Psychic Kathleen

Confessions of a Psychic - the life of a psychic practicing off and online in Canada for more than 30 years.
Tarot and Psychology: Spectrums of Possibility

By Arthur Rosengarten, Ph.D.

If you are a tarot reader and have often considered what a brilliant study in psychology the Tarot provides, then this book is for you.  If you are a practicing psychotherapist who has been eying a Tarot deck for a tool to add to your therapy kit, this book is for you too.  Dr. Rosengarten has written this book with humour, wisdom and enticement.  An easy read with only a few complex psychological references to throw the novice psychology buff off kilter.  But if you are a tarotist interested in psychology (really what tarotist is not interested in psychology?) you will thoroughly enjoy reading a psychologist’s perspective on not only the process of reading the tarot, but it’s inherent, instructive psychological meanings as well.

Psychotherapist to Full Time Tarot Reader

When I discovered this book I was ecstatic.  I am a psychotherapist who has become a full time tarot reader.  I don’t call myself a psychotherapist now.  There was a time when I saw clients during the day for therapy and taught the tarot in the evening.  Although I would teach psychology to my tarot students, I never spoke of the tarot to my psychotherapy clients.  Sad but true. I became a full time tarot reader for the freedom and openness possible in working with clients.  I wanted to be free to say what I think and feel while drawing upon a brilliant synchronicity tool to open a sacred space untethered by convention. Although best practice overlaps in both realms (confidentiality, honour and respect) the arena, culture and underlying assumptions are vastly different.

Dr. Rosengarten describes a study he launched in California whereby volunteer, high-risk couples were invited to participate, using tarot readings as the centre, therapeutic modality. This is not something that would fly in Canada (unfortunately!) but in California, not only was it permitted but it also received some government funding!  Dr. Rosengarten does some statistical analysis about what cards tended to show up the most often in certain positions for both men and women.  For example, the Knight of Wands shows up in the warning position of most women who have suffered abuse at the hands of their partner!  This study in its entirety makes for a fascinating and unique read.

This is only one the many, many examples Dr. Rosengarten shares in his experience as a therapist using the Tarot to enrich, enliven and deepen his connection to clients in therapy.  He describes working with a client named David, who is dying of aids.  Creative, explorative and joyful, you are carried right into the heart of these sessions which end just prior to David’s passing on to spirit.  You won’t soon forget the extraordinary and rare glimpse into this profound work done by the author with a grace that is truly awe-inspiring.

Offers New Ground for Tarotists

He describes being invited to do a reading for a group of women who had been meeting for years and had hit a bump in their process.  I laughed out loud reading, “Up to that moment, I must say, the energy in the room had been genuinely quite friendly, supportive, accepting, and welcoming (that is, remarkably Empress-like), as one might expect from a group of warm and bright women who had been meeting together in this way for years.  Now, after two measly Tarot cards, hot steam and dragon fire began erupting like Mt. Saint Helens.  Tarot, it seems, had presented an opportunity to air certain grievances, apparently quite atypical of this group’s normal functioning (I was later to learn).”   

The Tarot as usual brings both light and shadow to any situation.  The atmosphere of play, anticipation and curiosity associated with doing a “reading” opened the women to a whole new perspective on their group and ultimately saved the group from complete dissolution.

Dr. Rosengarten introduces this book by saying, “Finally, I wanted to offer some new ground to those seasoned tarotists, hermeticists, artists, mystics, magicians, and sundry esoteric thinkers who were interested to learn more of Tarot’s psychological and therapeutic properties and possibilities.  Psychology, I would show them, is intrinsic to both the structure and the method of Tarot itself.”  Dr. Rosengarten meets this goal brilliantly in this book which has been on my highly recommended list for Tarot students for many years.  You will quite simply love this book.

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