When I was originally asked to review M. David Huxley’s book “How to Pick Up Women with Tarot Cards”, my first thought was that it must be a joke. Surely there must be an easier way to make friends with women at parties. Having read the book, I am now convinced there is not.
If you have ever been to a party where someone is reading Tarot cards, you know that the line starts before the reader arrives. For some reason people, especially women, like having their cards read. Huxley attributes this to a desire to share confidences and to get insights into our lives. I think it is more a matter of the colorful cards and a secret belief in magic. In either case, there is no doubt that people, particularly those between the ages of 18 and 30, like to have their cards read.
But does it really make sense for a guy to use this as a way to meet women?
An average tarot card reading at a party takes between fifteen minutes and half an hour. During that time the reader is asking someone, usually a woman, to shuffle cards and discuss fairly personal details of their past, present and future. That kind of thing is likely to result in an instant intimacy. As each card falls the reader explains the significance of its meaning and its position, and the person being read for usually works hard to see how this information can possibly apply to them.
Having been to more than my fair share of parties, I have to say that having my cards read, or watching others have their cards read, is more interesting than making the normal small talk. There are only so many interesting ways to answer the question of “What do you do? Where do you work? Do you have any hobbies?” Even if you are a romance writer.
It is much more interesting to discuss whether or not magic is real, what the future holds, what the cards mean, and how random chance might reveal the secrets of the universe.
One thing I really like about David’s book is that he realizes the objective is to put on an interesting show. He provides a little primer on personality profiles, hypnosis and NLP, and he reveals how you can use these tricks to create a more interesting and entertaining Tarot reading.
The book is short, just 42 pages, but I think it provides the best introduction to Tarot I’ve ever read. For someone who is looking for a new way to break the ice at parties its probably ideal. Its overview of the major arcana gives some easy to remember definitions, and the coverage of the minor arcana is adequate. Tarot cards ship with exhaustive overviews of each card.
The only thing I think people might not like about this book is that its fairly clear Huxley isn’t sure that Tarot cards are magical. He seems to attribute their “success” to human involvement in shuffling and selecting the cards, and in people working together to read them. I think some Tarot card purists would find that irritating.