Tarot Readings: The New Paradigm
Tarot Readings: The New Paradigm introduces Jennifer Reynolds' new system of definitions and card combinations for reading the cards. The reference book is also illustrated with images from the Robin Wood Tarot.
By Jennifer Reynolds
Book - 220 pages - Self Published
Review by Lori Lytle
In Tarot Readings: The New Paradigm, author Jennifer Reynolds introduces her “innovative and unique perspective in regards to the Tarot”, a system of definitions and card combinations that, in her experience, can take a reader’s skill to a whole new level, and provide a greater degree of accuracy and wider scope of information.
The book begins with an introduction that discusses the author’s philosophy concerning Tarot, how the cards work and best practices when reading for others. Much of what Reynolds says in this introduction resonates with me. She explains that there is a lot more going on during a reading than just spouting off a memorized set of definitions for the cards, rather there is a shift into a different level of consciousness than everyday awareness, a focus of intention and a tapping into the universal mind. She emphasizes that it is necessary to study the cards and the concepts they represent, and eventually the symbols contained within will begin to function from the reader’s higher/subconscious mind.
Reynolds goes on to talk about the content of the book, which is “unique in scope and nature”, and “will change the way we understand and read Tarot”. At the end of the introduction, I felt intrigued but I wished for further information about the nature of this new system, how the author came to create it, how it works, but an in-depth discussion was not included.
The rest of the book consists of reference materials in several sections, all illustrated with images from the Robin Wood Tarot (compatible with the RWS Tarot):
Simple Phrases – keywords for each card.
Medical Assignments – The author assigns medical issues to certain cards. Although Reynolds urges readers to remember that Tarot cannot take the place of professional medical treatment, and that a reader cannot legally diagnose or give medical advice without a license, this section still made me feel somewhat uncomfortable. Personally, I don’t usually include medical information in a reading, but that is just my own preference.
Definitions – This section provides longer explanations for each card, mainly in the form of keywords and phrases, for both upright and reversed positions. I found Reynolds’ definitions to be well thought out, useful and clear. This section contains a great deal of information and is a valuable resource for study.
Two Card and Three Card combinations – Reynolds formulated a wide variety of pairings of cards with very specific and practical meanings, but there is no explanation of how she came to these create these combinations, and no easily searchable index. Although this is a useful reference book I found it difficult to look up a card combination when I was trying out the system.
Quiz – A 70 question quiz with answers included to test the reader’s knowledge.
Jennifer Reynolds has produced an extensive and practical reference guide containing an in-depth exploration of Tarot definitions, and I like her take on what the Tarot can do, but I have to admit that I just couldn’t see the “unique and innovative perspective” that was promised. I intend to continue to try out her system, and perhaps more will be revealed to me through time and use. Although I would have liked further detail into the nature of her new system and an easy to use index, I would recommend this book as a useful reference for the student of Tarot.
Note: After reading my review, Ms. Reynolds kindly contacted me and we discussed the comments I had made, particularly my feeling that her book had a great deal of useful material but I found no easy way to access it. Since that time, I'm happy to report that she has added an extensive index to the book which makes her system much easier to implement. She also added a chapter called "How to Use the Book", which gives further explanation and instruction, and provides insight into how the book came to be. Ms. Reynolds uses this chapter to expand upon why and how she does health readings, including an astonishing example of how her cards prompted someone to see a doctor, which saved their life. Lastly, she changed the name of the book to, "Tarot Readings: Book of Combinations" which I feel illustrates the purpose and theme in a much clearer way. I recommend taking a second look at this work, now expanded and easy to use.
Lori Lytle is a professional Tarot reader based in Toronto, Canada and the founder of Inner Goddess Tarot. Her email and in-person readings focus on empowerment and personal growth. Visit her website and blog at innergoddesstarot.com.