As with all of the Llewellyn annuals, the Tarot Reader 2008 is a great showcase for their authors, but it also introduces readers to the work of some of the lesser known Tarot professionals (writers and readers). In their choice of material for inclusion, Llewellyn has offered up news, reviews, tips and techniques, all of which serve to show the world of Tarot in a positive light.
The book is divided in four sections: The Fool: Tools for the Journey; The Magician: Practical Applications; The Hermit: For Further Study; and Judgment: Deck Reviews. There are many black and white illustrations of good quality, including images of tarot cards, spreads, and references from the articles themselves.
Readers from every level and background will gain something from reading this book. Particularly for those that are new to Tarot, this is a wonderful introduction to techniques, ideas, spreads, techniques, and reviews. As usual, not all of the ideas presented are typical, some might even be considered controversial - such as using the tarot to reveal past life associations and memories; or the idea that we are living in the Age of the Tower. Some articles are inspiring; I found Nina Lee Braden’s two part articles on Death especially so.
Other particularly excellent articles were Wren’s “Relative Serendipity,” which discusses what happens when multiple readings are done (back to back or in a short time frame) and the same cards turn up; McElroy’s “Photo Tarot” the idea that we can create our own deck using photographs; and Pollack’s “Seeking the Gods” a new way of looking at the cards and the Deity energy present within them.
Every piece was well done, presenting clear, concise viewpoints in an easy to follow manner. The "Llewellyn Tarot Reader" is an anthology that I look forward to reading every year; a gift from those individuals most connected to the world of Tarot. Highly recommended.
Llewellyn Publications, 2007