Summary: Everything, except a Tarot deck, included in this reference!
Comment: There really isn't very much to dislike about this tarot resource. Author Nancy Shavick has thought of just about everything to make this a useful tool for both beginning and more advanced Tarot practitioners.
She spends a little time on the history and background of the cards. Shavick then spends a little more time on the steps to take to do a Tarot reading, including a unique way to establish a subject-combination for the reading. Then there is a wonderful selection of tarot spreads, some of the more common and some obscure. I especially liked the Lifetimes Spread, dealing with past, present and future/eternal life themes.
Shavick then provides an opinionated, yet well thought-out chapter, on techniques for tarot readers, including such things as: preparing for a reading, hazards of speculating, how often to read the cards, event timing, and why it's hard to read your own cards, etc. I say opinionated because there are various schools of thought on such issues, so take them in, but be aware that there are other ways of looking at such matters.
She also provides sample readings, excellent appendixes on tarot card combinations, cards with similar meanings, and how to interpret tarot cards in particular positions of the Grand Cross Spread.
But the meat of the book is on card interpretations, and she has provided a wealth of information for each card; a general interpretation, romance, work/business, and spiritual growth categories of interpretation.
There are a few shortcomings. I do not like the fact that she apparently does not think that cards should be read reversed. Also, I wish she had some additional important categories for interpretations, such as home or family, and health. Another problem for me surfaces in the romance interpretations. Shavick displays an obvious heterosexual approach which I believe is quite limiting and she seems to be only speaking to women in this section, as if a man would never be asking romance questions.
But shortcomings aside, this is a very informative reference, providing a lot of quality information, from someone who obviously knows the Tarot well. It is a fine, complete resource, but perhaps, not the only one you will want in your Tarot library.
Summary: Long reign the Queen!
Comment: Nancy's back! The woman who de-mystified the Tarot once and for all brings her sensible, no-nonsense approach back in her brightest, biggest book yet. I'm not an expert, but her insights seem accurate and her quirky, offbeat yet gentle humor permeates the whole work. A book to read even if you have no interest in the Tarot. I can't say enough good things about Nancy Sjavick's Tarot Universe!
Summary: Great Reference for the Tarot
Comment: This is an excellent reference work on the tarot. As usual, Nancy Shavick has produced a positive and encouraging guide to using the tarot for spiritual growth and insight. Her clear writing makes this excellent for beginning as well as more advanced tarot readers. Nancy provides an interesting history of the tarot, along with guidance on how to use the tarot as a catalyst for spiritual growth and increasing intuitive perceptions. There are several new spreads, with detailed instructions, as well as sample readings. Nancy also ties tarot elements back to astology, numerology, chakras, and the elements. Each tarot card is explained in detail, with general meanings and meanings divided into categories: Love, Work/Money, and Spirituality. Nancy also provides useful appendices on important card combinations and cards with similar meanings. There is some material carried over from her previous works, but this is still an extremely useful overview of the tarot. Note: Nancy only interprets cards right side up. I have used Nancy's books and her personal services (the book provides contact information) and she has always been extremely helpful, understanding, and encouraging. She is my favorite tarot author.