by Victoria Constantino
- I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. *
Wow! This book was a very pleasant surprise for me. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the title, but Tarot By the Moon surpassed my expectations, and it’s one I am surely adding to my library in print form.
My best description is that it’s a hybrid of Farmer’s Almanac, a tarot technique book, divinatory technique, shadow work, and lunar occult ritual book. The official stance of the book is that it’s targeted towards readers who want to make meaningful change, so it’s an active, rather than a passive read. I find that because of this, it’s well-suited to shadow work, because that’s generally the area where readers want to create tangible change. It’s really much more than a moon phases or basic tarot book.
The book includes a month-by-month approach to tarot and the moon, as well as an auxiliary chapter for Blue Moons. Every chapter has a focus on the full moon, as well as spreads, rituals, and spells that can be used in any combination. In that respect, it’s much like a “Choose Your Own (Lunar) Adventure.”
Tarot By the Moon is also indexed really well, so that if you want to focus on a topic (like love or career), you can look it up in the back and flip directly to what you want. Additionally, each chapter sub-heading includes a brief rundown of the month’s full moon energy and the connected spreads & spells, so it’s really easy to find what you’re looking for intuitively, which I certainly appreciated.
The spreads for each month include suggested questions without a spread design (which I don’t know if that well be different after publication or not) but it was definitely new to see the card numbers and nothing more. In that respect, too, it allows the reader to tailor spreads, questions, and card positions to their liking. Likewise, the same is true for the suggested rituals and spells for each lunar cycle. The information is presented with instructions, but flexibly interpreted.
The sidebars of the sections have information of topics, as well as anecdotes and context for the subjects addressed in the book, which are many. In addition to all the topics mentioned prior, there is also information on symbolic correspondences, numerology, weekday correspondences, and an overview of the energy of each moon phase.
There is an impressive “cheat sheet” for tarot symbols and color connections and their meanings that I have never seen the equal of, and this is an incredibly useful resource for readers at any stage, and especially so for intuitive readers or readers looking to improve their intuitive skills.
The appendices additionally include protection meditations and all-purpose customizable rituals. reflecting on readings, general meditations, cleansing/charging crystals (and cards), tarot journaling, floriography, pattern divination, using oracle cards, automatic writing, and more.
Tarot by the Moon does not take a personal stance on systems of belief, including aspects of Native American, pagan, and Wiccan ideologies, with other global spiritual practices acknowledged and touched on. The only criticism I have here is that based on how well Native American ideas were outlined, it felt jarring and out-of-place using the culturally outdated terms “smudging” and “smudge stick”, rather than “smoke cleanse” or “smoke cleanse stick.” I hope that is something the author/publisher will consider updating prior to press, or in future additions.