My Thoughts on Tarot and the Archetypal Journey & Living Runes

Two quick “reviews” for the price of one? As both are reprints, the internet is overflowing with reviews of both, so rather than dissect them it feels more appropriate to give my overall impressions instead. Let’s start with the better of the two.

Tarot and the Archetypal Journey: The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light by Sallie Nichols was originally published by Weiser Books in 1980. I still have the copy I bought as a teen from Waldenbooks. This new edition is largely unchanged from the original, though Mary K. Greer’s foreword is a wonderful addition and a compliment to the introduction by Laurens van der Postis.

I remember liking the book quite a lot, though its overtly Christian bias was a bit of a turn-off. Now, all these years later, the book reads far differently. I am, after all, considerably older and less impressionable.

Nichols tends to ramble, drifting off on tangents, and it’s clear that she is a bit of a novice when it comes to the occult world. The book is very much of its time, hearkening largely to the seventies in its sensibilities. It comes across rather charming and nostalgic. All that being said, I stand by my twitter review — “It’s a meaty book. Nearly 400 pages with small print. It’s a classic for a reason. Insightful, Nichols leaves no stone unturned. Certainly a “must-read” for tarot enthusiasts.”

Of course, my biggest complaint regarding the book is the print size. Strange that 6pt type wasn’t an issue 39 years ago.

If you’re into tarot, this book needs to be on your shelf, without a doubt.

It is available wherever books are sold. Support the publisher by buying directly from the source. Click HERE.

Living Runes: Theory and Practice of Norse Divination by Galina Krasskova was originally published by New Page Books in 2009 as Runes: Theory and Practice. And yes, that’s another book I have on my shelf. This edition has a much more attractive cover, though the text within is seemingly unchanged, at least from memory. I did not do a side by side analysis.

I have a long history of problems with Krasskova because she has a tendency to state things matter-of-factly, like she is an undisputed authority on Norse Culture and Religion when the majority of her writings are merely redressed Wicca, conjecture, and/or wishful thinking. Calling one’s self a priest of Odin or Northern Tradition shaman is easy enough, backing it up is another matter altogether.

I have reviewed her works in the past. Here are my reviews of Exploring the Northern Tradition and Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner. My thoughts have not changed in the slightest.

There is a wealth of books on the runes on the market. I recently reviewed Edred Thorsson’s The Big Book of Runes and Rune Magic, for instance, and gave it high marks. I also would recommend checking out my review of Diana Paxson’s Odin: Ecstacy, Runes, & Norse Magic.

I did not care for this book the first time around. My second reading of it did not change my opinion.

Still, that being said, there are insights to be found. Things that spur thoughts in different directions. And sometimes it’s good to read differing opinions. If you’re one of those, like me, you can pick up an inexpensive copy of Living Runes from Amazon HERE.

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