Book Review: Tarot for Life

cover-artBy Errol McLendon, CTGM

Tarot for Life by Paul Quinn

ISBN 978-0-8356-0879-4

Published June 2009 by Quest Books,

I have reviewed books for a major metaphysical publisher for years and many of the books I have been asked to review have been written for the beginning Tarot student. When I am offered one of these beginner’s books to review, I rarely read every description for all 78 cards. I note the structure of the card descriptions, anything unique in the card analysis and I read the descriptions of a handful of cards word for word. 

I met Paul Quinn through a friend of a friend and he was kind enough to give me a copy of his book, Tarot for Life. I flipped through it at his apartment and immediately knew this beginner’s book was something unique. For one thing, I found myself stopping wherever I opened the book  and reading in detail what Paul had written about the cards. 

The other thing I realized is that Paul has done a wonderful amount of research into the symbols on each card. When I teach Tarot, I constantly have students asking what various items and colors represent on the cards. In my experience, these card elements are important to new readers because they give them subtle clues that help them retain the card’s meaning.

Paul opens his book with very simple, yet surprisingly thought provoking introductory material. He basically helps new readers understand how Tarot works, but, more importantly, he introduces them to the many ways Tarot can be incorporated into their life beyond just reading for others.

The key that makes this book so interested and entertaining is that Paul has included real life anecdotes for each card. If there is any confusion as to what a card means by the time you get to the story at the end of each card description, the meanings seem very understandable. This structure reminds me a great deal of Rachel Pollack’s books, so it was no surprise when I noticed that Ms. Pollack wrote the Forward to Paul’s book.

The material at the end of the book offers the reader some practical advice on reading for yourself, how to prepare to read and when not to read for yourself and others. Paul offers a nice selection of beginning spreads and closes with appendices which give a quick glimpse of numerological and astrological correspondences plus a quick lesson in chakra influences, useful with a chakra spread Paul offers toward the end of the book.

Tarot for Life (ISBN-13: 978-0-8356-0879-4) would make a wonderful textbook for teaching Tarot. It is also an excellent guide for someone wanting to learn Tarot on their own. Paul writes in clear, concise, understandable language; however, even I learned many things to add to my Tarot knowledge simply by reading every word Paul wrote. 

Want to know more about Paul Quinn?  Click here to check out Melanie's interview in the October 2009 issue.

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