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5 Books on Divinatory Card Reading That Will Improve Your Cartomancy Skills

Kyle is a practicing divinatory expert with 10+ years of experience as a professional reader. His particular specialty is with cartomancy.

Discover some great resources for enhancing your card reading skills!

Discover some great resources for enhancing your card reading skills!

Books to Improve Your Skills as a Card Reader

These books were all written by extremely insightful and brilliant authors who have successfully discovered their own paths within the divinatory art and science of cartomancy. In this article, we will explore why the following five books belong on your bookshelf.

Top Five Books on Card Reading

  1. Broke Ass Fortune Telling: Fortune Telling With a Pack of Playing Cards
  2. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness
  3. Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards
  4. The New Tarot Handbook: Master the Meaning of the Cards
  5. Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth

1. "Broke Ass Fortune Telling: Fortune Telling With a Pack of Playing Cards"

In this book, Quads Blegen presents an exceptionally intensive and shrewd procedure of divination with the utilization of a simple deck of playing cards. His methodology is unashamed and refreshing, particularly when contrasted with the frequent paltry and mysterious language that is time and again the standard with regards to creators clarifying cards, their implications, and how to decipher them.

Quade's technique and implications of the playing card are exceptionally special and unique. The entire framework that he presents is his own creation, however it's a sound and even framework no matter what the situation. I particularly like his decision on court cards and how to decipher them, especially when considering whether the court card is demonstrating the querent or showing another person(s) affecting the querent's life occasions.

The language is amusingly blunt at times, with a couple of well-served curse words that zest up the material and accentuate the points Quade is making. His recommendation and experiences are profoundly pleasing and he does well in ensuring the reader sees all while keeping the tone fun and light, taking the strict and devout mentality out.

A lot of esoteric books on divination have a tendency to come off a bit dogmatic and pious. This tone and style often turns people off—as opposed to moving them. Add in mystical mumbo-jumbo with confusing cryptic answers and you can see why many books on card reading have failed to entertain and inspire. Quade's methodology is considerably more agreeable and down-to-earth, making this book accessible and enjoyable for divinatory readers of all skill levels.

The inventiveness and invigorating tone of Broke Ass Fortune Telling have won it a prime spot on both this list and in my personal library. I strongly suggest this book for all card readers, whether you're inclined toward tarot or oracle cards to playing cards or not. It has a ton of edifying and funny knowledge that makes it worth giving it a read.

One additional perk for readers is that this is an eBook, which makes it really accessible! Using the free-to-download Amazon Kindle app, you can reference Broke Ass Fortune Telling's hilarious and insightful tips whenever you need to. It's really handy when you're conducting a card reading but get stuck on a card's relationship within a spread. I find major value in having the eBook freely available on my phone, and I know many readers will feel the same.

A unique and refreshing approach to teaching card reading.

A unique and refreshing approach to teaching card reading.

2. "Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness"

Rachel Pollack is an established writer on tarot cards, and Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom is a well-known classic among readers in the tarot community. Sometimes referred to as "The Bible of Tarot Readers," her insights are deeply personal. For example, she reminisces about her early years in tarot and about conflicting tarot practices amongst friends that caused a feud that seems to have never quite been resolved. Her stories are inspiring and make you feel like these memories could even be your own. She deeply connects with readers, her knowledge and experience are impressive and valuable, and readers will likely want to keep reading in order to learn and grow more with each chapter.

Of course, she goes into the cards themselves and takes a deeper look at each card. She also presents valuable ideas that only a tarot reader of her talent, experience, and caliber could have. Like the subtitle suggests, Rachel really does take you on a journey through the cards and offers up the hidden wisdom locked within each one. Rachel's unique perspective and incredible wisdom with the tarot helps one understand the cards not only as symbols, but as stories in and of themselves. But rather than esoteric meanderings, like is so often the case with this subject matter, Rachel offers instead a modern psychological perspective on the tarot archetypes.

After reading this book, you will never see tarot quite the same. You will learn how to have a deeper connection with your cards and will be inspired to view your role as a tarot reader in a new light. Hearing her stories is an awesome walk down the valuable perspective of one of the most influential authors on the subject of tarot. Her interpretation through the lens of modern psychology and the archetypes portrayed in the tarot hearkens to the famed works of Carl Jung, a renowned psychologist and contemporary of Freud. Jung's work on the concept of archetypes and their relation to the tarot was groundbreaking and insightful, just as much as it is in Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. This is a must-have for the serious student of tarot.

The book is separated into three main parts:

  1. The Major Arcana
  2. The Minor Arcana
  3. Readings

It's a clear and concise guide as well as a wealth of valuable personal experiences and insights that Rachel offers up so elegantly within each part of her book. The wisdom of the seventy-eight cards is undoubtedly established in an understandable tone and delivery.

If you wish to enrich and deepen your understanding of the cards then Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack is the book to help you achieve that and more.

A classic that can be referred to time and time again.

A classic that can be referred to time and time again.

Quote from Author

Tarot came to me in early 1970, when a fellow English teacher in the State University of New York offered to read my cards if I would give her a ride home. I remember nothing about the reading except the effect the cards had on me. The pictures, and the stories hinted at in them, and the book of symbolism that went with them totally fascinated me. I found a deck and began to read for my friends and explore what lay behind the pictures. That exploration continues more than ever."

— Rachel Pollack

3. "Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards"

In Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards, Kim Huggens presents a wonderful 101 material that any beginner—or expert looking to refresh their foundational lessons—should add to their reading list. I appreciate that she takes the time to demystify the process of tarot reading.

Unlike many other books that teach tarot reading, Kim doesn't just grind out each card in a monotonous "order." Instead, she groups the cards according to themes and presents each theme accordingly. This not only helps with memorizing card meanings, but also with learning to identify the interconnectivity of the cards in a spread. This helps a tarot reader to offer a more well-balanced reading.

