Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Magicians Guide to Tarot by Paul Voodini

So when I saw that Voodini was coming out with a book on how to read the Tarot with a pretty cheap early bird pricing I figured why not.

A bit of background I do have some experience with a Tarot deck, I tried learning the whole deck a few times in the past, and for a while I did a tarot horoscope blog as a way to familiarize my self with the cards. But now I really only use the Major Arcana and my style is based 100% on the Fools Journey. So I can't really say that I know the traditional meanings of the cards. 

So lets get into it, this book is 87 pages and most of those are taken up by the card meanings. I did not read them all, I got no use for the minor arcana. I mostly skimmed looking for bits where he was talking about something else. Now as I said I do not really know the traditional interpretations of the cards but I don't think these are them. I can say they are nothing like my interpretations. Especially as there are three pairs of major arcana cards Voodini treats as interchangeable. (I  checked and besides being reminded of why I avoid "shut eye" forums, I found that those aren't how a lot of people see those cards) Though I do not think this is an issue, I think it is more important that one is consistent with the meanings they choose than that they use specific meanings. The meanings were given in a way that does look like it would aid in the learning.

As this book is aimed at entertaining with readings Voodini does not get very deep into the reading styles. He only offers two ways, one card readings and three card readings. He only recommends doing the three when thing are slow like at the beginning before you've drummed up interest. As for what to say during the reading Paul's system has you repeating yourself often, for example with each new group there is a little spiel he goes over remind telling people that the death card is not bad news. And with the minor arcana meanings he usually references that cards equal from a regular deck of cards to give the sitter a point of reference.

Now there is a there is a section at the end about mixing the tarot on magic, and I can't say that there really anything fantastic there. It opens with Voodini saying he used to be anti-trick when it came to the tarot, and I'm not to sure it still isn't. Most of the effects seem more like thought exercises that tested material. Though a few of them do recommended forcing a card on someone as part of the reading/effect and that I'm a bit iffy on, seems like cheating. I think if you want to add magic to your reading then the best bet would be go get a copy of Magic Mirror by Robert Neale and David Parr. It has a wonderful way of turning the three card reading into a bit of precognition.

Over all its not a bad book, not really happy with the meanings and magic part but the bit on how to offer readings seemed good. And I'd mostly recommend this book to those who had no idea what the cards mean or what to do with them but would like the skill for their repertoire without too much work.