Review by Bonnie Cehovet
Looking at the sub-title for Tarot D'Amour, which is Find Love, Sex, and Romance in the Cards, I was afraid that I had stepped off of the deep end. Somehow, someone had let Miss Cleo loose - and now she had dual personalities! In the real world, as any reader can attest, the areas of love, sex and romance are just one jump ahead of finances on the most requested topics for a reading list. And it quite often happens that the Seeker absolutely does NOT want to hear what the reader has to say!
The Daniels' have addressed an area that generally takes a great deal of finessing with warmth, humor, and integrity. This is a serious work, well researched and well written, that could prove to be one of the greatest tools that any serious Tarot reader would want to have in their hands - whether they read only for themselves, or also read for others. If you sense the Magician lurking in the background, looking over your shoulder as you read this book - know that you are in good company.
One of the first things that the Daniels' address is the fact that the Tarot acts as a mirror for our lives. Whatever is happening in the physical world will be reflected in the cards. If we want to guide our own destinies, what better tool than the Tarot to help us understand our lives, make better decisions and experience personal growth.
The stated focus of this book is on love, emotions, sexuality, romance, and the relationships in which they occur. The beginning of the book acts as a basic primer to set the stage for further work - it describes what the Tarot is, discusses purchasing a deck, as well as the process of clearing and getting to know your deck. It shows how the Tarot is structured, giving upright and reversed keywords for each of the Major Arcana cards, as well as discussing the four suits of the Minor Arcana. I am a true lover of charts and graphs, and the Daniels' present a well done chart for the Minor Arcana suits, listing the suit, its associated Element, sign, purpose, realm, affects, sexual link, anatomical influence, and season. From the book:
Sign: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Purpose: Doing and Creating
Realm: Inner Spirit
Affects: Will, Desire, Enterprise
Sexual Link: Attraction, Passion Anatomical
Influence: Digestion, Hunger, Sleep
Each suit is then discussed, along with its key associations and how this is applied in a reading. A very good section for all levels of Tarot students.
There are also excellent charts for elemental correspondences (which elements get along, which don't), and the court card correspondences (sex, type of power, active or passive nature, and keyword).
The Daniels' list ten "themes" for transformation - things that we can feel at home with and relate to our personal experiences:
1. Finding your own way.
2. Living your life as if it is an intriguing adventure.
3. Freeing others from blame for your problems.
4. Learning to express both your love and your power.
5. Taking charge of your own attitudes and feelings.
6. Learning from various kinds of relationships.
7. Drawing nourishment from both your senses and your depths.
8. Encouraging intimacy and satisfying lovemaking through good communication.
9. Bringing closure to old, unfinished conflicts or complexes.
10. Invoking the magic of love through mutual respect.
The Daniels' have done a very thorough section on interpreting the Tarot - without talking down to anyone. The suggest taking the following eight items into consideration when interpreting a card:
They then proceed to discuss each of the items in turn. When looked at individually, and then placed into the context of the card and the reading, interpretation becomes much less overwhelming for the fledgling Tarot reader.
Under guidelines for reading, the Daniels' present good, common sense information on how to set up and present a reading, without overstepping anyone's boundaries. They give the guidelines for a yes/no reading, a three card spread, a chakra spread, and a double chakra spread, which addresses both partners in a relationship.
The presentation of each of the 78 cards is skewed towards love, romance, sex and relationship - which is what this book is all about, after all! Seen in this context, it may make it easier for readers who are having a hard time putting "real life" into the storyline of the cards. Each of the Major Arcana cards lists key meanings, loving qualities, loveless qualities, astrological connections, most compatible cards partners, romantic interpretation, emotional interpretation, sexual interpretation, sexual play and reversed card interpretation. Each of the pips lists key meaning, reversed meaning, romantic interpretation, emotional interpretation, sexual interpretation and reversed card interpretation. Each of the court cards lists key meanings and reversed meanings, romantic interpretation, emotional interpretation, sexual interpretation, and reversed card interpretation.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with this book, and feel that it is a wonderful tool that addresses some of the biggest, and most difficult, areas of Tarot reading. I highly recommend it to all levels of Tarot students.
© June 2004
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.