Joy, Rachel Pollack & Workshops

I do love being a joy seeker, but there are times when it is hard. Times when I want to just wallow in feeling blue or rage against the machine that seems to run the world I have to live in. I have never claimed that being a professional joy seeker is easy. And I never will.

I will claim that if I do it in small bites, I can eat the whole damned negative elephant that sometimes threatens to sit on me. One way is to put up reminders. I have at my work desk a mug with “Seek Joy, Y’all” on it. I now have a tin that a friend gave to me. It’s a holiday tin that she thought I might like. She gave it to me in April. I adore it.

I bought a rosemary plant then decided I wanted it at work. So I plopped it into this tin and it now graces my desk. It’s a double bonus. I get to see JOY every day as well as smell my fragrant rosemary. And I can indulge my secret bonsai gardener. He likes the idea of having a plant to tend. Yes, he. What?

As I have mentioned, I get a great deal of joy from teaching Tarot. My online Tarot for Writers class early sign up ends next Sunday. Seats are already taken in this limited class. I hope you will join us. The first five signees are also getting a bonus. There are some of those bonuses left. What are you waiting for?

Another joy is when I get to read books that aren’t out yet. Yes, it tickles me to no end so there! I am honored that Llewellyn has allowed me to get my hands on an ARC of Rachel Pollack’s latest. Due to be released July 8, 2012, this 288 page book is one I think will be very well received. Here is my review.

The New Tarot Handbook: Master the Meanings of the Cards
Rachel Pollack
Llewellyn Publications (July 8, 2012)

“I like to think that this book revives Eden Gray’s tradition–a work that is short, direct, yet hopefully is backed up by deeper knowledge and awareness.” Rachel Pollack, The New Tarot Handbook: Master the Meanings of the Cards


This book, by design, is to help you read the Tarot right away but also to be used as a reference manual. I must be very clear. I am a huge fan of Rachel Pollack both as a Tarot writer and in her other areas of writing. Her humor comes through early on in the introduction where she quips that the Lovers in a question about approaching your boss is “probably not telling you to seduce him.” This is a down-to-earth book that will aid any Tarot seeker.

Things to note are that some of the spreads, but not all, were previously shared in her excellent, and twice as long at 504 pages, Rachel Pollack’s Tarot Wisdom: Spiritual Teachings and Deeper Meanings which is a book I do recommend. I don’t doubt that some reviewers will tag this book as a rehash of her other works. I think those that do will be seriously missing the point of this book.

Not dogmatic in any sense, Pollack engages the reader with “What do you think” as she gives you the two way some cards are seen. Those who want to dive more deeply into their understanding of the Tarot will enjoy how she notes certain symbols from one card that shows up on another. This method of tying the cards together helped me anchor my own interpretations on certain cards more solidly.

Speaking of repetition, if you are a lover of Pollack’s Tarot works, you will see some familiar themes. I didn’t find this to be a drawback. Rather, for me, it was an indication of her depth of knowledge. When you have her years of experience, it’s nice to see how concrete her insights are. She doesn’t vacillate from one book to the other. This seems to be almost a distillation of her larger work, the aforementioned Tarot Wisdom. And I am very glad to have it.

Utilizing areas including world religions, psychology and numerology, Pollack has delivered yet another solid book for the Tarot world. With her background, it is hard to imagine a bad Rachel Pollack Tarot book. This one will appeal to those on a shorter time frame. I think Rachel Pollack’s Tarot Wisdom: Spiritual Teachings and Deeper Meanings should be mandatory reading for the serious seeker, but this will give the eager new Tarot enthusiast an excellent beginning point. If you were overwhelmed by Tarot Wisdom, The New Tarot Handbook will be just what the doctor ordered.

This book with its spreads and questions for the reader to incorporate their own interpretations lands on my Keeper shelf. I highly recommend this book.

DISCLAIMERS: I took the Rosemary And The Can Of Joy picture. Feel free to use it. Llewellyn gave me an e-ARC of Rachel’s book. The cover picture is from Amazon.

3 thoughts on “Joy, Rachel Pollack & Workshops”

  1. No – it’s not easy, but you do it very well! Some days are a grind….but I find that if I change my language, it can help a little.

    As soon as I admit to someone that I’m having an awful day, then I start to feel like I’m having an awful day, so if I modify that language to ‘I’m having a day of surprises,’ or a day ‘that challenges my focus,’ then it doesn’t seem so bad.

    It does make me sound VERY American touchy-feely guru like though! 😀 *wonders whether she can get a set of teeth like Tony Robbins*

    by the way, today I’m having a day that challenges my focus *bwhahahaha*

    Ali x

    PS – like the look of Rachel’s next book – lucky you to be issued with an early copy!

    Ali x

  2. Alison, I love the renegotiating of language. That’s beautiful. I often say “That brings me no joy.” LOL And I am usually frowning.



    Lol. Seek Dour, lad. It just doesn’t have the same ring!

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