Thursday, December 15, 2016

Tarot at a Crossroads Review

Tarot at a Crossroads
The Unexpected Meeting of Tarot and Psychology
Kooch N. Daniels, MA Kooch N. Daniels
Victor Daniels, PhDVictor Daniels

The contents of the book:
Part 1 Infinite Possibilities Beckon
Part 2: Representational Uses of the Cards
Part 3 : Further Travels on a Novel Path
Part 4: Unlocking The Mysteries
About the Authors

First, remember that I am just a plain ol' person, I did attend some college and oddly enough, wanted to be a psychiatrist. The second thing to remember is this book review will be from my point of view (as they all are) as a Tarot Reader and practicing Psychic.
The first thing I did was check out who the authors are. Victor Daniels taught psychology for 41 years. He discovered Tarot years ago, and has done many Tarot readings, according to his biography and website. Kooch Daniels has been reading Tarot for years, and writing books too, such as “The Art and Magic of Palmistry”. These two also wrote  “Tarot d’Amour: Find Love, Sex, and Romance in the Cards “ which I have owned and LOVE! So that information let me know I was in good hands.

There are pictures of Tarot decks scattered through out the book, I just wish there was a little title under each picture to tell what deck it came from. There is a list of decks used on page 12.

I am a person that marks their books up. You can see in the pictures I am sharing that I am very much enjoying this book. The book starts out getting you familiar with a brief history of psychology and Tarot. They compare using Tarot cards to the practice of psychodrama using a sand tray, or the hot seat, or puppets. And to find out about that you need to read the book! Tarot is becoming more recognized as a tool for healing in many ways. The book really does a good job on touching on methods that can be used without getting boring.

There is information on how to create your own Taro card, various ways in which to learn the card meanings, the role of numbers in Tarot and also the use of colors. There is information on how to keep a Tarot journal, and a free journal template in the back of the book. They show how you can let the client choose cards that represent people in their life, and do a kind of 'role-play' with that. Something I really did like was how they talked about TRANSFERENCE. How when a person carries thoughts and feelings over from an old relationship it can color how they see and interact with their new partner.

One of my favorite spreads in the book is one called 'Inner Dialogue' it is a way to help you (or someone else) make a choice between two different paths using the cards and freeform writing. There are a few spreads in the book that would be helpful for personal inner work, also when working with a client. For example, the “Family Constellation Spread” to illuminate family dynamics. Whew! That got my interest REAL fast. They also address group problem solving, reading for couples, meditation and the Tarot

Then we come to Chapter 12, the Major Arcana. You get the regular meanings of the cards PLUS a psychological perspective, and then Reflections which is meant to connect the traditional meaning of the card with the psychological perspective that was given. I headed right for the Hermit, number 9, as that is 'MY' card.
To quote the book from the Psychological link which for the Hermit is Existential Philosophy:
“Existentialism includes freedom of the self, thinking for your self about traditions, taking personal responsibility and making decisions based on inner, authentic being.”
The Reflections:
“The Hermit may refer to habits of asceticism, renunciation and detachment from everyday desires and cravings. He or she follows a quest for spirit rather than for material riches. Seeing the God-self in others and in the glistening cosmic web that connects the souls of all, eh or she has found, or is searching for, eternal values that transcent cultures and societies.”

Then we have an explanation and exploration of the Minors of the Tarot deck – the aces through tens, the pages, the knights, the queens and the kings of each suit and the meanings of the suits themselves. The authors take you through each number and how it connects with each suit.
For example:
The Twos: Share numeric energy with the High Priestess, Justice and Judgment.
The number of reflection, and the mirroring of inspiration and truth.
Keywords: the two sides of a coin (or story)
The Two of Swords: Linked with the element air and reflecting the power of ideas
Now that is just the bare minimum of what is in the book.
All in all, this book has opened my eyes to a lot of new ways of thinking and doing, and it should be helpful to everyone wanting to increase the depth of their Tarot reads whether for themselves or for others. I have had no formal training in Tarot, I taught myself, and I could easily understand this book and I have begun to incorporate some of the ideas within it into my readings.

This is not a book to casually glance through, it is one to be taken in, meditated upon, worked with, the re-read. It is a LOT of information, and I have already experienced it unfolding deeper thoughts to follow through on. Wonderful book!

You can see an excerpt of the book at:
I was given a copy of the book to review.

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