Review by Bonnie Cehovet
“Who Are You In The Tarot” begins where Greer’s previous book on birth cards, “Tarot Constellations”, left off. “Tarot Constellations” was already out of print when I found out about it. I was able to obtain a copy from a very good friend, the late Winter Wren, and have always been happy that I did so. Combining the energy of numerology and the Tarot opens us up to a vast amount of information … indeed, to a whole new world!
There are patterns in everything. The numbers found in our birth data (as well as in our name) tell us a great deal about ourselves – they define the theme for each lifetime, and show us the gifts that we came into each lifetime with, as well as the challenges that we will face. Scary, but empowering!
One of the things that I like about this book is that it is not a book to be read, then placed neatly on the bookshelf to be dusted off and admired from time to time. This book is a true resource, a reference book for associations between numerology and the Tarot, and a treasure trove of exercises that help the reader place this information in their psyche, and in their life.
The first few chapters of the book address the principles behind the book, what constellations are, the nine principles of the constellations, how to determine your cards, and how to work with them in a reading. Greer also addresses the issue of cards VIII and XI (Strength and Justice) in the Tarot, and how either placement is acceptable, but that the reader needs to be aware of which placement they are using when they are studying the definitions for the Personality and Soul cards.
There are many exercises sprinkled throughout the book that allow the reader to understand the material presented on a very intimate level. They will learn to dialogue with the cards, ask questions appropriate to each archetype, investigate the symbols in the cards, work with specific spreads to get to know your cards, determine the Hidden Factor, or Teacher card, and more.
There are easy to use charts throughout the book that help the reader to easily grasp Personality and Soul Patterns, with the Hidden Factor/Teacher cards associated with them; the nine constellations, with their associated Principle, Personality and Soul Card Patterns, Hidden Factor/Teacher Cards, and Minor Arcana cards; the suits, associated elements and their meanings; the three Dynamic Groups and more.
Greer defines the Personality Card as a major signpost along life’s journey, and the Soul Card as the goal or purpose of our being. The nine Tarot constellations express the nine major principles or archetypes underlying our metaphysical makeup.
Each of the nine constellations has a chapter devoted to it. There is a graphic that shows the Major and Minor Arcana cards in the constellation, the associated astrological sign and card function for the Major Arcana cards, the soul archetypes, keywords, and a short discussion of each of the cards. Murphy’s Law came into play here – each of the chapters was presented perfectly, except for the chapter on the Moon/Hermit constellation – which happens to be mine (and Mary’s, to be fair)! The problem is that the graphics from the Star/Strength constellation were inadvertently used, and astrological correspondence and card function were given for the High Priestess and Justice, rather than for the Moon and the Hermit. The rest of that chapter was just as well written as the other chapters were.
I loved the section on the Personal Year cards! This to me is incredibly important, and allows us to make the most of each year ahead of us. Greer notes that a decision needs to be made as to whether the reader prefers to use the calendar year (January through December), or birthday to birthday, to define the Personal Year. For me it doesn’t make a discernable difference, as I was born December 29th, but for those with birth dates deeper into the year, they will need to make this decision for themselves.
There is also a chapter on Soul Groups and relationship dynamics. This was covered wonderfully in Mary’s webinar with Linda Marson. Small promo here – CD’s of that webinar can be purchased here. Last but not least, there is a chapter on the Court Cards, and what they mean in a reading.
The bibliography is a selected bibliography, focusing on books directly related to the concepts presented in this book. In the view of transparency, I want to thank Mary for including my recently released book!
I loved “Tarot Constellations”, and I love “Who Are You In The Tarot?”! There is a great deal of material presented here, along with exercises to help make it “real”. My favorite topic of journaling is also included, as a manner of recording progress and understanding of the cards. Birth Cards can be worked with on a personal basis, they can be used for insight into all types of relationships, and they can be used when reading for others. This is a “must have” book for any Tarot library!
© September 2011 Bonnie Cehovet
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.