current course.
* The Irish Cross Spread: This is a ten card spread showing past life, past current life, future current life and future life paths.
* The Solomon's Seal Spread: This is a nine card spread that shows the elemental influences on your past life issues.
* The Karmic Choice Spread: This is an involved, twenty-one card spread that shows how specific karma, formed over several past lives, is manifesting as your major karmic issue in this lifetime.
* The Rainbow Bridge Spread: This is a nine card spread linking one lifetime to another.
* The Tree of Life Spread: This is a ten card spread dealing with the influences of the planets and planetary energy on each sephirah.
* The Big Picture Spread: This is a seventeen card spread that gives you the big picture for one specific lifetime.
* The Feng Shui Spread: This is a nine card spread that deals with who you were in the past, comparing it to your present and seeing if there are areas that were blocked in the past that are still an issue.
* The Lifetime Convergence Spread: This is a twenty-eight card spread that deals with the chain of events that brought you into your current life with someone that you were close to in one or more past lives.
* The Omniscient Time Spread: This is a thirteen card spread that brings together four of your past lifetimes that impact your current lifetime.
* The Growth Over Three Lifetimes Spread: This is a twenty-four card spread that deals with the physical, astral, mental and spiritual aspects of three lifetimes.
* The Next Challenge Spread: This is a ten card spread dealing with the next obstacle or challenge we will be facing in our current lifetime.
* The Future-Life Spread: This is a ten card spread dealing with our next lifetime.
* The Constellation Past-Life Wheel: This is a sixteen card spread (with an optional final three cards) that deals with looking at a past life through the movement of the constellations.
* The Unmasking The Past Spread: This is a seven card spread dealing with people in our current life that we may have had a past life connection with.
* The Past-Life Epiphany Spread: This is a ten card spread showing important lessons learned - or lessons that should have been learned.
At the end of the book McCoy goes into entering a Tarot card, a commonly used technique for accessing the wisdom of a particular card in a reading. She also ha a brief section on self-regression that covers the techniques of meditation and astral projection used in going back into the past.
Past-Life & Karmic Tarot is a wonderful tool of self discovery, and a wonderful tool for Tarot professionals to use in their practice. As a starting place, and a good reference, I highly recommend this book.
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.