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Nothing But A Pack of Cards, by S Rune Emerson, is a tome filled with all kinds of information about spellcasting, magic, divination and cards in general.  Though there is some very basic, beginner information, Pack of Cards is riddled with theoretical, almost ceremonial types of magical information and ideas.  That being said, Emerson takes a very unique approach to using tarot cards, both as a divination tool and a magical, spellcasting tool an I find I must commend them on putting these unique ideas into a book understandable by an average person with tarot and magical inclinations.

There are six chapters in Pack of Cards which are further broken down into smaller sections.  Starting with background information and some history Emerson gives a philosophical bent to cartomancy which can give the reader a good base with which to understand this book.  I highly, highly recommend reading this book in order, as the information in the first chapter is essential to comprehending the rest of the book, regardless of the reader's educational level or background. 

Once you hit the second chapter Emerson starts breaking down his cartomancy practices and moving on, into the fourth chapter it's broken down further into sections on suits as well as some specific major arcana cards, such as The Magician, The High Priestess and The Lovers.  The fifth chapter also includes basic, beginner information, this time on some simple magical practices; conjuring a magic circle, creating spells using the cards and so forth.  Furthermore Emerson does include an appendix which includes a few rites, such as one for an initiation as well as a section for references.  However, I feel I must say though that I wish the author would have included inline notes and/or references for the historical information included. 

Nothing But A Pack Of Cards is an extremely interesting book, if a bit technical.  Additionally, this is very specific book; someone with a general or passing interest in tarot would not find this book useful. It was, however, written so anyone from any spiritual path could read it and include these practices in their own personal path.   If you are interested in more technical divination practices or using tarot in more magical ways, then I recommend this book.  For anyone else however, I find I cannot recommend it. 

~review by: Jessica Elizabeth

Author: S Rune Emerson
278ppg; $18.99
2016; Immanion Press

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