You will likely have a new way of learning the tarot on a professional level right off the bat if you choose to read this book. Kim writes with a very serene tone that is encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring, which invites readers to explore deeper aspects of the cards. This book is intended to be completed at your own pace and includes lessons, tips, and extra exercises at the end of each chapter.

This book is useful if you are looking to learn how to read tarot cards like a professional and are looking for exciting new techniques and methods to further your studies with the cards. Knowing Kim Huggens's coursework and exercises can give you an insightful and creative advantage in your tarot journey.

This book covers:

  • The Major and Minor Arcana
  • Choosing a Tarot deck
  • Methods of card reading and interpretation
  • Spreads for love, success, and more
  • Creating original spreads
  • Reading for others
  • Image symbolism and divinatory meanings
  • Developing intuition for insightful readings
This is an excellent textbook for learning to read tarot.

This is an excellent textbook for learning to read tarot.

Quote from the Author

If you choose to forget all other things, remember only this and you will never fail: you are awesome, in the most total sense of the word."

— Kim Huggens

4. "The New Tarot Handbook: Master the Meanings of the Cards"

Another book by Rachel Pollack needs to be mentioned on this list. Rachel had an earlier version of this book (The Tarot Handbook), but this newer version has more insights, tips, and interpretations to help readers better understand the meanings of the 78 cards. I personally love this book. It's easy to use and very well-organized. You can just flip open to the chapter or section you need, read the bit you need, and be done with it.

The New Tarot Handbook is a need-to-have and is definitely something you want in your library. If you were to grab any book, I would hope that you grab this one. It's not a 101 book—it's the manual. It helps you to truly read the cards, not just remember the meanings. Rachel gives a lot of her own insights, tips, tricks, and methods, and they are something that only a person of her skill level could give. It's a good book to get and I definitely recommend it.

Inspiration for a New Author

The New Tarot Handbook is such a great reference guide, and it has been the main inspiration for my own book. I have been thinking about what field guide I would like to have. Something that is down-to-earth, honest, interactive, and doesn't have any bullshit. Because of this book by Rachel, I was inspired to begin working on just such a guidebook.

Another great tarot manual from Rachel Pollack that deserves to be on this list.

Another great tarot manual from Rachel Pollack that deserves to be on this list.

Quote From the Author

To learn to play seriously is one of the great secrets of spiritual exploration."

— Rachel Pollack

5. "Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth"

The Holistic Tarot is probably the most academic of the tarot instruction manuals. It's an integrative approach to using tarot for personal growth by Benebell Wen, and it covers everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. Every kind of important tarot spread is explained in this book. Every kind of therapeutic session with the cards is in this book. If you want to advance your tarot practice to to a sophisticated level, then Holistic Tarot is the book to get.

If you need to learn new processes or operations for sessions with your clients, Benebell's book will teach you how to do it. It does so by providing interesting and fun exercises, examples, and tasks.

As far as practicality goes, this is a huge book! It's like a textbook or a home reference guide. You're better off leaving it at home or in your study area than carrying it with you throughout your day. I mean, you can try, but that wouldn't be very easy on you or the book.

Holistic Tarot will help you to become more advanced and knowledgeable in the therapeutic aspect of tarot. It's a great book for classes and courses. Benebell gives all the material and even a sort of rubric right within the pages of the book.

What I also like are the little bits of insight about the operations and the everyday happenstance that come with this kind of teaching. The case studies are perfect in that they take the time to prepare the reader for real-life situations that can arise during readings.

What's great about Benebell's Holistic Tarot is that every card reader—whether total noob or experienced professional—would benefit from reading and studying its material. If you want to learn proven methods and therapies to better help yourself and your clients with tarot, then I would recommend you add Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen to your card reader library.

Holistic Tarot is the complete academic textbook on using the tarot for therapeutic operations.

Holistic Tarot is the complete academic textbook on using the tarot for therapeutic operations.

Quote from the Author

Fear is dangerous, not the tarot. The tarot represents the spectrum of the human condition, the good, the evil, the light, and the dark. Do not fear the darker aspects of the human condition. Understand them. The tarot is a storybook about life, about the greatness of human accomplishment, and also the ugliness we are each capable of."

— Benebell Wen, Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth

An Invitation to Grow as a Divinatory Reader

Whether you use tarot cards, oracle cards, or even regular playing cards, remember that nothing is more important than applied knowledge and wisdom from experience. The medium by which we articulate our psychic insights is only useful if we can connect with them. The true power and ability come from within us—from our own understanding of life and the many facets, paths, and intricacies that weave in and out of each other to form patterns, layers, and ripples in the cosmic way of things.

As Psychics, it is from our compassion, empathy, and insights into the nature of these patterns, layers, and ripples that allow us to peer within the heart of our clients, so we can answer their questions, requests, and inquiries. This leaves us with a special responsibility to our clients in providing the best possible reading we can give them. That way they can create patterns and ripples that work in harmony with the rest of the Universe, and ultimately, add to more growth, progress, and benevolence within the accumulated patterns from which our own souls each imprint upon the fabric of existence.

I hope that this list causes you to explore, experiment, and challenge yourself in ways that lead to the mastery of your psychic talents and increases your appreciation for cartomancy and the art of divination in general. Keep to your studies, practice all the time, and actively seek ways to improve upon yourself. Tarot and cartomancy are lifelong paths of discovery and wisdom. We never stop learning, and we and grow more with each shuffle and each time we cast a spread. Within each session, we commit to our clients. I wish you blessings and luck on your path.

May the Wheel Turn in Your Favor.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2021 Kyle William Meek