Author: Alan Oken
Trade Paperback, 176 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication date: 1996
List: US$6.95, C$10.95
Price & More Info: Click Here
Like all of the books in the "Pocket Guide" series put out by Crossing Press
this book gives an extremely brief overview of the subject with the intent
of familiarizing the reader with the basics. It is not an in-depth
exploration of the Tarot, nor is it intended to be.
The author clearly explains his interpretation of each of the cards in the
well-known Waite-Rider tarot deck, He goes through each card, particularly
the major Arcana, and explains the meanings of much of the symbolism
contained therein. Thus, he not only explains what the card indicates, but
how each symbol on the card contributes to that meaning. These explanations
are clear and concise.
One of the advantages to this entire series is the small size of the books
themselves. They truly are "pocket" books -- being only about four inches
wide and about five and a half inches tall. They can be easily slipped into
This book has clear black-and-white reproductions of the cards being
discussed. These illustrations are large enough (one and a half by two and
a half inches) to see the details being pointed out. They would be better
in color, but then the cost would be much higher.
Overall, this is an excellent overview of the tarot. It gives enough
information for a beginner to feel comfortable with, without being
overwhelmed by it all. It won't do much for the experienced card reader,
but that isn't its purpose. If you want an easily understandable
introduction to the subject, this is the book for you.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason