A Review of Tarot Journeys, Part One
Kim DeCina, of Mirror Moon Tarot, has recently released an on-line tarot course, Of Mentors and Magic Wands. This is to be the first of a four-part series entitled Tarot Journeys.
Of Mentors and Magic Wands includes lengthy e-books about each of the six Major Arcana cards, Fool through Hierophant, covered in the course. It is DeCina's intention that the student should tackle one card a week.
I like DeCina's take on the cards, in fact it is very similar to my own. She feels, as I do, that each card carries a spiritual lesson to be used for growth and healing. She feels, as I do, that we can connect with the card characters in meditation and learn from them.
DeCina's writing style is brilliant. She is witty, intelligent and elegant in the way she describes tarot, and each of the individual cards. My only (small) complaint about her written work is that sometimes her font choices seem gimmicky. I would choose readability over aesthetics any day.
The Tarot Journeys series is based on the RWS (Rider-Waite -Smith) images and tradition of tarot. She doesn't really make it clear that this is one of many tarot traditions, so beginning readers of other decks may be a bit confused. But, I think all readers really should have a solid understanding of the most popular tarot deck on the planet. It has, after all, earned that honor for a reason.
DeCina employs a number of teaching tools in this course, including some really smart, fun exercises. In many ways, these e-books are like workbooks, where the student must actually think and write. In my opinion, thinking and writing are two really important aspects of tarot study that are all-too-often ignored.
Each e-book in Of Mentors and Magic Wands sort of takes on the personality of the card it is teaching. DeCina has a really smart way of tying the energy of each card to a wide variety of cultural references. Each book is peppered with wise quotations. In her narrative she invokes musical theatre references as easily as she does sacred texts. DeCina is well-educated, and it shows. She really understands the concept of archetypes. After taking her course, her students will as well.
In presenting these archetypes, she also presents the spiritual and psychological lessons and healing opportunities available in each card. Kim DeCina is a welcome new voice in the chorus of tarotists working to present tarot as a tool of healing and spiritual growth.
The e-books also include original tarot spreads and meditations as well as the aforementioned thinking and writing exercises. If the student actually follows through and utilizes this course, the student will most assuredly come away with a real working understanding of the cards - not just how to interpret them - but how to really use the images and concepts in healing, personal growth and spiritual thought.
DeCina and I met on the internet, but it turns out she is a neighbor of mine. South Florida boasts a number of tarot luminaries, and Kim DeCina is definitely one. I expect we will be seeing a lot more of her in the coming years.
I am curious about her decision to publish this work as an on-line course, rather than as a book. At $95 for the first of a four-part series, she stands to earn more than many tarot authors sadly earn in royalties, which I don't begrudge her. On the other hand, her work might have benefited from the gentle touch of an editor, but only slightly. I have honestly seen more typos in books from large publishing houses than I found in this self-published course.
Since she calls it a "course" rather than a series of "books," I wish she had included some video or audio with it, and maybe some opportunity to interact with her personally.
On Mentors and Magic Wands would be an especially fine find for any serious tarot student who is really looking to bond with the cards, and to understand them on a deep, personal level. To be a decent tarot reader we all need to do the real work of tarot study. That this course makes that work fun and easy in no way diminishes its potency.
To learn more about this course and Kim DeCina's work, and to order it for yourself, visit Mirror Moon Tarot at http://mirrormoontarot.weebly.com.