Mastering the Tarot: Basic Lessons in an Ancient, Mystic Art and A Complete Guide to Tarot by Eden Gray
Review by Nina Lee Braden

If you would like to purchase Mastering the Tarot: Basic Lessons in an Ancient, Mystic Art, click here.

If you would like to purchase A Complete Guide to the Tarot, click here.

When Tarot had its revival in the late 1960s, early 1970s, there were few books easily available. Eden Gray stepped in to fill the gap. Gray, a former London stage actress and world traveler, was living in New York City where she owned a bookstore/publishing house which specialized in metaphysical titles. She began giving classes in her bookstore on Tarot, and her books are an outgrowth of her teaching and publishing. For a long time, her books were the most popular and most easily available books on tarot. Her books are still in print today and still sell. They have gone through many printings and remain in print.

As a rule, Gray's books are sound and solid. I find them poorly organized, and the paperback editions available today are poorly produced, on poor quality paper and with poor design. They are not reader-friendly. However, once the reader gets past the appearance and the organization, Gray's books have a considerable amount of wise, thoughtful, and perceptive information and guidance about Tarot.

Gray's books are illustrated with black and white line drawings of the Rider Waite (Smith) deck. Her A Complete Guide to Tarot was published originally in 1970. It has a short history of Tarot, sections for each of the seventy-eight Tarot cards, a chapter on reading the cards, a chapter on Tarot and meditation, and a chapter on Tarot and other systems of occult thought, such as numerology, astrology, and the Qabala.

Gray's Mastering the Tarot: Basic Lessons in an Ancient, Mystic Art was published in 1971. It has additional information not in A Complete Guide, and it is organized into eighteen lessons. The lessons include studies of the individual cards, lessons in the Celtic Cross spread, sample readings, additional spread studies, and a lesson on the use and misuse of Tarot. In general, I have found A Complete Guide more useful than Mastering the Tarot, but both books are worthy of study.

Mastering the Tarot: Basic Lessons in an Ancient, Mystic Art by Eden Gray
Publisher: New American Library
ISBN#: 0451167813

If you would like to purchase Mastering the Tarot: Basic Lessons in an Ancient, Mystic Art, click here.

A Complete Guide to the Tarot by Eden Gray
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN#: 0553277529

If you would like to purchase A Complete Guide to the Tarot, click here.


Review 2003 Nina Lee Braden
Page 2003 Diane Wilkes