Review by Solandia
The hardcover book, Tarot for your Future, presents Sandra Pendle’s own method for tarot reading, which she has used for over twenty years as a professional reader. It’s a very in-depth reading method that uses a sequence of four multi-card spreads to explore the querent’s character, relationships, work and finances, and past, present and future events for a full picture of their situation.
The book itself is a large size 130-page hardcover, with an unusual fold-out front cover that has illustrations of the four tarot spreads on the inside flap and inner back cover; a novel layout, but is a little awkward to use as it takes up a lot of space on a table. The inner pages are spiral-bound, glossy and full-colour, illustrated with card images from Morgan-Greer Tarot.
Inside, the book presents beginner information on Tarot. It’s not a bad introduction to the cards, explaining a little about the history of tarot and decks, then following with an FAQ section with questions like, ‘Is tarot related to the Devil?’ (obviously not, but it can be a concern for some with a strong religious background); how to present bad news to querents (carefully); if you can do another reading if you don’t like the first one (no, in short).
The four spreads that form the basis for the complete reading, and the book, are:
Doing all of these spreads in order is time-consuming (it took me over an hour just to complete the first two), but Sandra does give an option for the reader or querent that just wants one question answered, in the ‘Asking a Specific Question’ section, that involves five cards laid out in a row. She also has provided three full case study readings for three theoretical people, Mary, Carl and Andrea, that explain how the four spreads are read and combine to make the complete reading.
- Character Cross (the Celtic Cross shape plus four extra cards in a second stave);
- Relationships (20 cards in a square grid);
- Star of Work and Finances (17 cards in a star shape);
- Events Triangle (21 cards in an upside-down triangle).
The main section of the book is devoted to the card interpretations. For both major and minor arcana cards, there is an image of the card and a quick text description of the card symbolism, and interpretations divided up into five panels:
The meanings (provided both upright and reversed) are fairly basic, down-to-earth fortune-telling interpretations, and are a little idiosyncratic with it. For example, The Magician’s Work & Finance reversed meanings are: “Dead end job with no prospects. Misery at work. Disliked by work colleagues. A need for a fresh start.” The Queen of Cups’ Basic Meaning: “ Wisdom. Virtue. Happiness. Intelligence.”
- Basic Meaning
- Work & Finance
- Events for Us & Others
While the reading method in Tarot for your Future is described as a suitable for beginner to expert, the book somewhat awkwardly straddles the two. The more experienced are capable of interpreting the broad spreads that cover wide time spans, but may find the provided card interpretations rather simplistic. Beginners can make use of the categorised interpretations and basic introduction to tarot, but may also find the sheer number of cards to be read rather daunting – there are over seventy cards in the four spreads that make up a full reading.
Overall, this book is best for enthusiastic – and persistent – tarot beginners, who aren’t looking for an intuitive or spiritual approach to using tarot, but prefer a fortune-telling method of reading that spells out the specific meanings of the cards in their spreads.
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.