Review: Best Tarot Practices, Marcia Masino

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Our friends at Weiser Books have kindly included me on their reviewers list!  <Insert visual of me dancing around the office, contemplating all of the reading I get to do!>

First up: Best Tarot Practices by Marcia Masino.  Paperback, 302 pages of Tarot information and ideas, and worth the read!  A foreword by Rachel Pollack creates anticipation of interesting reading ahead, and Masino does not disappoint.

Best Tarot Practices, Marcia Masino

(Image courtesy of Weiser Books)

Masino presents it as a beginner’s book, and I think it would be a good introduction for those new to Tarot. However, given the depth of information, and all of the extras in the book, I can see this being of great use to those who have some Tarot experience to give them a fresh approach to what may seem to be overly familiar territory.

Masino does provide meanings for the cards, both upright and reverse, which are well-written.  (One nitpick: the book could have used one more time through the proofreading department – a reference to the “yoke of an egg” on page 123 was rather jarring. My pick is about the typos, not the quality of the writing.) However, she gives so much more for the reader to work with – questions to ask the self/querent about the card, affirmations to help absorb the lesson of the card, and guided meditations for those who wish to work deeply with a particular card.  While the meditations cover only the major arcana and what Masino terms the “challenge” cards in the minor arcana, there’s material aplenty to keep even the most devoted Tarot student occupied for months.

With the minor arcana, Masino takes a fresh look at the court cards.  While acknowledging that the court cards can often represent people around us, or aspects of ourselves, Masino encourages the reader to view them as embodiments of personal values, either what the client already possesses, or what the client needs to focus on.

She associates a classical virtue with each of the minor suits – for example, she assigns the virtue of Faith to the Cups cards.  The cards in the suit are then not only about our emotional progression (or lack thereof), but bring into focus how our emotional development affects our faith, and vice-versa.  This additional layer of meaning adds a new richness to readings.

Masino also provides an introduction to meditation – breathing, creating a positive environment – for those not familiar with meditation, or who are not accustomed to combining meditation with their Tarot work.  Some of the meditations are more advanced than I would expect a beginner to be comfortable with, but you can work up to them as you feel ready.  At the very least, I recommend reading through them just to get an intellectual understanding of Masino’s approach, even if you don’t do the actual meditation, and do the meditations as you feel prepared to work with that card.

The book also provides three spreads in addition to the Celtic Cross, with examples of spreads Masino has done for clients to illustrate each one. I particularly like the Four Seasons spread, which Masino offers as a quarterly self check-in.  While she presents it as a predictive spread, I found that it was easily used as a tool to contemplate options and make decisions rather than relying on it for simple prediction, as that approach better fits my reading style.  (Of course, if you’ve listened to any of our podcasts, you know my feelings about predictive readings.)

Packed with questions, exercises, meditations, and affirmations, Marcia Masino’s Best Tarot Practices is a well-written and welcome addition to the Tarot library.

One Response to “Review: Best Tarot Practices, Marcia Masino”

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