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Join Date: 09 May 2005
Location: MA, USA
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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!
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