Ashe’s Reading for 2021

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  • #304581
    Ashe Elton Parker
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    Well, I clearly didn’t keep up with my updates on last year’s post. I considered relabeling it, then realized I had not entered anything at all, and didn’t want to deal with the crushed text.

    So here is the thread for this year’s reading. The book list is below, and after that, I’ll enter reviews and cover copy like I have in the past, with each book getting its own sub-post in this thread.

    This year’s reading goal is 12 books.

    .

    Ashe Elton Parker
    "Just love me, fear me, do as I say, and I will be your slave." ~ David Bowie as Jareth in Labyrinth
    ~*~
    Member since 1998.
    ~*~
    Look me up on Wattpad for some of my books!
    #304591
    Ashe Elton Parker
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    • Topics - 450
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    This post contains the list of books I’ve read for easy reference. Books are listed in order finished, and are accompanied by reviews.

    1) Easy Tarot Handbook by Josephine Ellershaw, instructional

    Ashe Elton Parker
    "Just love me, fear me, do as I say, and I will be your slave." ~ David Bowie as Jareth in Labyrinth
    ~*~
    Member since 1998.
    ~*~
    Look me up on Wattpad for some of my books!
    #304592
    Ashe Elton Parker
    Moderator
    • Topics - 450
    • Replies - 9,346

    1) Easy Tarot Handbook by Josephine Ellershaw, instructional

    COVER COPY:

    Created especially for beginners, the Easy Tarot kit is the easiest way to learn to read Tarot cards. In the Easy Tarot Handbook, author Josephine Ellershaw shares tips, shortcuts, and time-saving techniques gained from more than thirty years of experience reading Tarot cards.

    Using the beautiful Gilded Tarot deck, you’ll learn how the seventy-eight cards link to one another and provide insight as their unique energies merge in the Cross of Truth, the Celtic Cross, and other spreads. There is even a list of card combinations that commonly indicate specific events-such as pregnancy, a wedding, a new job, and more. Also included in the Easy Tarot Handbook:

    •⊂ A quick guide to card meanings
    •⊂ Sample readings, safeguards, and ethical guidelines
    •⊂ Tips on keeping a Tarot diary
    •⊂ Troubleshooting advice that addresses questions such as, “What if the cards don’t seem to connect?”

    FORMAT: Print. As far as I know, it is only available in print format.

    AVAILABILITY: I purchased the entire Easy Tarot kit from Amazon. It came boxed with the Gilded Tarot deck by Ciro Marchetti and a paper fold-out Celtic Cross Spread template.

    WHAT THE BOOK OFFERS: Using the Gilded Tarot as the deck for this book, and employing over 30 years’ experience, author Josephine Ellershaw introduces the beginner, and not-so-beginner, to her method of tarot reading. She goes through each suit of the Minor Arcana, followed by their Court Cards, and finishes off the Tarot definitions with those of the Major Arcana. Also in the book are a very small variety of spreads, and instructions on how to learn to read the tarot intuitively. Ms. Ellershaw brings the reader from the basics of the tarot deck and provides her method on how to handle and read the cards.

    WHAT I DISLIKED ABOUT THE BOOK: I grew weary of the frequency with which the subjects of romance and marriage came up not only in the Minor Arcana, but also in the Major Arcana. It almost seemed as if this was the author’s private obsession, for it was included in the explanations of cards whose definitions I’ve never seen it a part of. Granted, my experience is limited, but no other tarot source I’m familiar with has suggested that romance/marriage be such a priority in the tarot, not even Power Tarot, and that book has subsections for each card, including one for romance.

    I also felt like Ms. Ellershaw was handing this instruction down from on high. When I shared the passages I had difficulty accepting as mere advice to another reader who has far more experience than I have, they agreed that the author of the Easy Tarot Handbook was transmitting her personal method of reading the cards as something akin to the One True Way.

    Beyond that, some of the cards, particularly a number of those in the Major Arcana had very brief explanations that would have left me clueless as to how to employ the card in a reading. While I currently find keywords helpful, I gravitated to the books I first bought because of their more comprehensive definitions of the cards. Sometimes the Easy Tarot Handbook left much to be desired in that realm.

    And one final thing: Ms. Ellershaw advocates using tarot as a predictor of future events. As far as I can recall, every other source on tarot I’ve come across has focused on using tarot as a tool to understanding oneself and one’s place in the world at a particular time. The author of the Easy Tarot Handbook even offers suggestions of questions the reader may ask the cards as they do their personal readings, and every single question prompted the type of query that asks for peeks into the unknowable future.

    WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK: Ms. Ellershaw provides some troubleshooting advice in the back of the book which may be helpful in readings; I haven’t tested it yet, mostly because I haven’t done any readings where I struggled with the cards. She also provides advice on how different cards relate to one another that I may find helpful.

    I also liked her lesson suggestion which tells the beginner to take each card and write lists of what memories, thoughts, and associations the image thereon brings to mind instead of relying upon the explanation of the card from the book.

    The author advises the new reader to keep a tarot journal with records of their exercises and their personal readings. She also suggests that the new reader practice doing personal readings until they understand the cards and how the cards work for them. I think both of these are sound advice.

    WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK?: I would not recommend this book to a raw beginner, though that was Ms. Ellershaw’s purpose in writing the book. Her fixation on romance/marriage would, I feel, mislead an impressionable new reader. Also, the brevity of some cards’ definitions left me unimpressed. And I feel that the inflexibility of the “advice” provided on the care and handling of the deck would force a new reader into a mold and pattern of behavior that may not work well for them.

    However, I would suggest this book for a more experienced student of tarot who has tested other books. I feel gaining a wider familiarity with tarot would benefit any newer readers who come to this book. That should enable them to determine how useful the instruction and explanations of the cards may be to them.

    CLOSING REMARKS: While this book has merits, I largely feel that the fresh, new beginner to tarot would be better served by other books. As it is, I’d say this would be a middling-useful book to anyone who has the personal flexibility to understand what may best work for them and a willingness to study wider than the Easy Tarot Handbook.

    Ashe Elton Parker
    "Just love me, fear me, do as I say, and I will be your slave." ~ David Bowie as Jareth in Labyrinth
    ~*~
    Member since 1998.
    ~*~
    Look me up on Wattpad for some of my books!
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