Confessions of a Tarot Reader: Practical Advice From This Realm and Beyond

Overview

Lessons learned from the cards, and the incomparable Jane Stern

 

Tarot cards have been used to foretell the future for centuries. In the hands of a sensitive and gifted reader like Jane Stern they can help clarify the decisions we make every day and realign our lives to work more effectively.

Once the domain of the esoteric and mystical, tarot today has many practical applications in the modern world. Jane Stern, a fourth generation tarot...

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Confessions of a Tarot Reader: Practical Advice From This Realm and Beyond

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Overview

Lessons learned from the cards, and the incomparable Jane Stern

 

Tarot cards have been used to foretell the future for centuries. In the hands of a sensitive and gifted reader like Jane Stern they can help clarify the decisions we make every day and realign our lives to work more effectively.

Once the domain of the esoteric and mystical, tarot today has many practical applications in the modern world. Jane Stern, a fourth generation tarot reader who has read cards professionally for over forty years, has given the art of the tarot a very modern spin. Using the twenty-two major arcana cards (the “heart of the tarot”) as the basis for the chapters in this book, she has gleaned all she has learned over the years and presents Confessions of a Tarot Reader as a witty, readable, and useful self help book. In her own words, the author likes to think of herself as a “psychic Dear Abby,” and by drawing on the wisdom of the tarot deck, to give practical advice in every life situation. Confessions of a Tarot Reader can lift the veil between this world and the unseen world.

 

 

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Stern(500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late,2009, etc.)offers an insightful how-to guide that reaches far beyond simple directions for reading tarot cards.

The author, best known for her work as a James Beard Award–winning food writer with husband Michael, is a fourth-generation tarot reader with more than four decades of experience staring down destiny. Stern chronicles the ways in which past readings have served as a launching point for journeys of self-discovery—for both herself and her clients: "A real tarot card reading is intrusive, and—as with psychotherapy—few people want their lives laid bare for fun." Broken down into 22 chapters, one for each card of the Major Arcana deck, the author elaborates on both the obvious and hidden meanings of each card, complete with suggestions for personal growth and insight. Stern is quick to point out, however, that tarot reading is more akin to a Rorschach test—the process is not simply meant to predict a future set in stone, but rather serve as a catalyst for deep introspection and analysis. Weaving anecdotes from her 40 years' experience tangling with the occult, including particularly memorable readings she's performed for herself, Stern provides delightful take on a practice too often derided as scam or mere superstition.

More than one skeptic may come away agreeing with the author when she writes, "the tarot deck is the best method for seeking answers from beyond the limited realm of our thought."

From the Publisher

"[A]n insightful how-to guide that reaches far beyond simple directions for reading tarot cards. . . . [Jane] Stern chronicles the ways in which past readings have served as a launching point for journeys of self-discovery—for both herself and her clients. . . . Weaving anecdotes from her 40 years’ experience tangling with the occult, including particularly memorable readings she’s performed for herself, Stern provides a delightful take on a practice too often derided as scam or mere superstition."

Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599219936
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Edition description: First
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 974,882
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Stern is the author of many food and popular culture books coauthored with Michael Stern. Her best-selling memoir Ambulance Girl was made into a movie starring and directed by Kathy Bates. The Sterns run the very popular food website ROADFOOD, and have won three James Beard awards and were inducted into the Who’s Who of American food. They are also heard each week on NPR’s The Splendid Table. Jane Stern lives in Connecticut, and may be contacted through her website jsmastertarot.com.

