Using the Tarot for Creativity and Empowerment

Book Review: Psychic Tarot

Psychic Tarot Book Cover image

Book:  Psychic Tarot
Authors:  Nancy Antenucci with Melanie Howard
Pages:  226
Publisher:  Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN:  978-0-7387-1975-7
Format:  Softcover

There are many, many Tarot books out there and a good majority of them have made it onto my shelves. I was however, delighted to discover a refreshing and unique Tarot book entitled “Psychic Tarot” by Nancy Antenucci with Melanie Howard. This isn’t a book about learning the meanings of the cards or creating spreads (although that is discussed). Rather, Psychic Tarot teaches you how to read the Tarot using your innate psychic abilities, which, as the authors show us, can be awakened and developed with practice. Much of our difficulty comes from blocks that we have created ourselves stemming from our beliefs about the existence (or non-existence) and availability of psychic abilities. The authors discuss how surprising it is to them that most tarot readers do not consider themselves psychic when in fact, a good majority of us use our psychic abilities (or the Sight as the authors refer to it) when we read. Have you ever received a flash of insight or have a vivid scene display in your mind’s eye? Or perhaps you looked at the cards as a sense of “knowing” came over you? If so, then you have used the Sight.

In the beginning parts of the book, we are introduced to the elements that make up a Tarot deck. I must say that it was refreshing not to have to wade through an exhaustive list of Tarot card meanings, typical of many introductory Tarot books. In fact, the authors suggest that you don’t memorize the meanings for the cards but instead, learn to rely on your intuition.

The authors break the Tarot deck into three sections or “families”. The first family is the Minor Arcana and in this section, the reader learns about the suits of the deck and the elements, attributes, seasons and directions associated with each suit. We are also introduced to spreads in this section. An exercise that I found particularly helpful is the “Light and Shadow” reading, in which you are asked to draw two cards from each suit with one card representing where you are strong, highly developed and natural and the other representing where you need more nourishment, awareness and growth. I found this to be an extremely eye-opening exercise. In the second family, we are introduced to the Court Cards. The book first demonstrates the differences in the Court Cards from among different decks and we are then led to look at the different ways to read the courts: as people, as archetypes and as energy. The third family is the Major Arcana in which we are taken through “The Fools Journey”.

The book then goes into discussions on several topics that are helpful to understand when working with the Sight: energy basics, synchronicity, working with spirits that have crossed over, ghosts, how past lives may effect our present life, and how to trust spirit. There is much useful information in this part of the book for those who wish to learn more about the psychic side of things and it provides many beneficial exercises in exploring and developing this side of yourself.

The book then demonstrates over six chapters, the six principles necessary for any type of divination using Tarot as the chosen tool. These are the principles of Grounding, Intent, Form, Synchronicity, Closure, and Integration. I found this section of the book to be one of the most helpful, with these principles being essential if you wish to be an effective reader – especially one who relies on his or her intuition. Throughout these six chapters the reader will encounter many helpful exercises and spreads to reinforce these principles.

We are then almost ready to put what we have learned into practice. Here, we learn how to read Tarot using the Sight. In this chapter, we look at the spectrum of readings from using only Tarot (no use of psychic abilities) to relying only on psychic channeling. We look in depth at five different types of readings, with examples, and the different aspects which make up the readings:

  1. Tarot Reading
  2. Tarot reading with a Hint of the Sight
  3. A Tarot and Psychic Reading
  4. A Psychic Reading with a Hint of Tarot
  5. A Psychic Reading

The next to the last chapter – one that I find especially beneficial, particularly to people just starting out as readers – is the chapter on Helpful Boundaries. Many of us may have had (or still have) issues setting clear boundaries and eventually have learned how important it is to “draw the line” somewhere. In the boundaries chapters, we look as several different types of such issues and are provided with tips on how to set necessary boundaries. These are: boundaries with family and friends, boundaries with seekers/clients and boundaries with the Divine. The book then wraps up nicely with a short, motivational chapter entitled, “Traits of a True Reader.”

Once you are finished with the book, you are not simply let loose to fend for yourself. Appendix B in the back of the book provides a wonderful self-study guide – a step-by-step plan of study to incorporate all of the elements discussed in the book. I find that in many instructional books, you are left with a feeling of “now what?” upon completion. This self-study guide takes you further and teaches you how to actually put into use, in the real world, what you have learned. Brilliant!

The chapters in the book are as follows:

  1. Blocks
  2. The Power of a Reading
  3. Tarot Basics
  4. The Minor Arcana: The First Family
  5. The Court Cards: The Second Family
  6. The Major Arcana: The Third Family
  7. Energy Basics
  8. Seeing the Unseen
  9. The Many Selves
  10. Trusting the Sight
  11. The Initial Image
  12. The First Principle: Grounding
  13. The Second Principle: Intent
  14. The Third Principle: Form
  15. The Fourth Principle: Synchronicity
  16. The Fifth Principle: Closure
  17. The Sixth Principle: Integration
  18. Reading Tarot with the Sight
  19. Helpful Boundaries
  20. Traits of a True Reader
    Appendix A – The Seventy-Eight Tarot Cards
    Appendix B – Self-Study Guide

The wealth of material in this book is easy to understand and is written in a clear, concise manner. The exercises and spreads in the book help to reinforce what has been learned and as I mentioned above, the study guide section is indispensable. I feel that this book would be helpful to beginning or intermediateTarot readers — or even advanced readers who would like to read Tarot more intuitively — and would be an excellent tool to help, understand, develop, and use his or her psychic ability. This is the type of book that will no doubt end up being read more than one time and will serve as a valuable reference. Highly recommended!

Buy the book HERE

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