Tarot Prediction: An Advanced Handbook of Images for Tomorrow uses the imagery of the Prediction Tarot for a better understanding of the Qabalistic assocations of tarot cards.
By Emily Peach
Book - Published by Aquarian Press
Review by Bonnie Cehovet
Tarot Prediction" is an updated (1991) version of Peach's Tarot for Tomorrow, published in 1988 by Aquarian Press. Peach bases her interpretations on the images in the Prediction Tarot deck - a deck that she feels has retained its basic Tarot integrity while updating the imagery for modern usage (although the images are not from a "modern" setting, but from what Peach terms a "Middle Ages of the Mind". "Tarot Prediction" draws quite heavily on Qabalistic tradition, presenting the reader/Tarot student with the challenge to "do the work".
Peach rather glides over the origins of the Tarot, choosing to focus instead on the transitions that the Tarot has gone through. She refers to transitional periods as that period of time when one "Age" is in the process of ushering in its successor, this being a time when change is greatly accelerated. (The availability of Tarot decks in the 1980's, as opposed to their availability today would be one point of focus, as would the greater acceptance of the public for Tarot today, as opposed to the 1980s.)
What happens during these revisionary time periods is that knowledge is brought up to date, so that its validity can be recognized based on current standards. Peach makes a good case for the images of the Tarot being universal, and originating, to some extent, from the Mystery Traditions of the Ancient World. A case in point here would be the card of the Lovers, as compared to an illustration of Isis and Nepthys, from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Peach does an excellent job of introducing basic Qabalistic concepts. such as the Tree of Life, the Three Pillars, the Sephiroth, the Triads, and the Four Worlds. She presents clear graphics, including a graphic of how each world is born of the world before it, and how each world is complete in and of itself.
The four suits are presented with their association with the four worlds, and the four elements. Peach describes the Small Cards (Pips) as representing the trends or events in the Seeker's life, and as functioning in the material universe only. Each card is presented with a black and white scan, Qabalistic attributions, along with a discussion of the card, and how it applies in life. (Keywords for the cards, dignified and ill-dignified, appear in the appendix at the end of the book.)
The Court Cards are seen, for the most part, as representing people in the Seeker's life (the Seeker, an aspect of the Seeker's personality, an individual other than the Seeker, gender and sexuality, or an event, thing, or commercial entity).There is an excellent presentation of the Court Cards in association with the Four Humours, which sheds great light on how they may function in a reading. Peach makes an interesting suggestion that the Court Cards interact with the forces represented by the Small Cards (Pips), and perhaps act at times as a point of focus. The Court Cards are presented with a black and white scan, the predominant element and predominant qualities, and Qabalistic Title, followed by a discussion of the card. In the appendix, keyword definitions are given for the Court Cards as people, and the Court Cards as events.
Note: The subject of significators comes up within the realm of the Court Cards in this book. While recognizing that there are other methods for choosing a significator, Peach is adamant that significators be chosen, based on astrological attributions and sex.
There is quite an interesting section on archetypal images and the Cube of Space. One look at the in depth graphic in this chapter is enough to make one realize that looking at flat representations of the Tree of Life positions does not show to any great extent how and where the energies of the Tarot converge and interact. I also liked the concept of the Cube of Space acting as a "third party system" to aid in comprehension.
The cards of the Major Arcana are presented with a black and white scan, extensive Qabalistic attributions, a graphic of their placement on the Tree of Life, and quite an extensive discussion of each card. (Keywords for the cards, dignified and ill-dignified, appear in the appendix at the end of the book.)
In her section on reading the cards, Peach touches on the aspects of resonance and dissonance for each of the cards. (She sees reading with Elemental Dignities as an integral part of reading the tarot.)
In discussing Tarot spreads, the types of spreads are divided into two categories - positional spreads and sequential spreads. Positional spreads are seen as being those with defined card positions. Sequential spreads are seen as being those spreads that show a line of cards that run in a timeline, such as Past/Present/Future.
In Appendix 1, Peach includes dignified and ill-dignified meanings for each of the cards; and how combinations (multiple cards with the same face number) can be interpreted. In Appendix 2 five different practice spreads are presented and discussed.
I found this material to be easy to understand, and the graphics very helpful. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to have a better understanding of Qabalistic associations and the Tarot.
© 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.