“Understanding Tarot” by Liz Dean book Review
How it began
It was a lovely surprise to find this beautiful Tarot book in “The Works” since I rarely find esoteric sections in the bookshops here in the UK.
I immediately grabbed it and started reading the summary and having a look inside.
After a short consideration, I fell in love with it and decided to take it home with me ( like there was any other option … :D)
The book itself is wonderfully crafted with hardcovers and beautiful glossy surface. From the inside, it is a full-color book as I would prefer for this specific topic. Adding colorful pictures of the cards helps you remember much easier their description, especially if you are a beginner.
I was surprised the author dedicated a few chapters to tell the history of Tarot and how it became one of the most fascinating fortune-telling tools. It shows old pictures of tarot decks through the centuries and then it describes the symbols of the traditional tarot cards.
The Major arcana represent the universal archetypes of the human psyche according to Junge’s studies, and all 22 cards are well presented in the book with correspondence to Astrology, adding Upright, and Reversed meaning. There is an additional part where you can read how the meaning of the card is interpreted in combination with another card, but this is just to inspire your imagination.
What I really like is how The Minor Arcana are organised in this book. As you know every number from 1 to 10 has their meaning, and it changes slightly according to the suit (wands, swords, pentacles, and cups). All 4 suits are presented together by the number of the card. For example, you want to see the meaning of 2 of cups, and you will open the book, and on the same page, there will be a description for the rest of the suits (2 of wands, 2 of pentacles, and 2 of swords). Honestly, it is beneficial because you can compare the similarities between all 4 suits with the same number. On top of that, there is Upright meaning and Reversed Meaning of each card, and you can choose if you would like to read reversed at all. For me there are enough negative cards in the deck and if they have to show up they will, so I personally don’t focus on reversed 🙂 The same combination goes for court cards, and you can find Page, Knight, Queen, and King together like the Minor arcana.
In addition there is a section with suggested Tarot spreads and how to read the crds according to each spread. I loved that Liz Dean gave a suggested analysis of a question for each spread. It is much easier to understand how to read the cards especially in different combinations and related to the topic of the question. That’s something you won’t see often in other Tarot books for sure.
Overall the book is really informative and well presented, it has beautiful thick paper, and it is not difficult to turn the pages. The description for the Minor arcana is not very detailed, but the message is clear, and I believe it is enough to understand what the card wants to tell you.
Of course, with each deck, you can choose to read the cards without learning their traditional meaning and interpret the drawings with your intuition. I would definitely recommend the book for beginners and everyone who wants to extend their knowledge about the history of Tarot, their symbols and meaning. Although for advanced Tarot readers, it might be a bit basic. 🙂