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Table of Contents

Welcome to Your Reading ix

A Note About the Cards xvi

0 The Fool: New beginnings and heading into the unknown 1

1 The Magician: Making what is possible real 9

2 The High Priestess: Tapping into the mystery of your potential 17

3 The Empress: Mothering-beauty and comfort 27

4 The Emperor: Fathering-authority and control 37

5 The Hierophant: Learning the rules of life 45

6 The Lovers: How to find enduring and passionate love 53

7 The Chariot: Advice on identifying and reaching your goals 67

8 Strength: The lesson in knowing that you can and will endure any problems 75

9 The Hermit: Looking for the answers within 83

10 The Wheel of Fortune: Seeing the turning point and moving forward 91

11 Justice: Committing yourself to honesty and doing what is right 99

12 The Hanged Man: Giving up control and accepting what is 107

13 Death: Endings, beginnings, and the difficulty of waiting in-between 115

14 Temperance: Finding balance and moderation in your life 127

15 The Devil: Fighting ignorance, bondage, and hopelessness 135

16 The Tower: Overcoming upheavals and sudden change 145

17 The Star: Being open to faith and thinking positively 155

18 The Moon: The battle against your inner demons 163

19 The Sun: Finding sense behind the chaos of your life 173

20 Judgement: Preparing for your day of reckoning 181

21 The World: Experiencing wholeness and integration of your personality 189

A Note to the Reader 197

About the Author 198

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Jane Stern has jumped the shark!

    I really hate to do this because I thoroughly enjoyed the Encyclopedia of Pop Culture and the Encyclopedia of Bad Taste but I cannot give more than one star for Stern's steaming pile of woo derp. The one major flaw in this book is that it's based on the now discredited notion that the Tarot has always been used for occult or for divinatory purposes. Contrary to what mystery mongers like Stern would have us believe, the Tarot was originally intended for a type of trick taking card game still played in many countries in continental Europe. It is not only Tarot game player and skeptics who realize this fact but a growing number of Tarot readers also acknowledge it. This title could have passed muster back in the 1970's when more people were gullible and before the publication of Michael Dummett's Game of Tarot which debunked the occult Tarot myths and before the internet which allowed previously ignorant Americans to be exposed to the realities of Tarot game playing. However, in the 21st century, the views of Jane Stern regarding the Tarot are sadly dated as they've been found to be utterly false! Concerning the so-called "Magician" card, Stern gives a false impression regarding its original significance. That card actually was intended to represent a lowly stage performer, a mountebank or juggler, and it wasn't even originally called a "Magician" Until the occultists got a hold of it, it was never intended to signify paranormal Magic(k)! Her analysis of the Fool card is also indicative of her cultural ignorance. The Fool was actually intended to be a different kind of card than the other members of the so-called "Major Arcana" I should note that the terms "Major Arcana" and "Minor Arcana" were inventions of the occult writer Paul Christian and were not employed when the Tarot first appeared in the 1400s and are seldom used by contemporary Tarot game players. The Fool isn't always numbered as zero. It was employed as a wild card to excuse players of having to follow suit in the original Tarot games and in some modern games played in central Europe, it is the highest trump card. There are numerous other falsehoods too numerous to mention and the more I examine this train wreak of a Tarot book the less I like it In summary, because the title is based on dated Tarot history, I give this title an EPIC FAIL! grade. Stern should be ashamed of her falsifications of history and culture!

    10 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    It is not "joyous" to spread lies and stereotypes about culture.

    The book might be entertaining but one thing it isn't is factual. It is based on the BIG FAT LIE that too many tarot readers promote that their card reading practices are authentic traditional tarot practice from the beginning. Tarot was really made for card games and not for divination! There are some tarot readers who don't want people to know this because it might be bad for their tarot reading business if those cards are not seen as mysterious. Not all tarot readers spread lies about tarot cards, but Jane Stern in this book is an example of too many tarot readers who are ignorant about the history of tarot or who are deliberatly trying to pull the wool over the publics eyes. What Jane Stern has written about tarot cards can easily be debunked by going to the website of the International Playing Card Society and looking up the history of playing cards where they have a well researched section on tarot. People also play games with tarot cards and tarot readers who spread the usual falsehoods and stereotypes about tarot cards are bad for the efforts of game players trying to educate Americans about how these cards may be used for game playing. I think its ok to read tarot cards but it's not right for the tarot readers to spread lies about culture.

    7 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    For entertainment purposes only!

    It is funny and sad sometimes but it's not very educational. You will not learn much about tarot cards. I like the Roadfood books but not this one as much. The Roadfood books were innovative and educational about food but this one I did not like as much because there are too many errors in it. It is not innovative. Jane Stern seems to really believe a lot of the old myths about tarot cards. She doesn't know anything about them except what she may be reading from old new age hack writers. I can see why some people don't like this one. I hope she corrects the errors in a future edition.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    highly Recommended it to all quick reading

    loved the book keep me into it till i was done ,than went out a bought one for a friend . east to understand

    6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    Phony "positive" reviews!

