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Home > Books & Reviews > Pagan > Pocket Guide to the Tarot Search

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Book Review:
Pocket Guide to the Tarot

Author: Alan Oken
Trade Paperback, 176 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication date: 1996
List: US$6.95, C$10.95
ISBN: 0895148222
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 a pocket.

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

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