Vol. 9 #6 / August 1, 2017
In this Issue:
- Tarot Tip: The Practicalities of Tarot Interpretation
- Tarot School Aphorism
- What's Gnu?
- PsychWise: Jung, Archetypes and Tarot
- Best Practices: Your Mission – Your Story
- Upcoming Events
Welcome to a new issue of Tarot Tips!
And a special welcome to our new subscribers.
There are many approaches to reading tarot, and
deciphering and using it’s symbols. As we head
into August, we'll look at a couple of them.
In this issue, the Tip explores the mechanics of tarot
interpretation from the perspective of the artwork and
how it has given shape to the traditional meanings of
the cards. And in the PsychWise column, Katrina
Wynne discusses forms and archetypes from a
Jungian perspective and the role they play in tarot.
In response to a request from one of our readers,
the Best Practices column will follow up on last
month's suggestion to create a mission statement
for your business, with some guidelines on how
to do that. Whether or not you choose to publish
your mission statement, this is a good exercise to
help clarify the road ahead for your business.
And one more thing...
Do you know about Booko? It's a cool site
where you can type in the title or author of
a tarot book (or any other topic you like),
and it will bring up a list of places you can
purchase it, along with comparative prices.
This is the main URL in the United States:
Click on the flag in the upper right corner
to change the currency to one of 16 other
As an example, check out the listings for
our Tarot Tips book here:
It's a great way to look for rare books, too!
With love and gratitude on the tarot journey,
In every instance of laying out the tarot there is an
Ruth Ann, Wald, Gina & Elinor
Tarot Tips is here to help you with the practical side
of your Tarot journey. In order to take the greatest
advantage of this newsletter, please send us your
questions regarding any aspect of your tarot study
or practice and we'll do our best to answer them
in an upcoming issue.
Spread the experience of tarot - share this newsletter
with other Tarot Enthusiasts!
THE PRACTICALITIES OF TAROT INTERPRETATION
abundance of form, line and shape that create images
intended to suggest certain meanings. These meanings
were often established by occultists or other theorists,
and portrayed by artists, each influenced by the times
in which they lived and their own personal philosophy.
These established motifs blend with the personal
experience, knowledge and awareness of every reader
who engages with the cards.
Have you ever been perplexed by the LWB (Little White
Book) meanings of tarot cards or tried to do a reading
on a practical matter when the traditional meanings
given for a card just don’t seem to be relevant? This
is a common challenge for both novice and experienced
readers until a personal repertory of meanings is
established with time and practice. Without dismissing
the work of the past and the established traditions of
interpretation, the issue at hand is how to arrive at
meanings that are accurate and applicable to the
Over time, the imagery of tarot had been modernized
and individualized in keeping with our modern
understanding. But this can go too far when it becomes
unrecognizable to the user and becomes too difficult to
read. For instance, when the figure in Key 9 – The
Hermit is portrayed as a female or a youth, it
potentially changes the meaning for practitioners who
have deeply established in their subconscious the
typical image of the bearded old man.
One of the problems with tarot imagery is that these
images originated during the Renaissance are were
derived from classical works that served as the basis
for Renaissance style. So it could well be that the
true original meanings could only be understood by a
knowledge of the imagery of the era.
So how do we best form useful interpretations in the
quest for relevant readings in a modern context? Does
tradition have a place in modern tarot use?
The answer is yes, there is still a use for traditional
meanings. These interpretations offer a way of
formulating key ideas about the meanings of the card in
general. But issue-specific interpretation is also
about talent, skill level, experience and understanding
of one’s unique psychic faculty.
Here are some basics about the practical workings of
Subject Matter: An observation of the object(s) – for
instance, a human form, a tool, an animal along with
its settings and content.
Analysis: Examining and cross-referencing themes, ideas
Tools: Intuition, personal experience, knowledge of the
workings of a particular object, literary sources or
In considering the reading process, think of a
beginning, a middle and an end – each with main areas
of focus/tasks to accomplish. In interpretations of
these images we are often blending art, symbolism,
science and a theoretical perspective. In order to
influence or provoke useful change, we can use all of
these things to communicate effectively in our
Tarot School Aphorism
• PAYPAL IS NOW EASIER!