    Most of the positive reviews of this book that you see on this website and on amazon are from Jane Stern's Facebook Friends. I used to be a Facebook Friend of Jane Stern. I unfriended her because she will censor any comment pertaining to the use of tarot cards for games instead of fortune telling. Jane Stern is censoring the mention that the tarot is also used in games! She is censoring a card game! How pathetic is that. Yes. Tarot was really made for games and not psychics! The Cracked website had a good article recently which totally owned the myths of tarot. I like Roadfood and I like Ambulance Girl but Confessions of a Tarot Reader is not that great of a book. It might be fun to read but there is too much myth there instead of fact.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Great and Informative Read!

    What a treat! I have been a fan of Jane Stern ever since I first opened the pages of Roadfood, and she definitely did not disappoint with her latest. I always rely on Jane to take me through the world of travel, food, and pop culture, and I was delighted to find that she can also enlighten me to completely new subjects. Confessions of a Tarot Reader is special because Jane has lived, learned, and honed her skills through the years, and her experience with the divine and spiritual world richly shines through. This book is informative, down-right hysterical, (I feel for Ms. Stern as some of her customers were characters to say the least!), but most of all it is trustworthy. I use that word because this wasn't a book about smoke and mirrors, it was an educational read from a woman who has developed and cherished this craft for years. Not only that but I learned that Tarot Card reading has been in her family for generations! That impressed me. It really is interesting, and I felt lucky that Jane allowed us to delve into her world for a few hours. If you are a fan of Stern's previous works, I would definitely recommend giving this a read. And if you haven't yet read anything by Jane, what are you waiting for?! Trust me, you don't want to miss out! If you have a niggling curiosity about this subject, I can assure you a lot of your questions and thoughts will be answered and addressed. 5 stars for me.

    5 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    Jane Stern's anti-atheist bigotry!

    I do encourage people here to Google my name "Jim Wickson" "James D. Wickson" or "Oudler" That way you will get the facts concerning Tarot cards that too many so-called "Tarot" authors don't seem to want folks to know. Why do so many of these authors distort the history of Tarot cards and want to deny folks the right to know that the Tarot was made for game playing and not initially for divination? It's time for Tarot readers to accept the fact that they do not own the Tarot. People also play games with these cards and it's time for mainstream America to become aware of it. I especially wish to direct attention to my one star review of this title at Amazon and look at the comments. Stern felt some need to draw attention to the fact that I am an atheist. Should that even matter?

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

    What a Joyous Book!

    I don't know what's wrong with Mr. or Ms. Crabby who wrote such a whiney review, but this book is not only true and factual, but such fun to read. The author has a way of imparting tons of information in a way that is totally entertaining. It's the kind of book that I found impossible to put down once I started reading it. Then, having read it, I keep going back and browsing through favorite parts. This is definitely not just for tarot people, but for anyone who cares about human nature and who enjoys really good writing.

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    Who knew? This is really something!

    I am familiar with Jane Stern from her food writing but this is a totally different side of her that I knew nothing about. It is a wonderful book and it is really fascinating to learn about Tarot cards and the author's experiences over the years of reading them for clients. I highly recommend this!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    Enjoyable but there's a big problem!

    Much of what she writes about tarot cards has been proven to be false by modern playing card historians. This book gives the false impression that the tarot has always been used for tarot readings and with the same modern interpretations that she gives in the book! It is in no way a good introduction to the subject of tarot cards. Just go to the internet and a website like Wikipedia, Aeclectic Tarot or Pagat website and there's very different picture of tarot cards then what Stern presents in her book.
    I also find that the author is soliciting shill reviews on her Facebook page so some of these positive reviews you might see are from those who haven't even read the book. They are just trying to do Jane Stern a favor!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    a note from the author

    For potential readers of Confessions of a Tarot reader I would like to mention that the above negative reviews are by an internet troll with a grudge about writers on tarot. He posts this sort of review under various names. If you google his name, Jim Wickson or Oudler, you can judge for yourself if this is someone whose opinion is of value.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2011

    highly recommended

    I found the book to be compelling.Stern is honest about herself and compassionate about her clients.she takes us on a journey from innocence through crises and (hopefully) to absolution.The cards are ominous,sad and beautiful: the world of tarot mysterious and foreboding,much like our own.it is an intelligent and worthwhile book.as for "games" - i dont fancy a metaphysics of parcheesi,do you?

