Tarot Elements: Five Readings to Reset Your Life by Melissa Cynova

reviewed by Katalin Patnaik

Tarot Elements by Melissa Cynova (book cover)

The title states there’s “five readings to reset your life” in this book. A tall claim, that, and I am not a great fan of new agey “law of attraction” and “only positive vibes” type of advices. Life is hard and there is no way to avoid that hardship, so I was a bit sceptical about “resetting my life” with just a reading (or five).

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I have never read Melissa Cynova’s Kitchen Table Tarot (although there is a handy card meaning section at the end of this book that’s from the Kitchen Table Tarot), nor have I followed her on any social media platform. But one chapter into the book and I’m a fan. Why? Because she’s honest. She has integrity. She’s relatable. And she is grounded in reality.

Her writing style is engaging and again, relatable. Finally a book that isn’t full of academic grade occult/esoteric jargon. Melissa (I hope she won’t mind me calling her by her first name!) has a conversational writing style that makes you feel less like a complete idiot and more like a good friend. I love that, it’s therapeutic. As is her honesty when giving example readings from her own life. She has been through quite some stuff, and through her work as a social worker, she has seen others even deeper in it. This is what gives her the basis on which she builds up her system of Elemental Readings. The kind of ‘it’ you are in right now decides which reading(s) you need most at the moment. Always in the moment. There’s no need to rush anything, especially when it’s about turning around one’s life.

As stated on the cover, there’s five readings, or more like five spreads in the book; one for each element – and in turn each element represents an aspect of human life. The associations are pretty standard; i.e. Earth-Pentacles-Home/Money, so it doesn’t take long to figure out which reading you would need.

I have mentioned it earlier that the advice and spreads provided are all well grounded in reality. I was eager to see what Melissa does with the least tangible aspect of life: spirituality, aka the Spirit reading. This is where some books turn into positive thinking new age nonsense; but not Tarot Elements! Melissa provides a practical approach to finding one’s path. No woo woo, just mindful and honest work. I am so happy to see this! Of course, the same is true for all chapters. All are gentle, friendly nudges to take the first baby step. And then the next. And then, the next. Melissa’s frequent reminders that we’ve got this makes us believe that yes, we do actually got this.

Spirit Reading from Tarot Elements

All in all, I would absolutely recommend Tarot Elements to anyone. Whether you are just dabbling in tarot and read for yourself or you’re a seasoned tarot reader reading for others: get this book. If you’re only buying one book this year, make it this one. If you’re skint, get it from the library. But get it. It’s *that* good.

Categories: Book Reviews


joelle · September 1, 2020 at 4:24 pm

Thank you for taking the time to review this book; I had heard of this author before but was unconvinced she would be my “sort” of Tarot guru.

Mary Collin · September 2, 2020 at 11:11 pm

Thank you for this review which is really helpful. I had come across Melissa Cynova’s name but didn’t know much about her. Until the 2020 TABI Conference.

She is great. Down to earth, practical, helpful and, as you say, totally relatable. I love her practical real world help. This book is now on my list! Can’t wait. TABI have introduced me to some great speakers and authors. Thank you!

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