Book Review – Archetypal Tarot: What Your Birth Card Reveals About Your Personality, Path, and Potential by Mary K Greer

Book Review

Archetypal Tarot

What Your Birth Card Reveals

About Your Personality, Path and Potential

by Mary K. Greer, foreword by Theresa Reed

Published by Red Wheel/Weiser

288 Pages

Publication Date: June 1, 2021



Archetypal Tarot is a 7 inch by 10 inch soft cover book with a matte finish full color front cover showing the book’s title and a version of the Wheel of Fortune card, and a back cover containing reviews, a description of the book, and a brief bio of Mary K. Greer.  It contains 271 pages with black print on sturdy off-white paper that is amenable to pencil notations; my copy is already filled with underscores and marginal notations. This book was originally published as Who Are You In The Tarot. This new edition contains a Foreword written by Theresa Reed (author of Tarot: No Questions Asked), and a new preface written by Greer in 2020, during the middle of the Covid pandemic.  

Archetypal Tarot begins with the Foreword by Theresa Reed, followed by the Preface To The New Addition by Greer.  Next is the Introduction, which offers tantalizing teasers regarding such topics as the connection between Tarot and destiny and the 8-11 Controversy and Astrological Correspondence, as well as information regarding the creation of the original edition, and instructions for how best to use the information presented in this book.  Chapter 1 is next, entitled, Constellations, Principles, Archetypes, and Beliefs; this chapter builds the foundation and sets the stage for the rest of this book, and it hooked me immediately.  Most of us who have any exposure to the Tarot have heard of Birth Cards, Year Cards, and the archetypal connections to the Tarot, the Major Arcana in particular; Greer offers us Tarot Constellations (introduced to Greer in 1978 by Angeles Arrien) to add to those already valuable tools.  Chapter 2 offers instructions and exercises for working with your personal cards.  Chapter 3 offers in-depth information regarding your Birth Cards, discussing fate and destiny, instructions and possible variations, and the concept of a Hidden Factor or Teacher Card.  Already, in the first 47 pages of this book, Greer has offered quite a bit of food for thought that would be interesting to any Tarot enthusiast.

Next comes 165 pages of information regarding the 9 Tarot Constellations.  First Greer offers a primer of general information regarding the 9 Constellations, and then she goes in depth.  We learn which Major Arcana and Minor Arcana cards are in each Constellation, we learn of which correspondences are to be considered, including archetypes, astrological correspondences and keywords, and we learn detailed information about each card in the Constellation about different card combinations and their effects on each personal card.  

The following sections of the book cover detailed information regarding the Year Card and its interpretation, Soul Groupings and Relationship Dynamics, Name Cards, and People or Court Cards, all presenting card examples (with great information for each card), and useful exercises for exploring each of these concepts.  The book ends with three useful Appendices addressing the 8-11 Controversy, the Qabalah of the Nine Chambers, and a summary of Card Names, followed by endnotes and a selected bibliograph.

While this is not a how-to-read-the-Tarot book, Archetypal Tarot in my opinion offers an amazing amount of useful information regarding the Tarot, the many correspondences and how they interact, and the sometimes-hidden connections between the cards, their messages, and possible manifestations.  Even someone new to the Tarot can benefit from reading this book.  

Mary Greer has a talent for making even more technical information about the Tarot accessible to all levels of expertise, and Archetypal Tarot is a perfect example of this talent.  For those who have already been pulled down the many rabbit holes that inhabit the Tarot cards and their meanings, Archetypal Tarot can bring new perspectives and new ways of making use of the seemingly esoteric symbolism and messages of the Tarot to bring new depth to readings.  I would recommend any Mary K. Greer Tarot book to any Tarot enthusiast, but this one would be at or near the top of my list.  

Mary K Greer is a tarot scholar, writer, teacher and consultant who teaches Tarot around the world.  She has more than 40 years experience in the Tarot as an author and a teacher, and she advocates an approach to learning and using the cards that emphasizes personal insight and creativity.  She has written nine books on the Tarot and biographies of four female Magicians.  Mary is the founder of Tools and Rites of Transformation (T.A.R.O.T), and is the recipient of the International Tarot Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association For Tarot Studies, and is a research partner in le Tarot Associazione Culturale (Italy).  More information can be found at her website,


Archetypal Tarot: What Your Birth Card Reveals About Your Personality, Path, and Potential on Amazon


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,, 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.