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Nancy Shavick's Tarot Universe
by Nancy Shavick

"As society turns more and more to spiritual beliefs for answers and insight into matters of personal growth, the Tarot is the perfect nondogmatic, universal guidance system to fulfill this need."

"The Tarot can reveal your true spirit and relay important information concerning the past, present, or future to determine obstacles and opportunities and gain greater independence and joy in the present."
These highlighted passages from Nancy Shavick's Tarot Universe quickly and concisely express the author's wise and modern perception of tarot. Shavick removes the tarot from the realm of the occult, and gives it to those who will appreciate it simply as an effective tool for self-discovery, spiritual growth, and contemporary divination. This crucial view influences the entire book, making it greatly accessible to everyone.

As I delved into this book, I found myself in agreement with just about everything I read, and was quite glad to see many vital insights shared so openly and effectively. Shavick introduces the tarot through a brief telling of its history, an explanation of format, and a look at how it has or hasn't been accepted by society. She answers crucial questions that all beginners have, such as, "What is a tarot card reading?" and, "What if a reading does not make sense?" Her writing is clear, highly readable and understandable, genuine, and motivating. Throughout, inspiring passages offer further wisdom and guidance.

More than half of the book is devoted to card meanings. Every card of the traditional tarot receives three full pages of text. This includes a basic meaning, and separate interpretations for romance, work and business, and spiritual growth. Meanings given are, like the rest of the book, concise yet insightful. They are flexible and usable as well. The book does not feature any deck in particular, and can be used alongside any traditional tarot. In addition, fourteen spreads are provided and fully explained, and sample readings give the beginner an idea how to interpret cards based on their location in readings.

I should mention that Shavick seems to be speaking directly to women when discussing romance, so some men may find that the book does not speak to them specifically. This, however, is my only complaint.

The book offers excellent, comprehensive instruction for reading for oneself and others and would be a fantastic starting place for beginners. It is a comfortable, enjoyable read that inspires. It can also serve to remind experienced readers of the integrity, compassion, and spirit with which the tarot should be approached. I highly recommend it, especially to those who are interested in both the spiritual and mundane aspects of using tarot.

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