Book Review: The Masks of Tarot

August 26, 2016

The Masks Of Tarot
by Scott Grossberg (Leaping Lizards Publishing)

This is a book of secrets. Or, more correctly, a book on how to obtain secrets. It is a synthesis of ideas made to center on one useable theme; that, by allowing our Querents (those who seek our insights) their masks, they reveal to us their truths. Our work, as Readers, Tellers and See-ers thus becomes more "telling".

This is the intriguing first paragraph of The Masks of Tarot, a book revealing a unique, interactive reading method utilizing only the 22 Major Arcana cards of the tarot.

The querent (not the reader) is guided to look through the Major Arcana and select their favorite card, which becomes the foundation for the rest of the initial reading. The chosen card represents the client's Mask, and is applied to a template referred to as the Hiding Places System which will magically unveil not only details on the mask the querent wears, but also his or her personal Beast, Light and Shadow. (After making this initial assessment, you can then move onto the more detailed spread included in the book, which utilizes additional cards.)

Following are the main attributes of each archetype you will uncover about your querent after the selection of the initial card:

The Mask
• What I take for granted in myself
• What makes me who I am
• How I view myself
• What I am attracted to

The Beast
• What I resort to under stress
• What I excuse in myself
• How others view me
• My deepest urge

The Light
• What I desire to accomplish
• What I look at with wonder
• What others think I need
• What I need for balance

The Shadow
• What I think I have left behind
• What I become when all else fails
• What I still must learn to control
• The thing I have no wish to be

The book generously provides a sample Hiding Places analysis for each of the 22 Major Arcana "masks". While the template stands as a necessary foundation for the process, you are encouraged to use your intuitive skills to provide your own assessments when doing a reading.

The next part of the book offers an additional layer of reading, where we get to see every card read in each archetypal position (Mask, Beast, Light, Shadow).

The Hiding Places template can also be used with different systems (not just tarot). The author shows us how it works with The Alchemy of Human Needs, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators, Enneagram/Personality Types, and Hand Types for use with palmistry.

Once the initial reading is done, you can then move onto the related Hiding Places Spread, a 5-6 card spread which utilizes, then expands on, the Hiding Places System. The spread is interactive as well, as the cards are deliberately chosen by the querent. There are four sample readings included.

At the end of the book, there are several worksheets for practice, along with a 6-page list of keywords (emotions and personality types) for sparking your imagination when using the Hiding Places System.

I won't go into the details of how the ingenious system works (you'll need to buy the book for that), but I can tell you that I applied the Hiding Places System to my own favorite tarot card (my own personal mask) and the assessment made a lot of sense. I actually laughed, because it hit pretty darned close to home!

The Masks of Tarot provides a fascinating new way of looking at the Major Arcana cards and how they relate to one another. A detailed study of the concepts in this book will not only offer a new way of reading the cards, but will also greatly expand one's understanding of the cards themselves, thereby enriching any reading performed, with or without this system.

Book: The Masks of Tarot (by Scott Grossberg)

(Scott Grossberg is also the mastermind behind the book: The Vitruvian Square (see my review here), and the oracle cards: Deck of Shadows (my review here). He also has an amazing blog you should totally visit.)

Book review originally published on my previous blog (Tarot Dame) on 7/19/11.

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