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Re: Re to Arthur on Tarot

May 31, 1995 10:35 AM
by Arthur Paul Patterson

Dear Jerry,

>I can see from your impressive list of book that you are
>well versed in Tarot.

Having the books is ok but really understanding the Inner Tarot
and the way that it moves is a spiritual discipline.  I get
distracted from my Tarot work but it is becoming more integrated
so that even when I am not paying attention to it the cards are
at work.  For instance, like most people lately, I have been
feeling the pinch of cash.  Just beneath this everyday reality is
the four of Pentacles looking as anal as absolutely possible
clutching his Pentacle to his chest and with a silly look on his
face.  Well that would be a way to reconfigure my psyche when I
get into scarity.  I see this fellow and then follow it up with
an inner dialogue with the symbol, asking otherTarot figures to
gather round to help the o'l four out.  The resources brought to
bear symbolically are wonderful - World Dancer with her
evolutionary perspective, the king of Pentacle with his
groundedness and many others encourage this scarcity based
immoblized miser.  What the four of Pentacles has learned is that
he must be more generous and act in faith to move into the world
with courage.

>I wish that my own library had as
>many.  I would only add two to your list, Crowley's Book of
>Thoth, and James Wanless' New Age Tarot (which describes
>the Thoth deck).

I must admit that I have heard of the books but for some strange
reason I am scared to death of Crowley (The Beast 666 etc).
Could be the power stuff or the sexual material? I just feel eery
when I get near Crowley's material.  Someday I know I must
overcome this but for now I just note his work listen to what I
can and try to be open.  Somehow I think part of the fear comes
from my fundamentalist past but at other times I see the wisdom
of listening to hesitances.  The unconscious knows more than I
understand whether grounded in paranoia or wisdom.

>I am currently working on a course paper that addresses
>Jungian symbolism of the tarot deck.

IMHO ,by far the best book on Jungian symbolism in the tarot is
Sue Nichols Jung and the Tarot.

> Cynthia Giles (who is
>on your list) suggests that Jungian archetypes are in the
>major aracana cards.  The symbolism in the minor arcana
>cards are more like Jung's 'signs' than archetypes.
>According to Jung, signs can be interpreted, while
>archetypes can never be fully interpreted.

There might be some truth to that.  But what I find is that the
Ones tend to come pretty close to archetypal significance.  Ace
of Cups, Pentacles, Swords and Wands all represent he unmanifest
kether of the suit.  This hidden unmanifest has the quality of
the unconscious.

>I am currently working on the idea of using Tarot cards
>during therapy.  Some Jungian therapists are doing this
>successfully.  The idea is to give the client three
>readings: at the beginning, middle, and end of therapy.
>Let the client interpret the symbols in their own way, and
>then discuss them just like dream symbols are discussed in
>Jungian dream analysis.  Changes in the client's
>interpretation of any recurring symbols could indicate the
>effectiveness of the therapy.  The assumption here is that
>a client will interpret the card symbolisms as they 'fit'
>with their current psychological or behavioral problem -
>the reason for their visit to the therapist.

Great idea.  I have used the cards in a story telling manner
which of course evokes the unconscious dynamic as well.  What I
do is get the client to either self select or randomly choose
seven or so cards.  I get them to order them and through active
imagination tell the story that is taking place.

If anyone is interested in receiving my summary or the course or
the cards please let me know through private e-mail.  My wife Bev
and I teach courses on Tarot at an intro level and have just
completed one called Tarot Traditions.

Arthur Paul Patterson

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