Written by: Gail Fairfield and Patti Provo
Published by: Samuel Weiser Inc.
This is a great book both for those who want to design their own deck of Tarot cards and for someone who wants a structured and predesigned book with lots of reference material to use as a Tarot journal.
Chapter One is and introduction to Tarot symbols which describes symbols as a world language. It also gives some thoughts on why one would want to design their own deck.
Chapter Two gives a step by step process to designing a card. Starting with developing a creative setting to work in, and going on to cover picking a card to work on, understanding that card, choosing symbols to use and actually creating the card.
Chapter Three, The Major Arcana is where the real guts of the workbook begins. There is a well written treatment of the Major Arcana and developing the theme of each card in conjunction with the workbook pages. Next are the journal and sketchbook pages for the Majors. There are two pages for each card facing each other. The left hand journal page is to record information about that particular card as well as having a standard size Tarot card outline in the upper left corner of the page which includes a border area. The page includes an area for card names, giving the traditional name, some alternative names and the decks they come from and a space for your own name. Following that is the symbol section with a lined space for Tree of Life Path, Astrological Sign and Astrological Planet, Colours and a line labelled Mine. The line labels can easily be changed, I crossed off the first three and changed them to Wheel of the Year, Time/Direction and Moon Phase. It is very adaptable to whatever kind of correspondence system anyone uses. The bottom half of this page is devoted to card interpretations. Three are already provided, one each from Gail Fairfield, Vickie Noble and Mary K. Greer, with many lines following to record your own thoughts on the card. On the right side is a full page card outline to sketch card ideas and designs on to or you could just record more information if you are not designing a deck.
Chapter Four, the Minor Arcana is similar to the last chapter. The intro discusses the structure and concepts of each suit including their elemental relationships. There is a good treatment of major themes of court or people/family cards and the Aces through Tens as well as the structure and symbols of the Minors. Concise instructions for filling in the workbook pages are also included. The workbook pages in this section are set up in a similar way to the Major Arcana chapter. The only changes are in the symbols section on each page. The lines are titled Suit, Number Theme, Astrological Sign and Astrological Planet and of course Mine. Again these are easily changeable if you are using different correspondences.
The two appendixes of this book really shine. Appendix I is a very useful guided relaxation technique to see, hear and feel your Tarot card design. Appendix ll is a very nice symbol and correspondence glossary. It includes Tarot suits, Tarot numbers, planetary symbols and astrological signs. Also, a wonderful section on the Tree of Life in a very simple treatment of the basic structure. It shows the 10 sepiroth and the Minor Arcana and court people/family card placements on them, the 22 paths and placement of the Major Arcana and some descriptions of what each sepiroth and path mean.
There are blank journal pages in the back, which can be photocopied and used, maybe for ones 3 ring Tarot journal. My only complaint with this book is the quality of the paper it is printed on. It is a newsprint type paper similar to a paperback novel, not very suitable for sketching and writing on and nearly impossible to erase on without making a hole in the page. A standard Tarot size blank deck of cards, The Inspirational Tarot Deck with only the borders and titles and symbols outside the borders is available to accompany this book. Here you could place your final card designs to have a usable Tarot deck.
all rights reserved