Review: Tarot and Astrology: Enhance Your Readings with the Wisdom of the Zodiac

Tarot and Astrology: Enhance Your Readings with the Wisdom of the Zodiac
Tarot and Astrology: Enhance Your Readings with the Wisdom of the Zodiac by Corrine Kenner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Different as they are, the symbolism used in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot and the Crowley-Harris Thoth tarot is based heavily on astrology. Unfortunately, most introductory tarot books only mention astrology in passing, if at all. Meanwhile, beginning astrology students aren’t likely to come across any references to the tarot unless they’re studying with a teacher who mentions it. Tarot and Astrology aims to bridge this gap, and succeeds for the most part.

I think this book would be best suited for someone who already had a background in either tarot or astrology; it might overwhelm someone unfamiliar with either. And I think it’s tilted slightly (very slightly) in favor of the astrologer learning about tarot, simply because that’s how most of the material is organized. Kenner begins by introducing the Major Arcana of the tarot, but instead of presenting each card in the standard order of the Major Arcana, they’re listed in astrological order, first the cards that correlate to the planets followed by those that correlate to the signs of the zodiac. She does the same thing with the Minor Arcana and the Court Cards. But for those who know the cards better than the planets and signs, an list in tarot order is located at the beginning of the book for quick reference.

Kenner also manages to fit in an introduction to the Qabalah and how both tarot and astrology relate to it, listing the Qabalistic associations for each card in its description. In addition, she generously includes quite a few tarot spreads, both simple and complex. While I recognized the classic Houses of the Horoscope spread, the rest were unfamiliar to me and I’m guessing they’re Kenner’s own invention (It would have been nice to have had a separate list of the spreads to make them easier to find, especially as the book lacks an index, but this is a quibble.)

The book is illustrated throughout with the Wizards Tarot, a deck created by Kenner. While I really like this deck in its own right, I don’t believe it was the best choice for a book like this. Kenner’s descriptions of how the pictures on the cards relate to astrology sometimes only fit these particular illustrations. Since I suspect this book will reach a wider audience than this deck will, I think the RWS deck or one of its close clones would have been more familiar to readers.

Overall, this book would be a good introduction to astrology or tarot for people somewhat familiar with either. But I’d also recommend it for people who have worked with both, since Kenner has crammed in so much information that even the experienced are likely to find the book interesting.

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