Over the last year I’ve been dabbling in tarot reading. I have been drawn to the art of tarot cards for many years, and like to think of myself as something of a book witch. Working in a bookstore is definitely a little magical, after all. Personally, I tend to look at tarot reading as more of a mindfulness practice. The cards make me consider my own beliefs and choices, but ultimately I make my own future. I’m not super serious about it, so most of the books out there by conventionally witchy people tend to turn me off. This is why Melissa Cynova’s Kitchen Table Tarot really caught my eye.
Synopsis: Kitchen Table Tarot was written as a guide for anyone looking for no-nonsense lessons with a warm, friendly, and knowledgeable teacher. Join Melissa as she shares straightforward guidance on decks, spreads, card meanings, and symbols. Filled with real-life examples and personal explanations of what it’s like to read the cards, this book tells it like it is and provides the information you need to read with confidence.
I really enjoyed this super down-to-earth way of looking at tarot. The author uses personal stories, allegory, and archetypes to help make learning the cards easy and relatable. As with any of the tarot teachers that I have come to appreciate, Cynova makes sure to remind us that everyone understands and reads the cards differently. Yes, the cards each have a general meaning attached to them, but every reader will focus on a different aspect of that meaning based on their own understanding and the questions that they have been asked.
There is no one way. The is no one path. There is you, your cards, and your gift. That’s it.Kitchen Table Tarot: Pull Up a Chair, Shuffle the Cards, and Let’s Talk Tarot
I really liked that each of the major arcana cards had a simple statement that distilled their meaning in just a few words. Remembering 78 cards is daunting, but when you can simplify the message and still retain the overall meaning things become so much easier. It was also helpful to have the author’s understanding of both the upright and reversed meanings provided, as it is easy for new readers to fall into the assumption that a reversed card is just the opposite of an upright one.
My only issue was that some of the card descriptions seemed to be given more or less thought than others. When the author had a particularly deep connection or interesting story about a card, they would go on a bit of a tangent. However, a few descriptions seemed too short to really be helpful. This often happened with the reverse meanings, which could be due to the author’s belief that the card is a direct opposite of the upright meaning. I think it would have been helpful for a new reader to get that confirmation though.
Overall the book is a great starting point for new readers. For anyone who in interested in reading tarot, but doesn’t feel particularly witchy in their beliefs, this is an highly accessible and fun read.