This is my second time writing this post.
When I first wrote this post, I wanted to create a response to the book, and then my response ended up being somewhere near 5,000 words and I was only just getting going. What’s more, I felt like I was just tearing the book apart, and I then grappled with whether or not I could in good conscience do that. The conclusion I came to was that I needed to stick strictly to the book as a book, rather than attacking the concept it’s presenting, which is essentially what 4,000 of my 5,000-word original post was.
That being said, I think you can guess my stance already.
This week’s media is Tarot and Quantum Attraction by authors Rute Serafim, Karl Swainston, and Paulo Bernardes. It was self-published this year, 2019 (for you future readers).
This was an accidental Amazing 1-click buy, but once I realized what I’d done, I thought I’d just role with it. It might surprise me. Plus it was only £4.90, which is insanely cheap for a self-published print book.
The book is divided into three sections:
The section which outlines the concept of Quantum Attraction and gives a brief overview of Tarot is extremely short, especially given what they’re trying to convey. It’s only a 25-page section of a fairly standard, but small, book (6 in x 9 in, with 1-inch margins, and using a 12-pt. font, for those of you who are book/writing nerds like me).
The introduction on tarot is maybe 400 words at a stretch, giving a brief history lesson, and explaining what the Major Arcana is and the suits of the Minor Arcana, and that the Minor Arcana each have their own Court Cards.
It then goes on to discuss how tarot and the concept of Quantum Attraction are related:
Each discipline forms the basis of belief and actions. Quantum attraction is the endeavourment of the human mind to understand both ourselves and our place in the great, vast Universe. Quantum attraction is a journey through the energy of universal vibrations, and how the laws of quantum attraction can enlighten the [tarot] reader’s spiritual and metaphysical path to happiness in their lives (p. 3).
This is the most that is expressed in this section on the connection between the two. It goes on to explain just what Quantum Attraction is in more detail.
There are 12 Laws of Quantum Attraction which are
derived from the history of time, encompassing the philosophies of our age of distant ages, the principles of metaphysics and science, and a deep understanding of the spiritual realm, which is all around every second of our mortal existence. The gift all these principles have given us to allow ourselves to open our deeper consciousness and use them to the benefit of our overall happiness (p. 3-4).
These 12 Laws are:
The authors explain each of these Laws in a bit more detail, however none of the descriptions relates these Laws to Tarot, despite the headings of each Law.
The last part of this section talks about the Pineal gland within the brain, which corresponds to the development of the intuition needed in order to read Tarot effectively.
Renee Descartes described the pineal gland as the principle seat of the soul. It is the heart of our infinite being, the point at which the portals of our very existence are opened unto us (p. 18).
Side Note: this is true. When encountered with the question from Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia as to how it is that the mind and body communicate (since Descartes had previously published that the mind and body were of two different substances (17th century)), he speculated that it was via the ‘seat of the soul’ (Descartes’s words), which we now know to be the pineal gland. However, it was an answer not generally accepted in the philosophical or scientific community, nor by Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia.
The most detail to any one subject has gone into this section. More words were spent on explaining the pineal gland than Quantum Attraction as a whole concept, any of its laws, any of the tarot cards individually, or on numerology in the back of the book.
The second section is the bulk of the book, in which there are pictures of each card from the Rider-Waite deck, and an entry on the meaning of the card.
However, at the beginning of the section, there is a note which reads
In each of the cards’ meanings in the book, the unalienable connection between Tarot and Quantum Attraction has been left out to free the book from repetition. However, try always to relate back to the twelve laws of quantum attraction when undertaking readings (p.25).
The definitions of the cards read as though the authors themselves were giving the reader of the book a reading. For example, ‘The Empress represents a very caring quality for you’ (p.33).
The descriptions somewhat connect to statements regarding the Universe, and in such might be considered as being connected to these Laws, though not explicitly.
The Empress is the earth and all the flora and fauna in it. She allows you to respond to the vibration of nature within the Universe. When you allow yourself to unfold with the Universe, you will begin to harmonise with the song of eternity (p. 34).
There are no card reversals provided, and no extra details provided about the suits and their representation. However, the final ten pages is devoted to keywords to the Tarot for quick reference.
The final five pages tell how to use the Celtic Cross spread and talk about Quantum Numerology, which just appears to be numerology.
Quantum numerology has been incorporated into the teach of many famous civilizations and cultures from the ancient Greeks, the Chinese, Babylonians, Egyptians to name but a few. Pythagoras entertained the discipline and this study of numbers later became known as Pythagorean Numerology. Pythagoras looked beyond the numbers and their numerical values and saw the creative forces of the Universe at work (p. 213).
There is a key-word description of each number at the end of the section, the total of which is 2 and a half pages. For example, the number 1’s meaning is, ‘Individual, initiator principle, initial force of all’ (p. 214).
