The concept of Tarot cards has been a rather divisive one to say the least, between their usage to supposedly tell the future or conjure up demons and subsequent condemnation by religious groups as “witchcraft”. In reality, these cards are meant to reveal something about the person who is having their fortune told, a detail about themselves that they must face, and other such things. Simply put, the cards are meant to serve as a form of self-improvement, for reassurance during trying times, and in general, as a means of helping one understand themselves better. However, one can often find that they are unable to discern the meaning behind these cards on their own, and this is made more difficult by a lack of fortune-tellers and other such experts in these matters.
That is where books such as this one come in handy. Truly Easy Tarot: Simple Readings and Practical Teachings by an author who goes by the pen name of “Mantis” seems to be a well-received instruction guide to using these readings. It has been praised as being a very useful beginner’s guide for anyone intending to use it, with some readers even saying that it contains greater knowledge of its source material than most other so-called guides one might find on the subject. Other readers even say that it has helped them learn how to gain a better understanding of the cards and their meanings. What’s more, the book dives into how the cards came to be used in a historical context (including how, ironically, it gained its more mystical properties from Christianity where it once used to be a simple card game), lays out a comprehensive explanation of the structure of the Major and Minor Arcana, and does so in such a way as to make the reader feel like they are being talked to, not talked at. This is to say it doesn’t make the reader feel foolish for not knowing the material, doesn’t deride them, and explains the history and function of the cards in a warm, matter-of-fact sort of way, almost like a well-liked teacher explaining to a dutiful student.
Of course, this is nothing compared to what the author says about it. Based on the writing found in the free sample–I will not be including any direct quotes–Mantis found themselves disillusioned with the oppressiveness of organized religion but still felt the need for some form of spiritual healing and guidance. This guidance, according to them, helped them achieve a sense of self-worth and knowledge about their inner workings that they couldn’t have achieved by remaining in organized religion.
All-in-all, from the opinions of the readers and the general lack of negativity towards this book, I feel that it is safe to say that if one wants to understand the Tarot and its history better, this book is the best way to do so. If I were to offer any advice to readers, I would say to read this book with an open mind.