365 Tarot Activities


Review By Diane Wilkes

365 Tarot Activities by Deanna Anderson

I was so enchanted by Sasha Graham’s 365 Tarot Spreads that I decided to check out the independently published 365 Tarot Activities by Deanna Anderson. The name of Anderson’s book does not truly encompass the material within the book, which is more of a “How to Read Tarot” smorgasbord. If you’ve ever been to a buffet, even the best ones contain items that don’t agree with you—and there are a number of things that don’t “agree with me” in this book. 

The first is that the book is abominably edited. It contains a lot of good material, but the hodgepodge presentation of said material resembles the aforementioned smorgasbord violently splattered on a wall, instead of neatly compartmentalized in separate, attractively arranged platters. In addition, despite the wide assortment and generous portions, there is nothing new or innovative in 365 Tarot Activities to whet my appetite. 

There is no table of contents, but I will provide one for you here:

How to Use This Book - In this section, Anderson gives the reader latitude to use the book in any order he/she so desires, but suggests one read it all the way through, selecting the most personally interesting morsels for further delectation. Normally, I would applaud this concept, but the book is so unwieldy that the average reader wouldn’t use it interactively for quite a long time. 

Even in this relatively short introduction, Anderson includes irrelevant commentary such as “the worst readings I ever got [sic]. . .”

An Introduction to Tarot - The author talks about the structure of different tarot decks and how she believes tarot works: “I always say Tarot gives advice and likely scenarios rather than actually telling the future.” She explains that she originally planned a chapter on the history of tarot, but the more she researched, the more confusing it became. This is one of the things that I found not to my taste, as there is a lot of very clear historical information about the tarot.

I don’t agree that “the origin of the Tarot is steeped in mystery…”

Top 20 Tarot Myths - This section is fairly self explanatory. The author offers 20 statements about tarot, such as “You can’t buy your first tarot deck” and “You can’t read for yourself.” All well and good and known to advanced practitioners. But one of the “myths” she includes is “Tarot cards don’t work,” which is not myth, but an opinion, and an ambiguously expressed one, at that. Are tarot cards unemployed? Shiftless? What does this “work” entail?

Additionally, Nina Lee Braden included a similar list with the same title in her book Tarot for Self-Discovery over a decade ago, so it’s unoriginal at best.

I do not like my snide tone. Badly written and poorly edited books really annoy and provoke me, which is leading me to be bitchier than I would like to be. So I’ll just list the others:

Buying a Deck

Consecrating and Cleaning a Deck

Elemental Correspondences

Numerical Correspondences

Pictorial Symbols

Color Correspondences

The People of Tarot (I think she means “The People in Tarot”; this chapter addresses how to analyze and interpret people on the tarot cards.)

Animals in Tarot

Minor Arcana: Pips

Minor Arcana: Court Cards

Oracle Decks

Learning a Few Spreads

Patterns in Readings

Practice Readings


Querant [sic], Power, or Significator Cards

Writing Spreads (This chapter doesn’t provide layouts for writers, but about creating spreads)

Develop a Performance (Wherein the author provides tips on presenting information from tarot readings to the querent)

Code of Ethics

Theories of Tarot (Anderson discusses three rationales as to why tarot works—“Divine Intervention or Spiritual Influence,” “Collective Unconsciousness,” and “Personal Subconscious (a.k.a. intuition).”

Personal Reflections

Tarot and the Meaning of Life (Various subjects that you can utilize the tarot to understand more deeply, such as the afterlife, mankind’s purpose, and, yes, abortion.)

Tarot Spells and Meditation

Arts and Crafts

Create a Deck, Card, or Theme

Creative Writing Prompts

Group Activities and Games

Tarot and Other Divination (This section addresses combining tarot with other divinatory methods)

What You Have Learned

Other Ideas

Bonus Challenges

Author’s End Note

Numerical Correspondences

Elemental & Suit Correspondences

Zodiac Correspondences (Simple sun sign descriptions with no specific tarot correlations)

Color Correspondences

Common Symbols & Their Meaning [sic]

(Note: None of the correspondence sections are in table or graph format.)

Tools to Enhance a Tarot Reading



Author Bio

Where are the 365 activities, you ask. They are scattered within the various chapters, usually pertaining to the subject of the chapter. 

Despite my snippiness, I want to reiterate that there is a lot of good material in this book, and the author is rarely dogmatic, which is always something I appreciate. My biggest problem with 365 Tarot Activities is that it reads as if Anderson regurgitates everything she has read or researched on the subject of tarot without a cohesive vision of her own (not to mention a cohesive structure, which lack you can observe for yourself based solely on the listing of contents).  It seems to me that if  a book is entitled 365 Tarot Activities, those activities should be easily accessible and not demand a subject-based scavenger hunt.

On the other hand, for a tarot neophyte who is looking for a lot of information and isn’t overly fastidious about organization or grammar, this book compiles an abundant assemblage of modern tarot techniques.

I am overly fastidious. I was specifically seeking a list of unique tarot activities and was disappointed by Anderson’s book. I need to find my copy of Andy Matzner’s Tarot Activity Book. It doesn’t contain 365 activities, but what it offers is very much to my taste.

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