As mentioned in the introduction that there is a lot that I take issue with in this book. But I do want to start with some of the good qualities of the book.
As I will always say as a Tarot practitioner, it is essential that you read far and wide. Even if you’ve read the definition of the Tower a hundred times by a hundred different authors, you will eventually come across something that gives you some new insight to the card which will expand your understanding of it.
This book is worth reading if for no other reason than the slightly different take on the tarot cards themselves.
For example, with the aforementioned Tower, the section starts off with a general divinatory meaning before moving on to the more positive of the card, something that is in relation to the message of the book.
Often, during these tumultuous times, people let go of the personal control that they were want to practice in the past, and they allow their rational defenses to become compromised…The Tower card can lead you to a humbling in life; a state of being experiencing a fall from grace….The Tower card gives to you that perspicacity of mind and the ability to see what was hitherto hidden. The Tower card strpis away all fabric and material and shows naked to your eye the simple truth (pp. 63-64).
Furthermore, the book is a fairly easy book to read. I got through it in a day, and if I were reading at extreme leisure, it might have taken me a week or two. Ultimately, I think it might be beneficial to read each section and take a little time to think on what you’ve just read before moving on to the next point. Maybe keeping a journal handy.
I take issue with a lot of the information presented. I’ve already said that I won’t go into my thoughts on the topic itself, because it’s not fair to purchase a book on a topic you don’t agree with and attack the book because you don’t like the topic. That’s silly.
However, I did hope to have my mind changed, and that is part of the reason why I carried on with this book.
There are a lot of claims made with no provision of foundation. I think that it must first be acknowledged that Rute Serafim and Karl Swainston have already written a book on the concept of Quantum Attraction, titled after the concept and published in 2017. Because of this, I think that this book’s brevity of the subject is because they’ve already put this information into print, but also perhaps as a marketing ploy for readers to go after their other book (which I won’t knock—marketing self-published books is a rough task, to put it mildly).
However, for those who haven’t read their book, like me, there are many claims made without any backing whatsoever. For example, in the section outlining the fifth Law, ‘The Law of Cause and Effect’ (which is the only Law listed that isn’t ‘Tarot and….’), they make the claim that
Every action and every thought which is acted out or created in our minds and lives has energy, and this energy carries our thoughts and actions out in circular patterns throughout the whole expanse of endless time and space (p. 10).
The idea being that your thoughts come into fruition through your actions, which is absolutely true. Everything happens in the mind before it happens in the physical world. To return to Descartes, his Cogito, ‘I think, therefore I am’. The state of being comes after the action of thinking. If we are thinking, then we know we are existing.
What the section is claiming that our thoughts manifest outside us, create vibrations in the Universe and are returned to us, created in some form. Thus, what we think comes back to us in good ways. ‘But if we send out selfish and self-centered thoughts and accompany these with actions, which is even worse, then they will return with the same selfishness’ (p. 10).
I don’t know what a selfish return would be, personally, and this is one example of a place where an eexpansion of information would be extremely helpful. While I can guess that they mean selfish actions might be those which would benefit the individual rather than the whole (family, neighborhood, community, etc.), I don’t know what the return action of that would be. Would it be that when the individual’s concerns are raised they are ignored because they’re not in the interest of another? I’m not really sure.
There is some level of expansion, which I feel makes sweeping claims that I personally would love to know directly who they’re talking about.
You may believe that no one chooses the latter willingly, but you’d be surprised how many despots and dictators around the world have met their doom because of this very act, and it is not only national despots who choose this journey of mirrored destruction, but in the simple fold of life, work, play and marriage, there are many choices made, which are no different from the selfish acts of the despot. And these acts, these deeds, will have the same cycle of cause and effect, and what ill was set out to play by its creator will once again return in the greatest cycle of them all: the Universe and it’s immutable laws (p. 10).
An obvious dictator that comes to mind who met ‘their doom’ was Hitler. Of course I am of no support of such an evil, but I think that it is fair to say that he truly was working with what he believed to be the greater good. He truly thought that he was making a better world for everyone and the only way to do so was to create his psychotic race. I obviously wasn’t there, I obviously wasn’t him, so I can’t say whether or not he acted in selfishness, but from my understanding, he didn’t. He was against smoking, and animal cruelty, and had a lot of seemingly good idea alongside his completely insane, evil ideas.
Personally I can only think of three dictators who are acting selfishly, and they are all current (Tump, Putin, and Kim Jong Un—look, I named examples to avoid vagueness), and I know that Trump won’t meet his ‘doom’, though who knows about the other two.
I know that there are corrupt leaders out there who haven’t met a good end, and who it’s blatant that they were acting selfishly, but my main point is that the readers should be supplied specific examples in order to solidify the concept.
When discussing the pineal gland, there are some interesting description and claims made.
