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.
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