Tarot Companion is an excellent reference guide for those students of the tarot who already have an understanding of the basic, traditional meanings of the seventy-eight cards. Unlike the vast majority of tarot reference guides, this book does not focus on the meanings of the cards themselves, but shows the reader how he or she can deepen and extend their knowledge of the tarot by bringing in other disciplines.
The first, short section of the book does, indeed, cover these traditional meanings, but they are there more as an aide-memoire than as a teaching process. There are then sections on the meanings of the suits and people in the tarot - perhaps, a little unnecessary given that the book is not aimed at the beginner.
However, it is after this that the book begins to become really useful. After a short dictionary of symbolism, the reader is introduced to a number of disciplines in the context of their usefulness and relevance to the study of the tarot. There are eight chapters which introduce the tarot reader to numerology and the tarot; astrology and elemental astrology; Cabala; I Ching; runes; colour and chakras. One or more of these topics may be familiar to the reader, but they all - as well as serving as a useful reference - whet the reader's appetite.
The book finishes with a chapter on spreads, similar to such chapters found in most texts on the tarot. However, it is the sections on the various disciplines and how they relate to reading the cards which makes this book worth studying. From a personal point of view, the first few chapters and the final one could have been omitted as these are covered in most tarot books and add little for the intended market - the post-beginner level. This would have given room from an extended look at the eight subjects covered in the main section of the book. That said, as it stands, I found the book well worth the effort and it certainly encouraged me to develop my knowledge further in various areas.
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