Although this cland is very small, it carris through its being more blood than any other part of the body aside from the kidneys. Scince doesn’t know with he exactitude familiar to the other parts of our body what the pineal gland is and the full reason of why it is there, but it does know some of the magical properties of this little gland (p. 18).
Note: Bold highlights provided by me, not the authors.
Later in the section, the authors relay that the pineal gland is responsible for the secretion of serotonin and melatonin, and produces DMT at the point of dying. These are true (the latter I haven’t looked fully into, so I can’t fully verify if it’s accurate or not, but it’s a claim I’ve heard repeatedly), and also discovered by science, thus indicating that science does know what it does and why it’s there. It’s our chemical dispenser. Also, I don’t think that science accepts ‘magical properties’. I think that when science understands something formerly perceived as magical, it then becomes fact, and not magic.
Within the pineal gland there rests a lake of water, and in its waters are untold numbers of crystals. These crystals possess a piezoelectric effect, which means when the tiny crystals are squeezed of stressed, they generate pulse of electrical potential or power, or vibrations of energy (p.20).
I had to look up ‘piezoelectric’, which Wikipedia explains as
Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matter such as bone, DNA and various proteins) in response to applied mechanical stress. The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure and latent heat. (Wikipedia: Piezoelectricity)
Note: I left all the links from the article itself in the quote for easier access of additional information, however, I did not supply them myself.
I had to look up ‘mechanical stress’ from this to understand what kind of stress might influence DNA. I ended up going into a bit of a wormhole trying to understand just what that one word meant. I won’t bore you with this, you can absolutely travel that wormhole yourself though by following the Wikipedia page.
Then I wanted to know about this ‘lake of water’ and the ‘untold numbers of crystals’ within this tiny part of the brain. Yes, there are crystals in the pineal gland (says the National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health). I however wasn’t able to find anything about water in the pineal gland, never mind a lake, which is an odd description.
My point here isn’t to say that the book is wrong, there are probably many elements that are correct. However, I would have taken this book way more seriously if they mentioned the studies that discovered the crystals and their implications within the pineal gland, or even talked about where on earth it was that they learned about the ‘lake of water’ within it. Furthermore, explaining the terms that they used is extremely important as it helps the reader know what you’re talking about.
There are other explanations of principles that are only glossed over and give no evidence of foundation. There is a section called ‘Tarot and Quantum Affirmation’, which makes the claim that ‘When we are born into this world, we only have two fears: the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. All other fears are learned’ (p. 16). I truly believe that there are instinctual fears that are within our biology that are with us when we’re born. For example, there are people that babies just don’t like, and have no reason not to. You hear examples of parents who are distraught because their baby always cries whenever they hold them. However, what I stated is a believe, and not a fact, because I haven’t researched it. But I did provide an example to back up my claim. With the claim mentioned above, there is no example, no study, no claim to back this up.
The reason I think this is so important is because if you are trying to provide a book that should be taken as factual, and let’s face it, all non-fiction books are literally that, then there has to be something concrete in it if you want the reader to take you seriously.
The authors might argue that those who are positive and have belief in the universe will be drawn to the book, and this is the audience they’re after. That is fine. However, we are dealing with a subject matter that is considered ‘woo’, and to which many people dismiss and bs or a medium for scammers. Putting out information like this only backs up their point. By treating Tarot, divination, and spiritual metaphysics as a science, and looking at it and questioning it as a science, then a more serious approach can be taken and accepted by the wider world.
Tarot and Quantum Attraction literally has no references. At all. None. Not within the text, not in the back, not even a reference to their own book, Quantum Attraction, which surely, in theory, should provide more information on the subject.
As a result, I looked up Quantum Attraction, and there is nothing on the Internet about it. There is Quantum Physics, and Law of Attraction, but it appears that Quantum Attraction is something that the authors coined. This is fine, I can completely accept that, but it definitely needs to be stated within the book.
There are several places within the book that it gives some form of action to take but doesn’t give any explanation of how to go about it.
In the 11th Law, ‘Tarot & the Law of Rhythm’, the book explains what the rhythmic vibration of the Universe is, and explains that we need to harmonise with it. ‘When we become harmonized with both our inner energy and rhythm, and with the Universe, we can enter a higher plane of understanding and of compassion’ (p. 14).
While I don’t think it’s necessary to explain exactly how, giving an example such as ‘harmonise by paying attention to the phases of the moon and how they affect you, or through meditation,’ or whatever (I don’t know because none of this information is provided), or by even directing the reader to a source where they can learn more on the subject would be extremely helpful.
Even returning to the pineal gland, while it does explain ways to open up and utilize the pineal gland for spiritual growth, listing yoga and meditation, there are example and explanations of how to go about these practices. However, it goes on to listing visualization, which doesn’t necessarily seem intuitively to link to the pineal gland (that might just be me, though). It does do a good job explaining why it works (for the most part), but doesn’t explain what we might visualize. Because I personally don’t understand the link between visualization and it’s affect on the pineal gland, I wouldn’t know how to put that exercise into use.
