"Perfect for Beginners and Experienced Readers Alike"


"This book is an excellent learning tool for those who are new to Tarot as well as the advanced practitioner."

This line -- or some version of it -- occurs often in reviews of any number of Tarot books:

"Written for novice and advanced readers alike..."

"Perfect for beginners and experienced readers..."

"Appealing to both novice and advanced Tarot readers..."

I've seen threads about great books for beginners. I've seen threads about great books for advanced readers. So my question is: are there ever really books that are "perfect for both beginners and advanced readers?" If so, what are they?

Le Fanu

I think Benebell Wen's Holistic Tarot is.

From the very first page, I found myself thinking "my god, I wish I'd had this book when I started". Plus, as one who has been interested in tarot for 30 years now, there is still so much in there that I want to remember. I also genuinely think that if someone knew nothing, they'd still be able to follow this book.

I really think this is the best book around. It's thick and requires investment and a decent concentration span, but it really reaps rewards.


I'm hesitant to speak up for my own book, but I think 21 Ways to Read a Card fits, IF you work it as intended - that is for beginners to go through only the Apprentice level steps first and go back to the Adept steps later.

I'd also say that Paul Foster Case's book, The Tarot, fits. It teaches beginners the richness of the symbolism of the RWS Major Arcana and how to work with that symbolism, yet can be read again and again with new discoveries and understanding at each reading.


I came here to say 21 Ways, too. Also Kim Huggens' Tarot 101 - which may sound beginners only-ish - but isn't.

ETA maybe the 3 volume Lo Scarabeo set - Fundamentals is out; Experience will be out later this year, and the third whose title I forget in 2017. They claim to work upwards, as you might say.


For me, despite the title, a great book for long-time readers as well as beginners is Mark McElroy's (the OP) book the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Tarot. This was the first tarot book I bought, and I was attracted to it because of Mr. McElroy's practical approach and the open layout, among other things.
Ten years on and it's still the only tarot book I own, aside from companion books that came with decks. Even when I try just using the companion books when working with my Llewellyn or Druidcraft decks for example, I still find myself going back to the Absolute Beginner's Guide's wonderfully full and detailed meanings for further insight. I think it's a wonderfully in-depth book, but with a great introduction to tarot and tarot reading as well.


Shameless self-promo

I always find threads like this are a great place for shameless self-promotion and tend to remind people that I have five Tarot books out (4 and a workbook), and four different decks:

It's All in the Cards (reference & workbook edition)
Every Man's Tarot: Tarot and the Male Experience
A Bear's Guide to the Tarot
Expanding the Major Arcana- Tarot, Numerology, and Your Life Numbers

The Everyman Tarot Deck (original B/W, Colorized, Bear Edition)
The Expanded Majors of the Everyman Tarot Deck

They are all available through my Wordpress website: http://jmanauthor.wordpress.com/

Can ANY book really appeal to both beginners and advanced Tarot enthusiasts? I can think of several books that DON'T!