Review by Solandia
Llewellyn's Tarot for a New Generation, by Janina Renee, is a guide to reading tarot cards. It provides practical tarot meanings and advice, concentrating on situations and social issues affecting the 16 to 25 year old age group, as well as a decent introduction to the process of reading tarot cards. The language is much simpler than most tarot books and written in the second person, as though the author is speaking plainly to a teenager but without being condescending.
The book's introduction focuses on on how to get ready for a reading, gives pointers on how to read the cards, sample three and ten card readings, and offers a few ideas on other uses for the tarot, such as meditation, visualisation, spells, and as a learning aid.
The main section of the book, the card interpretations, covers both the major and minor arcana in similar depth. Two to four pages of advice and interpretive suggestions are given, and the relevant card from three different Llewellyn decks is shown for artistic comparison. (The decks are the World Spirit Tarot, Legend: the Arthurian Tarot and the Universal Tarot.)
Renee does not give lists of keywords or short phrases that apply to the card, but instead describes the card and its traditional archetype. She goes into detail on how the energies of the card may be experienced in up eight areas, each appropriate to the individual card. For example, the Justice card has a group of meanings entitled Balance, Character, Decisions, Education, Equality and Fairness, Legal Matters, Karma, and Relationships. The Four of Cups has sections of Behaviour, Contemplation, Emotional Ties, Health, Home Life, Personalities, and Romance. The Seven of Wands is divided into Challenges, Individualism, Positioning, Success, Timing, and Some Thoughts on Social Outsiders.
Each of the main headings has an explanatory paragraph of advice and potential meaning, tailored to events that may manifest in the life of a young adult - such as education, love life, family relationships and peer pressure - but which are not exclusively applicable to them. The book paints a broad outline of the spectrum of meaning for each card, as Janina Renee has included meanings not only for a single card, but also for the card surrounded by positive cards; surrounded by negative cards; and in the reversed position.
The appendices at the end of the book have a short set of new meanings of tarot cards as significators, an explanation of colour symbolism, and a page and a half on reading to gain advice. The notes, bibliography and glossary are also fairly extensive.
While aimed to be relevant to a teenager or young twenty-something, the card meanings are often age unspecific, meaning that you don't necessarily have to be of the 'New Generation' to find the text and advice useful. Anyone of any age may use the book to offer a different perspective (or two) on the cards in a tarot reading, though the younger tarot novice may find the book the most useful.
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.