“Kitchen Table Tarot” by: Melissa Cynova

The subtitle for this: “Pull Up a Chair, Shuffle the Cards, and Let’s Talk Tarot” is VERY fitting.

 The entire book read like a mentor, or a friend, just chatting with the reader about her experiences reading and what works for her while also telling the reader to do what works best for them.

 As a Buddhist why have I always felt drawn to tarot? Well, I think a lot of it is the basic directing force behind it. Tarot is not meant to bring fortunes or be deviant so much as a tool to bring clarity and ease the mind/emotions. That’s how I have always approached it anyway.

 I referenced in another review that I took a college level class in the art of tarot reading. I used to do readings for myself all the time and did a few readings for close friends/family. I as a tarot reader am fairly comfortable with the basic interpretations and forming a story from the intuition felt from the cards.

 I liked the way she spoke of crystals and energy grounding basically working because you believe that it does. That’s why it works for you and I do believe (pun intended) that to be true. The body follows the mind and I also believe perspective fits in there neatly too.

 I always used to envision as I was walking to college classes (and later higher stress jobs than what I currently have) energy in the color of brown and green going down out of my feet (brown/negative) and coming back up through my feet (green/positive) followed by a ring of orange and read fire circling around me to keep out the bad and finishing it off with a blue/white light emanating out from me to push through the fire/force outward for protection from outside influences. I used to have very bad anxiety around that time and it was always a calming visualization that on rare occasions I do still turn to as a quick practice when I feel anxious for no apparent reason.

 Her basic takeaway is to learn the cards and not be scared to have the book with you until as a reader you learn to go it alone.

 The writing style is friendly and warm.

 The advice given is practical and real. One shouldn’t feel compelled to give a reading if a bad vibe happens before the reading or you clearly pick up on the client being a skeptic.

 I distinctly recall around the time when I still felt like a beginner in studying the tarot, needing some direction myself. I had made out a “30 before 30” list earlier that year as part of a Senior class project and one of the items on my list was to visit a “professional” tarot reader.

 My Mom, Big Sister, and I were all out and about and saw a house that had a sign out front that said $10 special tarot” so we stopped in. My Mom refused to go in and so my sister went in with me.

 It was a fraud experience and one that will stick with me forever.

 The woman that did the reading had two very obviously drugged out guys hanging around in her living room which was right what we stepped into from the front door. My sister shot me a look like “We should go.”

 We were about to turn around when one of the guys said : Yo honey, you got yourself a customer!”

 The “tarot reader” walked into the room and she looked put out like she had something better to be doing. She sighed and asked what type of reading I wanted and I said “Tarot card” and she asked for the money. I handed it to her and after plopping it into her bra she led me to the dinning room that only featured two chairs.

 She said, “Hold out your dominant hand” and I did thinking this was like a starting ritual or something. She then read my palm instead of doing a tarot reading like I asked for which I thought was strange (and still think is strange come to think of it.) She said a lot of general nonsense that could apply to anyone really.  (I had just broken up with my very first boyfriend the day before so I felt emotionally vulnerable.) The only specific thing I really remember was that she abruptly went from saying the generalities to then quickly saying: “You’ll have many loves and loses. Your lucky day is Wednesday. Your lucky number isn’t known at this time. Thanks for stopping in.”   (Her prediction of “many loves and loses” was total bs. I literally met my husband-to-be three months later.)

 I seriously walked out in a sort of daze like “What the hell?” and realized I had just had my first experience with an outright fraud. I learned a lot that day.

 While Ms. Cynova makes many hard-to-believe statements from her own experiences, they read true. They don’t come across as fake or phony in any way. I believe she believes them to be true and who is to say they aren’t for her?

 (Again the mind leads us to believe what we do and those beliefs work for us because we believe them to work. Kind of like a placebo for the mind.)

 Seeing that the minor arcana is just your life and the major arcana is your life ALL IN CAPS was probably the best way I have ever read of the difference between them. The way that she threaded together some of the cards to illustrate their meanings when they show up together I found useful.

 This review got MUCH longer than intended. I didn’t realize I wanted to include as much as I did here!

 I would definitely recommend this one to beginners with tarot. It is probably one of the best introductory to the intuition part of tarot reading that I have ever read.

 I would also recommend this to anyone that maybe is around the same intermediate level as I am to re-inspire and to add some extra know-how. We can all use a refresher after-all!

 I am not sure if highly experienced tarot readers would get as much out of this, but maybe if they are seeking out someone that is along the same level as them. Someone they can relate to.

 I guess I would just recommend this for anyone really that is interested in tarot readings in general. It was a fun, heavy-packed with knowledge while still managing to be light-hearted, and enjoyable read.

Book Notes:

5.0% “I have just begun and I can tell I love the vibe created already! The author writes in a way that makes you feel like you really are sitting across the table from her in her kitchen and she is imparting her wisdom…super excited for this one!”

6.0% “‘Your rituals work because you believe in them.”

15.0% “The way she speaks of the brain cleaning house…u always used to refer to those moments of dreams as processing. The element cleanse is intriguing too b.c. I visualize light energy of different sorts. I am liking this…”

22.0% “The list of her reasons for not doing certain readings were on point. Yeah, I can get behind those reasons! (I think as a tarot reader I simply need to just develop confidence…especially to say no to someone who is obviously defiant against the reading like that. Not here to perform for you. Accurate.) This whole book so far has been like talking with a mentor.”

25.0% “I like what she is saying about readings being like you are holding the dreams of the person doing the asking….it’s true. The reader needs to be gentle about touchy subjects and what the cards are showing. Emotions are heightened during a reading and a lot of calmness and care are needed.”

30.0% “Now comes the card by card, including inversions, analysis of the cards. The card depictions are beautiful. The way that she references the elements of each card is also very helpful to help to lock in the idea of taking in the entire card and the story it is telling.”

33.0% “…the difference between being an effective leader or a tyrant is that when you’re a leader, people don’t wince while you’re talking.”

37.0% “An Eric Cartman reference from South Park?! Okay, if I wasn’t before I am now officially a fan of this book!”

48.0% “I like that the cards are explained with a quote too. This further cements the meanings.”

56.0% “The way that she is explaining certain “key words” that resonate with certain suits and the numbers within the suits is very helpful.”

70.0% “I like the easy explanation fro the six of sword inverted: “Stuck, stuck, stuck.” And then there is more about it…ending with: “It no longer serves you, it’s getting in your way and keeping you from seeing what the world has in store for you. It’s exhausting and a waste of time. Move on.” The phrasing is modern while still being very helpful/interpretive of the cards. Love it!”

80.0% “Resting on your laurels is only going to result in crumpled laurels. Or something equally as deep.” LOL”

81.0% “You can be empathetic without owning someone else’s tragedy.” Wow. Yeah. Hard to do, but yes, it must be. I love the advice sprinkled throughout the card interpretations. Lovely.

                Hands down THE BEST book on tarot card interpretations and readings I have ever read.

Quick Facts:

Page Count: 240

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

Genre: Nonfiction, Religion, & Spirituality

Expected Publication Date: April 8th, 2017

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