Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Tarot Forum

Tarot Book Club: Holistic Tarot

  > Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot > Tarot Books & Media


 
kalliope's Avatar
kalliope  kalliope is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 09 May 2005
Location: MA, USA
Posts: 1,343
kalliope 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade View Post
A preview for when we start chatting about the book on Monday: I have learned to check my knee-jerk reaction to the first pages of a chapter until I got all the way through it.


Looking forward to getting started tomorrow!
Top   #21
Tibor's Avatar
Tibor  Tibor is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 26 Mar 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 597
Tibor 

That is great. I will try to take part if time permits
Top   #22
Shade's Avatar
Shade  Shade is offline
Oraculist
 
Join Date: 28 Aug 2002
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,863
Shade 

A few questions to reflect upon, for our first round with Chapters 1 - 3. Feel free to add any of your own for the rest of us to mull over.

Chapter 1.

How did you relate to the Tarot Analysis approach to reading the cards?

Is this like or unlike the way you generally approach them?

For those who do read predictively, what do you think of some of the pitfalls of fortune-telling discussed?

Wen points out that many books approach Tarot too broadly and intends for this one to be a more formalized practice. How formal or informal is your own practice? Could it benefit from some formalizing?
Top   #23
Shade's Avatar
Shade  Shade is offline
Oraculist
 
Join Date: 28 Aug 2002
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,863
Shade 

All right team, let's talk about Holistic Tarot Chapters 1 - 3.

Q. How did you relate to the Tarot Analysis approach to reading the cards?

During my first pass at the text I was a little resistant because, as someone who reads predictively (or hopes he does) I thought that the book was saying "No one can predict the future with Tarot." I was probably a little over-sensitive because that's a sentiment I see often online. Rereading, though, Wen points out that there are other books that do teach fortune-telling but that is not her aim for this one. So I shifted my focus to just taking in all that the Tarot Analysis process could teach me and not spend any time on what it wasn't trying to teach.

Much more satisfying.

Is this like or unlike the way you generally approach them?

Unlike, I have been very much looking without rather than within lately.

From the first page, I really enjoyed the following passages:

"Tarot helps us look within ourselves to understand our emotions, the reasoning behind our words and conduct, and the source of our conflicts."

"You can learn to use Tarot to make informed decisions and improve your future."

"Most people's typical analytical process incorporates rational and emotional intelligence. By learning and applying Tarot, one can add a third dimension: that of spiritual intelligence."

That last one especially resonated with me. Humans are incredibly binary with our worldviews and we like things to be either one or the other. We do seem to have the idea that there are two ways to make decisions, intellectually and emotionally and that the former is cold and the latter is a bit unstable. I really like the idea of a spiritual perspective in analysis; I feel like Tarot folks are sensitive to symbolic words and gestures and people's personal mythology. I think people can get caught up in their own narrative without realizing it and when we read for them we can see a bit of what is going on there.

Later in the chapter we have:

"Tarot helps you tap into your unconscious knowledge, raise it to the surface of your conscious mind, and access otherwise latent information - in either the subconscious, personal unconscious, or even collective unconscious - to help provide insight into the most probable outcomes of your contemplated actions."

In this sense, Tarot would be used a bit scrying as a form of inner divination. For a while I have viewed divination as mainly looking outward at causes and effects but I like this approach of working with the cards as a deep dive into the self.

What did others think of the Tarot Analysis approach to divination as outlined in Chapter 1?

For those who do read predictively, what do you think of some of the pitfalls of fortune-telling discussed?

As a fortune-teller, I think it's essential to be aware of the problems we can create with our practice.

Specifically she states that fortune-telling can manipulate our expectations. How often have you had a client in a harrowing situation get a positive final card and say "Oh good, it will all turn out all right." Too often!

Even as a card-carrying (see what I did there?) fortune-teller, I'm interested in looking within and actually being analytical about what I find.

Wen points out that many books approach Tarot too broadly and intends for this one to be a more formalized practice. How formal or informal is your own practice? Could it benefit from some formalizing?

From page 5:

"Most books try to respect the different approaches and offer an over-broad explanation of tarot, which generally leads to even more confusion as to what tarot is, how it works, and even what the cards mean."

I had never quite thought of it in those terms but I can see that. When you know a few too many systems a card seems to be "either a young woman, or your creative side, or a suggestion to go back to school."

It can be a bit of a bother when trying to give a coherent reading. I've been thinking about this a bit lately and it was Lenormand reading that got me started. In that system, while there is room for interpretation, a card can't just mean whatever it is you think it means and I have been trying to apply a bit more tradition to my meanings. Since this book functions much like a study course, I think it makes sense to have a focused view of tarot. Wen doesn't suggest this is the "one true way." This is the Tarot Analysis approach.