We've always accepted PayPal
(except for payment plans) but
in the past, you had to contact
us first in order to use it. We're
happy to announce that our new
store upgrade includes a built-in
We still don't accept PayPal for payment plans
(please use the credit card option for those) but
you can use it for everything else!
• READERS STUDIO UPDATE:
We are so close to signing a hotel contract and
announcing the details of the 2018 Readers Studio!
The hotel search has been more difficult than we
had anticipated because we want to bring you the
very best event we can. We know that some
(many?) of you were hoping we'd hold in in
Manhattan. We wanted to do that, too –– until
we discovered that it would triple our costs!
Not only would we have had to considerably
raise the price of the conference, staying at
the hotel would cost twice as much, too.
We didn't think you'd want that, and neither
So we put the word out to dozens of area
hotels, and what we discovered is that hardly
any of them have the meeting space we need!
That was a real surprise. One of the places
that did would only allow groups to reserve
20 sleeping rooms! Obviously, that wasn't
going to work.
Anyway, all's well that ends well, and we
found a great place we think you'll love!
The details are still under wraps for now,
but watch your inbox and social media
for an announcement very soon!
JUNG, ARCHETYPES & TAROT
by Katrina Wynne, M.A.
(excerpted from Life is But a Dream – Jung,
Process Work and the Dreamtime in Tarot,
presented at the 2017 Tarot and Psychology
Conference presented by The Tarot School.)
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi, Sufi mystic
You’ve heard the term Archetype associated with Tarot
cards, especially the Major Arcana trumps. In fact, the
concept of archetypes is so common we often find it in
our modern vernacular, added as a label to roles or
experiences, such as the “Mother” archetype or the
archetypal experience of being a mother.
While our consciousness has expanded to embrace this
philosophical and psychological concept, the original
intention of the Greek philosopher, Plato, whose idea
was furthered by Swiss Analyst and Psychiatrist, Carl
G. Jung, has been lost in the over-simplification of
this original term, Archetypal Forms.
Platonic Forms and Absolute Essences
“Platonic forms” or “absolute essences” are
what I think of as neutral constellations of
characteristics that form a recognizable pattern
that repeats throughout life.”
— Katrina Wynne, “Tarot and Psychology
Platonic Forms, as an idea developed by Plato, are
abstract entities that exist independently of the
everyday world. This philosophical concept draws from
his notion of genuine knowledge of truth, goodness, and
beauty (a huge topic in itself), in which there is a
perfection and immutable Form behind the imperfections
of ordinary and changing life. These common details and
facts fade and are considered to be insignificant,
while the genuine knowledge of the Forms themselves
are certain and eternal. (http://philosophypages.com)
In other words, the temporal expressions tend to be
judgments and opinions, while the Forms transcend these
dualistic notions of rightness or wrongness, tapping into
the Absolute Essences at the core. One example could
be the difference between liking something, or having a
deep heartfelt experience of expressing unconditional love.
Wikipedia describes it this way… “Form answers the
question, ‘What is that?’ Plato was going a step
further and asking what Form itself is. He supposed
that the object was essentially or ‘really’ the
Form and that the phenomena were mere shadows
mimicking the Form; that is, momentary portrayals
of the Form under different circumstances.” “Form
was a distinct singular thing but caused plural
representations of itself in particular objects.”
Again, we see there is a constant behind each
representation of the Form. Think about the different
breeds and types of dogs, yet we still recognize this
one biological Form under the common idea of dogs
or canines. Each object has it’s essence, yet the Form
transcends our basis of reality, to a purer, simpler idea.
Forms Without Content
Closer to our modern age and understanding is the work
of Carl G. Jung, who expanded upon Plato’s teachings
in ways that touch the individual psyche and our
collective consciousness—two of the most profound
terms which Jung contributed to modern psychology.
Jung renamed the Platonic Forms “Forms without
content” in an effort to emphasize that the Form itself
is unknowable, yet worth seeking in our individuation
process of expanding experience and awareness.
