Archive for the 'Anna’s Books of Interest' category

Book of Interest—Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot

Jul 11 2015 Published by under Anna's Books of Interest, Llewellyn

Llewellyn Publications

The Rider-Waite tarot deck is legend. It has been a best-seller for decades. When I was shopping for my first tarot deck in the early 70’s, it was one of only a few decks available for sale in mainstream commercial markets.

As I began to study Western Hermetic Mystery traditions, the symbolism incorporated in the cards came to life for me and aided me on my course of study. Like most people, I thought of Pamela Coleman Smith as a somewhat naive technician, carrying out A.E. Waite’s will. As feminine spiritual power continues to gain intellectual strength in metaphysics, the truth has begun to come out.

Smith, it appears, was not a choice that Waite made lightly. He picked an artist with global roots (she spent large chunks of time in Jamaica in her childhood), who pursued initiation in the Order of the Golden Dawn, and clearly was a sophisticated channel by the time she was creating this landmark deck of tarot cards. Free-spirited, unmarried, and living a bohemian lifestyle, she was thoroughly knowledgeable about music, theatre, and dance in London. All of these artistic elements were incorporated into her drawings as she rendered the import of the lower arcana and the dense symbolism of the major arcana.

We will never know how much of the extraordinary symbolism of this deck should be credited to Waite and how much Smith initiated on her own. What is clear is that the combination of superior transcendent minds created a tool that spans the generations. We owe a great debt to Katz and Goodwin for filling in as many of the blanks as they have. This is a very interesting and enlightening tome complete with new insight about the card meanings. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2015 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—90 Days to Learning the Tarot

May 01 2015 Published by under Anna's Books of Interest, Schiffer Publishing

Schiffer Publishing

Can you learn to read tarot cards?

Part instruction book, part workbook, and part motivational guide, Gifford has taken a unique stance on working with tarot decks. She asks readers to throw out the rigid guidelines and fixed meanings that are often associated with reading tarot cards. Instead, she suggests beginning with a survey of our inner world in order to connect with the intuitive core that lives within us all.

Once readers have learned to listen to their instincts, she asks them to explore the tarot deck. She tells them to use observation and free association to develop a personal sense of meaning for each of the cards. She does include some time-tested basics, like traditional spreads, symbolism drawn from the Collective Unconscious, and ethical guidelines for doing readings in keeping with Universal Law.

This brightly designed book uses Ciro Marcetti’s The Gilded Tarot for illustration. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as highly informative. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2015 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook

Sep 19 2014 Published by under Anna's Books of Interest, Inner Traditions

Destiny Books

Is this the definitive guide to Lenormand?

Searching for a pre-electronic oracle that would take her out of the modern world of lush and sophisticated oracular imagery, Matthews went back to the roots of cartomancy. Her subsequent exploration of the “petit” decks rejuvenated her interest in divination. Of course, one of the petit decks which captured her attention was the newly-popular Petit Lenormand. While the origins of the Petit Lenormand remain shrouded in mystery, it has become clear that the Madame herself had nothing to do with its creation. Nevertheless, the deck continues to popularize the Madame and the divination style which she made famous.

Those of you who are used to reading more complexly illustrated oracle cards in fixed spreads, might find that you’re initially uncomfortable with this less specific form of divination. Not to worry. Matthews walks us through the transition with clear instructions and thoroughly-explained examples.

Chapter 2 provides detailed information for interpreting each card, including key combinations with other cards and how Lenormand symbolism varies from traditional tarot symbolism. Each subsequent chapter adds another layer of nuance, i.e. reading pairs and triplets, using significators, the effects of each card, and reading tableaus. By the end of the book, readers will be thoroughly schooled in the advanced subtleties of this highly complex divination system. Throughout, Matthews encourages readers to develop their own techniques and to make the cards their own.

This is the most complete reference on Lenormand I’ve come across to date. It’s also very clearly written, well-organized, and intriguing. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2014 Anna Jedrziewski and

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Books of Interest — The Esoteric Tarot

Oct 28 2013 Published by under Anna's Books of Interest

Quest Books

Do you know the tarot truth?

Ronald Decker makes it clear that most of us don’t — or didn’t until now. Applying his expert academic and archivist skills to the history and symbolism of tarot, he has created the most thorough, and yet readable, accounting of tarot cards I have ever read. Dispelling popular myths attributing the tarot to early Egypt, Hermeticists, and Cabalism, he carefully explains how influences from all those sources found their way into tarot as we know it today. He also explains how the mysterious deck first began to be used as an oracle.

Decker welcomes dissenting opinions, but it would require great effort to seriously dispute his conclusions. His research is meticulous. His bibliography is awe-inspiring. He relies predominantly on the Tarot of Marseilles to illustrate his treatise, citing it as the most reliable representation of his theories. Anyone with a serious interest in the tarot and its symbolism will welcome this as an addition to their library. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2013 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book Review — The New Tarot Handbook

Oct 10 2012 Published by under Anna's Books of Interest, Llewellyn



Rachel Pollack is a recognized modern master of the tarot. Now she has distilled her forty-plus years of experience and study into a 280 page tarot manual. Both first time tarot users and seasoned afficionados will be well served by it.