Will add questions for chapters 2 and 3.

/discuss.
Top   #24
Shade's Avatar
Shade  Shade is offline
Oraculist
 
Join Date: 28 Aug 2002
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,863
Shade 

For Chapter 2, since it's a quick one and most of us are not new to Tarot, was there anything folks found especially interesting?

For my part, I enjoyed the lore about the first playing cards in China being used for fortune-telling by the Emperor's concubines. I could picture it (maybe because I enjoyed Netflix's Marco Polo so much and it had scenes like that).
Top   #25
Shade's Avatar
Shade  Shade is offline
Oraculist
 
Join Date: 28 Aug 2002
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,863
Shade 

This chapter also made me realize I know very little about Papus and Eteilla's take on the Tarot beyond what I read in The Pictorial Key to the Tarot and the Mystical Origins of the Tarot. I am very much a post Eden Gray era Tarot reader (though I did not realize to what degree until I read Rachel Pollack's New Tarot Handbook).

This chapter did make me want to give Tarot of the Bohemians a try and perhaps Caitlin Matthews' course on Etteilla.
Top   #26
gil  gil is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 31 Jan 2015
Location: New York, United States
Posts: 2
gil 

Hello everyone! This is my first time joining a discussion. Iíve been reading chapters of this book here and there since it was released and when I saw that youíd be reading this together, I had to jump at the opportunity.

How did you relate to the Tarot Analysis approach to reading the cards? Is this like or unlike the way you generally approach them?

Itís very much the approach I take. I come from a strong skeptical background, so it was the easiest way for me to take tarot seriously at first. Baby steps, you know. The more I read tarot, though, Iím finding this approach limiting in its explanatory power. The accuracy, and sometimes predictive nature, of reading tarot seems to render it as more than an elaborate Rorschach test.

Wen points out that many books approach Tarot too broadly and intends for this one to be a more formalized practice. How formal or informal is your own practice? Could it benefit from some formalizing?
My approach to seeking answers to questions is very informal and in the moment. Whatever feels right is what I do, from shuffling to cutting to layouts. For meditative purposes, I take a Qabalistic approach, so it tends to be more formal. Itís good to learn formally, to establish certain foundations, and it gives a good starting point from which to deviate and develop oneís own approach.

Iíll add more thoughts when I return home tonight.
Top   #27
kalliope's Avatar
kalliope  kalliope is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 09 May 2005
Location: MA, USA
Posts: 1,343
kalliope 

CHAPTER 1

Q. How did you relate to the Tarot Analysis approach to reading the cards?

I think anyone who is interested at all in predictive tarot gets their hackles up a little when reading some of her initial statements, and like you've said, it can make one resistant to actually understanding her point of view.

But I really like her approach, because leaving aside any of my romanticized mystical inclinations , her method is basically how I use the cards. (More below)

Q. Is this like or unlike the way you generally approach them?

Quite similar, although I would perhaps describe it differently, and wouldn't use the same language to harp against fortune telling.

Like Wen, I see tarot as accessing knowledge we didn't know we had. Sometimes seeing things laid out in cards helps us to connect to tidbits stored in the back of our minds, to figure out buried emotions or patterns we repeat, connect dots to see where things are headed, or even to admit we know deep down how someone is feeling in a relationship (even if it's contrary to what we desire).

These things might even LOOK like fortune telling or mind reading or psychic insight, in my experience. Most times the magic of tarot is the ability of the cards, as tools, to let us perform our own mental and intuitive magic.

Sometimes it's all more practical and transparent, and is more like bouncing ideas off a friend or analyzing one's behavior with a counselor.

But all in all, what Wen says is her method and aim is something I'm highly interested in.

Many of the passages you quote are ones I highlighted as well. Some of my favorites:

Quote:
Originally Posted by from the book
"The signs and symbols of the cards facilitate retrieval of information from the unconscious and move it to the forefront of the conscious plane of the mind, which can then help us form creative solutions, present a different angle to a problem that we have been looking monotonously at, or offer the breakthrough that allows us to move forward." (kindle location 364)

"That imagination then activates our intuition, which is often the only instrument we have that channels a clear path for us to the truth of a matter. That truth is often found in the unconscious. Tarot analytics can extrapolate what is otherwise latent in the unconscious archives of our mind and raise our truths to the surface of our consciousness." (location 368)

"Tarot is a mirror. It reflects back who you are. It shows you your strengths and weaknesses. It makes you confront the decisions you have made in the past, your attitude, both good and bad, and how these components have affected your life." (loc 392)

"It is subjective, because it cannot tell you anything you don’t know already. It tells you exactly what you know, but have not yet permitted your conscious mind to confront. It is about accessing the unconscious, the same theory behind psychoanalysis and modern-day psychology." (location 385)
This last one is mostly how I think tarot works, because I think we tend to know a LOT more than we realize. But an exception is that on RARE occasions, I do think it's possible for SOME people to get messages about things they don't know already (on any level). But most of us don't have such psychic skills, and even for those who do, they aren't consistent or reliable. (Wen herself is open to mysterious, paranormal experiences. She just doesn't think tarot usually works this way, and doesn't approach it as such.)

