Streetwise Tarot

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Streetwise Tarot

Postby mark lewis » Nov 30th, '20, 18:24

I am not quite sure whether this is a positive review or a negative one! Anyway here it is by Joe Turner, who as a good Christian gentleman, may or may not approve of Tarot card readings!

Thank you to Mark Lewis, who recently sent me a copy of his new book, Streetwise Tarot, in an apparent attempt to corrupt me into joining either the guild of goodhearted psychic tarot card readers and advisers or the cabal of connivingly clever tarot card grifters. Knowing Mark, there's a good chance it's the latter.

Regardless of your motivation or intent to use it, the book is a fun and enlightening read due to Mr. Lewis's surprisingly honest style. All words, thoughts, and ideas are served hot and whole, never frozen nor minced. His approach to remembering the meanings of each card is sure to speed you along the path to fortune and fame as a tarot psychic.

If you have strong or even mild interest in the tarot, this is a must have book simply as a quality reference. If you have no interest whatsoever, you should still purchase a copy in case you are interested later. If you have a moral objection to the tarot, you should purchase two copies, knowing that every book he sells is one less reading he'll be tempted to give.

When you purchase it, advise him that it is almost certainly because of the nigh hypnotic quality of the photo of the author that appears, uncredited, on the back cover.

I also suggest that you get a copy of his eariler book, The Lives of a Showman, which is one of the most entertaining autobiographies I've ever read.

Purchase here:

mark lewis
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Joined: Feb 26th, '05, 02:41

Re: Streetwise Tarot

Postby Le Petit Bateleur » Dec 1st, '20, 00:58

Hello Mark,

good luck with your book, it sounds like a good read! I notice that ordering it on your website costs the same as on amazon, but also includes postage which would otherwise cost me another $7 where I live - good deal. Also Amazon doesn't have the book yet, so that's an additional incentive :)

I noticed you are a member of a tarot forum where I am also registered (different alias) & I must say I am very curious about the reaction your book will receive there.

All the best,

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Le Petit Bateleur
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Location: Bohemia, Czech Republic, (33:EN)

Re: Streetwise Tarot

Postby mark lewis » Dec 1st, '20, 02:12

If anyone over there reads my book they might be somewhat horrified! Especially by the first chapter!

mark lewis
Elite Member
Posts: 3811
Joined: Feb 26th, '05, 02:41

Re: Streetwise Tarot

Postby mark lewis » Aug 2nd, '21, 17:13

I have just come across another surprise review on another magic forum. Here it is:

Light Review of Streetwise Tarot by Mark Lewis

Disclaimer: I have no experience as a Tarot reader, and I am not a scholar of the art. However, the book is aimed to offer unique practical advice to early-career readers. Being a curious hobbyist may be sufficient credentials here. (I have many published reviews of academic books and chess books.)

I find this book useful and think it achieves its main goals well enough.

Lewis aspires to make tarot readings simple, friendly, and workable rather than ritualized, intense, and mysterious. Lewis maintains that most magicians and mentalists know very little about the practical business of doing readings and how to professionally deliver something satisfying to clients.

‘Streetwise’ is a fair term: it’s direct, clear, and practical, and there is a persistent hint of the need to hustle a little to stay ahead. He offers solid advice on ethical conduct though (ch. 5) –a topic that has preoccupied some members of the forum-- which “does help me sleep at night” (93).

His working backdrop is plain, without esoteric decorations. His tarot readings tend to be comparatively broad-brush; his subsequent palm readings are more detailed, by the way. (An example of his palm reading style is already posted on this Forum.)

The deck he recommends for beginners and used in the color illustrations is the Rider Waite. It offers visual cues the reader can use and adapt. Suggested basic meanings of each card and each suit fit into an easily memorized structure. By the way, Lewis lists the Fool is 22nd in the Major Arcana. I think of The Fool as Zero, representing someone or some impulse almost beyond the normal reach of the Tarot...

The main feature for me is his use of the 10-card (Pythagorean) 4-3-2-1 pyramid. There’s no strict sequencing in reading the cards; if one card complements the reading he’ll hop over to it. There is room for intuitive improvisation. Nothing adverse attaches to cards dealt upside down, by the way. (My guess is that Lewis would point it out though, if the reading is thereby enhanced.)

Lewis explains how and why he adjusts the readings of the same set of for several different representative client. It struck me as bold, but instructive, to give several different annotated readings for different hypothetical clients using the same set of cards. His thought processes are provided with each reading in some detail. His approach is intuitive and people-centered; the cards do not dictate the reading. (Otherwise computer programs could deliver superior readings online.) Readings for entertainment (and income) should be upbeat too. Perhaps some existing practitioners will be persuaded to free up their style.

He also provides tips on the use of the Celtic Cross and the Horoscope (clock-face) spread.

The book is surprisingly frank. In its introduction he confesses to some shady early experiences in his career as a budding reader, which at least serves to show how he and his practices have grown and evolved. The author tells me (email, 16 July) that he might as well include his origins story, even if parts were unflattering as “... it had already been published in my memoirs, “The Lives of a Showman”, and I thought it would make a good start to the book. After all, the theme of the book is the “Streetwise” element.”

A chapter focuses earning money and how the industry of live readings works. As a bonus chapter, there’s ‘a little magic party-trick with a fortune-telling theme” (123).

There is a warmly written foreword from Richard Webster, whom Lewis fairly regards as "the real authority". Mark Lewis remarks (email, 20 July): “I actually learned the business from Richard in 1987 when I first started to do this stuff seriously.”

Lewis is known to many on this Forum. The book has his characteristically direct and impish tone.

Published in 2020 by Mark Lewis Entertainment, Toronto

Softback, 128 pages

US $30, free shipping worldwide.

Color printed (photocopied?); it’s quite presentable visually, and was printed and shipped to me from within Australia, where I reside, thus cutting shipping time and cost.


mark lewis
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Posts: 3811
Joined: Feb 26th, '05, 02:41

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