She begins the book with a rousing tribute to Eden Gray. Most of us who discovered tarot in the 60’s and 70’s have a warm spot in out hearts for Ms. Gray. My own copy of Gray’s The Tarot Revealed has become a pile of loose pages held together with a rubber band. Pollack continues with a clear and concise history of the tarot, putting to rest many of the myths of tarot . The heart of the book is a card by card description and analysis of both the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana cards. All of it is filled with knowledge, insight, and guidance. Pollack’s encouraging, conversational tone makes the book a joy to read. This is another great addition to the world of tarot by one of its brightest stars. SHOP FOR THE DECK

© Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book Review — Cosmic Astrology

Aug 18 2012 Published by under Anna's Books of Interest, Inner Traditions


Inner Traditions

Energy masters Chia and Wei have kicked astrology up a notch. They have pulled together five different systems of astrology — some eastern, some western —to give us the most complete description of the energy pattern that existed at our birth. The five systems are: the twelve Chinese animal signs, the twelve Western astrology signs, the Western Sun and Moon Sign combinations, the Chinese animal and Western sign combinations, and the Birth Personality and Destiny Cards. Each system is described in detail and charts are provided so that we can each find the specific sign or combination that applies to us. This is the first time I’ve come across the Birth Cards system. It turns out that it is centuries old, and I must admit the description associated with my card resonated rather dramatically with me.

This might seem like an odd topic for these two Taoist superstars to invest their time in, but there is much esoteric information provided along with the day-to-day aspects. The premise behind the book is that the better we understand our birth “imprint” the easier it will be to develop into the spiritual being we are meant to be. Whether your goals are lofty or mundane, there is plenty in the book to keep your interest. Buy it for fun and study it when you are ready. SHOP FOR THE DECK

© Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book Review — The Tarot Playbook

Jul 19 2012 Published by under Anna's Books of Interest, Schiffer Publishing


Schiffer Publishing

Lynda Cowles has managed to come up with a unique approach for working with tarot cards (no small feat in the increasingly crowded world of tarot). In this tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted, but serious book, she invites readers to approach working with the tarot as a game. She speaks of the relationship with a tarot deck as if it were a love affair, suggesting little touches like watching TV with the deck or driving with it on the passenger seat of your car to let the deck know that it’s special to you. She discourages keeping a journal about your experiences working with the deck. “Nothing sucks the fun out quicker than paperwork.” She warns about scaring the deck away by trying to analyze it. Like I said at the beginning, this book is different. It’s a breath of fresh air. Don’t be mislead, however. There’s plenty of serious tarot insight between the covers.

Each chapter is related to a tarot card and illustrated with a striking photograph reflective of the card’s symbolism. The chapters are structured so that readers can work with them in order or randomly, according to their mood. If you’re interested in tarot at all, this is something you’re going to want to try. SHOP FOR THE DECK

© Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book Review — The Book of Psychic Symbols

Jun 06 2012 Published by under Anna's Books of Interest, Llewellyn



This is an excellent psychic how-to. Organized around the intuitive use of symbols, the book covers the basics of tapping into and trusting our innate intuitive abilities, developing our psychic senses safely, and effectively applying psychic skills towards productive goals. Barnum includes exercises for psychic journaling, for connecting with spirit guides, for developing clairvoyance and other psychic senses, for grounding, for using psychometry and remote viewing, for interpreting colors, for understanding chakras and auras, and for working with tarot images. There are also sections about developing personal symbol interpretation, analyzing dreams, and symbol synchronicity in the physical world. The extensive glossary of symbols at the end of the book provides a terrific starter reference for those readers who are just beginning to tap into their intuitive side.

Barnum speaks with the authority of someone who has worked successfully as a professional intuitive for years. She shares her expertise openly with readers. She has written a book which makes sense (something a lot of intuitives are not able to manage). Down-to-earth, upbeat but realistic, and easy to read, this one is definitely a standout. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book Review — Around the Tarot in 78 Days

May 19 2012 Published by under Anna's Books of Interest, Llewellyn


Llewellyn Worldwide

Tarot experts Katz and Goodwin have come up with a creative, interactive new approach for studying tarot. Whether you want to learn to read cards, or to use classic tarot symbolism and images to tap into esoteric wisdom, this book is a perfect place to start. Set up as a journey through the traditional 78-card tarot deck, the reader is invited to visit one card a day and explore it as a destination. The authors then build on that basic format, providing information about tarot-related subjects (correspondences) like numerology, astrology, Kabbalah, essential oils, and magickal tradition.

The information in the book is well-organized so it is easy to access, but there is lots of it (the book has 424 pages). The Reading List at the end, spanning a hundred years of tarot writings, indicates the broad range of resources the author relied upon to create this tarot tool. The end product is synergistic, not a compilation. It is a unique presentation which includes fun titles like The Clockwork Museum, The Garden of Delights, The Pyramid Plaza, and The Ancient Coliseum. The addition of Affirmations, Meditations, and original spread designs helps the reader become an active participate in the world they are exploring.

The book will be as valuable as an addition to a reference library as it is as a starter course for serious tarot study. If you want to learn what lies behind the intriguing pictures in your tarot deck, this is the book for you. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book Review — Numerology Made Easy

Feb 10 2012 Published by under Anna's Books of Interest



What is a life path number? What is a destiny number? What is a master number? Why is eleven different, even from other master numbers? Why do repeated digits need to be interpreted in context? What is the “23 Enigma”? What is a magic square? What do computers have in common with Divine Intelligence? And — of course — what is 11:11 all about?

If any of these questions intrigue you, Numerology Made Easy is the book for you. Written in a deceptively simple style, the information flows from the page into your brain almost magically. For those of us who have studied numerology for years, this book brings it all together in a form that makes the ideas truly functional. For those who are just beginning to study numbers, this is the perfect place to start. Simple examples demonstrate key techniques. Descriptions of the effects of numbers in different areas of our lives are distilled until they are clear, concise, and effective. I was especially interested in what Carter had to say about repeating digits. I got the answers I was looking for, communicated in a manner that will make those answers “stick” with me. This is a book for doers. I highly recommend it.

© 2012 Anna Jedrziewski and

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