A review of
Tarot, Birth Cards, and You
by Bonnie Cehovet
Published by Schiffer ISBN: 978-0764339028
I’ve had Bonnie’s book sitting here for months. Literally. It’s a book to dip into, read, digest….leave….then go back to. At first I must admit I was dubious, and the fact that the book is split into sections where an awful lot of material is duplicated didn’t make me feel much more enthusiastic. However….after reading, going backwards and forwards and working with the book, I came to the conclusion that these sections need to be duplicated as there is no other viable way of laying out the information that wouldn’t involve lots of page turning and sticky notes.
So…to review the book I set about finding my card combinations. This is done through the easy system of adding up the numbers in your birth date, which are in turn reduced to numbers that correspond with cards in the Major Arcana.
I’m a Star / Strength combination.
At first glance it’s not at all like me – the Star is Aquarius / Strength, Leo. Not signs I’ve really been comfortable with. The phrase “calmness in the face of intense emotions” is so unlike me it’s scary. There is also a strong emphasis on hope and trust here…something I often struggle with.
However looking more closely at the themes, the Star focuses on looking within, the ability to question things on an intellectual level and communicating well (something I’m apparently good at), also with Strength placing focus on creativity and pleasure, being the dominant trait, it’s beginning to sound more like me. Yes, I question intellectually and am a good communicator, but I do love the creative side of life and would definitely place pleasure over work any day (ok, who wouldn’t!).
Anyway...the fact that I originally see the opposite of “me” points towards Shadow things that probably need working on. Oh, yes….I can have a dark side too (cue Tim Minchin song) ;)
The affirmations just aren’t “me”, I’ve never been one for affirmations (they focus on giving a way to let the energy of the card into our lives), but I do know that they can help enormously when people need positive aspects to stick. If you keep telling yourself something long enough, you can begin to believe it. There is also a lovely journeying aspect here, where Bonnie takes you on a journey through the card. Again, it’s not “me” but I know a lot of people can meditate and take journeys like this. If you are into meditation and affirmations I think these would work well for you.
At the end of the section we have the gifts, abilities and challenges of the card combinations. The Star’s gifts made me laugh…. “developing a sense of direction and a sense of purpose”…that is something anyone who knows me would laugh at….I’m so directionless it’s not funny any more. But the challenges are so true “…not recognizing/acknowledging your own skills/abilities. Lack of self-confidence.” Yup. They are my challenges. Actually, the more I read up about these two combinations, the more they resonate.
At the end of the section you are given ways to work with the gifts, abilities and challenges of the card combinations. These are really pointers on how to look more closely at what is being brought up by the cards, and I expect would work very well, giving the reader permission to look more closely at their life. And yes, often we need to sit down sometimes and be a bit introspective.
So….it this book any good?
Well…like I said at the beginning I was a bit dubious. However, the more I work with the book the more useful it is. To start with I thought….well….once you’ve looked up your combination the rest of the book is redundant. Unless you are a professional Tarot reader/ therapist/ counsellor, in which case the whole book is a nice little reference book. But overall, I think if you are into numerology it will introduce you to the Tarot, if you are into Tarot it will introduce to you numerology, if you are into self-help books it will help you and if you want to understand the world, well it will probably do that too.
To get the best from the book, I personally wouldn’t just leave it for Birth cards. Well….birth means the coming into existence of something…it doesn’t have to be “your” birth. Why not use it for other things too? Numerology can be applied to many areas of you life….your name can also be reduced down to fit the system. And so can other things….projects, journeys, experiences. I decided to wait before writing this review as I knew I wanted to do a retrospective experiment on a job I’d completed. What would the system say about that?
Once the start date of the project was added up I got the number 9 which corresponds with the Moon / Hermit combination. This combination highlighted lack of clarity, hidden agendas but also self-improvement and self-empowerment amongst other things. And yes…looking back this combination actually highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the whole project. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say if I’d looked at these cards at the beginning, rather than the end, it may have helped me address some of the issues that came up.
So over all, yes, this book has been, and is, useful. It’s well written, well laid out and the colourful back section really lifts the presentation. And I know it may sound superficial, but I really love the illustrations by Karyn Easton, from the Tarot Lovers Tarot. It’s simple, stylised and just so right for the book.
You can visit Bonnie’s blog here --> http://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/
Her website is here --> http://www.bonniecehovet.com/
You can see the Tarot Lovers Tarot here --> http://www.tarot-lovers.com/index.shtml