Table of Contents


Tarot Reflections

December 1, 2004

Review: 2005 Tarot Reader
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 is honored to serve as Manager for both the Free Reading Network and the Free Tarot Network. She also volunteers as Treasurer of the ATA and webmaster of the Comparative Tarot site.

I really enjoyed Llewellyn’s Tarot wall calendars, and was disappointed when they were discontinued a couple of years ago. The card art was wonderful to look at, and the articles were informative and still interesting before and after the calendar itself was done. While this new edition won’t be hanging next to my computer, it will be a daily companion through the coming year – and read a lot more often.

The 2005 Tarot Reader is a soft-cover almanac, about 4” x 8”, with around 280 pages. Many of these authors are familiar names, especially among the online Tarot community – Mary Greer, Diane Wilkes, Nina Lee Braden, Mark McElroy, Errol McLendon, and Valerie Sim. The articles are longer than you’d usually find in magazines, around five or six pages each. There are lots of black and white drawings and card images throughout this book. No color, unfortunately, but that’s a small tradeoff for all the extra information. The Reader is broken up into sections, each identified by a card from Lo Scarabeo’s Universal Tarot.


2005 Tarot Reader
published by Llewellyn
ISBN 0-7387-0538-1

The Fool: Tools for the Journey

The Fool articles are aimed at readers who are relatively new to the art. Topics include Tarot’s historical origins and ways to begin working with the cards. My favorite article here is Elizabeth Genco’s “Learning Tarot: A Manageable Approach”. Her tips remind me of many of the lessons I learned from my first mentor, Devon Cathlin, and that I try to pass on to my own students now. I wish I’d read an article like this before I picked up my first deck.

The Magician: Practical Applications

Once you’ve learned the individual cards, the Magician articles provide ideas for where to go next. Nina Lee Braden’s advice on “Finding Your Voice” helps the budding reader develop their own unique style. As a mother of young children, Corrine Kenner’s “Reading for Children: 12 Tips” has already helped me start my boys along their own Tarot journeys.

The Wheel of Fortune: 2005 Almanac

The heart of the book is presented in a week-at-a-glance format, beginning the day after Christmas through the first week of January 2006. Each day follows the Moon’s path through the zodiac, and most pagan and non-pagan holidays are listed. There’s more writing room here than on a traditional wall calendar. It seems ideally suited for journaling the year’s daily cards, with a few notes about how each day went.

The Hermit: For Further Study

The Hermit covers topics for advanced Tarot explorations, ways to go beyond just reading with the cards. Topics range from cutting off card borders to free up the images to working without cards at all, using cards in the dream state, and integrating them into labyrinth work. If you’d like to make your own cards but feel overwhelmed by the task of coming up with 78 images, Valerie Sim suggests “Giving From the Heart” by creating individual cards as gifts.

Judgment: Deck Reviews

As you might expect, these in-depth reviews feature a handful of Llewellyn and Lo Scarabeo decks. “Closer Look” mini-reviews are also scattered throughout the book, providing card previews and lists of unique features for more of the Llewellyn product line.

The World: Spreads

Rounding out the Reader are fifteen spreads, ranging from two to eleven cards, gathered from other Llewellyn publications. Most are in the eight to ten-card range, including the classic Celtic Cross.

While I’m still disappointed Llewellyn decided to discontinue their Tarot wall calendars, the 2005 Tarot Reader makes an excellent addition to their line of almanacs and annuals. I highly recommend it.


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Tarot Reflections is a publication of the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2004
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