Rachel Pollack was a writer whose guides to reading tarot cards are considered definitive resources on the art.
(Photograph by RubiRose.com)
Rachel Pollack’s legacy
Pollack wrote many books on tarot, beginning with the 1985 volume “Salvador Dalí’s Tarot,” in which she explored the deck created by the legendary surrealist artist. Her 1998 book, “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom,” is a widely respected guide to interpreting the divinatory cards. Pollack’s other books on tarot include “Tarot Readings and Meditations;” “The Shining Tribe Tarot,” which included the tarot deck she created; and “The Forest of Souls: A Walk Through the Tarot.” She was a Certified Tarot Grand Master with the Tarot Certification Board of America.
In addition to her work with tarot, Pollack was also an award-winning science fiction author and comic book writer. She won an Arthur C. Clarke Award for her 1988 novel “Unquenchable Fire” and a World Fantasy Award for her 1996 novel “Godmother Night.” Pollack’s other novels included “Alqua Dreams,” “Temporary Agency,” and “A Secret Woman.” She also published a number of short stories and essays, as well as nonfiction.
In 1993, Pollack began writing for the DC Comics series “Doom Patrol.” She created the superhero Coagula and her alter-ego, Kate Godwin – DC’s first transgender superhero. Pollack herself was transgender, and she spoke about the importance of representation in media.
Pollack on writing “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom”
“I’d been writing fiction, and not getting very far with it, and then I thought because I’d been teaching tarot, maybe I should write about that. I decided my audience was people who had a sensitivity for spiritual ideas, but who didn’t necessarily know anything about tarot cards. So it treats readers as people who are smart enough and sensitive enough to spirituality to get it, but it doesn’t start by assuming they’re already involved.” —from an interview for Mister Tarot
Tributes to Rachel Pollack
Full obituary: The New York Times