Table of Contents


Tarot Reflections


  December 01, 2003

Review: Tarot Tells the Tale
Tracy Hite, ATA Treasurer, Networks Manager

Tracy began her own Tarot journey while recovering from her first son's birth on New Year's Eve, 1996. She tried to study on her own for nearly a year, picking up what she could from books and websites, but she had a lot of trouble piecing everything together. Through membership in  the American Tarot Association, she met the contacts and gained the expertise needed to gain her certification as a Certified Tarot Master.

Tracy uses a variety of decks to gain a fresh perspective on problems, or to point out ideas or issues she might not have considered otherwise. She admits that she can't predict the future, but does believe that working with the cards can help "move life forward."

She's honored to serve as Manager for both the Free Reading Network and the Free Tarot Network. She is also the excellent Treasurer of the ATA. Please contact Tracy at

Dealing with sibling rivalries and longing for love are pretty common reasons for clients to seek the advice of a tarot reading. What if Cinderella’s fairy godmother had pulled out a deck of tarot cards instead of a magic wand? The results might have been something like “Looking for Mr. Right,” one of the 22 “Ask KnightHawk” readings featured in Tarot Tells the Tale. If you aren’t yet familiar with James’ column through various tarot e-lists over the past few years, he uses three-card readings to offer advice to characters from Joan of Arc to Winston Churchill, from Abel to Aristotle. These real readings for fictional consultations provide a wide variety of examples for handling tough questions, interpreting reversed cards, and pulling individual meanings together into a cohesive whole.

from Llewellyn Publications
Author: James Ricklef
ISBN 0-7387-0272-2

Once a novice reader has learned some basic meanings for each card, taking that next step toward reading can be difficult. Merely looking at finished readings often is not enough to figure out how those results were obtained. Beyond these examples, James also goes into the process behind developing a reading. His extensive commentary on each reading discusses topics such as why he chose a particular spread, why he chose to interpret a card one way rather than another, and sometimes why he chose to answer a particular question for a character. He also demonstrates how to break down the daunting Celtic Cross into more manageable mini-readings, and how to explore the multiple interactions between the cards. Additional articles provide more in-depth information on dealing with reversals, rephrasing and understanding questions, choosing or creating spreads, and finally how to bring it all together.

The bulk of the readings follow the Major Arcana from zero through twenty-one. A few cards are represented by the character or the question itself, as in the Moon-like subterfuge of Lady Macbeth. The main appendix offers a brief overview of each of the 78 cards, including a line or two of advice it might offer in a one-card daily reading. The second appendix cross-references the readings by card for the 60% or so of the deck appearing throughout the book. I noticed the three cards pictured on the cover aren’t listed in this appendix, so I decided to use them for a three-card freeform reading of my own.

Question: What advice does Tarot Tells the Tale offer us?

Eight of Swords – Don’t be afraid! The biggest stumbling block for most fledgling readers is simply a lack of confidence. It might not be easy, but tarot reading isn’t as hard as it seems once you get started.

Knight of Wands – Trust your passion. Your first instinct on seeing a card is usually a message from your intuition. Let it ride forth and show you the way.

Lovers – Reading is a series of partnerships. The interactions between you and your intuition, and between you and your clients, are what turn a set of rote definitions into a real reading.

Summary: Let Tarot Tells the Tale help you overcome your fears and learn to trust your instincts along your journey to better reading.



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Tarot Reflections is a publication of the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2003
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