Table of Contents


Tarot Reflections

  January 15, 2004

Review: A Magical Course in Tarot
Sheila Hall, CTM

Sheila Hall has been studying the Tarot for 16 years. She recently received her CTM certification and is currently working towards her CTI. Sheila is an ATA mentor, has been a reader on both the Free Tarot and Free Reading Networks, and also serves on the ATA Education Committee. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and two sons.





A Magical Course in Tarot is a book offering a fresh approach to learning the tarot. The author begins by discussing the struggles of personal experience in working with the tarot, the new approach she learned from a tarot course and how the course opened the doors to understanding for her. I know that my tarot journey began with books in place of intuition, and I'm sure the same can be said for others. She covers the obstacles we encounter that can keep us from hearing the inner voice of intuition. The world is full of noise and distractions that can leave our minds and spirits buzzing and can hinder us from any intuitive guidance we may receive.

Michele Morgan, who is also the author of Simple Wicca (Red Wheel/Weiser, ISBN 1-57324-199-7), writes in a manner that seems to play like a melody. The writing flows and the words are the language we speak with each other every day, making this book great for young tarot readers. Her teaching style is modern and more open, breaking us free from traditional rules that can be rigid and binding.

She covers topics that beginning tarot students may have questions about, including choosing a deck, how to store the cards, and cleansing and purification of the cards. She also touches on rituals when preparing to read, methods of shuffling the cards, and ways to choose cards. She teaches a way of breaking free from spreads and ways to ask questions, and offers a few keywords for each card along with number and color associations. She also includes a section on symbolism and offers keywords for symbols.

A Magical Course in Tarot can be used with any deck. The book is illustrated in black and white by Rebecca Richards. The illustrations are not of tarot cards, but of visual images relating to the cards' meanings. Ms. Morgan doesn't teach reversals, telling readers to leave all the cards "upright, all the time." Instead, she teaches a more intuitive reading style. Her card discussions offer meanings and guiding advice to overcoming any troubles that one may intuit.

Ms. Morgan offers a more free-form method of reading the cards without working through rigid spreads, but she does cover the Mind/Body/Spirit, the Past/Present/Future, and the Celtic Cross. I have had many an interesting insight when I freely pulled cards without working through a spread. I would simply think about a situation or question that I had in mind, and was left to roam and wander through this time, while allowing the cards to speak to me.

The first section of the book covers opening up to intuition and listening to that intuition when reading the cards; the second section discusses each card and the meanings of the suits; and the third section offers information on reading symbols like movement, body language, expressions, and card combinations. I know that enough emphasis hasn't been put on reading the symbols like this, especially with beginners. This section also includes information about timelines, and Ms. Morgan teaches the reader how to work with their intuition to find a system that works for them.

Chapter Thirteen covers thoughts on including the tarot in rituals, meditations, and prayer. She offers a discussion of how these work, and includes a few spells. The Transformational Ritual is interesting in that it is a spell where you can work on something that you may be struggling through.

A Magical Course in Tarot by Michele Morgan is a fresh approach to learning and working with the cards. I like the fact that this book's focus is on intuitively learning the tarot. I do feel that reversals and spreads have their place, and shouldn't be left out, but I also see times when I have been too rigid and followed traditions too much, which can place limits on a spiritual tool that shouldn't be limited - at least by human limitations. Call me rebellious, but following rigid methods or traditions all the time is stifling. Ms. Morgan offers an open and free approach to learning the tarot which can awaken (or reawaken) the intuitiveness within each of us. Her writing style is easily understood and light, which makes the book great for young beginners, even teenagers. I also believe that people who seem to have a hard time learning the tarot, or those who wish to break free and play with the cards, can benefit from it.

You can check out more information and/or purchase this book (ISBN 1-57324-706-5) from Red Wheel/Weiser and Conari Press (800) 423-7087 or


Subscribe to Tarot Reflections, and receive notification of each update!

Request to be added to the list by sending email to!



All articles remain the property of their respective authors.
Tarot Reflections is a publication of the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2004
Questions or Comments? Contact Us.