A Choice Centered Guide
by Gail Fairfield
Originally published as Choice Centered Tarot
, this slim, unassuming book has become a useful and effective classic on the tarot student's bookshelf. Gail Fairfield teaches all the basics of tarot, and answers many common and uncommon questions about its use in modern applications. Her focus is on how tarot might help individuals choose their reactions to life situations, understand and overcome their past, and envision and create their futures.
Fairfield takes the reader through the many concerns a new tarot reader might have. She clearly explains common tarot symbolism, the structure of the tarot, and the numerological meaning of the cards. She offers wise and helpful advice on choosing a tarot deck, with an eye for finding and avoiding sexism, racism, and classism. Her interpretations are comprehensive, and emphasize true personal growth and self-discovery, steering clear of the mundane. A unique approach to the cards is Fairfield's classification of the neutral, positive, and negative aspects of the Major Arcana cards, in addition to their upright and reversed meanings, which allows the reader to understand each card in its entirety. She explains each Minor Arcana card through a short description and their upright and reversed meanings.
There is a full section devoted to designing tarot layouts, or spreads, which will teach the beginner necessary skills in understanding how a reading actually works, and how they can create their own layout for every conceivable issue or question. A section on conducting readings shares Fairfield's experience with doing readings for oneself, for others, in group settings, and for skeptics.
Fairfield's writing style is very direct and concise. Her insights immediately move beyond even esoteric meanings of each card, and into psychological or transformational applications. Fairfield's meanings are not going to reveal mundane facts, rather they enlighten the individual from within. Some people will be drawn to this approach, others might find it difficult to use. I personally find it an important and necessary way of working with the cards.
provides new readers with the knowledge they need to get started. Fairfield says, "Whatever you do with the Tarot, enjoy the process. The Tarot is one of the best celebrations around!" This warm attitude shines throughout the book, and invites the reader to embark on a fulfilling new path of personal growth and transformation.
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