From the moment I heard of Corrine Kenner’s Tarot and Astrology, I was thrilled. So many readers use astrology as part of their work that I was curious how it was going to be presented. While Kenner is no stranger to tarotists—“Tall Dark Stranger: Tarot for Love and Romance” is a perennial favorite of mine, but she has produced many other fine tarot works—I wondered how she would take on such a huge endeavor. A few other recent works I have reviewed combining these two disciplines completely lost me, so I hoped for the best. In short, I couldn’t be more pleased with this book.
This book could have just as easily been titled “Astrology and Tarot” as the reverse. Normally, when I think of a tarot book, I think that only people who are interested in the tarot will gravitate toward it. Not so in this case; Kenner treats tarot and astrology equally. So I would recommend this book not only to tarotists but also to astrologers who want to enhance their knowledge of the tarot.
Every basic tarot and astrology correspondence you could possibly want is right here at your fingertips. Kenner not only lists out charts of this information, but she also provides some excellent narratives to increase your understanding. One particular facet of the book that I enjoyed was the addition of Chiron and an explanation of its astrological nature along with a tarot correspondence (The Hierophant, if you’re asking). Since Chiron is not as well known as many of the other astrological bodies, I was pleased to see it mentioned briefly here.
Some tarot books seem to give most of the weight to the majors and throw something together for the minors. It was clear that Kenner provided as much information about the minors as the majors here, which definitely made me happy. One other excellent addition was the “Tarot and the Wheel of the Year”, breaking out the court cards and how they fit in with astrology. That’s a chart that you’re definitely going to want to keep marked in your copy.
An unexpected pleasant surprise came toward the end of the book, which gave a quick and easy explanation of the astrology chart and how to read one. Just looking at a chart for the first time can turn people off; its lots of symbols, squiggles and numbers, and it can be a challenge to find the basic information, like where the Sun is, for example. The author gives just enough information and a brief guide to basic interpretation so that astrology newbies don’t feel out of their element. One or two charts are included, and Kenner used the tarot correspondences for the astrological positions of the charts to make her point quite nicely.
Finally, I liked the spreads, which were astrologically based. In my own practice I use one that is quite large, but Kenner includes some smaller ones that are great to start out with, like the “Sun, Moon and Ascendant Spread”. She also includes a larger “Solar System Spread” that I enjoyed as well.
Overall, this book is a wonderful hybrid of two topics that can seem overwhelming. Corrine Kenner blends them together seamlessly and simply, and leaves you feeling inspired. If you’re a tarot reader who either isn’t comfortable working with astrology in readings, or someone just starting with the cards who wants that additional dimension, you’ll want to have this book.
~review by John Marani
Author: Corrine Keller
Originally printed in the ATA Quarterly Journal, Winter 2011 issue