The Tarot Coloring Book
Author: Theresa Reed
Forward by: Mary K. Greer
Books that are well done will reflect the personality of their author – The Tarot Coloring Book certainly does this. Throughout its 180 pages we see all 78 cards of the Tarot presented through imagery, symbols, the meaning of their colors (and why choosing your own colors is sometimes better), their history, and how they work in a spread.
The book is 9.1” by 10.9”, making the illustrations a really nice size to work with. Physically, it is spiral bound, with a hard binding on the left hand side, allowing the title and author to be seen while the book is shelved. The front and back covers are glossy hard cardboard.
There is commentary in the front of the book from several different sources, with a forward by Mary K. Greer. In her introduction Reed talks about experiential learning … a very hands on way of experiencing the Tarot. She comments that each individual, as they are coloring the cards, will find themselves seeing symbols that they have not noticed before, that patterns and stories will begin to emerge. The student will begin to develop their own meanings for the cards, while learning traditional ones at the same time.
In her chapter on “How To Use This Coloring Book”, Reed presents the following steps: (1) Get a Tarot Deck, (2) Gather Your Coloring Supplies (there is a caution here that felt tip pens will bleed through the paper), (3) Set the Scene (organize your work space), (4) Begin Coloring! Yes – it is just that easy! One important thought here is that Reed views coloring as a contemplative experience – which I totally agree with! (I am a decidedly “non-artistic” person, so if I am working with a coloring book, it is not with the intent of being artistic. It is with the intent of taking a time out in my day, and melding with the material that I am working with.)
As each card is finished, Reed recommends taking a moment to examine the finished image. Some of the questions that she recommends the student asking themselves are: What did you learn about the card? Do certain cards trigger emotions for you? Do particular cards deliver a message to you? Reading this over, to me it makes sense to keep a separate journal as you are working your way through this coloring book to record your journey.
There is a brief history of the Tarot in general, and the Rider-Waite deck in particular, along with short meaning for the colors used in the deck. There is a short section on reading the Tarot, along with a list of ten ways to use the Tarot in everyday life.
Each of the 78 cards is presented with text on the left hand side, and a full page card image on the right hand side. The text includes the card name and number, the element for the Court cards, a sentence describing the energy of the card, how the card may be interpreted in both upright and reversed positions, the main symbols in the card, and suggestions for coloring. (I noted the same thing in James Rickleff’s The Tarot Coloring Book – the suggestions for colors to be used. In both books the colors are only suggestions.)
Please note: I colored the above Tarot card – the choice of colors was mine.
Let’s take a look at the Queen of Pentacles. The sentence that appears under her title is “The Queen of Pentacles symbolizes material success and abundance.” The upright interpretation is one of caring and reliability – the “earth mother”. The reversed interpretation is that of being clingy, scared, unfocused, and having trouble trusting the world. The symbol mentioned is that of the rabbit. Suggested colors include a yellow sky, brown earth, light blue mountains, green trees, a blue river, and a yellow crown with red decorations. You can see my version of life above. (She is the Queen that represents me in the deck, which is why I choose to color her as an example.)
I love the content, the way the book is organized, and the fact that while this book is aimed at those new to the Tarot, making best use of the material is also beneficial for all levels of Tarot students/readers. And … it is fun to play with!
© March 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.