Designed to help the Tarot reader become spiritually enlightened, the Tarot of the Spirit has traditional major arcana but the minor arcana have been renamed to match the elements - earth, wind, fire, water.
Tarot Of The Spirit is a wonderful addition to the Tarot world. It acts as a companion book to the Tarot Of The Spirit deck, which is illustrated by Pamela's mother, Joyce Eakins. The wisdom in Tarot Of The Spirit can be applied to any deck that a reader wishes to use, making this an excellent reference book, especially as to the more esoteric nature of the cards.
A student of the Western Mysteries, Pamela Eakins intention upon writing this book was that it serve as an aid in studying the more esoteric side of Tarot, with an eye to strengthening and deepening the Seeker's understanding of themselves and their spiritual path.
Eakins provides a very concise introduction to the Tarot, the nature of the suits (Fire, Water, Wind and Earth) and of the individual cards - the 22 cards of the Major Arcana, the 16 Court cards (herein called Father's, Mother's, Son's and Daughter's) and the 40 pips (numbered cards).
When discussing reading the Tarot, Eakins makes the statement that the first card drawn for every spread is termed the Significator, and is of major importance. It is worth noting here that her definition of the significator is that it represents the issue or the question, not the Seeker, which would be the traditional interpretation for the Significator.
She presents five different Tarot spreads, which cover differing areas of inquiry:
* Elemental Indicators
* The Celtic Cross
* The Maga Diamond
* The Ten Gates of the Tarot of the Spirit
Each of the pips is presented with their esoteric correspondences, a discussion of t he card, the divinatory meaning, an interpretation of the card, and a discussion of the symbology on the card.
Each of the court cards is presented with their divinatory meaning, meditation, interpretation and a discussion of the symbology on the card.
Each of the major arcana is presented with the divinatory meaning, meditation, esoteric qualities, interpretation and discussion of the symbology on the card.
Eakins has included two appendices:
* Divinatory Meanings For The Tarot Deck
* Tarot Correlations In The Astrology And The I Ching
Throughout the book are scattered tables and charts that give invaluable esoteric information:
* pgs 6-7 The esoteric qualities of the numbers and their meanings.
* pg 36 The Tree Of Life
* pgs 37-39 The paths of the Tree of Life.
* pg 40 The gates and portals of Tarot.
* pg 47 The ten gates of consciousness.
* pg 48 The portal if Tarot.
* pg 50 The levels of the 22 keys.
* pg 54 The meditational triad
I found this to be a very easy to read, easy to understand and compelling book. It is definitely not for beginners, but the information within can easily be applied to all decks. Eakins sees the Tarot as a divine oracle, a meditative tool and a comprehensive system of energies that we can use to better understand ourselves and our lives. However you choose to place the Tarot in your life, the wisdom in this book will be a wonderful tool.
My favorite deck to use, for the most important reason that it focuses on Earth, Wind, Fire and Water, vs the more traditional Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles. Instead of King, Queen, Knight, and Page, it uses Father, Mother, Brother and Sister. Each card of the minor arcana also has a few words describing the card. Example Two of Earth is Convergence. Ten of Cups is Rainbow Mirror. The artwork on the cards are done in a watercolor pastel type way, the people cards being rather wispy while the other cards are very sharp.
The short descriptions on the cards, are great for people who want to do Tarot readings without using a book. The words give you a clue as to the cards meaning and lets you expand from the cards picture and your own feelings. This deck is great for beginners to intermediate readers. However more advanced readers may find themselves limited by the art work, or find themselves becoming to standard in their readings.
The deck has a good deal of
people in the deck, that are characters on their own. A
very useful deck for connecting people with various
cards. Because the cards can be connected with specific
people in a person's life easily the deck is very good
for readings dealing with personal relationships.
It's very useful in identifying friends that could help
you out in a bad situation, and when you should handle
things on your own.
This deck is an inspiration: just abstract enough to encourage your own intuition but traditional enough to help you link into more archetypal imagery.
What I found really helpful was the renaming in the minor arcana; if you are into astrology or have worked with the four elements in other fields it could help you interpret and synthesise the otherwise somewhat obsolete imagery of rods/wands, swords, cups and pentacles/coins/discs.
Also, in the major arcana you will find a few different names; the most useful alteration is "Justice" which has been renamed "Karma", since it removes the materialistic connotations of this old (but excellent!) word into the more spiritual realms of individual development. The additional destiny card is not quite clear to me, though, I must add.
However, at the time as a relative beginner, this deck helped me understand better than my other decks how the microcosmos is a mirror of the macrocosmos. I love the beautiful but still confrontational artwork. Especially if you need a bit of hope and encouragement in your spiritual quest, this deck can give you a nice lift while keeping you firmly on the ground. I love that paradoxical feel these cards are able to give. Prompting the artist within. These ladies really have worked from the spirit. (I think, possibly, they deserve the full four stars).