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25 comments

  1. I agree with many of the books mentioned here, but I would also recommend 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Mary Greer… in fact all her books are very good, but 21 Ways exercises has a set of exercises that are great for an in depth card by card study which you can take at your own pace… Another fun, more lighthearted book, which helps you make tarot part of everyday life and connect with your cards, is The Tarot Playbook by Lynda Cowles 🙂

  2. It’s not specifically Tarot-related, but for what it teaches about lesser magic I consider another invaluable resource to be “The Compleat Witch, or What to Do when Virtue Fails,” by Anton LaVey. It’s an outstanding resource written primarily for women, but the principles are easily applied to men. It has a chapter specifically related to fortune telling and the elements of showmanship and perfomance.

  3. The Poet’s Tarot by Josep Miquel Sobrer is just amazing. It’s hard to find but worth the time waiting. I wish it had been the first tarot book I’d found. An example – The Sun:

    “The Sun – Take off your clothes! Take off your shoes! Come down to the beach at daybreak. The breeze makes the palms rustle. There is a glimmer on the perennial waves. The clarity is absolute. Even the shadow of your body radiates light.

    The clarity is absolute.

    The day is perfect. The thousand little things that go wrong make it complete. The sea is littered with dead seaweed. On the beach, shoeless, you’ve just stepped on a glob of tar; its insistent pulp clings to your toes. But you don’t care. You accept the peskiness of the fly and the distraction of the mongrel sniffing your leg. Such is the world: always more beautiful than the perfect utopias contrived by your wishes.”

    The clarity is absolute. Seriously perfect.

  4. adrian says:

    i just bought Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom as my first tarot book! haven’t had the chance to crack it open yet, but i’m excited–all of my study up to this point has been through free resources like this one, and i’m always looking for new interpretations to fold into my own opinions on the cards.

  5. Tennessee says:

    Agree with Pollard and Greer books. But for the nerd in you, I highly recommend all four volumes of the Encyclopedia of Tarot.

  6. I’m glad I read this list as I picked up 78 Degrees of Wisdom and then hid it under some jeans in my suitcase so my parents wouldn’t start asking questions while I was at home (or in their home? Where is my home now? gahhh) on holiday. I don’t really remember when I bought it, but I know I was at my parents’ house because I didn’t start it right away. I still haven’t started it and was debating reading it cover-to-cover, so I’m glad 78 Degrees can be beneficial read that way in addition to being an ongoing reference.

  7. Must…read…all…the…books. It’s been a while since I’ve delved into a new tarot book, and there’s a few in this post I’d never even heard of! How cool. As for me, my three pillars are: Learning the Tarot by Joan Bunning (no-frills, great for beginners, straightforward and incredibly useful), 78 Degrees of Wisdom (glad to see it in this post, this is my favorite for a deeper look at the occult/spiritual/human development perspectives in the cards) and 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Mary K Greer (for learning how to form an individual bond with the card and bring depth to readings).

  8. Ahhh this list! Yes!

    Adding 78 Degrees of Wisdom to my list. I also recently bought a beautiful copy of “A Feminist Tarot” online, so I’m eagerly awaiting that one. (That may be a bit more do-able for me to read during the semester – I’m a grad student, and ALL THE READING is happening this semester).

    *bookmarks for summer*

    • Paypal Xanax says:

      Having read “A Feminist Tarot,” it really feels like a document of its time. That is to say, there are some valuable things in it– interrogating the imagery and associations in tarot to reveal a feminist perspective is a great project, of course– but in some ways it’s kinda harsh. The authors are very negative about the suit of swords, for example. (And every masculine presenting figure, but I expected that, you know?) I do think it’s worth a read and lends an interesting perspective to the cards, but overall it wasn’t for me. I prefer other kinds of transformative projects like The Collective Tarot’s re-imagining of archetypes, or the Queering the Tarot series here. 🙂 But it should be a fun read and I love having it on my shelf. Enjoy!

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