A few years back, I was blown away by Courtney Weber’s book on the goddess Brigid. Shortly after that book was published, she published a book on Tarot called Tarot for One: The Art of Reading for Yourself – and my already high expectations for her writing climbed even higher.
Why do I love Tarot for One?
- Reading this book offers simple, practical methods to get around my own bullshit in reading for myself – to counteract my own biases so I can clearly see what the cards are telling me.
- This book deepened my relationship with the Tarot by challenging me to relate the cards to personal experiences. For years, I’d struggled to memorize the “book meanings” of the cards, but Weber gave me permission to figure out what the cards mean to me.
- This is the book that finally helped me understand the flippin’ court cards. Oh, how I’d struggled with court cards. Weber offers a workbook section where you can relate each court card to people in your life and aspects of your own self to understand them better.
- The spreads. THE SPREADS. OMG, such useful spreads in this book. I dog-eared so many pages in the spreads section (yes, sorry, book purists, I do that sometimes) so I can refer back to them easily. Couple’s readings, elemental check-ins, goal seeking, seasonal forecasts, trying to sort through your own ennui – this book has it all. I refer to this section a LOT.
- To my delight, Weber embraces the gender-neutrality of the Tarot. This shouldn’t be that unusual in a Tarot book, but unfortunately it is, in my experience. Weber’s take is both refreshing and reassuring for nonbinary readers:
Throughout this book, I use the gender pronouns most commonly associated with Tarot characters, but I do so with the understanding that each could easily materialize as any gender or devoid of gender altogether…Tarot for One, page 21
…the true nature of each Court card is beyond gender. (The Knights and Pages in the RWS deck are rather ambiguous in their gender in the first place. Who can really tell what is beneath all that armor or pantaloons, anyway?) As you work with your self-readings, you may find a Court card that you don’t feel corresponds with your gender identity routinely appears as a symbol for you, and yet it will be absolutely accurate. Be open to unusual gender pairings in the cards meant to represent yourself. These surprising cards can provide wonderful insight.Tarot for One, page 66
The traditional Tarot has a history of highly gendered characters that can exclude people who don’t identify with binary gender. Gender nonconforming (GNC) Tarot readers have shared with me that they frequently view the Court cards as aspects of self, assigning different qualities to each based on what they personally understand as masculine or feminine. …Others mentioned they forego decks with strong gender propensity and use decks with fewer or no gender associations at all, such as cards that depict the Court cards as animals, fantasy symbols, or even just colors and shapes. No matter how you personally identify gender-wise, trying out decks with different gender depictions or none at all will enhance your understanding of the Tarot.Tarot for One, page 67
Long story short, Tarot for One is a worthy addition to your bookshelf if you have any interest in Tarot, whether reading for yourself or others.