A few recommended books on tarot

Once you know the basics of reading tarot cards, you might be interested in what else you can do with a deck of cards. Here are a few excellent books (also suitable for sceptics) exploring a variety of uses.

Mark McElroy has written outstanding and very readable books on using tarot cards. In Taking the tarot to heart: Fun & creative ways to improve your love life he shows you how to use tarot cards to help you find love, improve your relationship, and even cope with break-ups. You also get to draw up your personal romantic profile. He includes card interpretations for each card, slanted towards relationships.

McElroy's Putting the Tarot to work: Creative problem solving, effective decision making & personal career planning deals with workplace issues such as brainstorming solutions, planning presentations, preparing for employee reviews, exploring career options, and building better business relationships. He includes card interpretations that are all geared for business use.

What's in the cards for you? Test the Tarot is the third in this series and my personal favourite. If you are unsure what you want to do with tarot cards, Mark takes you through 30 days and 30 techniques ranging from making your own meaning for a card to using the cards for self-improvement, interpret your dreams, solve problems, make decisions, set goals, and write a story. You can also have fun exploring past lives and making predictions with the cards. You rate every activity on how effective it was and how likely it is that you will be using it again, and at the end of the 30 days there is a chart you can use to find out which type(s) of technique worked best for you. Each activity falls into one or more of these categories: psychological, educational, magickal, creative, planning or predictive.

Nina Lee Braden's Tarot for self discovery has around 50 exercises with tarot cards ranging from light-hearted (Happy Feet, My Tarot Neighborhood, Synchronicity) to more in-depth (Life Purpose, I Gotta Be Me, Grief, A Spirituality of My Own, Lost in the Wasteland). There are also exercises for special occasions and situations--holidays, weddings, relationships, healing, help for the bone/soul weary, and one on procrastination.

In Tarot shadow work: Using the dark symbols to heal, Christine Jette teaches you how to use the 22 major arcana cards of tarot to bring your shadow to light--your inner conflicts, unacknowledged emotions, secret wishes, and creative urges that can have such a destructive effect on your life if they remain unacknowledged.

In Tarot journaling: Using the Celtic Cross to unveil your hidden story, Corrine Kenner demonstrates how to use the cards for journalling, starting with the basics (choosing a journal) to various ways of using the cards in your journal, and including techniques "for getting out of your own way" to transform negative energy into a positive brainstorming tool.

Another excellent book from Corrine Kenner is Tarot for writers, in which she explores how the cards can be used to create characters, settings, storylines and plots, and breaking through writer's block. She also includes descriptions of each card with prompts for a writer.

(This post first appeared on SynTAROTis.)