Review by Solandia
Ticket, Passport and Tarot Cards is "a unique combination of personal diary, travel journey and Tarot imagery" from president of the Tarot Guild of Australia, Linda Marson. In her book, her Tarot readings are woven with her travel stories and experiences to explore each of the 22 major arcana cards.
"Stories from my personal travels show how my outer journeys ran parallel to stages in my inner journeys. Each story is preceded by a self-reflection spread done sometime before the events in the story – usually six months or more."
The first chapter of the book, ‘Preparing for the Journey’, explains the use of the Rider-Waite deck, a few general tips about interpreting Tarot cards and using reversed cards, and the use of the Self-reflection spread. This six-card spread is 'designed to help you reflect upon a particular aspect of your life', whether it be career, relationships, or life events. One of Linda's readings with this spread appears for each story associated with the major arcana cards.
Chapter 2, Introducing the Major Arcana, describes the Fool’s Journey and has a grid of quick, accessible key themes for the 22 cards. Chapters 3 and 4 covers the Court Cards and minor arcana respectively, and has a quick paragraph interpretation alongside the appropriate black and white Rider-Waite card.
Travelling Through the Major Arcana contains the five chapters devoted to the twenty-two major arcana. The cards are not listed in the traditional or expected order, but broadly grouped into:
Leaving the Nest – Fool, Magician
Marriage and Motherhood – Hierophant, Lovers, Moon, Chariot
Self-awareness – Strength, Wheel, Justice, Hanged Man
Change and Healing – Death, Tower, Sun, Star, Temperance, Empress, Devil
True Purpose – Emperor, High Priestess, Hermit, Judgement, World
For each major arcana card, there is a short synopsis of the travel story, a question and short answer based on that card, and the self-reflection spread and reading. The spread is illustrated by a black and white image of the six cards in their positions, and the reading is explained card-by-card. They are followed by the story or message of the card, a basic explanation of the card’s meaning, and then Linda’s Journey where she describes the places she went to, experiences she had, and how they linked with the theme card.
Excerpt from Temperance: Peace and Harmony in Sweden:
"I feel at peace in Sweden. Like the Angel in Temperance, I draw sustenance from her lakes, her forests and from the sea that beckons me each morning from the kitchen window. Friends drop by for Tarot readings and each time I vow to learn a little Swedish before the next visit. But it doesn’t really matter whether we speak English or Swedish – the images on the Tarot cards speak for themselves and everyone understands what is being said."
Most of the stories are from Linda’s perspective, while a few centre on the lives of one of her daughters as in The Fool: Leap of Faith. The story locations cover the world – Australia, Sofia Bulgaria, Rome Italy, China, Guatemala, Vienna, Austria, Berlin Germany, Machu Picchu in Peru, to name a few. The Hierophant: Culture Shock in Britain is set in Linda’s first year in the UK in the early seventies. Justice: The Justice Trail in Prague describes Linda’s move to Europe for a new career direction and new life. The Star: A Time of Gentle Healing is placed after Linda’s Tower experience with a brain haemorrhage. (The last chapter, The World: Destination Destiny is somewhat self-referential -- it covers the writing of this book!)
Physically, the book has glossy white pages with generous margins, and a font on the larger size. The bulk of the pages are regular black and white, but there is a central section of 26 full-colour pages. Each of these page features a card from the Rider-Waite, five questions to suggest its meaning, and colour photographs with notes on the travel stories linked with the card.
The basic overview of Tarot in Ticket, Passport, and Tarot Cards and the twenty-two sample readings are ideal to help a beginner understand of how the cards reveal their meanings. The book also offers a novel and personal approach to the major arcana for the more experienced reader and student. Ticket, Passport, and Tarot Cards is part autobiography, part travel narrative, and part Tarot manual – definitely a unique addition to any Tarot library.
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.