The Astrology Center of America, 207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272
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Beginner's Guide to Tarot, deck & book set

by Juliet Sharman-Burke. Illustrated by Giovani Caselli

Beginner's Guide to Tarot, deck & book set
Price: $21.95
Like the deck, don't like the colors? The get the My Tarot & color it yourself!

Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 2.77 x 4.73 inches, or 70 x 120 mm.

Back of card: A plain, hot pink field with a thin gray/silver border. There are tiny copyright notices in the lower left & upper right corners. A simple, pleasing solution. May be inverted.

Book included: Yes, 192 pages, 4.75 x 6.9 inches, or 12 x 17.6 cm. Illustrated.

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin. Printed in China.

Comments: This is Sharman-Burke's second tarot & a great improvement over the Mythic Tarot. The Beginner's Tarot is a straight-forward Rider-Waite copy that is quite pleasing, for the most part. I am asked from time to time about nudes. At first I thought there were none, but I found four, all on major arcana cards.

I was pleased with the book for this deck. Each card is illustrated & for each card, certain specific parts are highlighted & explained. This is good. For the first time, a novice can see what, exactly, gives each card its unique meaning. These notes, are, of course, intended simply as points of departure & I expect most folks will go no further, but still.

For example, the Four of Pentacles, shown above. Grasping the pentacle to his chest indicates miserliness. Rich clothes show his love of material goodness. The wall behind him shows that he is cut off from others. Seated on a trunk indicates his fear of being robbed. At this point the author adds divinatory meanings. As befits a beginner's deck, there are no inverted meanings.

The price - $20 - is outstanding for a deck & book set. Regrettably, the packaging is awful. The back of the book is the start of a very long, convoluted flap that folds over the front of the book & sandwiches the cards (in two stacks) underneath it. Once the cellophane is removed the only way to repackage the cards is with not one, but two or three rubber bands. Here's an idea for St. Martin's: To the present packaging, add a knocked-down (flattened) box. Score the flap on the back so that it can be detached. Once the original packaging is opened, put the cards in the box & detach & discard the flap. Add a couple of bucks to the price to cover expenses.

This deck is also part of The Complete Tarot Pack, where you will also find the color-them-yourself cards from My Tarot.

The Astrology Center of America

207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

Tarot Home Tarot Decks Tarot Books Astrology Home E-Mail:

Established 1993, The Astrology Center of America is owned & operated by David Roell. Except where noted, this entire site ( & its contents are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by William R. Roell. All rights reserved. Tarot card images are Copyright © by the copyright holder (generally the publisher).