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Holistic Tarot - Benebell Wen

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JackofWands  JackofWands is offline
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I started reading the book today and I must say I find it magnificent. Ms. Wen has a beautiful, scholarly approach to Tarot, and there's a wealth of information in the book. I love the way that it's organized as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu View Post
The title and cover jar horribly for me. The image is that Remaissance image of a group playing cards (not, not divination) - a sort of flakey fresco (think erudition, classical learning, courtliness, the riches of the scholarly Renaissance) with this sort of woo woo subheading of personal growth and "holistics" which turns me right off. There's a real clash there. The image screams "Medici", the title screams Doreen Virtue. You can really see the heavy hand of the publisher in some of these publications.
I believe I recall from a blog post (back when the book was in its earliest incarnations) that the original title for the book was Tarot Analysis--much more in line with the rigorous methodological approach and academic voice that rules the book. (She refers to fewer sources in her occasional discussions of crystals and the like, but everywhere that she talks about the history of Tarot and various lenses through which it can be viewed, she is the queen of citations.)

Anyways, for all interested parties, I adore this book (or at least the first quarter of it) and highly recommend it. I had to pay a bit extra for international shipping, because Amazon France doesn't appear to carry it, but the book was without a doubt worth the cost. It's a beautiful piece.
Top   #11
staticfuzz  staticfuzz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackofWands View Post
I believe I recall from a blog post (back when the book was in its earliest incarnations) that the original title for the book was Tarot Analysis--much more in line with the rigorous methodological approach and academic voice that rules the book. (She refers to fewer sources in her occasional discussions of crystals and the like, but everywhere that she talks about the history of Tarot and various lenses through which it can be viewed, she is the queen of citations.)
Oh man, you may have sold me. I'm on the lookout for a book right now that includes information from many places, and I am such a sucker for citations. I also checked out her blog and I think it's awesome.

Just in case no one here is aware: on her website there are free study guides for advanced and intermediate students as well as some supplemental material to use with them, all free:
http://benebellwen.com/about-the-boo...t-supplements/
I love it when people offer stuff like this. Things are tilting in her favor...

She also won the Tarosophy Award for best book in 2014: http://www.tarotassociation.net/the-...professionals/

For those of you that already have this book, I have a question... I'm looking for a book (or books) that are similar to 78 Degrees of Wisdom in scope--that is, including stuff from different branches of psychology, history, foundational and early tarot stuff, etc. Is this a book like that?
Top   #12
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Impressed with this.


I picked this up in digital form a couple days ago and I have to say I'm extremely impressed with this. While it seems overwhelming when you think about how many pages there are, it's really well organized and so it's easy to go to what it is you want to read about rather than read it from first page to last. When I was digging around in order to do a review on my blog I found she had put up the whole Table of Contents here:

https://benebellwen.files.wordpress....conversion.pdf

That might help people decide if they want to spend the money or not. For me it was beyond worth $15 (what I paid for the iBook version for my iPad). I can't say that I 100% agree with everything as I haven't read it all yet, but I think it would be rare that in an 800+ page book I would agree with everything the author wrote but for sheer reference material in one place, it's pretty amazing.
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I just bought this and am awaiting its arrival. I had originally planned to by it as a kindle book but at 800+ pages I decided I wanted it in physical form so I can go back and forth, paging through and following rabbit trails. IME that works best with an actual book for me.
Top   #14
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This looks like a good one. Thanks for all the recommendations everyone, I've added it to my wishlist to buy once I catch up on all my other reading.
Top   #15
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I just had the pleasure of meeting Benebell at a book signing and she is a fantastic reader and really knows what she is about. i have never had anyone use the full Golden Dawn style of doing an opening reading but she did it with ease. Really looking forward to reading this one.
Top   #16
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I have the book and even when I do not agree 100% with some statemens, I found the book worth its price. Is extremly well organized, has chapters related to the first operation superb explained, a spreads chapter, info about building resilience and also the chapters dedicated to the card meanings are also amazing. I have made readings with the book by my side and it provides meanings that have been extremly spot on.
I have a vision of tarot slightly different and even so the book is amazing and I think will be the one in my table to check when needes on a reading. I really love it and was.very happy to pay the price.
I have also spoke with Benebell in several times (by email) and she is a super capable and ethical woman and she deserves a great success with hr book.
Top   #17
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I bought it, and I really enjoy reading it. I bought the Kindle edition (which when opened on the laptop does full justice to the diagrams and lists) because I find shlepping around big books cumbersome. I read on public transport and in bed so I'm very much drawn to Kindle and I don't regret my choice.

