The esoteric book market is saturated with tarot guides at the moment which can make it hard to pick out the real gems. When I received The Tarot Life Planner: Change Your Destiny and Enrich Your Life by Lady Lorelei, I was excited - but I did feel it was missing a trick.

The Tarot Life Planner by Lady Lorelei / Image credit: Octopus Publishing Group

The Tarot Life Planner by Lady Lorelei / Image credit: Octopus Publishing Group

Somewhat erroneously named, this is not a “planner” in the classic sense. I expected space for notes, somewhere to record readings and pages with journal prompts helping to guide you through those readings. This has nothing like that, which is a shame because I feel it could’ve really added something to the book.

What it does have is a brief overview of all the cards - nothing particularly groundbreaking there - but the latter half is where it gets most interesting.

Lady Lorelei explores how we can communicate with the cards; that is, how you might frame questions, spread ideas and different ways you might use cards such as for manifestation, affirmation and healing. There are also plenty of example readings which will help you really get to grips with what each card can mean in a variety of contexts.

That isn’t to be dismissive of the first half. Lady Lorelei gives a great brief telling of the Hero’s Journey At the beginning, with each trump card following having a subtitle referencing its place in this journey. Each card in the major arcana has a journal prompt, meditation or an example reading to go with it which is a great way of getting to know your deck.

When it gets to the minor arcana, it first deals with what the four suits represent, then what each number and court card represents in relation to those suits. I do like this layout more than the usual method which is essentially numerical order with each suit: I.e. Ace of Wands, Two of Wands etc. then Ace of Swords, Two of Swords etc. it’s actually easier to learn the minor arcana by suit representations and number meanings, especially with this kind of deck where there is limited visual information in those cards. I’m not sure I would’ve used such a classic deck as the old-style Carlo Dellarocca for an introductory text as it’s not simple to read, but at least it doesn’t patronise the reader.

Individual reversal meanings are not given quite as much attention which is predictable, but it does include a very handy guide at the beginning as to what reversals typically mean with regards to the upright position. It’s great because it can really help inform your intuition when it comes to reading reversals.

The card meanings given are quite brief and there’s little information about the symbology of the cards - a bit of a shame given that it focuses on a deck other than the hugely popular Rider-Waite which is what we normally see in tarot books. I’d have liked to have seen some artistic exploration of the major arcana cards at the very least. 

On the other hand, this is not an academic text. It isn’t a history of tarot, it’s an exploration of its relevance to our lives today. There are no recommended reading lists which is usually a turn off in esoteric texts but this book is all about you and your intuition. Sometimes getting bogged down in other people’s opinions on the tarot can cause you to second guess yourself.

MORE: Tarot readings for your Star Sign: Take control of your life before others try to dominate you

This is a great book for beginners and intermediate readers, even if it’s sometimes lacking in depth. The Tarot Life Planner makes using tarot cards simple for anyone, and that’s massively important. Everyone should be able to experience the joy and clarity that tarot brings, even if sitting in a fortune-teller’s tent and reading for curious customers isn’t on the horizon.

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