Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Nook Review- She Is Sitting In The Night by Oliver Pickle

She Is Sitting In the Night, Oliver Pickle (2016)

This book blipped on my radar via a review from the very popular Little Red Tarot blog founder, Beth Maiden. Not only is it the newest addition to my collection at about a week, it was just released in 2016; I am hopefully an early reviewer.
I would be remiss if i didn't link Beth's stellar review (and purchase option- there is a shop!)
Review- She Is Sitting In The Night
Should you reside in Canada, it's released by Indy press Metonymy where you can order direct- both options support the small business and independent publishers, as well as promoting the need for more queer voices in literature.

What you'll get:
Smallish trade paperback at 6" x 8" it is slightly shorter and wider than a typical book in this category. It pages in at 187.
To judge this book by it's cover, it has a matte finish; and from the very first touch, the tactile feeling is a slight comfortable resistance to the stroke-unique in the land of glossy paperbacks. You are met with Ruth West's cutout artwork from Thea's Tarot on the front cover, which is the basis for the entire work.

Why you may have overlooked this gem:
Whether or not one is "here and queer" doesn't mean that every book for/by/about the topic may not apply universally. The subject matter and small publisher house, along with the fact that you won't find this one on Amazon, means this is "words from friends" currently. Hey, each one tell one!

Why it's worth it's place in the book nook
Speaking only as the person I am, I find the feminist theme of  Thea's deck entirely relatable. Inside is a celebration of the person. It matters not if the figure is trim or zaftig, sharply or culturally dressed, or in some cases, maybe not clothed at all!
West's images feature celebration, sometimes wild abandonment,other times curling up with a cat and book, or with someone they love.

I see any reader benefiting from this well written book, to be inclusive of all of those who approach you to read Tarot for their guidance, and certainly readers on the on the LGBTIA+ spectrum.
Oliver's definitions are transferable to most tarot decks- no need for Thea's Tarot, although it is a well drawn deck.
At first, I didn't really think the stock cut-out art would appeal to me, but as I really read the book, I felt more attuned to the artist, and began to see the spaces unfold between the heavy lines.

The pictures comprise a single page for each one and are large enough for contemplation and appreciation.
The language of book is written to be as inclusive as possible. Although "she" is a focus of many cards, the language can change within the sentence. ex- " Look at this guy, sitting on a box she just built" from the Eight of Pentacles.

The Face (also called Court) cards often
include an astrological tidbit references, though you will find no in-depth for the minors nor an overall chart of it- this is where another tarot book (such as one of  Oliver's favorites "78 Degrees of Wisdom" could be helpful)
Thea's original meanings are given at the top of each entry.

Do I have sample pages? Yep

Art, a renaming of The Hanged One in most decks

What's NOT in this book (That may be important to you):
Reversals are not featured nor mentioned.
The Celtic Cross is the only spread featured.
No spreads are analyzed, nor any sample reading offered.
The main focus in on the card interpretations themselves.
Several cards have been renamed, and explained.
Justice is 8, Strength is 11.

TL,DR? Too Long, Didn't Read?
*Well written book that fosters inclusivity as well as celebrating feminism
*Wonderful for any reader who is queer or one who wants a book that offers a view on allowing your readings to be more inclusive of all of your clients
*Although you could start to read Tarot with this book, I would suggest more in-depth books to accompany, such as "78 Degrees of Wisdom" (Rachel Pollack)

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