The Witch's Bookshelf: Tarot Books
Hello and welcome to my favorite subject ever: witch books!!! I'm very excited to review a bunch of witchy books in a multi-post series. Today I'm reviewing a few books specifically about the Tarot, but I'm going to highlight other topics in the future (herbalism, feminist spirituality, dreamwork, to name a few...) So get cozy and get ready for some magical reading recs. These are my current go-to books for Tarot; tell me yours in the comments!
WTF Is Tarot? - Bakara Wintner
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this little Tarot book. I find a lot of Tarot books to give sort of the same information, and not contribute their own unique voice, but that's not the case here. Bakara Wintner definitely has her own voice and is not afraid to tell it to you straight. She has colloquialisms for each Minor card (Seven of Pentacles is "Boring Responsible Grown-Up Shit", Two of Cups is "An Amazing Tinder Date") that make them instantly accessible and understandable. The book takes the cards and puts them in a super-modern context, highlighting how they can be applicable in our day-to-day, 2018 lives. The Major Arcana section is particularly enjoyable, with personal anecdotes, keywords, and a quote to go with each card. I highly recommend this book if you want an easy-to-read, humorous, super-contemporary take on Tarot. I found it super charming!
Tarot 101 - Kim Huggens
If you want to deep-dive into esoteric imagery, mythology, and the Tarot's thematic arcs, this is the book for you. It's not a simple look-up-the-meaning book; rather, it's a full course in connecting to the Tarot and its imagery. I recommend having a journal by your side whenever you open this one; it's full of journal prompts and exercises that deeply supplement the reading. If you want to really go on a Tarot learning journey, this book is your BFF. It's chock-full of knowledge about magical imagery, scholarly debates about Tarot symbolism, and quotes and examples from magical history to deepen your understanding of the deck. It doesn't go in deck order, like most books; rather, it categorizes cards into themes (there's a chapter on feminine archetypes in the Major Arcana, for example, and another on virtues and vices). If you want a comprehensive education on the Tarot, this is a rich addition to your learning journey.
The Creative Tarot - Jessa Crispin
This book is geared toward artists and anyone wanting to live a creative life. Each card has an anecdote or two about artists or a work of art that relates to the cards. Crispin also relates the cards to where you might be in the creative process; on the Three of Swords, she writes, "as artists, it is important to expose that old wound and understand its influence." If you're an artist of any kind, this book may be right up your alley. I find the historical examples enjoyable and really fascinating. Another cool thing about the book's organization is that Crispin talks about numerology; she groups the twos together, the threes together, etc., and discusses the meaning of each number on the creative journey. Talk about comprehensive! Another bonus: she suggests three "recommended materials" for each card, including books, movies, music, paintings, and more. This book is an artist witch's dream!
Modern Tarot - Michelle Tea
This is my favorite book on Tarot, but I'm biased; Michelle Tea is my favorite writer in general (read her book Black Wave, my favorite novel!!!). This book is fantastic. Tea gives anecdotes from her own life that relate to each card, which I always enjoy and appreciate. Her takes on the cards are nuanced and extensive (no short paragraphs here-- she devotes a few pages to each card) but still easily understandable. She also includes a spell or two for each card, depending on your situation; for instance, there's a spell to "Be the Hanged Man" and also one for "Hey, Wait, I Already Am the Hanged Man- and I Want Out!" Each spell is simple and straightforward, often suggesting a few herbs, a magical bath, or a simple ritual. The illustrations are badass too (check out The Empress in her shortalls and female symbol pin!). Overall, it's a super-helpful, enjoyable, fun and contemporary take on the cards.
Those are my four heavy hitters right now! I'm always on the lookout for more, especially books that offer some fresh or new perspective. If you have favorites, let me know in the comments!!