And yet the value of tarot still stands on the grounds of these other things.

One bit of confusion that has been discussed in other threads is her definition of "future telling." Here's a quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by from the book
"I will outline how the everyday student or professional might use a deck of tarot cards to set goals, to understand where they are in their lives and the direction they’d like to move in, and to use tarot analytics to help make business or personal decisions, not to foresee what will happen to their business or in their personal lives." (loc 430)
She says she won't use tarot to foresee what will happen in their business or personal lives, but in other places says the value of tarot is exactly that it will tell you where things are heading so you can make adjustments! In order to say where things are heading, one must "foresee what will happen" on the current path. The only difference is that she doesn't think the futures she does indeed use tarot to foresee are BINDING. Only difference that I can see, anyway.

It's all just in the semantics and details, and in the end many people who use tarot "predictively" actually agree with her very much. (Only excepting those who believe in a specific and unavoidable fate for everyone.)

Q. For those who do read predictively, what do you think of some of the pitfalls of fortune-telling discussed?

I agree with Wen that a negative predictive reading can put people into such a state of fear that they may in fact help to bring about the exact calamity they dread. And of course, a positive reading may make someone feel so comfortable they quit doing any work towards a goal and create problems from that.

But I see this as a problem with fortune-telling only if the reader says that what is foreseen is 100% going to happen no matter what the seeker does. I don't think this is how most tarot readers see prediction and fortune telling, though. Maybe I'm wrong.


Q. Wen points out that many books approach Tarot too broadly and intends for this one to be a more formalized practice. How formal or informal is your own practice? Could it benefit from some formalizing?

My own practice is quite informal. But I'm a fan of learning a formal system to see how going "all-in" can work. (It's why I was attracted to the Lenormand, for instance.) I'd like the chance to experiment with using her method to see how things go and if my readings improve. I definitely think that narrowing focus can improve our sight and performance, especially at first. Improvising comes later.


I'll put up thoughts on the other chapters when I have a chance!
Top   #28
kalliope's Avatar
kalliope  kalliope is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 09 May 2005
Location: MA, USA
Posts: 1,343
kalliope 

Thought maybe we should point out that you don't have to write something really long to participate in this thread, even though a few of us have gone that way. Just join in the discussion with any of your thoughts on the chapters, whether inspired by the questions posted or not!

Shade, what do you think about starting a new thread when next week rolls around? That way if someone comes late to the book, they could still add their thoughts about certain chapters? I worry about the thread getting unwieldy by the time we reach the end of the book.

Also -- if anyone is reading the book on a Kindle, please note that you can easily view all of your highlights on your desktop computer by going to kindle.amazon.com and logging in. Pick the book from the list, and all your highlights & notes will show. I used this feature to copy and paste quotes into this thread, and to remind myself of what I liked in the chapter.

You can also install this handy little bookmarklet I found, which will let you download your current notes & highlights to your computer: Bookcision.
Top   #29
Shade's Avatar
Shade  Shade is offline
Oraculist
 
Join Date: 28 Aug 2002
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,863
Shade 

In the interest of not having walls of text again, I will say that Chapter 3 impressed me in the way that it tackled the "how does Tarot work?" question. Brave, actually, I don't think most books attempt this. For my own part I just sort of say "It's the Force" and quietly worry that I have spent my life consulting pieces of cardboard like a madman.

I have used the word synchronicity to just say "Oh coincidences are meaningful" but I enjoyed the book's (Jung's) take on it: "According to Jung, synchronicity explained the attuning of a psychic state with external events."

Another brave move was addressing the more PT Barnum, confirmation bias theories of why Tarot works.

I did enjoy one theory in particular - the theory that the seeker has infinite probable futures before sitting at the reader's table, but once the cards are read their fate is locked in. This seems to be the prevailing theory in a lot of fiction about divination from Oedipus to Macbeth, to Star Wars.
Top   #30




 


 


Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Tarot Forum
Aeclectic Tarot Forum Links
· Tarot
· Tarot Special Interest
· Beyond Tarot
· Forum Library

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Angel Decks
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Cat Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· List All Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Tarot Books
· What's New

Copyright © 1996 - 2019 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.