Easy Tarot: Learn to Read the Cards Once and for All!

Easy Tarot: Learn to Read the Cards Once and for All!

by Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738711508
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 05/28/2007
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 21,027
Product dimensions: 4.00(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

For Josephine Ellershaw, the Tarot has been a constant life companion on a personal journey that spans more than three decades. Alongside her business background she has many years of experience providing readings, healing, and metaphysical guidance to an international clientele and is the author of the international bestseller Easy Tarot: Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All. Ellershaw lives in North Yorkshire, England, with her family and a large menagerie of pets, including waifs, strays, and rescues.

Ciro Marchetti (Florida) is an award-winning artist from the United Kingdom. He studied art in London, followed by a career working in Europe and South America before settling in the United States where he opened a design agency in Miami. In addition to managing his company, Ciro also gives workshops and lectures ondigital imagery and illustration at the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, and continues to create his own visionary art.


Read an Excerpt

I feel it is important for you to understand your own reasons for wanting to learn Tarot. You may not have really considered this before. Perhaps you just feel attracted to the cards sufficiently enough to want to learn more about them. That's fine, nothing wrong with that, but your reason is probably the main thing that will keep you going. Being able to receive personal guidance is quite a good reason—and I can honestly say, the Tarot has never let me down.

So if you can, identify your reason or reasons now—and write them down! Having a goal to aim for will help you achieve your objective, rather than aimlessly drifting along. It is your underlying reason that will encourage your perseverance. Since this is a rather one-sided conversation, I shall assume that you are a complete beginner to the world of Tarot. So forgive me if you have traveled this road before, but this way I can ensure that nothing is left out or left unexplained, leaving you dangling in mid-air somewhere.

Perhaps your first introduction to the Tarot was through actually having a reading yourself, but in whatever way you came into contact with the cards, their mysterious images resonated somewhere deep within and beckoned you to follow.

No History Lesson
There seems to be an endless supply of theories over the origin of Tarot cards, and most books usually include some version of their history. However, I won't go into detail about that here, as it is an issue of continuing debate.

The history of the Tarot appears to be as mysterious as the cards themselves, with many different cultures laying claim to some connection, along with varying theories and speculation as to how they evolved. I find it most apt that their universal appeal can be traced to so many cultures. No matter which civilization, continent, or timeline we examine, there appears to be a common thread; a theory that emerges throughout-that the Tarot was created using a secret code of symbols and images, to preserve the knowledge of a secret doctrine.

Factual history traced so far leads to fourteenth-century Italy, and while the Tarot in whatever form may have existed centuries before, there is considerable conjecture (but inconclusive evidence) to support these theories at the present time...perhaps it will always remain so. If you are interested, many books explore the history of the Tarot in depth.

Our concern here is in learning the cards in order to receive their guidance and, thankfully, knowledge of their history won't improve your ability to read Tarot cards any better.

The most important fact is that they work! The rest of this book is laid out in such a way as to show you how they work and how to gain access to their knowledge.

About the Tarot deck
Firstly, let us consider the actual Tarot itself, how it is ordered,

and what it consists of. The Gilded Tarot contains a total of seventy-eight cards, of which twenty-two are known as the major arcana, using Roman numerals 0–XXI. The remaining fifty-six are referred to as the minor arcana.

The minor arcana is then broken down into four different suits—wands, cups, swords, and pentacles. Each suit contains an ace through a ten, followed by a page, knight, queen, and king (known as court cards). Each of the suits represents

one of the four elements: Wands: Fire, Cups: Water, Swords: Air, Pentacles: Earth.

The cards contain archetypal images, pictures, and symbols that make a connection with one's subconscious mind. The major arcana focuses on the higher matters of life, while the minor arcana indicates situations in our daily existence. But both are important. Think of the major arcana as the bricks and the minor as the mortar that fills the spaces, holding it all together.

Introducing the Gilded Tarot
Somehow I have the sneaking suspicion that you have already unwrapped your new Tarot cards to take a peek—and who could resist such a temptation?

I have purchased a great many cards over the years; in fact, my home is littered with unused Tarot decks. There is nothing more disappointing than thinking you have found the deck, only to discover that you can't work with it. There have been quite a number that have fit into that category for me—once laid out, the cards all appeared muted, with no solar plexus reaction, or the interpretations that I'm happy with just didn't fit with the images.

Like most people who love Tarot, I was constantly searching for the "perfect" working deck, like the search for the Holy Grail...and finally I found it in the Gilded Tarot , created by Ciro Marchetti and published by Llewellyn. Now I use nothing else. I believe they are the most visually stunning Tarot cards available and they immediately became the favorite deck for many in the Tarot community, readers and collectors alike.

