Tarot for the 21st Century!
I rarely recommend any particular "study" of tarot for students here at the Tarot Guild...this one has my full endorsement.
Here's my review-hope you find it helpful.
Tarot Foundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence
E Book/Pdf Format
Tarot Foundations covers so many things that are often left out when learning tarot, every lesson fluidly relates to the next and you’re never left hanging for more information. This is so important to someone just learning tarot.
After the introduction you will see the Calendar with each lesson and a clickable link. This is a very nice touch! Day 1 through Day 31 is kept in one nice neat place.
Next are the Table of Contents and right after that you’re ready to begin with Chapter 1: Days 1-5 Bridget explains her philosophy of what the tarot is and what it can be used for and she discusses how she feels about the tarot “predicting the future”.
As a thoughtful and nice touch Bridget has created an Online Community that’s exclusive to those who’ve purchased this book. This is a great idea, when learning new things it’s a comfort to know there are others you can connect with.
Page 11 is your first “Activities” page and here you will write out your Personal Motivations and your tarot Study Goals. I think this is the perfect way to begin - before you even begin looking at a deck of cards you will understand why you want to learn to read tarot. You will have clear ideas about your expectations with tarot. This is brilliant. We all have our reasons for picking up the tarot and these activities will help you to sort it all out-and it reinforces the idea that this is a Study…to study a subject you must be committed.
When you get to Day 2’s lesson you will be picking a deck. Bridget offers eight ways to choose a deck and provides a number of quality resources to help you make your choice. This is a nice touch for the brand new tarot student. One of the most asked questions I hear is: “What deck should I use to learn tarot?” She discusses cleansing and caring for your deck and it includes practical advice and many different methods to choose the way that works for you.
Bridget makes it part of her lessons that you choose 2 to 3 good tarot books and she has suggestions to help you decide. Instead of just telling the student to go buy three tarot books, she discusses some ways to decide on the books that will be most useful. There are so many books available on tarot it can be quite overwhelming. Finding the right book is a very personal choice and with the helpful ideas provided, it will help you narrow down the search.
A Tarot Journal is part of the lesson plan and she discusses why a journal is important and different ways of formatting your journal. I liked all of the ideas presented here and I agree that a tarot journal is not only useful for study; it also creates a path your own spiritual development. I realize that not everyone feels the tarot is “spiritual” but for many it’s the beginning of a journey. Bridget points out that her own tarot journal helped her to learn the “real life” meanings of the cards and helped her to build on her understanding of what she had learned in the tarot books.
All of this and you’re only at the end of Day 5!
Using a Rational and Intuitive Approach to Learn About One Tarot Card:
This activity is perfect for your tarot journal. In my opinion, it’s sometimes overlooked that instead of just memorizing card meanings, we need to find what that card means to us, we need to learn both in order to be able to get the most from tarot. I also like the idea of creating our own Keyword Charts instead of using someone else’s. There are step by step instructions on how to do this.
In Tarot Foundations you begin learning the cards by studying the Minor Arcana first…and I have to admit this isn’t the way I learned tarot. There are activities here that will truly help you to get to know the Minor Arcana- I love the activity that has you list your daily actions as Minor Arcana Suits! Giving advice according to the suits is another fantastic way to study the elemental qualities of suits in tarot.
The Court Cards are presented with an abundance of information that I think will be very helpful to the tarot student. The four Activities are designed to give you an understanding of these sometimes tricky cards. As Bridget points out, The Court Cards are most often considered the most difficult to understand.
The Major Arcana are explained and Activities are given to make sure you have a firm understanding of these cards and the archetypes they relate to. There is also an optional “Get to Know Yourself with the Major Arcana” questionnaire in the Appendix that I think will deepen the understanding of the Major’s.
Creating and using a Tarot Card Template to do Card Profiling is something Bridget showed us how to do in her Companion Workbook and it’s a fantastic study tool. I’ve found this helpful when studying a new deck too.
Tarot Card a Day and Meditation are both very good ways to study the cards and each step is explained in great detail. Connect the Cards and Creating Tarot Card Combinations are two sections in this book that I would recommend to every tarot student. This is another area that the new tarot reader sometimes has difficulty with and with the methods provided and the Activities here, anyone-not just the student-can get a better understanding of what to look for when it’s time to make sense of the cards in front of you. Doing a Reading is a step by step approach to laying out the cards and reading them. With Timing Bridget shares her preferred method and also shows you how to use the elements of each suit for timing. Reading for Yourself- shares six mistakes to avoid, and Professional Level Readings explains how to take your readings to a new level. RESOURCES! Establishing Your Networks has valuable tarot resources you can find on the internet. Tools and Templates is the last section of this book and everything Bridget has discussed in her activities is right here.
In the closing of her book Bridget reinforces that you are not alone when you purchase this book-she provides links to helpful sites and to her Tarot Foundations Community.
After reviewing this book I’m left with some great study ideas and a very healthy respect for Bridget Esselmont’s knowledge of tarot- most importantly her ability to teach tarot.
This book reinforces my thoughts that the most important thing about learning tarot is to build your foundation first-then move on to more advanced ideas. There is much to be said about finding a study method and committing yourself to it. I definitely recommend Tarot Foundations to each and every person who wants to commit to putting the time and effort into starting their journey with tarot. 31 Days is the perfect way to break down the lessons and activities into something that doesn’t overwhelm you - or your schedule.
The Tools, Templates and Resources are priceless! The activities will have you connecting to your cards in ways you never imagined!
*A note on this being a pdf file and not available in a “reader” format: I don’t mind this format because it can be printed out and used in a three ring binder. Also, you can read a pdf on most - if not all Tablets. And if you have a Smart Phone, you can read the file when you’re on the go.
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