Tarot Book Review: The Key to Tarot

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The Key to Tarot by Sarah Bartlett

When I first saw the title for this book, I thought it was really clever, from an internet search point of view. It’s very close to Arthur Edward Waite’s The Key to the Tarot, later to become the Pictorial Key to the Tarot. The similarity ends there though. While Waite’s book is written in his famously meandering and spiritually elitist style, Sarah Bartlett’s book is clear, concise and above all, readable. It’s easy to understand and will be accessible to all levels of readers, though this book really is aimed at the beginner.

Bartlett has written a number of books but her most famous is surely the ubiquitous, Tarot Bible. While small in size, that book has just over 400 pages and covers secondary subjects to tarot, numerology, astrology, kabbalah, esotericism, to name but a few. Looking through both of her books reveals much repeated material, albeit redressed for this latest edition. The tarot card meanings are mostly identical, though often reworded and there are a number of tarot spreads that have made it to both books. The difference between these two books is that The Key to Tarot is purely tarot focused and besides a nod to ‘astrological affinities and numbers’, there are no secondary subjects. To quote Anthony Louis, this is tarot pure and simple…

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