The text does contradict itself. I already listed on example above when it talks about what science does or does not know about the pineal gland. But there are other contradictions within the foundation as well.
For example, when talking about the Laws, there are two Laws which seem to contradict each other, or at least, the explanation of them contradicts them.
‘Tarot and the Law of Cause and Effect’ essentially relays that the thoughts and energy you put out will come back to you. Thus, we should be focusing on good and selfless things.
‘Tarot and the Law of Relativity’ backs this up, somewhat, telling us that when misfortune happens, we must look at it in the grander scheme of things which will minimize it and help us not to dwell on it.
With each pressing test, we must remain faithful, steadfast to the immutable laws of the Universe and our place within it if we are to conquer ourselves and the false ego within us…The law also states that we must see present states of misfortune in their proper and universal context, and that whatever we deem to be bad, there is always worse happening in another field and arena of life. All misfortune is relative, and none of us possess the ownership of true misfortune (pp. 12-13).
(There is a lot I want to say in actual response to this, but I will leave this for another post)
The following Law, ‘Tarot & the Law of Polarity’ says that we have to focus on the opposite side of things.
Life is in a perpetual state of continuum, and with effort and a steadfast belief in the laws of the Universe, we all have the ability and possess the power to change the fortunes of our lives. We need only to recognize our present state of mind and the circumstances which have brought about our present condition to be able to see the opposite and the road and journey to a new condition in the opposite plane of life (p. 13).
If we are to focus on the opposite state when we’re in a negative headspace, then it makes sense. Focus on the good until you get there, but then surely you should keep focusing on the good, rather than it’s opposite, the bad. It could very well be that I’m misunderstanding this, but it seems that if I am to focus on the opposite, and I’m in a good place, then I would be acting within contradiction of the Law of Cause and Effect and the Law of Relativity.
I feel that this could either have been addressed and explained better, or could have been researched better.
I personally felt as thought I had gone to a reading an the reader told me the meanings of the cards and the meaning of the placements, but nothing else. The placements and cards weren’t connected, the story of the overall spread wasn’t told, there was little to no advisable action.
While each of the Laws were described as ‘Tarot and the Law of…’ there was no actual mention of Tarot in those actual Laws.
The whole thing had the feel of vague-booking, or of need to produce a book quickly to make some money or to promote their other book (though the other book was only mentioned once in the About the Authors section at the end).
I feel that I, as a reader of the book, was short-changed in that there was not a deeper weaving of the two concepts/practices together to make explicitly clear which of the Laws and their actions were related to the tarot.
I will say that once you read the tarot definitions, you can for the most part make the connection on many of the cards (I would hesitate to say ‘most’ or ‘all’ of them), which is all well and good, but it doesn’t give you any how-to regarding using the tarot for your path of Quantum Attraction. What kind of spreads should be used for this? What kind of questions should be asked?
Returning to Descartes and his theory that mind and body are of two different substances which somehow communicate with each other (I totally subscribe to this, by the way), I feel as though Tarot and Quantum Attraction are also of two different substances that the authors feel communicate with one another, but fail to produce as means of how they do it, or how the reader can get them to communicate, or even understand their communication.
I go back and forth between saying that the language is simplistic and that it’s too complex. It isn’t that it’s too complex, but rather that they use long and complex sentences which make them difficult to understand at times. Many of the quotes I shared are one or two sentences, yet they are fairly long quotes.
There are many places where I can tell they didn’t hire an editor, and I don’t mean that in a horrible nit-picking way. But there are inconsistencies in capitalization, inconsistencies of section headings, and contradictions, all of which a copy editor and a developmental editor would have caught. As a result, it comes across as hastily put together and without much care, especially when coupled with the complaints already listed above.
There are parts which are written as if they are trying to be read as a mythical and Hollywood portrayed oracle:
These are random pages I turned to and selected sentences from.
However, stylistic responses are purely my opinion. As an English and Philosophy major, and as a freelance editor, and a former college writing tutor, I have strong opinions on style and grammar.
I would recommend this book only to widen a Tarot-reader’s view on the tarot. There are good points in that they express a way at looking at every single card in a positive light. There are some cards that it’s difficult to do that with (consider the 5 of Swords, for example).
I would also recommend this book if you are look at examples of how to write a book. As I read this I found numerous things that I would not do and now have examples for why I wouldn’t do them.
Essentially, this can make for an interesting study tool.
However, if you are interested in persuasive arguments, compelling claims that are backed up by examples and evidence, and something to change your life, this is not the book for you.
I would give this a 2-Star rating, personally.
How about you? Have you come across this book? What would you say about it? Let me know in the comments!