|Lewellyn's Classic Tarot|
I have read and enjoyed Anthony Louis' previous books on tarot (Tarot Plain and Simple and Tarot Beyond the Basics) so it's no surprise to me that I liked his new book Llewellyn's Complete Book too!
Louis is an experienced tarot reader, as well as a psychiatrist and astrologer, which gives him a layered and proactive approach to the cards. And, in terms of comprehensiveness, he delivers.
The book covers the gamut including the history of tarot, different ways of using tarot (journaling, creativity, spiritual practice, adjunct to therapy), ethics, correspondences, birth cards, symbolism, astrology, kabbalah, reversals and dignities, framing a question for the tarot, timing, a range of spreads, reading with court cards, in depth associations for every card in the deck, an excellent recommended reading list, numerous very helpful case studies and more.
While all the information given is helpful. I found the associations / interpretations section especially valuable. Each card was illustrated (with images from Lewellyn's Classic Tarot -which I now want). The author also included descriptive (and memorable) title, traditional interpretations (Etteilla, Mathers, Waite, and the Golden Dawn), number symbolism, astrological associations, timing considerations, and some very helpful keywords (both positive and negative). I especially liked the authors own associations for the cards (both upright and reverse) which I found to be very resonant with my own.
I also appreciated the proactive advice Louis' associations provided. For the High Priestess (above) for example he says, "Pay attention to your dreams and intuitive hunches. In this way, you can gain access to something unrevealed or not yet known about your future plans." For the Tower the author suggests the "need to critically evaluate the structures that are...limiting your life."
It seems to me that, as a psychiatrist, Louis sees the tarot as a tool that can be used for personal transformation and growth - something that I agree with completely.
I consider Llewellyn's Complete Book a good and quite comprehensive addition to any tarot library and an appropriate resource for beginners and more advanced practitioners alike!