Book Reviews by Sheri Harshberger


Simple Fortunetelling with Tarot Cards, ISBN 978-0-7387-0964-2, is available from Llewellyn Worldwide on their website at


Tarot Theory and  Practice, ISBN 978-0-7387-1138-6, is available from Llewellyn Worldwide on their website at


The Thoth Companion, ISBN 978-0-7387-1192-8, is available from Llewellyn Worldwide on their website at

It is a good time to be a new reader. Llewellyn is offering three books this fall that are directed toward the beginning reader (although they are very good resources for readers of any experience level) and/or students of Tarot. Each is very different with unique focus and approach.

Simple Fortunetelling with Tarot Cards by Corrine Kenner

This book is a card reader's book. I am a real fan of Corrine Kenner's writing style. It is like she is sitting beside you, answering your questions and mentoring you. She starts out by answering questions about the cards and card reading. This section really resonated with me, as I see and hear these exact same questions over and over again as people discover the Tarot... I asked these questions when I was first learning!

I'm not going to go through the Table of Contents in the review of this book, but I will say the book follows a logical progression through which Ms. Kenner explains what Tarot is, including the structure and color symbolism, to phrasing questions, using spreads and layouts, and then putting it all together to actually read for people. Throughout the book, she uses three classic Tarot decks (the Universal Tarot, the Llewellyn Tarot and the Liber T) to illustrate points and provide a comparison in design for the card meanings section. It should be noted that, although she provides meanings to get a reader started, throughout the book she reminds us that the real meanings of the cards come from us, and not to be concerned if an unconventional meaning comes up. Any one person's meaning for a card in a particular reading is just as relevant as another's.

What really sets this book apart for me is the fact that the focus of the book is really reading as an interaction with others. Ms. Kenner also takes on the subjects of psychic development and timing in readings, by providing techniques to try. She also includes a section on card combinations, which is presented in an easy to read and understand table format under the heading of "Combination Platters."

Fun to read, yet chock full of extremely useful information presented by someone who "has been there," I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to start reading for others or is already reading for others. 

Tarot Theory & Practice by Ly de Angeles

This book is very structured - it reminds me of a college class. The Table of Contents reads like a class syllabus. I was surprised to discover how much information is packed within this book - it's only 291 pages but has content I would associate with a much larger book. 

At first, I thought the content of this book was a bit overwhelming. However, once I started reading and working with the content, it became very apparent that this level of detail required a more formal structure. There is so much content, it almost makes it difficult for me to review - where do I start?

The first part of the book is called "The Theory of Everything." which introduces many intriguing, revolutionary ideas of our place in the universe. Additional sections identify barriers to awareness, what Tarot really is and how it fits into the schema, and a discussion on perceptions of reality. It all sounds like pretty heady stuff, but it is presented in a very readable way. Each chapter, or Unit consists of practical exercises for the reader to try. Several spreads are introduced and used extensively with the included case studies. A few of the spreads have the same layout but have different positional meanings assigned. I also like the idea of using singular layouts in different ways. I also liked the use of case studies in this book, it put the theories discussed into practice for easier understanding.

This book features the beautiful Llewellyn Tarot throughout. The author provides concise card meanings for each card, within the context of the material he is presenting. Although the card images throughout the book are in black and white, the book features a color page inside the front cover that features the Trumps of the Llewellyn Tarot in all their stunning beauty.

The Thoth Companion: The Key to the True Symbolic Meaning of the Thoth Tarot by Michael Osiris Snuffin

I was thrilled to see this book for the Crowley Thoth deck. I have both Aleister Crowley's and Lon Milo Duquette's books, but they are very thick and cover, in depth,  information that only someone who was really interested in learning the details of the Golden Dawn and ceremonial magick would spend much time reading. This book is an excellent introduction to the Golden Dawn and ceremonial magick as it cuts to the chase and provides just enough information so that a reader can begin to flesh out his or her readings if they choose to. It also whets the appetite of anyone who discovers they want more.

All the key topics are touched on, but only to provide a comprehensive summary of each. These topics include the relationship between the Trumps and the Hebrew letters of the Tree of Life as well as how to read with reversals and elemental dignities. Card meanings for all 78 cards are also included. The book includes spreads and many of the comparative information in the book is provided in easy to use table structures. Even a color cross reference between the Court cards and the Trumps is included. The author writes in a clear, easy to read style.

As someone who isn't really into the Golden Dawn and ceremonial magick, and therefore not up on the terminology, I was very happy to find a glossary is provided. The author also includes a listing and summarizes of some of Crowley's most important Tarot-related writings, which anyone new to any serious study of the Thoth will find useful.

I would recommend this book to anyone starting out with a Thoth deck who wants to a basic foundation on how the deck implements the concepts of the Golden Dawn and ceremonial magick, or wants to start reading with the deck right away.

Simple Fortunetelling with Tarot Cards, Tarot Theory and Practice and The Thoth Companion are published by Llewellyn Worldwide and are available in bookstores and the Llewellyn Worldwide website at All images used with permission.

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors. Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2007

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