I came across this author actually via a blog. I was reading Tarot Mum 13’s blog post on Tarot and Things, ‘Back to Basics‘ about their tarot journey so far, and they were kind enough to post a delicious picture of all their tarot books they’d acquired through the year. So, I went and looked up a bunch of their books and added them to my list. Naked Tarot by Janet Boyer was one of them, and I was quite intrigued with it, though after reading the description was less intrigued. However, I ended up looking at some of her other books that came up when I searched Naked Tarot (Published by Dodona Books), and found Affect Your Reality with Tarot Cards.
I was quite excited. I’m not generally one to pay money for Kindle books unless they’re dirt cheap or come quite recommended (for example, 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack), but I thought I’d give it a go, and paid the full £2.94 for it. Plus it had good reviews on Amazon.
Usually I would divide the sections of the review up, giving a summery of sections and then in the next portion of the review give my response or thoughts on the book as a whole. However, because this book is so short, I’ll just be combining my thoughts in with the summery of the book.
Affect Your Reality with Tarot Cards is a self-published book by Janet Boyer, and very short, only 95 pages, and only available in Kindle format.
The first 28% of the book explains what the premise is of the book. At first it started to edge a little on the idea of Law of Attraction, stating that
Tarot cards can be used for so much more than divination. In fact, my favorite use of the cards is for focused intention and manifestation. Want to expand a particular energy in your life? Enhance an area? Invite more? Then consciously choose the card/s that represent whatever it is you want to attract…(Location 119).
However, while this section seems to go in that direction, the author then goes on to say that ‘Tarot helps make the invisible visible,’ and as a tool of focused intention.
With the Tarot and other tools for focusing intention…we become creators of our life. If you think about it, the act of creation means to initiate, to build, to act, to produce. Creation is not passive…No, creativity—or, in this case, co-creation—implies acting on something (Location 136).
While the book was focused on intention, I gathered the idea of something which may or may not have been intended by the author, that meditating on certain cards are a means of navigating our way through difficult times. This was most prominent when Boyer writes about Challenge Cards.
Challenge cards…either portray difficulty and challenges wholesale—or some component of the card does so. When it comes to intentions and co-creations, we don’t ignore such situations by pretending they don’t exist—or assuming we can affirm them out of our lives. Because it truly “rains on the just and the unjust”, to paraphrase the Bible…difficulties will always be a part of the human experience (Location 172).
That being said, when addressing what to do in those difficult times, when one of the Challenge Cards comes up (The Tower, the Devil, the 5 of Wands, the 7 of Wands, the 5 of Swords, the 3 of Swords, etc.), the author instructs the reader to
pull them out of the deck and lay them before us. Then we choose the card or cards we’d rather focus on—higher vibration cards that can help us shift our attitude, approach, mentality and feelings to a more productive, pleasant state (Location 172).
I struggle with this suggestion because it sounds to me like avoidance, which is not allowing for the message of these cards to come foreword and be addressed at all. At which point, what is the point of the cards to be in the deck? Though she does say that ‘It’s much easier to deal with challenges when we’re clear-headed, balanced, and poised compared to being in a state of cynicism, extremism, or panic’ (Location 172).
What becomes apparent right before delving into the Tarot cards themselves is that the book is about putting yourself in a positive state with the use of the cards, which is something I didn’t quite get to begin with. It wasn’t until I had gotten a quarter of the way through the book that I understood the book’s intention.
The book starts with the Major Arcana, as any book would. Each card skips the definition of the card, but instead looks at what each card can be used for, with the Exception of the Fool, which has its own little introduction, explaining that it can be used as a signifier.
Each card only has 3-5 lines spent on it, though it really doesn’t need any more. While I usually believe that cards should have time and words spent on them in order for the reader to get a firm grasp on each card, no matter their level, Boyer’s definitions are to the point, and I honestly don’t think it does an injustice to the book. I’ll provide some examples:
Use For: Honoring Timeless Wisdom; Creating New Traditions; Celebrating Heritage; Affirming a Culture; Commemorating Customs; Enrolling in a New School or Coursework; Navigating Religion; Ordinations
(Challenge Card) – Use For: Navigating Upheaval; Coping with Catastrophe; Managing Unpleasant Surprises; Deconstruction; getting Rid of Beliefs that No Longer Serve You; Dealing with Accidents; Assessing Faulty Foundations (Helpful Focus Cards: The Star; Wheel of Fortune; 7 of Coins; 4 of Swords)
(Challenge Card) – Used For – Weighing Options; Confronting Indecision; Inspiring Visions; Experiencing Scatter Focus; Encouraging Brainstorming; Clarifying Values; High Cost; Dealing with Analysis Paralysis; Questioning Everything; Overwhelmed by Variety; Difficulty with Selection; Daydreaming (Helpful Focus Cards: Ace of Swords; Ace of Wands; Knight of Coins; Queen of Swords)
While I’ve already said a few things about the book throughout the book’s description, my over all thoughts are that it’s not actually a bad book. It’s just not complete. It’s far from complete. The premise is interesting, and I think that the author is for the most part a good writer in that she has her own voice that carries the reader along. And I actually really do quite like the section on the cards and their focus.
But it’s not complete.
After the King of Swords, there is a section about Janet Boyer, and that is it. There is no conclusion. There is no section on how to go about the practice. She gave us the ingredients and what the thing is supposed to look like at the end, but no recipe to follow (please know that I’m playing off an analogy she gave early in the book).
There just needs to be more.
I should really actually pay attention when I buy things, and thus I can’t hold them against the authors too much. For example, I should have paid attention to how long the book was, which would have given me an indicator of how much information as going to be in there, and also that nearly £3 for it was over-priced.
Also, while I can’t hold it against all self-published books, I generally find that they are lacking in something, and the developmental editor in me knows exactly what that something is. I know there are good self-published books out there, but generally I don’t find them. I didn’t realize this book was self-published, and thus might be without the structure needed to be an encapsulated lesson on their topic, might be too vague on the examples used, etc. Many of the gripes I have with this book, I also have with Quantum Attraction and Tarot. Had there been a developmental editor hired, I think these books would have done infinitely better.
Again, not to harp too much on self-published books, but generally when I’m reading a book and I find it’s lacking something, I look at the publisher and find out that the book is self-published. I don’t go into a book and expect it not to be up to snuff as I start reading it because it’s self-published, I usually discover that later.
Because I just feel that it’s incomplete, because I feel that the whole heart wasn’t put into it and it definitely shows, I would recommend this only for the definitions of the cards, but I wouldn’t recommend spending any sort of money on it. I would give it a 3-Star rating.