The Gilded Tarot is breathtakingly beautiful; the magic and mystery of its images instantly transport you into another dimension. This is really most important, for your cards should provoke an instant inner response, regardless of whether you understand it. With each image presented, it is akin to becoming immersed in the scene and merging into the story. How I wish these cards had been available when I first began to learn!

Most people learn with what is termed "a beginner's deck," and then transfer to one they prefer later. There is a huge number of Tarot decks available, but many of the images and interpretations vary, so if you do change it can be like learning all over again. By using the Gilded Tarot , you will be saved from major frustrations from the beginning and if you don't feel the need to transfer to something else afterward, you get the best of both worlds—a double whammy!

Table of Contents


Foreword xiii

Part one: Good Foundations 1

Step 1: Background 4
No history lesson 5
About the Tarot deck 6
Introducing the Gilded Tarot 6

Step 2: Answering Your Questions 8
How does Tarot work? 8
Who uses Tarot cards? 9
Do I need to be psychic? 9
How soon will I be able to do readings? 10
Fate or free will? 12
Disposing of a few myths and misconceptions 13
About other ancient sciences 13

Step 3: Making Preparations 15
Caring for your Tarot cards 15
Guidance and protection 16
Using a crystal 17
Preparing your Tarot deck 18

Step 4: Keys to Learning 20
Your number one learning tool 20
What kind to use? 20
How to record information and why 21
viii – Easy Tarot Handbook
About dreams and psychic development 22
Your intuition 24
Tying it all together 25

Step 5: Just Before We Begin . . . 27
One card does not a reading make 28
About reversed cards 29
About Tarot spreads 30
Getting started 30
Following completion of each suit 32
Congratulations 32

Part Two: Meeting the Tarot 33

Step 6: The Minor Arcana—Suit of Wands 34
Step 7: The Minor Arcana—Suit of Cups 46
Step 8: The Minor Arcana—Suit of Swords 58
Step 9: The Minor Arcana—Suit of Pentacles 69
Step 10: About the Court Cards 80
Step 11: The Minor Arcana—The Pages 84
Step 12: The Minor Arcana—The Knights 89
Step 13: The Minor Arcana—The Queens 94
Step 14: The Minor Arcana—The Kings 102
Step 15: The Major Arcana 108
Part Three: Preparation for readings 139
Step 16: Getting Ready to Read 140

Reading for yourself 141

Preparation 141

Asking the Tarot 141
Shuffling and cutting 143
Using a significator 145
Recording readings in your diary 146
Example of a Tarot diary record 147
Before you begin, some helpful advice 148

Part Four: Various Tarot spreads in depth 151
What type, when, and why? 152

Step 17: The Cross of Truth 154
About your reading 156
What if the cards seem unrelated? 157
Checking your accuracy 158
Sample reading: The Cross of Truth 159
Points to note 162
Step 18: The Nine-Card Spread 163
Step 19: The Celtic Cross 165
Further insights from the Celtic Cross 169
The “what-if ” scenarios 172
Timing with the Celtic Cross 176
Step 20: The Life Spread and the Anchor

Life Spread positions 182
The Anchor 183
How “non-fixed” spreads differ and rules that apply 184
The key cards 185
Impact on area groupings 185
Connection to the Anchor Spread 187
Timing for the Life Spread 189

Part Five: The Final Touches 191

Step 21: Card Associations 192
Sample from the Life Spread 194
The cards you can’t relate to 196
About the “awkward” cards 197
Putting it into perspective 199
About illness 200
Card combinations 203
Step 22: Living with Tarot 208
Reading for others 209
Reading for minors 211
Some final words 213

Part six: Useful Tools and Templates 215

Minor arcana cheat sheet 216
Major arcana cheat sheet 218
The Cross of Truth template 220
The Celtic Cross template 221
The Life Spread template 222
The Anchor template 223

