Tarot Interactions - Deborah Lipp
Source: Digital ARC
Original Review: January 18, 2016
Unfortunately, the first thing that stood out to be were issues with her credibility.
I haven't read any of Lipp's works before this one, so I don't know if this is a normal thing for her, but I found the repeated mentions of having been married to Isaac Bonewits to be... banal. It was almost as if she was teaching to him to lend some kind of credence to the fact she was writing a book on the Tarot and veering away from her normal fare of books on ritual and Wicca. Having to rely so heavily on another immediately takes away from an author's ability to stand on their own - as is the case here.
There are also certain things that she took credit for, that have been floating around the Tarot community for a number of years. I understand she has been reading Tarot, and teaching it for quite some time but the fact remains that certain things have long lost any capability to be traced back to any specific time or person. Many elements she claims as her own are nothing new to the seasoned Psychic, and it seems highly pretentious of her to try and claim them.
The problems didn't stop there... Is her mind still in the years she was married to Bonewits?
The book reads very old. A lot of the notions and thought patterns that were mentioned aren't nearly as prevalent as Lipp would have us believe. Long past are the days of TV psychics, while intuitives and mediums have followers numbering in the millions. Ever heard of Theresa Caputo? Yeah, she has her own show called Long Island Medium. It's in it's 7th season, and her fans actually take her seriously!
I'm hoping some of the issues I encountered in continuity were due to the fact I was reading an ARC.
I really, really hope someone over at Llewellyn was paying attention before they put this book to print. There were quite a few areas where Lipp referenced something from "earlier" or "above" that just... wasn't there. Not to mention, when specific so-called facts are mentioned, there needs to be a cited source. I don't care if there's a bibliography. If there's no direct reference to where a date or number comes from, it completely invalidates the claim.
So, what did I enjoy, exactly?
Her approach to meditation was, I think, one of the best parts about the book. Due to some strange fluke, I've always had a hard time meditating, along with everything else that goes along with it. Blame my ADD, but as that has recently changed, I can truly appreciate the need to really be expansive in your search for a meditation practice that actually works for your specific physiology and psychology. Meditation is not a "one shoe fits all" practice, and Lipp clearly acknowledges this. Her approach makes it less scary and more accessible to people who may have struggled with it before, while giving them a unique approach to consider for themselves.
Lipp also makes some very good points regarding trust - both our trust in ourselves, and our clients trust in us. So often we allow our own instincts and intuition to be overridden by our clients reticence. The example she gives is if we were to tell her a name for her aunt she had previously been unaware of. To her, the "client", we would not be telling the truth, even while our intuition was telling us otherwise. I feel the point she was trying to make here is that, it is up to us to speak the truth, not just the truth the client thinks they want to hear. If we are conduits, we tell the client what they need. It is their job to take the information we give them and do something with it.
Would I recommend this book or not?
As I read further into the book, exploring the ways she gives to learn the cards, how they interact with each other, the spread, the environment, and just about everything else under the sun, I was reminded of a book I'm actually working through right now, written by a very highly acclaimed Tarot expert. Next to what I am already exploring, some of the exercises Lipp recommends seem... shallow.
Couple that with the fact Lipp is clear early on that she is mostly referencing her own experiences, and interpretation of books, that takes me back to the beginning issue I had with her credibility.
I fully believe in supporting authors when support is warranted. There is some good information in this book, if you can get past the banality of it's presentation. Having already gone through the book, if I were to receive it as a gift, I would likely return it in favor of something less contrived and written by someone who could stand on their own two feet without having to rely on anyone else's name but their own.
Two stars for having usable information, but the presentation was all wrong.