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Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot

Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot

Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot

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A top tarotist’s secrets to personal growth, one card at a time. The two volumes of Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom have inspired a whole generation of tarot students. It has often been described by readers, booksellers, and teachers as the “Bible of tarot readers.” It is also often cited as one of the landmark books in modern tarot, and it helped to launch the “Tarot Renaissance” of the 1980s. The two texts-one for The Major Arcana and one for The Minor Arcana–appear together in this volume, w

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2 comments on “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot

  1. 262 of 263 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Not for the Beginner, but…, November 12, 2002
    By 
    Bruce Gray “gurpsgm” (Shenandoah Valley, VA, USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This revised and slightly expanded version of two long sadly out-of-print books (“78 Degrees of Wisdom: Major Arcana” and “78 Degrees of Wisdom: Minor Arcana”) is a welcome addition to any serious Tarot reader’s library.
    Although I wouldn’t normally recommend this book for the Tarot beginner, I’d recommend it highly to serious students of Tarot wanting to know more about the many different meanings of Tarot cards. Some beginners might find Pollack’s usages of the definitions of cards to be more than the superficial ones.

    Going far beyond the “This one covers you” school, Pollack gives many different ways to interpret the meanings of Tarot cards, both from a spiritual viewpoint (“What does this card mean to you?”) and a metaphysical viewpoint (“What does this card mean to the person you’re reading for?”). It also allows for meditation and self-study of Tarot cards.

    Although set up like a standard Tarot book, with chapters covering the Major Arcana, the Minor Arcana, and some readings, (including a sample reading or two) Pollack’s definitions of the cards goes far beyond the ordinary superficial “Death means something in your life is going through a major change – you are about to stop one thing and start doing another.” Each card has a picture – many from the Rider-Waite deck that most Tarot card readers start with, but some from other decks that you may not have seen. Each card has numerous definitions – and even some examples of what that card might mean when in certain placements in a Tarot card reading, both regular and reversed.

    I’ve no other books in my Tarot library that are more heavily thumbed than my old copies of the two “78 Degrees” books, and I was very glad that Pollack has found a publisher willing to not only reprint them, but allow her to revise them and include both books in one volume. Highly recommended for serious students of Tarot.

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  2. 200 of 204 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    One of the best book you’ll ever read on Tarot….., February 3, 2003
    By 
    Dianne Foster “Di” (USA) –
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      

    Rachel Pollack’s SEVENTY-EIGHT DEGREES OF WISDOM is a key work described by many (including Joseph Campbell) as an important source for understanding the wisdom of the Tarot. The book appears to have been first published in the early eighties in two volumes, one dealing with the Major Arcana and the other with the minor Arcana. Since few authors examine the minor cards Pollack’s book is a must for serious students.

    Pollack writes insightfully and intelligently, including longer passages for each of the cards of the Major Arcana. She includes reversed meanings and encourages shuffling the deck so as to ensure some cards fall upside down for a reading. She provides two examples for each card, one from A. E. Waite’s deck illustrated by Pamela Coleman and the other from various other decks. Pollack notes that when she first wrote her book no one compared the different pictorial representations of various decks. She includes points of agreement and disagreement with interpretations from Waite’s “The Pictorial Key to the Tarot”, Aleister Crowley’s “The Book of Thoth” and other works.

    Unlike many contemporary authors on Tarot, Pollack subscribes to the notion that one can use the Tarot not only for interpretation of current circumstances but for seeking advice. She describes how to cast the Celtic cross a descriptive tool which can be used to gain insight into a present situation. She also shares a layout she created that the reader can use to gain insight into possible courses of action regarding work situations. Of the many books I’ve read on Tarot so far this one is the best.

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