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    I hope it creates more interest in Tarot cards.

    It's hard not to like this book even if you don't agree with what she says. It is funny but sometimes it's funny in ways that are unintentional. I don't think all Tarot card enthusiasts will like it. I don't know if its intentional but she is misrepresenting Tarot history. I hope more people become interested in Tarot cards because of it but there are better books about them and better information about them on the internet.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    A great read for Tarot card enthusiasts

    First off, it is sad that JW has nothing better to do with his time than trash an author. Obviously he has Issues and Wayyyyy to much time on his hands. Secondly, to the review that this book is not based on "fact"...do you realize that this is a book on tarot cards & a tarot card readers experiences rather than a book on World War 2 history? Just saying.
    That said, I have had a long time interest in both tarot cards as well as astrology. I enjoyed this book, specifically because it gave insight to the experiences of a tarot reader which is different than the other tarot books that only describe the cards themselves and/or "how to's". Bravo Jane and thank you for giving me "a day in the life" perspective.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2011

    Highly Recommend this book!!

    LOVED this book, I have been a fan of Jane Stern (and Michael) since I read Roadfood. I continued to read Jane's books, Ambulance Girl (which was make into a movie with Cathy Bates playing the role of Jane), "Truckers" before that and other books by Jane, and Jane and Michael. Jane's knowledge and wit always comes through in her books, and Confessions of a Tarot Reader is no exception. I highly recommend this book! Couldn't put it down.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2011

    Fantastic book by a wonderful speaker!

    There certainly is someone on here with a grudge... What a fantastic read this was! I couldn't put it down once I started it. When I picked it up, I had a mild interest in tarot cards. But now I can't wait to find out more! I attended an author signing event for this book and that made the book so much more enjoyable and personal. Jane is such an interesting person with a lot to share. She also has a lovely, giving spirit. I knew of Jane because of her wealth of knowledge about food...I hope I get to spend more time learning from her!

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    Tarot was made for card games, not for divination!

    "People are often surprised to learn that Tarot cards were originally invented for playing games, that such games are still widespread and popular in continental Europe, and that the employment of tarots for divination and fortune-telling is a relatively recent perversion of their proper use, dating only from the eighteenth century."
    The Penguin Encyclopedia of Card Games, by David Parlett

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2011

    Loved it!

    Looks like the negative comments come from the same person, and I won't speculate on his motivation. I enjoyed Confessions of a Tarot Reader immensely. Jane Stern's wisdom and insight are impressive, and the joy she takes in the subject is clear. However, her anecdotes are what set this book apart from the usual "how-to" tarot guides. Instead of dry exposition, Stern offers tales of real people with all their foibles, and shows how the cards related to them-and how they related to her readings. A fun, useful, and fascinating book.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2012

    "It's written in the Cards"

    As a “Newbie”, I have tried to use my Tarot cards to give me knowledge of the present and future and its accompanying problems. I can now tell I was a bit off in my own interpretations compared to Ms. Stern’s. Perhaps I have tried to put too much of a personal spin on each card I overturned. The author gives the reader much more than just practical advise…she gives you insight into the psychic world and how it applies to you as well as a treasure-trove of client’s stories that will make you laugh, cry, sigh, and want to shake the individual into realization of the information being given to them combed from years of experience, knowledge, but above all..gifted. I am extremely intrigued by the Bohemian Gothic Tarot Card illustrations. Each one tells a story within itself just by looking at them. Until such time as I can be the fortunate client seated across from Ms. Stern; cup of tea (decaf, please..) and tissues at the ready, I will continue to refer to her valuable wealth of knowledge between book covers. Do not fear the unknown, embrace it—you may be pleasantly surprised or sufficiently warned. Nancy Narma

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2011

    disappointed!

    I expected a lot more from Jane Stern than this kind of garbage. It falls short of the standards created by the books she's written with Michael Stern. Being a "psychic" tarot reader does not deserve the same honor and prestige as becoming an EMT. She even fudges a lot of facts about tarot cards! Tarot card readers are not always reliable sources of information about tarot cards. The wikipedia article about tarot has killed this book so some of the negative reviews its getting are right.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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