Written by Pyronik
“The Power of Tarot – to Know Tarot, Read Tarot, and Live Tarot” by Liz Worth
I really enjoyed this book. The author starts the book by saying patience and practice are needed for tarot, and shares her story. She provides personal answers to some of the questions and anecdotes throughout the book and maintains a chatty, conversational style.
‘The Power of Tarot’ is about so much more than card meanings. Indeed, in the end it all comes down to belief systems, and the book challenges the reader to think. This makes it an informative, educational read even without relating any of it to tarot (her lack of capitalisation, the cards are merely a tool). It was a useful exploration of how our belief systems influence our readings. As someone who’s never considered such things (e.g. do I believe in fate & if so to what extent?) it was an enlightening read. It covers a wide variety of topics (free-will, astrology, things that affect our lives) and I was fascinated long before getting to the tarot card meanings.
The advice to sit & study your own deck is pretty standard and the fool’s journey is explained more thoroughly in other books but this isn’t a book about card meanings. Less space was given to the Major Arcana than to the elements, reflecting her view not to underestimate the power of the everyday, the Minor Arcana. The section on the elements was interesting, and I’ll definitely be incorporating some of the ideas into my readings. One of my favourite quotes from this book is a timely reminder about air, “one of the simplest ways to embody this element is to breathe”. I wonder if I will think of that every time I encounter a swords card.
It’s a good beginners book. I wonder how it would be for more experienced readers. Have you ever considered your attitudes? In general I found that she provided her answers whilst acknowledging other people’s may be different but I found it preachy in places, even where I find myself agreeing with her. I don’t know how that would sit with readers who have already decided where tarot sits in their belief systems. Where does tarot get it’s information from? What are we using / channelling for readings? This book has challenged me to confront questions I’ve been avoiding. That won’t be the case for everyone.
There is a strong theme of personal responsibility. We have to do the work to manifest our fate (if indeed it is fate). I love her idea of the cards agreeing that something is possible and setting the seeker homework. One of her main thoughts is that people should learn tarot (part 1) before reading tarot (part 2) and in my experience this has worked better for me. I found the section on the history of the tarot dull, possibly because I knew most of it already. It was well referenced and argued, making it feel more like a lecture than the previous conversational style I mentioned.
Finally comes part 3, to live tarot. This relates to the different life areas a seeker might want insight into. I found this full of solid, practical advice, even without the tarot connection – I feel this section would be equally applicable to non-tarot readers, to anyone who counsels or listens. An earlier section gives advice on formulating questions; this one investigates that a little further.
There are patterned borders on the chapter title (and sub-title) pages which are nice touch but I missed there being images. I understand that one of the key ideas was for this to be a workbook and the aim was to work through it with our own deck, still I’d like to see some kind of illustration scattered through the book. The text is presented in decent sized chunks, with subheadings within the chapters.
In summary: I really enjoyed it. I would read it again at a slower pace, with my cards to refer to. I’m not sure I’d keep a journal as I read (she suggests it) though I see that it would be useful. It will be a useful reference book to keep in a tarot library.
Available to buy through Li Worth’s website here: http://www.lizworth.com/shop/tarot-books/