“Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.” —Stephen Wright
Misconceptions about the Tarot abound, but P.C. Tarantino helps the curious shrug off rumor-fueled black magick connotations, at the same time she improves accessibility. Tarot for the New Aeon aims to simplify instant readings and create interested students who feel confident about learning more.
It is possible to view the cards two different ways. When performing readings, the true believer may cite forces beyond themselves as influencing which cards are turned over: “… it’s helpful to notice any patterns that occur in the cards you select. Drawing a high proportion of a particular suit, number, astrological sign or Element is not coincidental.”
Those of a critically skeptical mindset who cannot put such stock in fate or the power of the will can still use the Thoth Tarot cards in a practical way. The author points out that the written interpretations can serve as prompts to get a person to systematically examine that which is already in their background thinking: “The very fact that you’ve stopped and examined your situation will alter the circumstances.”
Aleister Crowley was the original creator of the Thoth Tarot deck. He was a smart Englishman who had monumental mother-issues, a trust fund to spend and a low opinion of humanity. He loved to shock and cause spectacles; some still drag his name through the mud decades after his demise. Tarantino pays little attention to Crowley’s personality or actions, neither endorsing nor condemning, but takes pleasure in sharing his clever designs.
The section on the Qabalah includes an intricate “Tree of Life” with Hebrew names for the positions, interconnections, and levels of perception. It seems like a brain-bending topic, but the author summarizes the point by saying that Qabalah suggests one use intuition to decide what course of action is best, and then act. Coverage of this ancient system could have been more insightful.
P.C. Tarantino has been working with Thoth Tarot cards nearly thirty years. She began to teach Aleister Crowley’s form in 1984. Kedron Bryson pulls a double assist here, handling both design and editing. Some duplication of reference charts occur between sections, in order to keep the reader from flipping back and forth.
By discovering one’s authentic nature (our link with the divine), and living in alignment with this nature, we would be able to determine the correct path for ourselves.
Interested neophytes who pick up a copy of Tarot for the New Aeon can absorb enough with a couple free hours to begin some of the more basic readings on themselves. Those short on patience may concentrate on an appendix called “Bottom Line Interpretations.” As with any subject, it is best not to rely on a single source for complete understanding, but Tarantino has done a good job of opening the gate.