Tarot and the Tree of Life: Finding Everyday Wisdom in the Minor Arcana by Isabel Kliegman

There is nothing special about this book. Usually you can pick out something that makes a book unique but this book is the same as any other book about Tarot. For starters, it goes through each card one-by-one. Not terrible, but not at all enrapturing. Especially considering that almost every beginning of each description of minor arcana starts with “we move next to…” I can only take so much of the same transition before it no longer counts as one.

The book is about Kabbala and the “Tree of Life.” What turned me off to this book, among a host of other things, was that the author kept bringing up Christianity. I don’t want my cards to have anything to do with that Christianity. We get enough of that religion in politics and women’s rights, I don’t want it brought into my reading. Kliegman goes through each card individually, analyzing the pictures, making connections that I otherwise may not have made. However, my deck of cards is different than hers so it wasn’t relevant to me. I tried to follow along with my cards but the similarities were too obscure.

In one section, Kliegman is downright sexist. She begins the sentence as “Not to be sexist…” Having to start a sentence with that prelude pretty much guarantees that the next thing she says will be sexist. I could not finish this book. I made it about halfway through, ending with the suite of Cups. It was not engaging, it was not interesting, nothing in it was new. All the information went in one ear and out the other and after having put it off time and time again I realized that I just needed to end it
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But just because this was a boring, mundane book that did not have anything new to say did not mean it was a bad book. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to books. I’ve read so many wonderful ones that books that are not up to my standards receive very low marks. Perhaps someone with a longer attention span could benefit from this book. Someone who is a devout Christian would gather wonderful things from this book. I will say that it was refreshing to read a book on Tarot that didn’t focus on the Major Arcana. The Minor Arcana are often neglected and this book gives them the attention they deserve.

Thank you, Quest Books, for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated.