Tarot Beyond the Basics (Review)

In my other life, I read and review a LOT of books, which means I’m a member of NetGalley. When I saw this book come up in my radar, I couldn’t resist, and I requested a copy of this book. Thanks again to Llewelyn Worldwide for providing this galley free of charge, in exchange for my honest review.

I am so glad that I did.


Tarot Beyond the Basics: Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Meanings Behind the Cards by Anthony LouisTarot Beyond the Basics: Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Meanings Behind the Cards
by Anthony Louis
Coming: April 8, 2014

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Most tarot books are for beginners. Here, Anthony Louis, famous for Tarot Plain & Simple, shares decades of insights and information that can help you become an advanced practitioner. Not merely “more of the same,” Louis provides real world examples of how to use your intuition to improve your readings, how to understand tarot reversals and how to include the meanings of numbers, the elements, and the tarot’s court cards.

Louis reveals the common background of astrology and tarot, explaining astrology for tarot readers clearly and in a way that makes sense. Then he shows how to use the tarot with astrological concepts to give advanced readings that change people’s lives.


I had intended to write this review a month before the book’s release date, and here it is almost two months AFTER. Partially, this is due to my overstuffed schedule and ridiculously hectic life, but partially this is because Tarot Beyond the Basics was way more intense than I had expected it to be!

Research, organization, and information collecting are some of my favorite things, so when I saw how comprehensive and complete this book was, I just fell in love. Certainly, this means that there were some chapters I couldn’t delve very deeply into (I don’t know enough about astrology to get much out of those chapters — yet), but the rest of the book was just a joy to read.

As tarot readers we use the cards intuitively to trigger associations derived from our life history, the metaphorical meanings of our native language and culture, our own study and theoretical understanding of the cards, and our personal as well as the collective unconscious.

One thing I appreciate most about this book is that Louis doesn’t just go with what he knows — he references information, history, techniques, and anecdotes from all kinds of tarot (and other esoteric) authorities. His personal accounts, anecdotes, metaphors, and interpretations made this book so much fun to read.

There are whole chapters on different aspects of the tarot, including: astrology, numerology, intuition, shuffling, how different decks can affect a reading, the elements, sarcasm, and more! I can’t tell you how many passages I highlighted throughout this book — either because I just liked the quote, or I wanted to remember the techniques/information for later. I gained a much deeper and more complete understanding of the cards and I feel like I have a thick resource to refer to now!

…what if a tarot divination is valid only if the querent shuffles the deck with the sincere intent to receive a valid answer from the cards?

To date, Tarot Beyond the Basics is probably my favorite resource for tarot. You can bet I will be adding a physical copy to my shelves as soon as possible!


4 thoughts on “Tarot Beyond the Basics (Review)

    • He definitely includes them as one of the many ways he explores and explains each concept, but I really like them. They’re usually talking about a reading he did for someone-or-other, and he explains how the cards were interpreted for that particular case, and sometimes his reflections on them afterward. For me, this was really nice because I like hearing how others’ readings go and seeing how they interpret cards in different situations.

      • Oh I see. Yes, that’s always interesting, and sounds like it adds something. Too often I’ve seen anecdotes used as filler, endless examples of the same thing, which is what I was concerned about. I’ll have to pick this one up then. Thanks!


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