Now the book itself. Wen's card interpretations are often different from mine (she emphasizes a down-to-earth-aspect of Wands court cards which I don't see and many similar details) but that's no problem. I add notes, compare to Pollack's, Moore's and other interpretations, and can distill my own interpretations. Wen's approach is very open and she encourages just that. I'm happy that in such an intelligent, nearly overwhelmingly rich book, there ARE things that differ from my own view - it's a challenge, it's enlightening, and it pulls me into the book to become an active reader. I feel as though i start discussing with Wen, saying: ah, Wands down to earth, that's interesting, I didn't think about that before, now let me think... and even if I disagree, it puts my own view into sharper relief.

Many of her practical ideas are things that I've been practicing instinctively, e.g. the way she cuts a deck. And I love it that she never says: now THIS is the way you have to do it... she says: there are many ways of doing it, find your own.

I never used a significator (she calls it signifier) and never really understood why one should. Well, now I understood and did my first reading with signifier and it was great! I'm really happy with her approach and her clear explanations.

This is truly a wonderful book. Yes, kabalah is missing and it's RWS centered, but that's okay. For Thoth and Kabbalah, I have Sniffin and DuQuette and the Book of Thoth.

I really want to branch out and read for others. I still feel shy even in the reading exchanges forum - I hope I can find courage to start reading for others now that I have read so much and continue to expand my horizons.

Great, great book. I'm happy I bought it. Wen is very generous - she gives away much on her blog. So I hope she earns money with her book - she deserves it.
Top   #18
Nemia  Nemia is offline
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I finished the book and I'm greatly impressed. The Asian influences are wonderful for me - I'm too Eurocentric anyway and love the depth of a totally foreign (to me) culture palpable in Wen's writing.

I keep adding notes to the book and I feel that it's a very productive process. It's possible to conduct a real dialogue with the writer while reading - it's her style that involves me so easily.

Wonderful in-depth spreads and techniques that I'll have to try.

In detail, I find myself closer to Barbara Moore's card interpretations but have developed my own anyway over the years. Wen encourages me to absorb, to digest and then to decide what I use and what not.

Nothing dumbed down about this book, and nothing made more complicated than necessary. Consistent quality of writing, honest statements of her positions, self confident but completely open to others.

This book is definitely a corner stone in my tarot library. I wish everybody would take tarot seriously the way she does.

I don't take back a word I said some days ago but can say now - the book is worth its money.
Top   #19
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Talking


I agree wholeheartedly with Nemia! Like I've mentioned before I was kind of skeptic at first, thinking "How the hell is she gonna turn tarot into such a serious science or whatever?" but I quickly changed my mind! Holistic Tarot is full of information, suggestions, thoughts...

And what I discovered I've been missing from all other tarot books I've read: HOW to read the cards. Not card meanings, spreads, and what symbols mean (which of course is included also), but rather thoughts, intuitions, feelings that pop up while reading! I've been reading tarot cards for quite a few years now, but still got SO much out of these parts. There are great parts about how to form a question, what to do when you get questions that are inappropriate, how to truly take responsibility for your readings and the seekers you meet.

And of course there are parts that I feel aren't for me at all. I'm not interested in the "opening of the key" that is very complex and requires good knowledge of astrology (which I'm not very interested in), I also don't use the "fan out the cards" method, and honestly I'm gonna go against her recommendation and not read Paul Foster Case's books... But that's okay because there's no book out there that I'd agree 100% on! And I still learn a lot, even when I think "Not for me!" after that chapter.

This week I'm gonna practice the first operation on myself. I'm very curious to see if it's something I find useful!
Top   #20




 


 


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