The Smart Girl's Guide to Tarot(amazon)
Mariah Fredericks (View Bio)
; Paperback: St. Martin's Press/Griffin, 2004.
"You'll only manage to put down this stimulating guide to the Tarot long enough to purchase or unearth a deck of cards---with which you'll be doing readings right away. But be warned, consulting the cards with THE SMART GIRL'S GUIDE TO TAROT is a lot like opening a box of Belgian chocolates: once you start it's really hard to stop." — Susi Rajah, author of HOW TO SPOT A BASTARD BY HIS STAR SIGN
"While having the cards read by a gypsy crone is atmospheric, you can bet the fifteen bucks you just forked over to Madame Zorah that her reading will not be terribly trustworthy. Emmi Fredericks shows you how to do everything yourself — from asking good questions to interpreting the cards correctly." — Thomas J. Craughwell, author of THE CAT IN THE DRYER AND 222 OTHER URBAN LEGENDS
"'Yeah, it's all crap, but it's still kind of interesting. Isn't that what we all say when we first get into tarot?' Maybe yes, maybe no — but this is an energetic guide to augury nonetheless. Enthusiast Fredericks narrates her book in a quirky, frank, irreverent voice, arguing that tarot is 'cheaper than Zoloft and less fattening than chocolate' and thus perfect for hip, ambitious, smart — but maybe slightly neurotic — young women. After a quick history, an even quicker consideration of how the cards work ('I have no freaking clue' about sums it up) and a speedy explanation of how to ask the deck a question, shuffle the cards and then lay them out, Fredericks moves on to descriptions of the cards themselves. The Tower card, for example, 'suggests a sudden loss of stability and security' (which is not necessarily a bad thing, Fredericks reassures readers), while the Tower reversed represents inertia, oppression...and the same old shit. But even that can have positive ramifications, she says, if readers use the card's appearance as encouragement to alter their current state. Illustrator Meredith Green provides a new look for the old cards: instead of queens with flowing locks and knights on horseback, there are young women doing yoga and cowboys holding coffee cups. Whether one looks to the cards for wisdom or entertainment, this is a spunky, informative guide, sure to be popular with the Lucky magazine crowd." — Publishers Weekly
"Think reading the tarot is too mystical and obscure for the average person? Using examples that span the gamut of popular culture — from The Wizard of Oz to Enron — Fredericks brings the tarot into today's world for modern women. Card descriptions are prefaced with quotations from the likes of Thoreau, Melville, Camus, and the Rolling Stones. While anyone (e.g., Donald Trump, Thomas Edison, Gen. George S. Patton, or Russell Crowe) may show up in the card explanations, the foundations of traditional tarot card meanings remain intact. The sample readings included are good learning tools because Fredericks's interpretation of each spread is compared with the actual outcome of the situations. Although the book is aimed at beginners, experienced readers may appreciate the fresh, clever, contemporary perspective. Illustrated with Meredith Green's edgy black-and-white images, this book makes a fun addition to any tarot collection." — Library Journal