Pictorial Tarot cards tell a story within themselves, which evolves throughout the journey of the cards from start to finish. Learning to read the Tarot is a journey that transports the student as their skills unfold from novice to adept. If I were starting out now, the first book I would consider buying would be Learning the Tarot by Joan Bunning. The book is nicely broken down, giving the absolute beginner a clear introduction, full explanations of both the major and minor arcana, heaps of exercises, and sample readings and shuffling methods.
I really believe that if you are committed to learning the Tarot in-depth, this book is a must-buy. For a deeper delve into the cards, a classic book is Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom written by the late Rachel Pollack. Regarded as a classic among tarot enthusiasts, the book delves into the philosophy and spirituality behind tarot reading. Rachel Pollack combines historical context, esoteric knowledge, and practical guidance to offer a rich understanding of the cards' wisdom and their applications in divination and self-reflection.
Developing your psychic awareness is a lifelong journey, whether you are a curious beginner or a seasoned practitioner. Around 10 years ago, I found The Everything Psychic Book: Tap into Your Inner Powers and Discover Your Inherent Abilities by Michael R. Hathaway. I absolutely loved this book; it’s so easy to grasp all the concepts covered and a great starting point for any novice.
Something important to consider when developing psychic abilities is psychic protection. Oftentimes, you will hear people say that they surround themselves in white light or that they trust their Guides and Angels. Personally, I prefer something a little heavier-duty. Whether you are ever intending to read professionally, you will not be disappointed with the results you get from studying, Practical Guide to Psychic Self-Defense and Well-Being, written by Osborne Denning, Melita; Phillips.
When I’ve taught psychic development in the past, students who work with the public on a daily basis report back that, having utilised psychic defence techniques, they definitely feel rejuvenated. Essentially, what you are doing is protecting your energy from negativity.
My personal view, which may be controversial, is that mediums are born, not made. That’s not to say that going into development cannot bring forward and enhance latent abilities; of course, it can. A book that I found really useful was Developing Mediumship by Gordon Smith. He’s a very experienced medium with a lot of down-to-earth guidance from his own experiences. My second choice is the Guide for the Development of Mediumship by Harry Edwards. It’s not a modern book, but the advice is grounded and timeless.
10 Benefits of Reading
The mental health benefits of reading are wide-ranging, it’s a tool for escapism and self-reflection, as well as a means of expanding knowledge. Below are my top ten:
- Stress reduction: being transported away to another realm where, for a while, you can dwell. This can lead to lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Mental stimulation: Studies show that staying mentally stimulated can ward off cognitive decline. The brain, like muscles, needs stimulation to remain strong and healthy.
- Improved memory: Reading fiction requires the reader to retain many characters, their backgrounds, and subplots. Each new memory created forges new synapses in the brain and strengthens existing ones.
- Better Concentration and Focus: Reading requires concentration, which, when practiced regularly, can enhance one's overall attention span and focus.
- Improved Sleep: Establishing a bedtime reading routine (especially with physical books) can signal to the body that it's time to wind down, promoting better sleep. However, it's essential to avoid screens late at night, as blue light can interfere with melatonin production.
- Reduction in Symptoms of Depression: Some studies suggest that reading self-help books, combined with support sessions, can help people with depression.
- Enhanced Imagination: Delving into different worlds, scenarios, and characters can stimulate the imagination, encouraging creative thinking.
- Better Writing Skills: Exposure to well-written content positively influences one's writing. As readers see different styles, they unconsciously pick up grammar, structure, and various writing techniques.
- Tranquillity and Calmness: Spiritual texts, poetry, and certain self-help books can bring about a sense of peace and tranquillity.
- Mindfulness and Presence: Reading, especially when done intentionally without distractions, can become a form of mindfulness practice where one is present in the moment.
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