Customer Reviews

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Easy Tarot: Learn to Read the Cards Once and for All! 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the second set of tarot I've owned but I have been away for several years and wanted to return to the tarot. I discovered many years ago that I have an affinity for the cards and this deck drew me to it. To quote a work of fiction, 'The wand chooses the wizard' is something I find can also be true of tarot. A deck chooses its seeker and I have been most pleased with the imagery of this set. The artwork alone is rich with luscious color and depth. These cards draw the eye with their visual invitation toward a path of deeper understanding. The accompanying book I found to be most useful as well. The author takes great care to show respect to the reader and imparts much wisdom. She goes much further than simple explanations of the cards and she sets up a novice seeker with good habits. There is much care given to how the tarot can be used including ways in which a person can go wrong and abuse the tarot. The author has set up the book as if the reader has no previous knowledge of the tarot and so takes you from your first steps all the way to letting you walk on your own. She also includes some of the classic spreads and how they can be used and also encourages you to be creative and try using new spreads of your own design. I would highly recommend this set for someone who wishes to begin their path with the tarot as well as those who've shared much time with it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a beginner myself and I found this book and card set to be very simple and to the point. I really love them. I would recommend them to anyone wanting to learn the tarrot. They make a great first tarrot deck.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book as amazing, the author helps to make the cards simple and meaningful so they become easy to remember. The reading spreads are also explained with a simple elegance that makes them easy to use. No unnecessary baggage to this book! I went from knowing nothing to successful readings in a few weeks!
Sherylb07 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best written and well-organized books I have seen regarding learning and interpreting the Tarot. Ellershaw's suggested methods make the experience more meaningful and personal as one connects with the cards instead of just memorizing what someone tells you each card means. This method is useful with any deck and by any level of reader. The deck that accompanies this book, the Gilded Tarot, is a beautiful deck by Ciro Marchetti with colors that leap of the cards and characters that bring the meanings to life. This deck quickly became one of my top five decks as the images speak clearly and make readings enjoyable. The book can help you reconnect with a deck you already own or bring more meaning to your favorite deck, as well as guiding you thru the Gilded Tarot deck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first Tarot deck I have purchased and I feel lucky this is the first one I picked. The pictures are beautiful and the cards feel good when handling. In addition, the accompanying book explains everything thoroughly without being overwhelming. Please give yourself a little time to read through it and go through the steps. I highly recommend it!
BookHeroVK More than 1 year ago
I have it an A. The book has carefully chosen content and is very well written full of personalized language that enters you into the writer's world of Tarot and how to approach the art of reading as well as developing your intuition - something I have not encountered in other books. There are 78 cards and it might seem like a hard task to keep a journal and experiment per the instructions, but it wasn't so difficult as I started. You will end up re-reading the material to retain and remind you, however on first read it's actually very interesting to read and I went back because I enjoyed it. There are maps of the spreads that you will be doing and cheat sheets on the back of the book to remind you of meanings. It's a great instructional book full of details, the cards which were package with my book are beautiful however little thin and not made of the greatest paper, for a beginner it's fine.
dragonfry70 More than 1 year ago
I purchased this for my 13 year old granddaughter who is an avid reader of mystery and fantasy/occult books. She found the Tarot set interesting and entertaining, however, some of the directions were a bit difficult to understand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE the card deck it is WONDERFUL,BEAUTIFUL, and ACCURATE in readings. I was Very Dissapointed with the tarot book - the interpretations of the cards seemed "off" and not very accurate. I own over 20 tarot decks and I'm realitively familiar with the major and minor archana, and I would not use that book to interpret the cards. The cards are WONDERFUL, the book was a dissapointment - I'm throwing away the book and keeping the cards. I WOULD RECOMMEND another companion book to this deck - the Gilded Tarot companion book by Barbara Moore is one that works much better!.
Scuba32 More than 1 year ago
The book isn't too informative; but the images of this deck are amazing.
Medium_Laura More than 1 year ago
With its full color lively images, this deck is sure to be a hit with all of your clients and friends. Whether you use them professionally or just for fun, this deck speaks! I have been a professional psychic/medium for many years and have numerous amounts of Tarot decks, but this by far is my favorite. The illustrations alone make me want to jump right in them and see the meaning behind the card.
sfronde1 More than 1 year ago
Great beginner set to get comfortable with the traditional card meanings and imagery, but you will soon want a deck that is more creative in its imagery and more intuitive to read. The meanings in the book are very one-size-fits-all, which is not a bad thing for the novice.
Lenlisa More than 1 year ago
The cards are beautiful, and the book was an interesting read. I am not sure if it was the greatest book to read if you want to learn Tarot but it was interesting. I found it hard to read completely, I kept having to stop as the person I felt talked in circles and was very boring. And even though its basically an instruction book, she made it a book, and it could have been better in my opinion, lots of unnecessary stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author's technique for having you learn the cards is very good but best of all is her detailed outline of the spreads she uses and recommends (including one that she created herself and that I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE; so much more intuitive than the typically recommended Celtic Cross spreads). I have not yet used the accompanying deck but it looks beautiful (I use the Universal Waite deck).
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SherryG More than 1 year ago
I have always had difficulty understanding the workings of Tarot. This book with cards has made the process for me to be comfortable and educational. I also find the cards extremely pleasant to touch and look at. I highly recommend to anyone wanting to learn,understand and be comfortable with the process of Tarot readings.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The cards are beautiful and the meanings ascribed to the cards are always positive, feed thought and facilitate personal interpretation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago