Review: Llewellyn's Complete Book of Tarot by Anthony Louis

Title: Llewellyn's Complete Book of Tarot
Author: Anthony Louis
Publication Date: August 8th, 2016
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Genre: Spirituality
Pages: 336
ISBN: 0738749087
Source: ARC from Publisher

Synopsis (from Publisher):
Comprehensive and easy to use, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Tarot contains everything you ever wanted to know about tarot. Join Anthony Louis as he explores tarot history, shares card meanings and spreads, and provides detailed guidance that educates and inspires, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced reader.

Discover basic reading techniques for a wide variety of systems, including Marseilles, Rider-Waite, and Thoth. Identify the meaning of associations, correspondences, reversals, and dignities, and experience the ways that tarot interacts with astrology and personal spirituality. Combine tarot reading with Kabbalah, numerology, Jungian psychology, journaling, and storytelling while exploring card selection, creativity, tarot ethics, and specialized spreads. Focusing on the use of tarot for insight, empowerment, self-understanding, and fortunetelling, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Tarot provides centuries of accumulated wisdom that will enable you to make optimal use of one of the most powerful spiritual tools ever developed.

Anthony Louis is a psychiatrist who has been studying astrology as a serious avocation since his early teens and tarot for the past three decades. His longstanding interest in the history and symbolism of the divinatory arts led him to lecture internationally and to publish numerous articles and books on astrology, tarot, and other forms of divination. His highly acclaimed text on horary astrology first appeared in 1991 and was revised and reissued in 1996. His bestselling book 'Tarot Plain and Simple' is a perennial favorite. 

A more advanced book entitled 'Tarot Beyond the Basics' was released by Llewellyn in April of 2014. A reviewer in Library Journal (14 Apr 2014) said of Louis' most recent tarot text: "Well researched and organized and offering a fantastic card-by-card appendix, this title will satisfy readers of tarot and divination systems who are looking for depth.” -- Janet Tapper

In 2013 Louis began to publish e-books about astrology and tarot for Kindle on amazon.com. He has also written the text for reports on vocation, secondary progressions, and solar returns for Halloran software's AstrolDeluxe Report Writer and has translated into English Morin's Book 18 of Astrologia Gallica on the strengths and weaknesses of the planets. Based on his study of Morin's work on solar returns, he reviewed the classic and modern literature and in 2008 published "The Art of Forecasting with Solar Returns."

The author is a member of the Astrological Society of Connecticut.

You know when Llewellyn publishes a "Complete Book of" it's bound to be good, and Lewellyn's Complete Book of Tarot does not disappoint. This comprehensive title is filled with endless amounts of fascinating and useful information that it will be your go-to reference for tarot.

In the beginning, Louis provides his disclaimer. When asked to write this book, he was not only honored, but also noted that he would have to approach it from a non-bias platform. This automatically intrigued me, as I tend to tread lightly with my spiritual reading for this very reason. Anyone can make a subject be what they want it to, based on their own opinions, uses, experiences, or version of history. Louis' respect for the reader playing the role of his student makes him a more credible teacher.

The next set of business is the history of the tarot card and many misconceptions that come with it. Honestly, this was probably one of my most favorite parts. I'm still fairly new to the practice, and I learned so much about where tarot came from (originating from the Italian Renaissance as playing cards). There is so much depth to this section that I didn't want to stop reading for fear of missing information. I was very impressed with Louis' knowledge and the execution was very easy to understand. This is also where he covered several myths and replaced them with facts...all very interesting to read!

The rest of the book covers the application of tarot. In my opinion, it was well organized and Louis did a very good job of encouraging his student to follow their intuition. He ties in astrological significance, so be prepared for a lot of planetary and zodiac references. I had to take all of this a little bit at a time, because once you get into all the lists and charts it can get a little overwhelming. But the information is rich!

This is most definitely my new go-to book for tarot. Louis is a mindful teacher, and that is obvious in his writing. Llewellyn's Complete Book of Tarot is a great choice for the beginner and advanced readers alike.