Studying Robin Wood's Book


Have started rereading Robin Wood's own book in order to take part in the study group that Lewen began recently. I really like Robin's conversational can tell she writes like she talks in person. It's straightforward and honest writing. I, personally, would LOVE to meet Robin sometime. She's living near my old homecity of Detroit. Maybe someday....

I particularly like that the entirety of Chapter two, "The True History of the Tarot," is:

"The true history of the tarot can be told in a single sentence. No one knows, and does it really make any difference?"

Devoting a whole chapter to just two sentences is PROFOUND in and of itself. Folks who are passionate about things, such as we are about the Tarot, can possibly find ourselves wallowing in details...storming in teacups, so to speak. Is this really necessary?

Does it really matter that the Tarot just might not have come from Egypt...or was possibly not developed in the 14th century, but some later century? Do such details take away the credibility or the amazing possibilities the Tarot can teach us? Do things HAVE to be ancient to be of immense worth?

I, for one, don't think so. The Tarot has already shown me and given me so very much, I wouldn't personally care if it was developed last week.


Reread chapter's 4 and 5 last night. Again was struck by Robin's honesty and lovely, relaxed style of writing...especially as she explained how her own deck evolved over the years.

LOVE how Robin gives key words to think about for "Common Symbols" found not only in her deck but other decks, as well. She's quick to explain that this is what SHE feels/sees when such symbols pop up and we may very well have other reactions to the same symbols. But as a starting point, I find her key words very helpful. When I first read the same chapter over a year ago, everything I read bordered on being excitingly overwhelming. Now, looking at the same writing with a year + of reading under my belt, it's all beginning to fall into place. Nice feeling!

I always feel thrilled when I find something I really love and know I can study 'til the end of my life and not learn it all. It's exhilarating!


Chapter 12

When I first read Robin's book over a year ago, I found the information in Chapter 12 to be of extreme value. Grounding and centering have become a "must" for me before I read...or even if I don't read, for that matter...and Robin's directions and gentle lead have proven invaluable to me.

I had even written Robin's grounding and centering directions on an index card, until I had them secure in my brain. Now, all I can say is that I KNOW when I've not grounded and centered and need to.

Jax, over at
mentions that grounding helps one to make use of the energy of the earth when reading, and therefore you don't come away feeling drained by using up only your, personal, energy. Great advice! Good for those who read for only for oneself, but imperative, in my humble opinion, if you read for others.


Thank you for posting first as I was behind in three papers last week. It was a doozy!

I agree with you, I enjoyed reading the history of the tarot as in "What does it matter?" There are many sources and a great section in this forum that deals with history and tarot in historical perspective.

What I loved most about reading so far was the fact that Robin, herself, encouraged us to "throw away the book" and go by how the cards appeal to us. I'm learning more about intuitive reading, but found that I like to know why she put the colors and symbolism she did in her cards. I like the idea of learning little tidbits so I can enhance the reading for my querant.

I seemed to have focused exclusively on my RW deck this past year and I see a difference emerging.

So far from what I read, it is very encouraging. I am stepping out and adding my intuitive takes on the cards too and find that I'm really not that far off. Besides...the countless combinations of cards/questions/querants, no reading is ever alike and that is freeing to me.

Thanks again Spinningspider! :D


I was really happy that Robin included a section about the art. It was great to get an insight into the process ~ especially for me since I am an artist and most of why I am into the Tarot is an interest in the art and symbolism in art.

It was really nice to see some of the early drawings and compare those with what became the final card. I think those are also on her website? I will have to double check. I would love to see all the sketches and cards from beginning to end - but we get close with at least one card. :D

If you have deck without the book ~ I definitely recommend getting the book.

6 Haunted Days

I've finally gotten around to reading Robin Wood's book on her well as studying the deck as I read along. I wish every artist wrote this sort of book for thier deck, it's very fascinating and helps in the extreme to connect me to the cards.

The Robin Wood and I have always had the most interesting love/hate relationship. I just adore so many of the images but yet consistently bulk at using the deck, even though my readings just flow. Why is that?? It's one of the most detailed and filled to the brim with symbolism of any deck out there (and with her book I am seeing it's eve more so than I thought!) but yet of the few cards I hate....I mean I really hate them, perhaps that's why (including the backs, they make me cringe). Wheel of Fortune, Chariot, Temperance....and these are usually among my favourites.

Beyond all that, her book has been a complete joy to read, it's addicting! And frankly all the repitition of what reoccurring symbols/colours/items's fast drumming it in my head. It's not like I've never read or studied these things before, just that her way of writing it seems to be sticking in my noggin better.

Duh :rolleyes:, it just occurred to me to do a reading on exactly why I am so resistant to using this deck.....I've had it since maybe it's something in the past.....or because it's so bright and positive. I usually prefer my decks on the more balanced side (aka Sacred Rose), with a darker colour scheme and feel to it. Also while I am a Witch I am not the variety that Robin is....I am traditional and some of the more overtly Wiccan items and references can really put me off.

Either way, with the intense emotions and strange reluctant feelings this particular deck stirs in me (besides the warm, comforting and secure emotions it awakens as well!)'s obviously a deck I should delve into and work with after all these years of having it....and avoiding it. And Robin's book appears to be the magic key to opening up all the images.

Really if you own her deck this book is a must own.

Miss 6 :love:


My wife has got me the book and deck for Christmas and I can't wait to open it. I think I will have a good look through the deck and get a good feel for it before reading the book; I'm looking forward to it. (I did have a sneaky read of the first few pages, though, and really liked what I saw).


I got the deck when it first came out. Then I got the book when it first came out, several years later. I've seen Robin at workshops and yes, she writes as she speaks! With a smile too.

I've read this book so many times it's ridiculous. She's so sensible! I love the chapter in which she details all that's known, and all that's being debunked and rethought, about the Tarot. I love the history of her artwork on the deck. I love the way she explains what she put on each card and why (and her little asides on the models for some of the cards). And she even explains the game of Tarock! I know some people who used to play Tarock and it looked so daunting! (But then again, any bidding or trick game looks daunting to me, and I won't get near bridge with a ten-foot battle-axe!) But she makes it sound, if not simple, at least logical. I don't think I've ever seen the game explained in print anywhere else.


My Robin Wood book just arrived in the mail! I'm so excited. Looking forward to learning what she has to say about the deck.


I got the book with the deck. New at Tarot, and studying each card, I wanted to be able to read Robin's intentions for each card after I wrote my own thoughts on the image. Most of the time I'm right on the mark, which makes me feel that my observations have improved markedly from my first look at the first card to now, which is only 10 cards later.

There's only a couple of times when I didn't care for the card, or didn't really get why a particular card is even IN the deck (which would apply to ALL decks, not just Robin's).