Reviews & Interviews

Book Review – Tarot and the Gates of Light: A Kabbalistic Path to Liberation by Mark Horn

Book Review

Tarot and the Gates of Light

A Kabbalistic Path to Liberation

by Mark Horn

544 Pages

 

 

Tarot and the Gates of Light: A Kabbalistic Path to Liberation by Mark Horn, who has studied the Kabbalah with academic, religious and practical teachers and studied the Tarot with teachers such as Rachel Pollack & Mary K. Greer. Tarot and the Gates of Light is published by Destiny Books, a division of Inner Traditions International, One Park Street, Rochester, Vermont 05767. This is a 6 inch by 9 inch softcover book with a glossy finish front cover containing the title of the book, a portion of the Tree of Life and two R/W/S Minor Arcana images, with a description of the book and a brief author bio on the back cover. There are 530 pages with a nicely-sized black typeface printed on off-white paper.

Tarot and the Gates of Light takes us through the 49-day mystical practice called Counting the Omer, using this ancient practice to explore the Tarot Minor Arcana through comparison to the Sephiroth of the Tree of Life. The book begins with a personal Introduction written by the author, followed by a detailed description of the practice offered in this book, including a description of the Jewish, Christian, and Western Hermetic connections to the Tree of Life. Next is a chapter on the Tree of Life itself, presenting information about the Sephiroth, the Four Worlds, and the shared history of the Tarot and the Tree. Following is a chapter describing how to follow the daily practice.

Next is the very rich meat of this book: 434 pages of detailed day-to-day descriptions of the 49-day practice presented in Tarot and the Gates of Light, divided into seven week-long segments each of which is further broken down into seven daily practices. Each daily section breaks down the Sephiroth being addressed and the Tarot cards being addressed, and offers guidance and insights regarding the connections between the cards and the Sephiroth, finishing with questions for further reflection during that day corresponding to each of the Four Worlds and the corresponding Tarot suit. The daily sections often include insights from traditional Jewish texts, as well as teachings from Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim traditions. The book finishes with some meditation instructions, a good-sized glossary of terms used in the book, footnotes, and a bibliography.

This is a hugely powerful practice, similar to Pathworking done via the Paths between the Sephiroth of the Tree of Life and the Major Arcana cards corresponding to them, but working instead with the Minor Arcana numbered cards and the Sephiroth of the Tree. Working with and comparing the correspondences of the Minors together the correspondences of the Sephiroth provides amazing insights into the cards themselves, individually and as compared to other Minor cards. The very comprehensive 49-day workbook section offers spiritual guidance in a practical, day-to-day form using the traditional imagery of the Rider Waite Smith Tarot deck. As of this writing, I am on Day 27 of the Omer, and I can personally attest to the amazing insights this practice brings to a Tarot enthusiast. A side effect of partaking in this practice is my renewed appreciation for the details of the images of the traditional R/W/S deck.

Horn offers amazing information on both the Tarot and the Tree of Life. His insights and descriptions of his own path of transformation included within the daily essays make for a challenging yet accessible practice that brings profound insights into the Tarot, the Tree, and brings opportunities for substantial personal growth and development. Here is a book that will appeal to Kabbalists, Tarot enthusiasts, and spiritual seekers!

 

 

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About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.