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Rituals and Practices with the Motherpeace Tarot
by Vicki Noble

The Motherpeace Tarot, being not only the first widely available round deck but also the first widely available feminist deck, was revolutionary when it was published in 1981. The images spoke to women in a way no other tarot could - they called upon a source within each woman that connected her to women's history, women's spirituality, and women's wisdom. A number of books have been written for use with Motherpeace, authored by its creators, Vicki Noble and Karen Vogel, and The Motherpeace Tarot continues to be a true favorite among women, especially among those who practice a goddess-oriented spirituality.

Rituals and Practices with the Motherpeace Tarot expands upon earlier titles, thus expanding for each reader her understanding of her Motherpeace cards as well as her divinatory work. Noble does an excellent job introducing concepts of women's spiritual history, and women's traditional roles as priestess, seer, and shaman. She shares her awareness that the future can be seen through divinatory practices, because time is not linear - there is no real separation of past, present, or future, but rather they are occurring all at once. This may be challenging for some to grasp, but Noble approaches tarot work with this vision of time, and is convincing in her argument.

Once Noble has guided the reader through a new understanding of time - and fortune telling - she explores areas of life that most women are concerned with today. These sections include "Invoking Good Health," "Relationships and the Motherpeace Cards," and "The Motherpeace Yes-No Reading." Each of these sections provides divinatory spreads - or layouts - and rituals using the cards, which Noble explains fully. Noble continually brings the reader back to women's history, shining a light on how women of today are similar to their ancestors, even (or especially) those of ancient times. The tarot spreads provided are helpful and interesting, despite being straightforward and easy to learn. Noble teaches how to take a reading further, by examining each card in-depth and by adding "helper" cards. In the section "Motherpeace and the Sacred Holidays," the reader not only learns how to use her cards to divine and illuminate using spreads and rituals, during the pagan holidays, she also learns about the meanings behind each holiday, and specific practices from diverse cultures. Noble addresses social, environmental, and spiritual problems of modern society, and offers suggestions for how The Motherpeace Tarot can be used to work for positive change and true transformation, in the section titled "Motherpeace in Modern Life."

The book is generously footnoted, and contains appendices of helpful resources, Buddhist chants, and Noble's own products and services. A comprehensive bibliography is also provided. The cards themselves have been described and interpreted in other books, so Rituals and Practices with the Motherpeace Tarot does not offer card explanations, though it does delve into the overall meanings of particular cards at times.

Rituals and Practices with the Motherpeace Tarot is a welcome addition to Motherpeace literature, and will help every woman who enjoys tarot, to grow as a woman, progress in her spirituality, and find unity with the divine feminine.

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Book review by Nellie Levine

Publishing tarot deck reviews, original tarot spreads, articles, and personal reflections for tarot enthusiasts, practitioners of the intuitive arts, and followers of alternative spirituality since 1999. Woman owned.
All writing, reviews, and photography © Nellie Levine, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2022