"the devil, the lovers, & me" is a semi-autobiographical work by one Kimberlee Auerbach, told in the form of flashbacks over a several-hours long tarot reading. Her problems are pretty much the standard problems of a middle class, educated woman, which is a general lack of direction and insight into her life, and also, yes, BOYS.

As far as autobiography goes, Kimberlee is pretty serviceable at it. The stories she tells of growing up are appropriately funny and/or touching. Although her life was not lifetime movie grade traumatic, I did feel some sympathies as she communicated the usual pains of growing up and trying to adjust to being an adult. But I won't say too much about that, because honestly, most of the problems she faces are pretty standard in the canons of Chick Lit, or even from reading the advice columns in glamour.

The interesting thing about this book, and what caught my eye, was the use of tarot. The usage of the myriad mysteries of the major arcana could lead to a world of numinous realizations about the interlocking nature of self and universe, and to a transcending of normal boundaries and blocks. But the author/narrator uses tarot to...get over the fact her boyfriend hasn't asked her to marry him yet. And this, I think, is a problem both in chick lit, where it is expected, and in the occult, where it might not be expected but should be. The pronoun "this" in the previous sentence refers to the fact that chick lit and the occult are both often used in a very translational fashion, and not in a transformative one. The world is big and confusing and there is lots that can go wrong with it, and there are two ways to deal with it: try to fit the pieces together, or try to find a transcendent escape from the conditions presented to you. In this book, the author uses the occult to accomplish the first goal. So while this book succeeds as a form of archetype based psychotherapy, it also seems that the ability of mystical practices to provide transcendence is being overlooked.

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