The Tarot Revealed
The Tarot Revealed is a beginner's manual from the 1960s, written when the author (a tarot teacher at the time) couldn't find an appropriate book for her students. She provides definitions and illustrations for the Rider-Waite cards, and explains the Celtic Cross and Tree of Life spreads.
By Eden Gray
Book - Published by Bell Publishing Company
Review by Bonnie Cehovet
I was quite excited to find The Tarot Revealed in my mail box. It is not a personally signed copy, nor does it have any other "unique" characteristics. However, it is one of the first items that I ever bid for on eBay - and I got it! OK - yes, I was the only person that put in a bid. But I was curious about the process of eBay, as well as personally interested in this book, so everybody won here.
The Tarot Revealed came out of the experience of teaching Tarot, and Eden Gray's inability to find books that adequately covered the topic for her students. Considering the time period in which she was writing, I believe the book holds its own well. One of her stated purposes was that of taking the complexity and obscurity out of Tarot. In part, this was achieved, as (using the Rider-Waite deck for reference) she does give fairly solid definitions for each of the cards.
The cards are presented as black and white scans. Gray then gives a description of the card, the divinatory meaning and the reversed meaning. One exception was the reversed meaning for the Four of Wands. The statement she makes on this is: "Here the meaning remains unaltered; it is still prosperity, increase and bounty." There is no "reason" given for this, and it certainly would not be something that I would agree with.
At the end of the book, she presents the Celtic Cross and Tree of Life spreads, with examples for interpretation. I found her instructions to be clear, and her interpretations viable. The Tarot student using this book would certainly be able to get a basic grasp on the world of Tarot.
Gray also includes a section on meditating with the cards, which I found to be well written and certainly useful for someone getting to know the Tarot. Her section on symbols in Tarot is to be commended. To learn the cards properly, to meditate on them to best advantage, having a clue or two as to what is behind the pictures and the words is a wonderful gift.
This book shall remain a part of my Tarot library - a wonderful reminder of where Tarot came from not so very long ago, and a great example of Eden Gray's work. Whenever you get the chance to obtain a book like this - at least think about it. You may end up having it be the high point of your day, as this one was for me!
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.