It's already Day Five of my 7-day review of Rachel Pollack's 78 Degrees of Wisdom. I feel a sense of relief at coming to the end of the minor arcana today. It's a bit of a slog to read through the full minor arcana card by card, when all the interpretations have been very familiar to the point of it feeling like a revision guide. While this is encouraging as it affirms my tarot knowledge, it can make for tedious reading if no new insights pop up from time to time.
One thing I notice is the reversed meanings of the cards seem to have no real pattern. Sometimes they are given as a deepening of the upright meaning, sometimes they are the opposite of the upright meaning. This isn't a huge problem, but I do tend to look for patterns and so when one doesn't make itself apparent, it does not sit well with me. Also, the meanings are deeply and completely RWS interpretations, and I am in a place now where I am exploring other systems or ways of looking at the minors, and would have enjoyed seeing something a bit broader. Perhaps the book should be titled 78 Degrees of Wisdom: A Close Look at the Rider-Waite-Smith.
I will say that the explanations of the cards are all very lucid, thorough and easy to understand. I would recommend this book as a reference to be kept on the shelf beside other good guides such as Sarah Bartlett's Tarot Bible and Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary by Sandra A Thomson.
I look forward to reading the chapters on divination and tarot spreads.