“There are as many archetypes as there are typical
situations in life. Endless repetition has engraved
these experiences into our psychic constitution, not
in the form of images filled with content, but at first
only as forms without content representing only the
possibility of a certain type of perception or action…”
— C.G. Jung, 1959/1968, pare. 99.
“Forms without content is a concept that many people
find challenging. It is like a box, but it is plain and
empty until you or someone adds personality or
expression to it. This simple form or essence is the
opposite of creating an interpretation, as is the
tendency with many Tarot readers.”
— Katrina Wynne, What are Archetypes in Tarot?, 2017,
MySacredJourney.org - weblog
Archetypes of Transformation
Irene Gad in her exquisite book on Tarot and
Individuation describes… “Individuation is the
process that enables a creative dialogue between the
unconscious and consciousness. It can be experienced
and becomes visible through the symbol, the means
whereby something from within can be seen without,
something invisible becomes visible, something concrete
is given spiritual perspective, something specific and
limited reveals universal dimensions.”
– Irene Gad, Tarot and Individuation, 1994
And thus an archetype points to a possibility, but does
not define it. It can be the symbol that bridges
understanding, bringing the depth of one’s
unconscious material into everyday experience and
awareness. This is the gift of working with Tarot
cards. The key is to refrain from jumping into the
known, the expected, or the learned association for
archetypes, including Tarot cards, for what may be
missed is an opportunity to access the transformational
potential beyond for which the card is only an empty
box…a form without content…a field duality or
It is rare to find a reference to Tarot cards from
Jung, but this jewel stands out…“If one wants to
form a picture of the symbolic process, the series of
pictures found in Alchemy are good examples, …It also
seems as if the set of pictures in the tarot cards were
distantly descended from the archetypes of
— C. G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective
Unconscious (#81), (1959).
For practical ways of reading Tarot cards applying Jung’s
open concept of archetypes please read An Introduction to
Transformative Tarot Counseling by Katrina Wynne, M.A.
It is available as a Kindle e-book on http://www.amazon.com
or can be ordered directly from Katrina:
Katrina Wynne, MA, CTM, CTI, CLC
is an internationally renowned Transformative
Tarot Counselor™ and trained psychotherapist
with 45 years’ experience living the wisdom
Contact Katrina at:
www.TarotCounseling.org - website
www.MySacredJourney.org - weblog
www.OracleSoup.org - podcast
Best Practices for Professional Readers
YOUR MISSION –– YOUR STORY
By Gina Thies
www.tarotadvisor.com / www.facebook.com/tarotreaders
www.tarotcoupling.com / www.oraclesoup.org
The late great Maya Angelou said, "People don’t
always remember what you say or even what you do,
but they always remember how you made them feel."
As a consumer, think of why you choose a certain brand,
service or product. Is it the quality, the price, or just how
special what you choose make you feel?
Many companies have adopted the practice of creating
mission statements, and you may want to consider doing
so for your professional services as a reader. Why?
Mission and vision statements can serve to define who
you are and what you aim to provide as a professional.
Companies sometimes state their defining goals or
guiding principles in a short a paragraph or phrase
that can be summed up in a tagline. For example –
TARGET stores’ mission statement says, “We will
connect business and community, affordability and
great design.” Their tagline: ‘Expect more. Pay less.’
derives from their mission statement.
Consider what you’re helping your clients or yourself
discover. As a reader, what is your story? How will you
define what you do and how will you be able to express
your uniqueness as a reader?
This is where your mission statement would begin its
development. It should give voice to what you do and
who you are as an agent of change, and articulate what
you intend for your client’s experience and what you
stand for. Boil down the values of your reading
practice to a few key words or phrases to start.
Your statement should:
1. Reflect your distinct approach to readings
2. Reflect what you promise as an experience
3. Indicate what your niche or uniqueness is and
it must identify who would be the ideal recipient
of your readings
4. Express a basic human value and reflect your
You can use a worksheet or journal to jot down and
further perfect a mission statement that fits your
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